For the first time since being established in 1969, Wendy’s has overtaken Burger King in national sales, dropping the one time biggest rival to McDonald’s to number 5 on the annual sales list, when as recently as 2006 it was number 2.
Though Burger King still has many more restaurants across the country then Wendy’s the numbers will show that Wendy’s sales topped $8.5 billion in 2011 while Burger King came in at $8.4 billion. In comparison the perennial number 1, McDonald’s had $34.2 billion in sales. The numbers come from research group Technomic Inc. which ranks the countries 500 largest restaurants by sales annually.
Over the past 5 years McDonald’s sales have been up 26%, while No. 4 Wendy’s is up 9% and Burger King has stayed at level, according to Technomic.
Number 2 on the list with $11.4 billion in sales last year, a 7.5% sales growth, was Subway, and also with the same percentage of growth in 2011 with $9.8 billion in sales at number 3 was Starbuck’s.
Technomic named, Buffalo Wild Wings Grill and Bar, Wingstop, Yard House, Firehouse Subs, BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse and Noodles and Co. the fastest growing chains. Overall, for 2011, the restaurant industry pulled in $242 billion in sales in 2011, which is up $48 billion over 2010.
The full report is due out April 13th.