This Could Become the Third-Largest Fast-Food Chain in the U.S.

The chain is set to outpace Subway in terms of sales.

This Could Become the Third-Largest Fast-Food Chain in the U.S.Vladislav Noseek/Shutterstock

Look out, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Subway, Wendy’s, and Burger King. Another fast-food chain is growing fast and rising in the ranks. It’s in line to replace Subway, which is currently the third-biggest fast-food chain in the United States in terms of sales, coming in behind McDonald’s and Starbucks.

Which one is it? Think “Eat Mor Chikin.” That’s right: Chick-fil-A is making a strong play for the number-three slot. The Atlanta-based chain’s sales increased by 15.5 percent in 2018, and traffic was up 10 percent, according to a Restaurant Business report. Meanwhile, this is the fast-food chain closing more locations than any other restaurant.

Analysts expected total sales of $10.4 billion in 2018, up from $9.021 billion in 2017, MarketWatch reported.

“We have long pointed out that Chick-fil-A is the restaurant competition with which McDonald’s U.S. should most concern itself—and by extension, investors should too,” the story notes. “But this goes beyond McDonald’s.” Find out why Chick-fil-A is America’s favorite restaurant.

While other fast-food chains have shuttered franchises, Chick-fil-A has been opening about 100 new restaurants a year, according to Vox. Company founder S. Truett Cathy started out with a diner in 1946, then developed its original chicken sandwich in 1964. Now there are Chick-fil-A locations in 47 states and Washington, D.C.

The company’s growth hasn’t been without controversy, though. Chick-fil-A’s charitable foundation sparked protests when it came to light that it supports groups opposing same-sex marriage, Vox reports. But that doesn’t seem to have held the chicken chain back: Even Chick-fil-A locations in New York City (considered one of the most liberal U.S. cities) are always packed. Next, find out which 15 fast-food chains are the most convenient.

Jen McCaffery
Jen McCaffery covers money, tech, products, health and safety for Reader's Digest and other publications and websites. When she’s not writing or editing, she’s growing veggies or trying to figure out the way home from assorted trails.