The 16 Full-Service Restaurants Expanding the Quickest

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First Watch
First Watch avocado toast.
Gearing up for growth

Unit growth presents many advantages for operators in the restaurant industry—lower costs, higher brand awareness, and of course, more customers. 

The FSR 50a list of the top-50 grossing restaurants in the full-service category—provides data showing which brands were expanding the most in the U.S. prior to the COVID pandemic.

While the crisis has completely shifted the landscape, the list does provide insight into which restaurants had momentum as the crisis swallowed the country. 

Note:The data is by U.S. restaurants as of 2019 year end. The list of growing chains is among the top 50 highest-grossing full-service chains by total systemwide sales.

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First Watch
First Watch exterior of restaurant.
First Watch

Total change in units from 2018: 71

Unit count: 365

U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $500

Average sales per unit (thousands): $1,517

Read more in the FSR 50 here.

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Black Bear Diner
Black Bear Diner brisket.
Black Bear Diner

Total change in units from 2018: 18

Unit count: 138

U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $325

Average sales per unit (thousands): $2,519

Read more in the FSR 50 here.

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Dave & Buster's
Four customers cheers beer glasses inside a Dave & Buster's with sports playing on TVs in the background.
Dave & Buster's

Total change in units from 2018: 16

Unit count: 135

U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $570

Average sales per unit (thousands): $4,488

Read more in the FSR 50 here.

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Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant
Cooper's Hawk Winery

Total change in units from 2018: 12

Unit count: 46

U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $340

Average sales per unit (thousands): $8,500

Read more in the FSR 50 here.

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Texas Roadhouse
The exterior of a Texas Roadhouse restaurant.
Texas Roadhouse

Total change in units from 2018: 11

Unit count: 544

U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $2,886

Average sales per unit (thousands): $5,359

Read more in the FSR 50 here.

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Olive Garden
Olive Garden's Lasagna Mia.
Olive Garden

Total change in units from 2018: 9

Unit count: 867

U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $4,351

Average sales per unit (thousands): $5,045

Read more in the FSR 50 here.

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Miller's Ale House
Miller's Ale House
Miller's Ale House

Total change in units from 2018: 9

Unit count: 97

U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $450

Average sales per unit (thousands): $4,865

Read more in the FSR 50 here.

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Texas de Brazil Churrascaria
Texas de Brazil employee cutting meat.
Texas de Brazil Churrascaria

Total change in units from 2018: 9

Unit count: 62

U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $370

Average sales per unit (thousands): $6,435

Read more in the FSR 50 here.

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LongHorn Steakhouse
LongHorn Steakhouse

Total change in units from 2018: 8

Unit count: 518

U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $1,864

Average sales per unit (thousands): $3,626

Read more in the FSR 50 here.

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Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen
A plate of fish at Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen restaurant.
Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen

Total change in units from 2018: 8

Unit count: 166

U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $715

Average sales per unit (thousands): $4,414

Read more in the FSR 50 here.

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Buffalo Wild Wings
Buffalo Wild Wings four plates of wings.
Buffalo Wild Wings

Total change in units from 2018: 7

Unit count: 1,215

U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $3,700

Average sales per unit (thousands): $3,054

Read more in the FSR 50 here.

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Cracker Barrel
A salad and baked potato at Cracker Barrel restaurant.
Cracker Barrel

Total change in units from 2018: 7

Unit count: 662

U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $2,525

Average sales per unit (thousands): $3,834

Read more in the FSR 50 here.

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Red Robin
Red Robin introduces the Bacon Curry Burger, Zen Chicken burger and Sparkling Berry Twist to its menu for a limited-time.
Red Robin

Total change in units from 2018: 7

Unit count: 561

U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $1,675

Average sales per unit (thousands): $3,004

Read more in the FSR 50 here.

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BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse
BJ's coveted Pizookie.
BJ's Restaurants

Total change in units from 2018: 6

Unit count: 208

U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $1,150

Average sales per unit (thousands): $5,610

Read more in the FSR 50 here.

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IHOP
IHOP cereal pancakes.
IHOP

Total change in units from 2018: 5

Unit count: 1,710

U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $3,300

Average sales per unit (thousands): $1,933

Read more in the FSR 50 here.

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Fogo de Chão
Brazilian Potato Salad.
Fogo de Chão

Total change in units from 2018: 5

Unit count: 43

U.S. systemwide sales (millions): $375

Average sales per unit (thousands): $9,259

Read more in the FSR 50 here.