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Starbucks Shakes Up U.S. Chain Rankings

Trumps Burger King and Wendy’s
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According to Technomic, the burger may no longer be king in the chain restaurant world. The food industry research and consulting firm’s 2011 Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report places Starbucks as the No. 3 chain in the U.S., behind McDonald’s and Subway and maybe more significantly, just ahead of Burger King and Wendy’s.

It wasn’t long ago that Starbucks was closing locations nationwide, but Technomic reports the caffeine powerhouse owns more than a 57 percent share in the coffee and other beverage category, overall moving up two spots from No. 5 last year. The enhanced performance could be credited to increased ad spending, which doubled to $94.4 million in the course of a year. This figure still pales in comparison to the hundreds of millions doled out by Wendy’s and Burger King.

In looking at Technomic’s data, one thing becomes apparent: The golden age of the burger may be waning. Technomic said, “Growth came from the limited-service Pizza, Donut, and Coffee & Other Beverage categories with Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Pizza Hut [performing strongly].” Additionally, there was only one burger bun in sight in the top 10 fastest-growing chains over $200 million category, a list that heavily features sandwich chains and casual dining establishments.