Americans must like chicken.
Four of the 10 food chains that showed the biggest year-over-year sales increases were chicken restaurants serving wings, chicken fingers and sandwiches, according to a ranking from Nation’s Restaurant News.
Rounding out the top 10 were two pizza places, a pair of sandwich shops, a food-and-entertainment restaurant and a convenience store.
The reason for their success this year? Expansion into new areas and savvy efforts to increase volume, according to the industry publication Nation’s Restaurant News. For example, Chick-fil-A, which broke into the top 10 this year, debuted new locations in New York and recorded an 11.7-percent increase in per-unit sales.
The powerhouse chicken chain is also staying on top of consumer preferences. It recently replaced its cole slaw side with the healthier salad with kale, broccolini, dried fruit and nuts. It also introduced a mobile ordering and pay-ahead app and encouraged consumers to download by giving away a free chicken sandwich.
Another chicken chain in the top 10, Zaxby’s, accelerated its franchise growth over the last year by adding 52 new locations. It has looks to expand a new farmhouse industrial look that it unveiled last year in Easley, South Carolina.
There were 10 chains out of 100 that experienced year-over-year declines in sales. The poorest performer was Long John Silver’s, where sales dropped by 7.76 percent. That was actually better than last year, when year-over-year sales tumbled 16.35 percent.