Top Chain Restaurants Worldwide

Top Chain Restaurants World Wide

Appealing to people of all ages, top chains are on the rise worldwide.

Fast food is popular all over the world. Why the broad consumer appeal?

Consumers enjoy fast food for several reasons. First, customers enjoy the predictable food at a low cost that chains offer. (tweet this) Second, they know wherever they go, the food will taste the same. Lastly, today’s world is fast-paced, and with both parents often working late hours, fast food makes mealtime easy.

Because fast food restaurants are popular throughout the globe, we’re going to look at top chain restaurants worldwide.


If you guessed McDonald’s sat on the top perch as the world’s number one fast food chain, you’d be right. It is the world’s largest fast food chain.

Begun in California in 1940, this fast food empire spun to popularity across the globe. With more than 36,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries, it’s not difficult to find a McDonald’s cheeseburger and fries when you travel.

What’s more – McDonald’s sees 60% of their sales from outside the US.


With more than 36,000 chains worldwide, Subway, grew to popularity because of its healthier fast food options. Arriving on a market dominated by hamburger chains, Subway found its niche and claimed it well.

The biggest submarine shop chain worldwide, Subway began in 1965. It quickly became a fast food alternative with its fresh, healthy options and its foot-long sub sandwich.

There is some debate over whether or not Subway has surpassed McDonald’s as the world’s largest fast food chain. It seems that some say Subway has more stores than McDonald’s, but that McDonald’s has a higher annual revenue.

Kentucky Fried Chicken

Begun in 1930 in Kentucky during the Great Depression by Colonel Sanders, the first Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) franchise opened in 1952. In terms of sales, it’s right up there with McDonald’s.

In 1987, Yum! Brands, owner of KFC, became the first fast-food chain to enter China. Shortly after, in 1990, McDonald’s followed suit. One third of KFC sales come from China. Today KFC as more than 19,000 chains in 118 countries.

Patrons say it’s their recipe of 11 herbs and spices coating their chicken that keeps them coming back for more.


No list would be complete without this coffee giant. A brand all its own, this American-born coffeehouse chain is the largest of its kind in the world.

Starbucks began modestly in 1971 in Seattle with three partners who wanted to create a high-quality coffee house. Today they sell coffees from all over the world, around the globe.

They have more than 21,000 stores in 65 countries and a revenue of more than $15 billion. Starbucks continues to grow and spread its wings. How far will they go? It’s anyone’s guess.


A unique take on the burger may pop up soon at a chain near you.

Burger King

Miami, Florida was the original home of Burger King, which began in 1954 by two hotel administration graduates.

They watched the success of McDonald’s and decided to send some competition their way. After a few years of difficulty, they launched their signature item – the Whopper burger.

This burger is now named America’s Favorite Sandwich, and people worldwide agree. With nearly 14,000 restaurants in 95 countries, their main competitor is McDonald’s.

Pizza Hut

Five billion pizzas are sold worldwide each year, and Pizza Hut is the main player in the global market. In fact, it’s the largest take-out and delivery chain in the world.

Started in Wichita, Kansas in 1958 by Dan and Frank Carney, its pizza is synonymous with good times and good friends.

With more than 6,000 Pizza Hut restaurants in the United States and nearly 5,200 stores in 94 other countries, Pizza Hut is one of the most popular chains in the world.


Another pizza parlor, this chain has more than 11,000 restaurants in 70 countries. Right alongside Pizza Hut, Domino’s is a household name.

Domino’s says they are bringing “the joy of pizza” worldwide. Overseas markets continue to fuel Domino’s growth. They serve the same pizza with the same quick guarantee. The only difference – you might find a wider array of unique options when it comes to toppings for your pizza.

Dunkin’ Donuts

America’s most famous Donut Company, Dunkin’ Donuts was founded in 1950 by William Rosenberg in Massachusetts.

Serving donuts, coffee and breakfast items, it does its best to compete with Starbucks.

Today Dunkin’ Donuts boasts 3,100 restaurants outside of the United States in 30 different countries. It’s been a global presence for more than 40 years.

The next time you travel the world you can count on finding a Dunkin’ Donuts for fast, fresh, breakfast food, coffee, frozen beverages and more.

Taco Bell

The most popular and successful chain selling Mexican food, Taco Bell was started by Glen Bell in California. Originally called Taco Tia, he sold tacos at a food stand. In 1962, he opened his first restaurant and called it Taco Bell.

With more than 6,500 restaurants worldwide, Taco Bell brings in more than 2 billion customers each year. Surely they are doing something right.


Who doesn’t love a Wendy’s hamburger or frosty? Founded by Dave Thomas in 1969, Wendy’s has more than 6,500 restaurants worldwide. Their average annual revenue is nearly $2.5 billion.

While in the United States Wendy’s is best known for its cheeseburgers and chicken sandwiches, its international locations pay homage to the local culture. For example, they serve jerk chicken in Jamaica and refried beans in Central America.

Dairy Queen

We end this list with one of our old-time favorites, Dairy Queen. This fast food and ice cream chain opened in 1940 in Illinois.

Founder, John McCullough, pioneered the concept of soft-serve ice cream a few years earlier and quickly cashed in on his creation.

Located in nearly 30 countries, Dairy Queen has 5,700 restaurants worldwide and continues to expand.

To Conclude

Fast food is popular for its quick options, food at affordable prices, consistency and flavor. Apparently people all over the globe appreciate fast food.

The top chain restaurants worldwide are the top players in the global food industry. They’ve been thriving for years and will continue to do so despite trends toward healthier options (which, of course, they’ve capitalized on).

In most countries worldwide, you can find a fast food franchise that will meet your needs and provide you with quick, inexpensive, tasty food. (tweet this)

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