Panda Express vs Chipotle vs Jimmy Johns: This is America’s favorite fast-casual chain

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With bread baked every day in each of its stores and fresh ingredients purchased from local providers, Jimmy John’s has developed into one of the favorite sandwich chains of consumers in the United States. The company’s dedication to making gourmet sandwiches sets it apart from many of its competitors. Subway is the leading sandwich chain in the United States, generating more than eight billion U.S. dollars from restaurant sales in 2020.

However, the company operates in the quick-service restaurant (QSR) sector because of factors relating to produce and store design – Subway had more stores than any other QSR chain in the U.S. in 2020.

The two primary types of limited-service restaurants are quick service and fast casual. The more familiar of the two will be quick-service establishments, also known as fast-food restaurants – McDonald’s is the leading QSR brand worldwide, with a company value of nearly 155 billion U.S. dollars in 2021. In recent years, there has been a growing trend toward fast-casual restaurants.

The two are very similar: both require food to be ordered at a counter and paid for in advance, but the meals available in fast-casual restaurants are higher in quality, and food may be brought to your table by the waitstaff.

Here are America’s leading fast-casual restaurant chains in the United States in 2020, by number of locations, or units (the latest data available).

Image Credit: Proshob / Wikimedia Commons.

10. Qdoba Mexican Eats

Number of units: 741

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9. Zaxby’s

Number of units: 909

Image Credit: Cculber007 / Wikimedia Commons.

8. Firehouse Subs

Number of units: 1,153

Image Credit: Dcawton / Wikimedia Commons.

7. Wingstop

Number of units: 1,359

Image Credit: Ser Amantio di Nicolao / Wikimedia Commons.

6. Five Guys Burgers and Fries

Number of units: 1,382

Image Credit: Hepcat748 / Wikimedia Commons.

5. Jersey Mike’s Subs

Number of units: 1,854

Image Credit: Michael Rivera / Wikimedia Commons.

4. Panera Bread

Number of units: 2,106

Image Credit: Michael Rivera / Wikimedia Commons.

3. Panda Express

Number of units: 2,263

Image Credit: Coolcaesar / Wikimedia Commons.

2. Jimmy John`s Gourmet Sandwiches

Number of units: 2,705

Image Credit: Mr. Satterly / Wikimedia Commons.

1. Chipotle Mexican Grill

Number of units: 2,724

Image Credit:


Statista used data from’s March 2022 Restaurant Business Report. You can find more information here.

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