The top ten food service companies in 2018

Satyabrata Kar 8th May 2019 (Last Updated May 8th, 2019 10:11)

Serving approximately 5.5 billion meals a year in 55,000 client locations across 50 countries, Compass Group emerged as the world’s biggest food service company by revenue in 2018. Verdict Foodservice lists the ten biggest publicly listed food service companies based on 2018 revenues.

The top ten food service companies in 2018
Restaurant Brands International’s Tim Hortons restaurant chain contributed 66.7% of its revenue in 2018. Image courtesy of Adam Lederer.

Top ten food service companies by revenue in 2018: Ranking the ten biggest

10. Restaurant Brands International

9.  Chipotle Mexican Grill

8. Autogrill

7.  Zensho Holdings

6. Yum! Brands

5.  Darden Restaurants

4.  Performance Food Group

3.  McDonald’s Corporation

2.  Starbucks Corporation

1.  Compass Group

10. Restaurant Brands International – $4.6bn

top ten food service companies
Restaurant Brands International’s Tim Hortons restaurant chain contributed 66.7% of its revenue in 2018. Image courtesy of Adam Lederer.

Canadian multinational fast food holding company Restaurant Brands International’s revenues increased by 0.7% to $4.6bn in 2018. The company’s restaurant chain Tim Hortons contributed 66.7% of its revenue, while its fast-food hamburger chain Burger King contributed 27.15%, followed by its quick-service chicken restaurant chain Popeyes (6%).

Restaurant Brands International had a total of 25,744 restaurants in more than 100 countries as of December 2018. It includes 4,846 Tim Hortons, 17,796 Burger King and 3,102 Popeyes restaurants. The company opened more than 1,000 new Burger King Restaurants in 2018.

Sales in company-operated restaurants comprised 51.2% of its total revenue, while franchise and property revenues contributed the remaining 48.8%.

9.  Chipotle Mexican Grill – $4.9bn

top ten food service companies
Chipotle Mexican Grill’s revenue was up by 8.7% to $4.9bn in 2018. Image courtesy of Chipotle Mexican Grill.

American restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill’s revenue increased by 8.7% in 2018 to $4.9bn, driven by new restaurant openings and menu price rises in late-2017 and early-2018.

The company opened 137 new restaurants and either closed or relocated 54 restaurants during the year. It owned and operated a total of 2,491 restaurants in the US, Canada, UK, France, and Germany, as of December 2018.

Chipotle is the world’s only restaurant company of its size that does not franchise its business.

8. Autogrill – $5.3bn

top ten food service companies
Autogrill manages a portfolio of 300 brands. Image courtesy of Autogrill S.p.A.

Italy-based global food service company Autogrill, which is focused on providing food and beverage services to travellers, witnessed a 5% year-on-year revenue growth to $5.3bn in 2018. The company’s revenue from North America increased by 4.2% to $2.82bn ($2.52bn in the US and $300m in Canada), while that from Europe increased by 2.4% to $1.9bn.

Autogrill manages a portfolio of 300 brands and serves approximately 900 million travellers annually at 4,000 points-of-sale in 31 countries. It is present in 86 airports and 107 service areas in North America, as well as 19 airports, 541 service areas, and 44 railway stations in Europe. It is also present in 40 airports in the rest of the world.

Airports contributed more than 58%, while motorway channels provided 33% of Augrill’s revenue during the year.

7.  Zensho Holdings – $5.35bn

top ten food service companies
Zensho operates Sukiya gyudon (beef bowl) restaurants in nine countries. Image courtesy of OiMax.

Zensho Holdings, a Japanese company primarily engaged in the restaurant business, registered a 4.24% year-on-year revenue growth to $5.35bn in the calendar year 2018. The company’s restaurant business contributed approximately 85% of its revenue, followed by retail business (14%).

Zensho owns and operates a diverse network of restaurants in Japan under nine major brands led by the Sukiya brand, which deals in gyudon (beef bowl). The company’s other restaurant brands in Japan include Nakau, Coco’s, Big Boy, Victoria Station, and Jolly Pasta. Zensho also operates Sukiya restaurants in eight other countries including China, Brazil, Thailand, Malaysia, Mexico, Taiwan, and Indonesia.

Zensho also operates supermarket chains under United Veggies, Maruya, Yamaguchi Supermarket, Maruei, Very Foods, and Owariya brands. The company also provides nursing care to old people under the Kagayaki brand.

6. Yum! Brands – $5.6bn

top ten food service companies
Yum! Brands opened 309 new Taco Bell restaurants in 2018. Image courtesy of Mike Mozart.

The Kentucky-based American fast food company Yum! Brands’ (formerly Tricon Global Restaurants) revenue declined by 3% year-on-year to $5.6bn in 2018. The company’s net sales decreased by 44% to $2bn, while its franchise and property revenues increased by 8% to $2.48bn.

Yum! Brands has more than 48,000 restaurants of three world-famous brands (KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell) in more than 140 countries, including 22,621 KFC, 18,431 Pizza Hut, and 7,072 Taco Bell outlets.

The company’s KFC division opened 1,558 new restaurants and accounted for a 46% revenue share in 2018. The Pizza Hut division opened 860 restaurants and contributed 17% of the total revenue, whereas the Taco Bell division opened 309 new restaurants and contributed a 36% revenue share.

5.  Darden Restaurants – $8.3bn

top ten food service companies
Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse are the two leading restaurant brands owned by Darden. Image courtesy of Darden Concepts, Inc.

American multi-brand restaurant operator Darden Restaurants registered a 10.6% year-on-year revenue growth to $8.3bn in the year ending December 2018.

Darden’s leading restaurant brands Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse accounted for 20% and 17.7% of the company’s total revenue, respectively, during the period.

With 180,000 employees, the full-service dining company operated a total of 1,762 restaurants in more than 1500 locations as of December 2018. It includes 858 Olive Garden, 510 LongHorn Steakhouse, 158 Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, 75 Yard House, 58 Capital Grille, 41 Bahama Breeze, 42 Seasons-52,  and 20 Eddie V’s restaurants.

4.  Performance Food Group – $18.1bn

top ten food service companies
Performance Food Group witnessed 4.6% revenue growth to $18.1bn in 2018. Image courtesy of Xnatedawgx.

US-based foodservice distributor Performance Food Group witnessed a 4.6% revenue growth to $18.1bn in the year ending December 2018. The revenue shares of its three operational divisions, namely Performance Foodservice, Vistar, and PFG Customized, were 60%, 19% and 21%, respectively.

Performance Foodservice delivers more than 125,000 food and related products to restaurants, schools, businesses, hospitals, and theatres, while Vistar delivers candy, snacks, and hot and cold beverages across the US.

PFG Customized caters to chain restaurants with specialised product requirements. Performance Food Group serves more than 150,000 customer locations in the US through 73 distribution centres.

3.  McDonald’s Corporation – $21.02bn

top ten food service companies
McDonald’s Corporation has more than 36,500 restaurants in 100 countries. Image courtesy of McDonald’s Corporation.

US-based multinational fast food company McDonald’s revenue decreased by 4.5% to $21.02bn in 2018. Sales by its company-operated restaurants decreased by 21% to $10.01bn, while the revenue from its franchised restaurants increased by 9% to $11.01bn in the year. The company’s net income, however, rose by 14% to $5.92bn in 2018.

The global foodservice retailer has more than 36,500 restaurants in approximately 100 countries and serves more than 69 million people a day.

Its maximum number of restaurants are in the US (14,428), followed by 2,223 in China, 1,478 in Germany,  1,443 in Canada, 1,384 in France and 1,261 in the UK.

2.  Starbucks Corporation – $24.72bn

top ten food service companies
Starbucks Corporation is the world’s biggest coffee house chain. Image courtesy of Starbucks Corporation.

Starbucks, the world’s biggest coffee house chain, reported a 10.4% year-on-year revenue growth to $24.72bn in the year ending September 2018. Sales of the company-operated stores increased by 11.6% and contributed 80% of its total net revenues during the year, while that from its licensed stores increased by 12.6% and accounted for 10.7% of the total revenue.

Beverages accounted for 74% of the company’s revenues, followed by food (20%) and packaged and single-serve coffees and teas (2%).

Starbucks had 15,341 company-operated stores and 13,983 licensed stores worldwide as of September 2018. It had 8,575 company-operated stores in the US, followed by 3,521 in China, 1,286 in Japan and 1,109 in Canada. It had also the highest number of licensed stores in the US (6,031), followed by Korea (1,231) and Mexico (708).

1.  Compass Group – $30.5bn

top ten food service companies
Compass Group reported $30.5bn of revenue in 2018. Image courtesy of Eurest.

British multinational contract foodservice company Compass Group registered a 5.5% year-on-year revenue growth to $30.5bn in 2018. Revenue from the North American market increased by 7.8% and accounted for approximately 60% of the company’s total revenues, followed by the European market, which contributed approximately 25%.

The Compass Group serves approximately 5.5 billion meals a year in 55,000 client locations across 50 countries.

The company provides food services across five main market segments with the Business and Industry segment comprising 39% of its revenue, followed by Healthcare and Seniors (24%), Education (18%), Sports and Leisure (12%), and the Defense, Offshore and Remote (7%) segments.