Foodservice consulting company Technomic has revealed the chains expected to reach its Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report.

Technomic’s top 500 chains reached a sales growth of 3.1% for 2017, down by 0.7% from the previous year. The company tracked sales, unit counts, locations and key contacts for 1,000 upcoming chains in the US.

The reports key findings include 65% of chains ranked 501 to 1,500 classified as limited service restaurants (LSR), while the top 500 are evenly split between full service and limited service operators.

Technomic managing principal Joe Pawlak said: “We expect to see a lot of the same challenges that operators were facing in 2017 carry over into 2018. Operators will be tasked with finding new ways to steal share from the competition and the rise of technology in foodservice will likely play a part.”

The chains ranked between 501 and 1,500 accounted for $21bn in sales and 21,800 locations in 2017. The restaurant chains expected to reach the top 500 based on sales and unit growth include California Fish Grill, which is ranked 504, Keke’s Breakfast Café, ranked 508 and Jimmy’s Egg, which placed at 530.

The top 500 chains outpaced emerging chains, however the LSR chains ranked between 501 and 1,500 outperformed the top 500 LSR chains, which has seen a sales growth of 4.5% compared to the 3.9% obtained by the chains in the top 500.