What will the restaurant landscape look like in 2020?

In a report Monday, Wall Street analyst and prognosticator Mark Kalinowski of Janney Capital Markets placed his bets on what he believes will be the Top 10 chains in terms of systemwide U.S. sales in six years.

Kalinowski based his estimate in part on data from market research firm Technomic Inc., which produces an annual ranking of restaurant chains.

It should be noted, of course, that Nation’s Restaurant News also produces an annual ranking of Top 100 restaurant chains, which came out in June. NRN’s census had similar results, except Burger King and Wendy’s traded slots.

In 2020, Kalinowski sees Dunkin’ Donuts and Chick-fil-A climbing the ranks to reach the Top 5, though Wendy’s might block one of them from reaching that goal. Chipotle Mexican Grill will also hit the Top 10, but Burger King and Applebee’s will slip down the ladder.
Some key points:

McDonald’s will easily hold the No. 1 slot, Kalinowski contends, and fellow burger chains are becoming less of a long-term competitive threat. However, Chick-fil-A and former McDonald’s sister brand Chipotle Mexican Grill will be harder to fend off. Kalinowski made this point about Chick-fil-A in more detail in a report last month.


McDonald’s has also been having a difficult go of things in recent weeks.

Kalinowski predicts Starbucks will move up to No. 2, with Subway slipping to No. 3 by the end of 2020, as America’s love affair with coffee continues to grow.

“Starbucks exemplifies the brand management look and feel that we believe contemporary consumers will continue to flock toward,” he wrote. “It encompasses a lot of the upscale touches of a fast-casual chain, but at an average check that is meaningfully less.”