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Why wasn’t my chain or company included?

If a chain did not generate at least $140.9 million in domestic systemwide sales in its Latest Year — the result attributed to the No. 200 chain in this year’s study — it will not appear in any of the Second 100 chain listings. Similarly, a company had to generate at least $106 million in U.S. foodservice revenue to appear in this year’s Second 100 company rankings.

How do systemwide sales differ from revenue?

Systemwide sales are a total for every domestic company-owned, franchised and licensed outlet within a chain or multiunit operation. Revenue is a company’s top-line income from food and beverage sales, generally from company-owned and -managed units and from foodservice-related fees and percentage-of-sales royalties collected from franchisees.

How is estimated sales per unit calculated?

Sales-per-unit figures result from mathematical equations of systemwide sales growth and year-end change in number of units, and are done according to Nation’s Restaurant News’ proprietary formula. For consistency and comparability, NRN estimates partial-year sales contributions from units opened and closed during the respective years. Units with atypical sizes or sales capacities may be included.

What is meant by Second 100’s market-share figures?

Within the context of Second 100, the “market” is the aggregate sales or units of only those chains ranked in the study within a specified segment or category. Market share is an individual chain’s proportional share of that total only during each of the three years compared.

Why do some Preceding-Year and Prior-Year rankings and data differ from corresponding data and rankings in last year’s published study?

The statistical universe is unique each year, largely because growing entities qualify for first-time inclusion and supplant other entities. Moreover, each year’s research may yield more precise information, particularly with respect to privately held entities, necessitating revisions of previously reported data. Additionally, data may be restated from year to year to reflect continuing operations following newly completed mergers, acquisitions or divestitures.

With respect to the separate rankings of the Top 100 and Second 100 entities in the June 30 issue and July 28 issue, respectively, it should be noted that consecutive ranks of No. 1 through No. 200 are assigned only in the primary rankings of systemwide sales and corporate revenue. After the Top 100 and Second 100 groups are divided, subsequent rankings on the basis of growth, number of units, sales per unit and market share are assigned in two exclusive 1-through-100 ranges within the respective Top 100 and Second 100 statistical sets.

My chain appears on other industry sales rankings but not yours. Why?

Varying studies employ different criteria. We believe NRN market data offers the industry’s most meaningful survey of domestic volume, growth and market trends because it compares leading organizations only on the basis of their consumer foodservice results in the United States.

But my chain has more units or higher sales per unit than do some of the chains included in those rankings. Why wasn’t it included?

Only the Top 100 and Second 100 chains, as determined by systemwide sales, are ranked by such other criteria as number of units, sales per unit and rates of growth. In other words, the universe for those rankings is limited to chains that appear in the tables titled “Chain U.S. systemwide foodservice sales” in the Top 100 and Second 100 reports.

My company’s revenue far exceeds the figure shown for many of the corporations ranked, and yet you omitted my company. Why?

Companies were included in the Top 100 or Second 100 because of their foodservice revenue, not their total revenue. The Second 100 study attempts to exclude proceeds from all other business activities, such as manufacturing, distribution, general retail, nonfood contract services, property rental and amusements.

Some tables’ ranking numbers are duplicated and some numbers are not assigned. Why?

Ties. Alphabetical order is not used to assign a lower ranking to chains or companies whose results exactly match those of other entities.

Why did NRN stop including hotel brands and theme parks in the chain study?

Much like our decision to eliminate contract chains from the study in 2012, we found that these categories were less relevant to the majority of our  audience than the emerging restaurant chains that could replace them. The move better focuses our study on businesses centered on foodservice. The estimated foodservice revenue of the parents to some of the hotel and theme park chains we tracked in the past can still be found in the Top 100 and Second 100 company census.

Moreover, in the case of hotels, none of the large chains report publicly nor offer guidance on their food and beverage sales.

With regard to theme parks, we found that there simply was too great a difference among concepts in the theme-park groups. At the same time, there also was too great a disparity between theme parks and the other chains in the study, which typically comprise hundreds to thousands of small- to medium-size boxes offering only one style of food, not a handful to dozens of multiuse sites offering everything from cotton-candy carts to room service.