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Definition of column headers for chain and company tables throughout the report

Chain: The brand name of the restaurants, retail stores or other entities in a multiunit organization, as identified by signage, logos or trademarks.

Chains/divisions: The names of the chains or foodservice groups operated or franchised by the company or its operating subsidiary. In some instances the listed chain or chains are franchises of restaurant brands owned by other companies.

Company: The business entity that ultimately owns the specified foodservice revenue. Hotel, contract-foodservice and theme-park operators are included. Excluded are owned subsidiaries that may function as “parent companies” to a chain or foodservice division. An asterisk following a company’s name indicates that it is a U.S.-based entity whose stock is publicly traded; foreign-based companies not so indicated may be public in their home countries.

Concept: The type of restaurant or foodservice operation run by the chain, as defined generically by its food type, service style, retail context or operating format. Most concepts are self-defining and are categorized on the basis of the Top 200 study’s traditional categorical parameters. Full-service concepts other than hotel, such as casual and family restaurants, are defined as such and distinguished from one another on the basis of their generally dissimilar price-point ranges and by the fact that most casual-dining restaurants have full bar operations but do not serve breakfast, whereas most family-dining restaurants do not have bars but do serve breakfast.

Fiscal year-end: The ending date of the fiscal year represented in the Latest-Year column. If a fiscal year’s actual ending date occurs in the first half of a month, the preceding full month is shown as its fiscal year-end, pursuant to conventional financial-reporting practices.

Latest Year, Preceding Year and Prior Year: Three consecutive years, the most recent of which ended or will end in the month and year indicated in the fiscal year-end column.

Latest-Year rank: The Top 100 chains and separately listed Top 100 companies, and respective data sets for the Second 100 universe, are ranked in descending order of magnitude on the basis of actual, estimated or projected systemwide food and beverage sales for the organizations’ latest fiscal years, generally the year ended or ending nearest Dec. 31, 2012. Data are limited to the chains’ systemwide food and beverage sales in the United States only; company data are limited to domestically generated revenue derived from foodservice only. Chains and companies with tied results are assigned the same numeric rank.

Preceding-Year rank: The same Top 200 chains and separately listed Top 200 companies are ranked on the basis of U.S. foodservice sales and revenue in their preceding full fiscal year. Chains and companies assigned a Preceding-Year rank beyond No. 100 would have held the position in the Preceding Year among the Second 100 chains and companies. Chains and companies with tied results are assigned the same numeric rank.

Parent company: The business entity that owns a chain’s trademarks and master franchising rights, whether directly or through an operating subsidiary, and that ultimately profits from operating, franchising or licensing its concepts. An asterisk following a company’s name indicates that it is a U.S.-based entity whose stock is traded publicly; foreign-based companies not so indicated may be public in their home countries.

U.S. food and beverage revenue: Sums generated through consumer foodservice activities in the United States by the company or its operating subsidiaries. U.S. dollar amounts are irrespective of foreign-currency conversions by foreign-based companies. Included are sales at company-owned and profit-and-loss-contracted operations as well as food and beverage sales royalties and fees collected from franchisees. Excluded from revenue figures are total sales at franchised restaurants; revenues generated by manufacturing or wholesaling of food or other products; foodservice distribution revenues; and other revenues from nonfoodservice sources, such as merchandise sales, video games and property rentals. Figures for hotels, contractors, in-store feeders and theme parks should exclude nonfoodservice retail sales and nonfoodservice contract activities, such as income from rooms, souvenirs, property maintenance, ticket sales and grocery or other general retailers.

U.S. systemwide foodservice sales: Foodservice sales at all domestic restaurants, stores or other outlets in a chain, including company-owned, company-managed, franchised and licensed units. Sales from manufacturing, distribution, merchandise, room revenues, video games, facilities rentals and other nonfood sources are excluded.