Largest Fast Food Chains

The Top 20 biggest Fast Food Restaurant Chains

largest fast food chains

Its not healthy, we know… But a juicy burger from time to time is just delicious.
Check the list of the Top 20 largest fast food chains!

CNHLS Wallace Fujian Food china food restaurant
WhisperToMe, Cnhlsanfujiangxi, CC0 1.0

20. CNHLS (China) – 4,000 restaurants

Wallace, Fujian Food Co., Ltd., doing business as CNHLS, is a fast food chain in China. Its head office is in Taijiang District, Fuzhou, Fujian. Its English name was originally Wallace. CNHLS’s sales reached $407 million USD in 2010, an increase of 416% over its 2007 total. The restaurant was No. 2 in the China Daily list of the ” Top 10 fast-food chains in China”.

Papa Johns Pizza fast food restaurant
Jonathan Weiss /

19. Papa Johns Pizza (USA) – 4,700 restaurants

The Papa John’s restaurant was founded in 1984 when “Papa” John Schnatter knocked out a broom closet in the back of his father’s tavern, Mick’s Lounge, in Jeffersonville, Indiana. He then sold his 1971 Camaro Z28 to purchase US$1,600 worth of used pizza equipment and began selling pizzas to the tavern’s customers out of the converted closet. His pizzas proved sufficiently popular that a year later he moved into an adjoining space. Dipping sauce specifically for pizza was invented by Papa John’s Pizza that same year, and has since become popular when eating pizza, especially the crust.

Tim Hortons fast food restaurant
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18. Tim Hortons (Canada) – 4,774 restaurants

Tim Hortons was founded in 1964 in Hamilton, Ontario, by Canadian hockey player Tim Horton (1930–1974) and Jim Charade (1934–2009), after an initial venture in hamburger restaurants. In 1967, Horton partnered with investor Ron Joyce (1930–2019), who assumed control over operations after Horton died in 1974. Joyce expanded the chain into a multibillion-dollar franchise.  The company has its headquarters in Toronto.

Little Caesars pizza fast food restaurant
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17. Little Caesars (USA) – 4,800 restaurants

Little Caesars is the third-largest pizza chain in the United States, behind Pizza Hut and Domino’s Pizza. It operates and franchises pizza restaurants in the United States and internationally in Asia, the Middle East, Australia, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean. The company was founded in 1959 and is based in Detroit, Michigan, headquartered in the Fox Theatre building in Downtown.

Dairy Queen fast food restaurant
Jonathan Weiss /

16. Dairy Queen (USA) – 4,800 restaurants

Dairy Queen (DQ) is an American chain of soft serve ice cream and fast-food restaurants owned by International Dairy Queen, Inc., a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. The first DQ restaurant was located in Joliet, Illinois. It was operated by Sherb Noble and opened for business on June 22, 1940. It served a variety of frozen products, such as soft serve ice cream.

Sibylla sweden fast food restaurant
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15. Sibylla (Sweden) – 5,000 restaurants

Sibylla is a chain of fast food restaurants located throughout Sweden and Finland, where they mostly hold the concession for service station food serveries. 1932 saw the first Sibylla sausage served. Since then, menus with french fries, hamburgers, meatballs, chicken, kebabs, and hot dogs have been developed.

Orange Julius fast food restaurant
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14. Orange Julius (USA) – 5,700 restaurants

Orange Julius is an American chain of fruit drink beverage stores. It has been in business since the late 1920s. The beverage is a mixture of ice, orange juice, sweetener, milk, powdered egg whites and vanilla flavoring, similar to a morir soñando or orange Creamsicle. During the 1950s and 1960s, Orange Julius was sold at a variety of outlets, including state and county fairs and freestanding Orange Julius stands. The original stand also provided medicinal tonics and Bible tracts.

Hardees fast food restaurant
Ken Wolter /

13. Hardees (USA) – 5,812 restaurants

Hardee’s founder, Wilber Hardee, opened his first restaurant in Greenville, North Carolina, on September 3, 1960. After a year of success, Wilber decided to look into expanding his restaurant and opening another location so he met with James Gardner and Leonard Rawls to discuss doing so. Shortly thereafter, the first company store was opened in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, in May 1961 by James Carson Gardner and Leonard Rawls on McDonald Street on North Church Street in Rocky Mount, known within the chain as building number 1. According to Wilbur Hardee, Gardner and Rawls won a controlling share of the company from him during a game of poker. After realizing that he had lost control over his namesake company, Hardee sold his remaining shares to them as well.

Wendys fast food restaurant
Ken Wolter /

12. Wendys (USA) – 6,490 restaurants

The Wendys chain is known for its square hamburgers, sea salt fries, and their signature Frosty, a form of soft serve ice cream mixed with frozen starches. Wendy’s menu consists primarily of hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, French fries, and beverages such as the Frosty. Since phasing out their famous “Big Classic”, the company does not have a signature sandwich, such as the Burger King Whopper or the McDonald’s Big Mac.

Taco Bell fast food restaurant
Steve Bruckmann /

11. Taco Bell (USA) – 7,000 restaurants

Taco Bell was founded by Glen Bell, an entrepreneur who first opened a hot dog stand called Bell’s Drive-In in San Bernardino, California in 1948. Bell watched long lines of customers at a Mexican restaurant called the Mitla Cafe, located across the street, which became famous among residents for its hard-shelled tacos. Bell attempted to reverse-engineer the recipe, and eventually the owners allowed him to see how the tacos were made. He took what he had learned and opened a new stand under the name of Taco-Tia in late 1951 or early 1952, which sold tacos.