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Yelp: The 25 fastest-growing U.S. brands are …

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The businesses were ranked based on Yelp data, including net-new location openings, consumer interest and searches.

Restaurant and food brands dominated the rankings of a list of the fastest-growing brands in the U.S. in 2023.

Mediterranean fast-casual chain Cava took the No.1 spot in Yelp’s first-ever list of the 50 fastest-growing restaurant brands, which recognizes the companies that have successfully executed growth strategies over the last year. The businesses were ranked based on Yelp data, including net-new location openings, consumer interest and searches, which together highlight how quickly businesses are opening new locations and growing existing ones.

Cava opened 72 new locations across the U.S. in 2023 and, according to Yelp data, the brand saw a 54% increase in consumer interest nationwide from 2023 compared to 2022. The chain plans to open at least 48 locations this year.

Challenger brands, defined as businesses that are not market leaders but aim to compete by disrupting their industry, made up over 70% of the brands on the list.

“Yelp’s data demonstrates momentum for challenger food, restaurant and retail brands that are quickly becoming the next class of household favorites,” the company stated.

The Yelp study noted that nostalgia is striking a chord with millennials and  Gen Z, and food courts are exploding back on the scene, expanding beyond traditional malls to include neighborhood food halls and outdoor shopping centers. Over 30% of the businesses on the list can be found in traditional malls. 

Here are Yelp’s 25 fastest-growing brands (To see the full 50 list, click here): 

  1. Cava
  2. Scooter’s Coffee
  3. LongHorn Steakhouse
  4. The Habit Burger Grill
  5. Wawa
  6. Popeyes 
  7. Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers
  8. Rally House 
  9. Olive Garden
  10. Jersey Mike’s Subs
  11. Sprouts Farmers Market
  12. Jack in the Box
  13. Bojangles
  14. Culver’s
  15. Levi Strauss & Co.
  16. Nordstrom
  17. Panera Bread
  18. Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers
  19. Once Upon A Child
  20. Mod Pizza 
  21. L&L Hawaiian Barbecue
  22. Wetzel’s Pretzels
  23. First Watch
  24. Ace Hardware Corp.
  25. Cinnabon
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