These Chain Restaurants Will Start Popping Up Everywhere

If drive down any street in America, you will likely pass by some of the more iconic fast food brands, like McDonald's, Burger King, Subway, and Starbucks. While it feels like some chains are on every block in town, others are just starting to grow, and are quickly expanding across the country. Depending on where you live, some of them might already be familiar, but for others, you may have never heard of them.

Fast-growing restaurant brands appear to be more prevalent now as the industry climbs its way out of the COVID-19 pandemic, which kept families at home instead of eating out. That new-found surge in business has helped many brands expand their horizons, growing their footprint across the United States. Some of this growth could disrupt the long-standing popular fast food restaurants, especially as consumers seek healthier options when they want to go out to eat. The following restaurant brands are growing quickly, and you may soon see some of them in your town if you haven't already.

Texas Roadhouse

The steakhouse chain Texas Roadhouse opened in 1993 and has been growing ever since. Despite its Lone Star State moniker, Texas is not the only place you will find locations, as there are Texas Roadhouse restaurants all across America, in fact, it's first location was in Indiana. The chain has made a name for itself with its baked-from-scratch bread and honey cinnamon butter, along with a wide selection of fresh steaks. All this and more has led to its growth in recent years, and the chain shows no sign of slowing down.

According to Brand Directory, Texas Roadhouse leads the pack in chain growth with a 56% increase in 2023. Among the restaurants poised to experience growth, few will happen as quickly as Texas Roadhouse. In the coming years, it plans on increasing its 700 locations to upwards of 900. They say everything is bigger in Texas, and nothing seems to be bigger than the growth Texas Roadhouse is experiencing.


If you do not live on the west coast, you may have never visited a Jollibee. That could soon change, however, as the Filipino restaurant chain is experiencing fast growth across America with no signs of slowing down. Most recently, its brand value has quickly grown to $1.6 billion per Brand Directory. Jollibee has its sights on opening nearly 500 locations over the next few years, meaning you could soon see a restaurant in your neighborhood.

Jollibee specializes in fried chicken dishes and its menu includes many items you would find at other fried chicken establishments, like six-piece buckets with legs and thighs. Customers can also order Filipino-inspired items such as Spaghetti and Palabok Fiesta, which is a traditional Filipino noodle dish. Currently, most Jollibee locations in the United States are concentrated around California, but with its rapid growth plan, it could soon spread to other regions of the country.

Blaze Pizza

Certain types of food instantly remind you of a particular fast food chain. Mexican food might inspire you to head to your nearest Taco Bell or Chipotle, and if you want a hamburger, look no further than your closest McDonald's or Burger King. Blaze Pizza is already a recognizable brand with  locations in nearly every state. That established prominence is a result of strategic growth in recent years, with focused efforts on expanding in states such as Florida, Texas, and Nevada.

In 2021, there was an 18% increase in same-store sales according to PR Newswire, and in 2022, Blaze Pizza shifted its efforts to the south and added 13 locations. In an interview with QSR Magazine, Ed Yancy, chief development officer at Blaze Pizza, said, "...our team is excited about taking Blaze Pizza to the next level in 2023."

Shake Shack

With over 200 locations in the United States, Shake Shack has already seen considerable growth. Outside of the major regions of New York, California, and Texas, you may not have a Shake Shack nearby, however, it does have plans for growth in the coming years.

Shake Shack's growth is not simply a wide-cast net approach where it opens restaurants all over the country. Instead, the burger chain specifically wants to grow in its drive-thru division. By the end of 2023, Shake Shack hopes to have opened 20 to 25 new drive-thru locations. This would mean stepping away from its urban-centric strategy to its locations and moving more into a suburban landscape. 

Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers

If you live in the Midwest, you are likely quite familiar with Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers. The chain celebrated the opening of its 400th location in 2020, and there seems to be no sign of slowing down. It will only be a matter of time before Freddy's hits the milestone of opening its 500th location, and it seems to be all but certain at this point in time.

In late 2022, Freddy's announced plans to open an additional dozen locations in select markets across the Midwest in addition to the 100 that were already in development. That only means more frozen custard and steakburgers to go around. In each location, customers can expect to find a menu that includes classics, such as burgers with hand-pressed patties and an array of frozen custard treats.

The Habit Burger Grill

The Habit Burger Grill is popular in its home state of California, but outside, it is not widely known. While the count currently states at roughly one dozen states with The Habit Burger locations, it is definitely a west coast mainstay. It seems like The Habit Burger wants to break that mold, with its sights set on growing from approximately 300 locations as of July 2022 to over 2,000 in the United States over the next several years.

Growth for The Habit Burger will be interesting to watch, as prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, dine-in sales accounted for a staggering 60% of total revenue, according to QSR Magazine. While most fast food restaurant chains see the big bucks come from the drive-thru and to-go orders, The Habit Burger will have to scale its business while accounting for consumer behavior. 

Teriyaki Madness

Panda Express may be the dominating brand that comes to mind when consumers think about fast-casual Asian cuisine, but Teriyaki Madness is on a mission to stake its claim in the industry, too. The chain was founded in 1986 and has since grown to over 100 locations across the United States. It has a ways to go before it catches up to Panda Express' 2,300 restaurants, but its performance in the last few years is promising, despite the struggles restaurant chains faced during the COVID pandemic.

Teriyaki Madness is poised for major growth in the coming year, with up to 50 new locations planned to open in 2023. The Seattle-based chain has been focusing on international expansion as well, opening locations in Canada in recent years. Teriyaki Madness offers customizable bowls with teriyaki chicken and beef, as well as chicken katsu and salmon teriyaki.

Jersey Mike's

In the world of deli-style sandwich chains, Jersey Mike's is a fan favorite. Perhaps it is due to its hand-sliced meats and cheeses adding freshness to each bite. Or maybe it has something to do with the bread that is baked fresh in its restaurants each day. Either way, Jersey's Mikes has plenty to be excited about when it comes to growth, which is fueled by that fan enthusiasm.

In 2021, Jersey Mike's set an ambitious goal to open upwards of 500 locations over the course of two years. In 2023, it set yet another huge milestone goal of opening 350 locations in one year alone; there are roughly 2,400 Jersey Mikes locations today. That growth has been partly due to an ever-evolving marketing campaign, taking unique avenues such as partnering with Division I sports programs and launching ads featuring Danny DeVito. Thanks to its fresh ingredients, however, Jersey Mike's walks the walk, and customers take notice.


Depending on where you live in the United States, Chick-fil-A may already be a prominent presence in the fast food market. Famous for being closed on Sundays, the chain has been a long-standing popular brand found across the Southern U.S, however, it has been slower to grow in the northern half of the country. Chick-fil-A's strategy of focusing on growing its existing locations and only opening new locations in strategic markets has been paying off big time.

When looking at sales, Chick-fil-A is a formidable competitor in the fast food industry. It finished 2022 with $18.8 billion in sales, marking a 13% growth from the year prior, per Chick-fil-A's Franchise Disclosure Document, and the total locations in the U.S. grew by around 4%. In 2023, the chain only plans to open even more locations around the country.

Raising Cane's

Crispy fried chicken finger aficionados will attest that Raising Cane's is among the best. The fast food chain opened in 1996 on the radical concept that a restaurant can be successful on chicken fingers alone. The gamble paid off, and nowadays customers can find hundreds of Raising Cane's restaurants on their travels or in a strip mall near home.

Its menu has expanded to include more than just chicken fingers, and Raising Cane's continues to grow, expanding into new markets such as the first Michigan location that opened in 2022. That location was one of 100 that Raising Cane's had set out to open that year. Looking ahead, the chain seeks to enter more markets in the Northeast corridor of the U.S., including Boston and Philadelphia. It recently hit the milestone of opening its 600th location in California, so Raising Cane's shows no signs of slowing down.


If you love that chicken from Popeye's, you'll be happy to know that there are nearly 4,000 locations and the chain is poised to grow even further both domestically and abroad. In 2022 Popeye's had plans to open 200 new locations in the United States and Canada, a goal which it met and exceeded. Those new openings are a part of the brand's plan to boost profitability at each location to $300,000 annually.

Popeye's seeks to grow into more international markets as well. In 2022, its parent company entered an agreement to bring the brand to China. Aside from international growth, you might just see new locations popping up in you town too.


In the mood for a poke bowl? The rice bowl known for its raw tuna topping has grown in popularity in the United States, so much so that restaurants and fast food chains have begun to emerge that base their menu entirely around the dish. Namely, Pokeworks opened its first location in 2015 and had grown its presence to 20 states by 2022.

Fueled by its success in the U.S., Pokeworks is now looking to expand in several of its current markets. This includes nearly one dozen new locations in New York, Texas, and California. The company has also begun its international expansion with locations in Taiwan and Mexico. In addition, the chain is on its way to open restaurants in Canada. Soon, it may seem like for every burger shop you see, there will be a poke bowl-centric restaurant chain right around the corner.


Wingstop has proven itself to be a top-performing brand when it comes to chicken wings. The margins of the popular finger food skyrocketed in the pandemic, but Wingstop managed to achieve a major boost in sales by 20% for its full fiscal year to $2.3 billion (via Wingstop Inc. Fiscal Fourth Quarter 2021 Financial Results). 2021 was a strong year for Wingstop all around, with a record set for new restaurant openings. There is clearly still a demand for chicken wings, and that has helped Wingstop to increase its footprint nationally as well as abroad.

The chicken wing chain opened a location in the United Kingdom in 2018 to much success, leading to a new restaurant opening in Spain in 2022. It is all a part of Wingstop's plan of hitting 7,000 total restaurants around the world, including 3,000 outside of the United States. With continued growth in sales year after year, there appears to be no reason why Wingstop shouldn't aim big.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe

Do not let the name deceive you –- Tropical Smoothie Cafe is not like your typical Jamba Juice that focuses mainly on refreshing smoothies. Those are, of course, a key part of its business model, but you will also find salads, wraps, and flatbreads. Tropical Smoothie Cafe's menu has resonated with customers, giving the company the boost it needed over the years for continued growth and expansion.

As of 2023, the chain has opened nearly 1,300 locations across the United States, many of which are operated by existing franchisees. In fact, one franchise in Arkansas is responsible for 100 locations alone. With nearly 100 new locations opened in the first two quarters of 2023, Tropical Smoothie Cafe is full steam ahead when it comes to expansion. Do not be surprised if you see a restaurant open in your neighborhood in the near future.

Crumbl Cookies

Who knew cookies could take social media by storm? That is part of the growth strategy the chain has benefitted greatly from since it first opened in Utah in 2017. Since then, Crumbl has expanded to over 800 locations in 49 states. It is also expanding internationally, with its first locations opening in Canada in 2023. CEO Jason McGowan shared with QSR Magazine, "We're very, very agile and we move very, very quickly."

Crumbl has taken several unique approaches to keep customers coming back each week. Mainly, its rotating menu of mouthwatering flavors involves a weekly reveal of each new menu on social media. Once the week ends, customers may not see that flavor again for the rest of the year; so it is to your benefit to rush to the nearest Crumbl. Luckily, a location is might be closer than ever, thanks to the company's continued growth.

Wetzel's Pretzels

Walk through any mall in America, and you will likely smell the wafting scent of a freshly-baked pretzel. The handheld snack is a convenient quick bite when you need something to munch on or share with friends, which is part of the reason why pretzel stands are so popular -– that, and they are just really tasty. Wetzel's Pretzels has enjoyed steady growth, with a three-year improvement of 35% for same-store-sales growth, according to Nation's Restaurant News.

That growth in sales translates to more locations for Wetzel's Pretzels. The pretzel chain has 50 restaurants in development for 2023, which includes its 400th location. The company has been strategic in this growth, not only sticking to traditional sites for its locations but also adding them in airports, Walmarts, Macy's, and even food trucks.

Sonic Drive-In

Perhaps best known for its roller skate-wearing carhop employees, Sonic Drive-in has been around for decades and is keen on continuing as an industry leader in the future. The chain's unique business model, where you remain in your car and your food is delivered to you, seemed to not only keep the business afloat during COVID but it made for a top choice among families. Sonic saw record sales in a year when so many other restaurant brands saw the opposite due to the pandemic.

Nowadays, there are more than 3,500 Sonic locations in the United States. It may soon see additional growth in international markets for the first time as well. No matter where you are in the world, you may soon be able to order your favorite hamburger or hot dog with the simple press of a button.

True Food Kitchen

Before a fast food chain can reach the number of locations that industry juggernauts McDonald's and Burger King have, it must start small and grow strategically. That is where True Food Kitchen is at right now. The wellness-centric chain has opened roughly 50 locations since it launched 15 years ago, but do not discount it as lacking momentum.

With its 44th location opening in March 2023 in Los Angeles, True Food Market continues to grow. And a recent investment to the tune of $100 million should only spur more growth. True Food Market has received a celebrity lineup of investments, including funds from Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra, as well as Oprah Winfrey.

True Food Kitchen focuses on a menu featuring anti-inflammatory foods, a philosophy championed by Dr. Andrew Weil. Its locations can be found across the United States, with even more coming soon.