The top 500 foodservice operators are dominating the U.S. market in more ways than one. First, they control over 50% of retail sales. More impressive, perhaps, is the fact that in the aggregate they are experiencing annual growth of 9% -- a rate that nearly doubles that of the rest of the market.

These findings, among others, are presented in Technomic's latest report on the foodservice industry, the Technomic Top 500. Whereas other Technomic reports focus exclusively on chain restaurants, the Top 500 expands its coverage into all categories of foodservice operations, including foodservice management firms, supermarkets, lodging, military, nursing homes, convenience stores, recreation and numerous others.

Not surprisingly, chain restaurants dominate the list. Quick-service restaurants alone represented over 44% of all sales among the Top 500. The major contributor to the dominance of quick service chains is McDonald's, ranking #1 on the Top 500 list with over $19 billion in 1999 U.S. sales.

At #500 on the list, on the other hand, is Aladdin Food Management Services, Inc., a Wheeling, WV-based foodservice management firm with $40 million in U.S. sales. The remainder of the Top 500 includes a diverse group of operators, segmented into 18 different categories. Taken together, the Top 500 represent nearly $210 billion, or 50.7% of total 1999 U.S. sales.

By consolidating these groups into four major categories, the market dominance of the Top 500 is demonstrated in the chart below. Restaurants, for example, appearing in the Top 500 list control nearly 60% of total U.S. restaurant sales.

                Top 500 Share of Total U.S. Foodservice Sales

1999 Total Top 500
1999 Top 500 Industry % of Total
Segments Sales ($MM) RSE* ($MM) Segment Sales

Restaurants (quick and
full service) $143,599 $244,000 58.9%
Travel and leisure
(lodging, recreation) 13,962 33,000 42.3
Retail hosts (supermarket
food-service, c-stores,
retailers) 13,987 28,500 49.1
All other** 38,362 108,500 35.4

TOTAL $209,910 $414,000 50.7%

*RSE = Retail Sales Equivalent
** Includes bars and taverns, business and industry, correctional
facilities, college/university, foodservice management firms, buying
groups, primary/secondary schools, hospitals, nursing homes, military,
Note: Includes alcoholic beverages.

The Technomic Top 500 Report provides extensive data on sales and unit growth for individual companies and industry segments, leading companies within each segment, growth leaders, and merger and acquisition activity. Individual profiles on each of the 500 companies are also included. Further details and pricing can be obtained by contacting Technomic at 312-876-0004, or visiting them at