Why the Fastest-Growing Restaurant Chain in America Should Terrify KFC and Chick-fil-A

The chicken is crossing the road, but it isn’t going to KFC or Chick-fil-A.

The fastest-growing restaurant chain in America isn’t McDonald’s, Wendy’s, or even Burger King, and KFC’s and Chick-fil-A’s around the country should be terrified as more costumers flock to a new chicken chain. According to Business Insider, Raising Cane’s, a chicken-finger chain known for its Texas toast and simple menu, is the fastest-growing restaurant chain in the country.

The chain, which boasts a minimalist menu of just five items – The Box Combo, The 3-Finger Combo, The Caniac Combo, The Sandwich Combo, plus a kid’s combo – is proving to be an encroaching threat for other fast food restaurants. With $640.5 million in sales in 2016, a 25.9% increase over the year prior, the chicken-finger restaurant took the top spot on Nation’s Restaurant News’ list of the fastest-growing chains by sales in the U.S. And while it is still small compared to other fast food chains, with only 310 locations, it is growing rapidly. In the past year, Raising Cane’s opened 59 new restaurants.

Posing an even bigger threat is that the chain has earned the prized title of having the fastest drive-thru times. Whereas costumers will have to wait an average of 174 seconds at Dunkin’ Donuts and 180 seconds at Wendy’s, costumers at Raising Cane’s will have their finger licking good chicken fingers in just 168 seconds, or two minutes and 48 seconds, from the time that they pull up to the order station.

Meanwhile, world-famous and much beloved chain McDonald’s has also had success in recent months. According to a report by researchers Datassential and Sense360, McDonald’s share of U.S. traffic among fast food and fast-casual restaurants rose to almost 18% in the week ending on Jan. 21, showing an increase of roughly 0.4 percentage point from last year. Furthermore, sales rose 6% globally in the third quarter.


The positive results come in the wake of the company’s shift to focusing on “the power of a value offering,” Dave Jenkins, managing director of customer solutions at Datassential in Chicago said.

The company has been leading a turnaround of recovering lost customers by offering discounts, faster service, fresh beef, and franchising stores globally. The effort has also included the introduction of the new Dollar Menu.