DENVER BUSINESS JOURNAL - Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. dropped two places in the annual ranking of America’s largest quick-service restaurant chains, but it still remained far and away the largest chain based in Colorado, according to the annual list released Tuesday by QSR magazine.
The Denver-based chain (NYSE: CMG) leads three area restaurants on the top 50 list by coming in at No. 14 in the ranking, which is based on systemwide U.S. sales.
Chipotle sold $3.9 billion worth of food at its 2,198 locations in 2016, despite reverberations from a late-2015 E. coli epidemic that hit a number of its locations, leaving its earnings per share down 95 percent for the year.
Sonic (No. 12) and KFC (No. 13) both took advantage of that far-slower-than-anticipated growth to jump ahead of Chipotle on the national list put together by the magazine.
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