U.S. Markets closed

The American Fast Food the World Loves: Top Global Brands

Carol Tice
SHANGHAI, CHINA - JULY 7: American donut chain Dunkin' Donuts now has 40 outlets around China, including 18 here in Shanghai, with ambitious plans to expand to 100 stores in China within the decade.  Shanghai is in the midst of what has been called "the donut wars," as Dunkin' faces competition from Krispy Kreme, Mister Donut, Donut King, and a host of other local shops, all for the morning palates of Shanghai's increasingly affluent young consumers.  What's not clear is whether sweet American-style donuts are popular in China, where morning breakfast generally consists of congee, or rice porridge, soybean milk, and maybe a plain, steamed bun.   Here, two men relax in the shade on benches outside a Dunkin' Donuts outlet.(Photo by Keith B. Richburg/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

[gallery2012]

With the American economy still sluggish, many fast-food chains have focused recent expansion overseas.

After a growth spurt last year, there are more than 66,000 units of U.S.-based fast-food restaurants abroad just among the 10 largest chains, data from trade publication QSR magazine shows.

The fastest-growing major U.S. chain abroad is Subway, which added over 1,000 international units last year. Growth markets include Russia, Brazil, China, and United Arab Emirates.

Subway operates in 100 countries now, adding Suriname and Romania last year. The chain does substantial menu changes for individual markets, including going vegetarian in its India restaurants.

Hot on Subway's heels is Dunkin' Donuts, which opened more than 900 donut shops overseas in 2012.

Last year saw Dunkin's first shops open in India and Guatemala, and Vietnam is coming this year. Chile, Colombia, and Peru were growth markets last year.

In third place in the international-growth derby is KFC, which added nearly 700 restaurants abroad. Sales at its more than 4,200 restaurants in China floundered, in part thanks to a poultry-supply scandal, but the Yum! Brands division kept on growing overseas.

Leading the pack in international presence is -- no surprise -- McDonald's, which now has more than 18,700 international units.

McDonald's had a slow year in 2012 for international growth, though, growing by only 212 units, QSR reports. The UK and Russia were standout international performers last year for the Golden Arches.

As McDonald's story shows, if you've got a big enough lead on the competition, you don't necessarily need big growth to be the biggest global player.

Some of the biggest chains internationally didn't grow a lot in the past year, but still have the largest overseas store counts. Click here to see the top 10 fast-food chains with the most restaurants overseas.

Also on Forbes:

Why In-N-Out Heiress Lynsi Torres Isn't A Billionaire Yet

The Top 10 Fast-Growing Franchise Chains That Powered Through The Recession

Five Guys Burgers: America's Fastest-Growing Restaurant Chain

  • The Internet Is Overwhelmed With Feelings About Prince William's Freshly Shorn Head
    Celebrity
    Time

    The Internet Is Overwhelmed With Feelings About Prince William's Freshly Shorn Head

    While plenty of people have been busy paying attention to Meghan Markle’s artfully mussed low chignon, another royal’s new hairstyle — or rather, the lack thereof — made its debut. Prince William showed off what appeared to be a freshly shorn, very closely

  • Apple Is About to Introduce an iPhone Feature It Doesn't Want You to Use
    Business
    Fortune

    Apple Is About to Introduce an iPhone Feature It Doesn't Want You to Use

    Apple will allow iPhone users to switch off the performance reductions that the company has introduced in the last year to counteract the effects of ageing batteries, Tim Cook has said. Cook’s comments came in a Wednesday ABC interview that largely dealt with Apple’s plans to pay $38 billion in taxes to repatriate hundreds of billions of overseas dollars—a move it attributes to the recent tax overhaul—and to recruit 20,000 workers over the next five years. The interview also delved into the battery controversy, which hit last month when it emerged that Apple aapl was artificially degrading the performance of certain older iPhone models.

  • Meet the man behind those ‘bitcoin genius’ ads all over the internet
    Business
    Yahoo Finance

    Meet the man behind those ‘bitcoin genius’ ads all over the internet

    There is an advertisement online that’s been stalking people as they surf around the internet. You’ve probably seen them, too: A man with wild hair and wire-rimmed glasses, staring out into the beyond, with bitcoin logos next to his face. The ad might say something like “Crypto-Genius Reveals the ‘Next Bitcoin’” or “California genius says, this is the next bitcoin.” Some even use a variation on the classic clickbait syntax: “bitcoin won’t want you knowing this cryptocurrency,” as if bitcoin were a corporation, trainer, or language professor.

  • There’s Been A Massive Shift To The Right In The Immigration Debate
    Politics
    FiveThirtyEight

    There’s Been A Massive Shift To The Right In The Immigration Debate

    President Trump’s disparaging comments in an Oval Office meeting last week about Haiti and “shithole” (or “shithouse”) African countries felt like the immigration debate had reached a new place. It has — but not just because of that meeting. There’s been a massive conservative shift in the ongoing debate over immigration. With Republicans in control of the White House and Congress, and some of the party pushing a hard anti-immigrant stance, Democrats and immigration advocates have had to greatly temper their hopes for reform. The last big effort at immigration reform came five years ago, in a bill written by a bipartisan group of senators known as the Gang of Eight. It included a path to citizenship

  • 'It's Actually a Nightmare.' Mother Warns Others After 10-Year-Old Suddenly Dies From Flu
    Lifestyle
    Time

    'It's Actually a Nightmare.' Mother Warns Others After 10-Year-Old Suddenly Dies From Flu

    The mother of a healthy 10-year-old Connecticut boy who died suddenly of complications from the flu is warning other parents to watch their children closely during one of the most active flu seasons in years. “Ten years of health,” Nico’s mother, Mimma Mallozzi, tells TIME.

  • Business
    Money Talks News

    How the New Tax Law Changes Your College Costs

    College students and their families are among the taxpayers directly affected by the recent overhaul of the federal income tax code. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is not all bad news for folks trying to save for or pay for higher education, however. It preserved more tax breaks than it nixed, and it left multiple ways to save for college largely untouched.

  • The Patriots’ Super Bowl Path Is The Easiest In Modern NFL History
    Sports
    FiveThirtyEight

    The Patriots’ Super Bowl Path Is The Easiest In Modern NFL History

    On Sunday, the New England Patriots will make their 12th AFC Championship Game appearance under Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, and the legendary coach/QB combo w…

  • Rex Tillerson Says There Is Evidence That Sanctions Are 'Really Starting to Hurt' North Korea
    World
    Time

    Rex Tillerson Says There Is Evidence That Sanctions Are 'Really Starting to Hurt' North Korea

    U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Wednesday the United States is getting evidence that international sanctions are “really starting to hurt” North Korea, even as he accused Russia of not implementing all of the measures. U.S. President Donald Trump told Reuters in an interview earlier on Wednesday that Russia was helping North Korea evade international sanctions and that Pyongyang was getting closer every day to being able to deliver a long-range missile to the United States.

  • Steve Wozniak is still on Apple's payroll four decades af...
    Business
    CNBC Videos

    Steve Wozniak is still on Apple's payroll four decades af...

    Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak told an audience of Silicon Valley veterans that he's still a company employee after four decades.

  • How Does Social Security Calculate My Benefit Check?
    Business
    The Street

    How Does Social Security Calculate My Benefit Check?

    Question: My wife died two years ago at age 53. I am currently 53. At the time, I was told that I would receive 80% of her Social Security when I reached retirement age in addition to my Social Security if I did not remarry. Is this true? We both worked long enough to qualify for Social Security at retirement age. Answer: Looks like you got some bad information, according to Joe Elsasser, president of Covisum and the developer of Social Security Timing. "The general rule of thumb for coordinating all benefits is that a beneficiary receives the higher of his or her own benefit or the benefit of the deceased," he said. That said, even after the law changes a few years ago, Elsasser said there are

  • Business
    InvestorPlace

    Will Legal Battles Finally End the Micron Technology, Inc. Stock Rally?

    For the past year, one of my favorite companies to discuss was Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU). Ordinarily, I would say the same thing about Micron stock. Unfortunately, some indicators suggest that time (and exceptional bullishness) is catching up to MU stock.

  • Lifestyle
    U.S.News & World Report

    8 Reasons to Pursue Early Retirement

    Early retirement planning makes you rethink what brings you happiness and life satisfaction outside of your career and improves your financial footing. Many Americans are unprepared for retirement and may need to continue working during their 60s and beyond. The sooner you begin planning and making serious efforts to secure your retirement future, the greater your chances of achieving it.

  • Danica Patrick, GoDaddy back together for Daytona 500, Indy 500
    Sports
    Fox Business Videos

    Danica Patrick, GoDaddy back together for Daytona 500, Indy 500

    NASCAR driver Danica Patrick on GoDaddy sponsoring her for the last two races of her career.

  • A drone was just used to rescue swimmers, and it recorded the whole event
    World
    Quartz

    A drone was just used to rescue swimmers, and it recorded the whole event

    Lifeguards used a drone to rescue two teenagers from rough seas off the northern coast of New South Wales in Australia today (Jan. 18). The lifeguards happened to be piloting the new technology when they received a distress signal and deployed a drone to search for the struggling swimmers. Footage relayed from the drone camera (which can be viewed here) caught two people in distress near Lennox Head in the northern coastline of the state. The video shows the drone releasing a flotation device, which the two teenagers swam toward and clung onto as they are pounded by waves. Ben Franklin, parliamentary secretary for Northern New South Wales, said the whole process only took 70 seconds, compared

  • A Twitter Inc Acquisition Is Back on the Table
    Business
    InvestorPlace

    A Twitter Inc Acquisition Is Back on the Table

    Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) has been roaring higher after a strong end to 2017. TWTR stock is up 60% from its lows in August. While a buyout from Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) is seemingly off the table thanks to its M&A deal with Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (NASDAQ:FOX, NASDAQ:FOXA), other suitors are still there.

  • Scoop Up Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (ADR) on Every Dip
    Business
    InvestorPlace

    Scoop Up Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (ADR) on Every Dip

    Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (ADR) (NYSE:TEVA) had a very bad 2017. TEVA was the largest generic drug manufacturer in the U.S. And it also had a brand drug, Copaxone, that was doing well and represented about 80% of its free cash flow. Kare Schultz, a Danish Novo Nordisk A/S (ADR) (NYSE:NVO) veteran with a solid reputation for rebuilding struggling pharmaceutical firms, took the helm.

  • Amazon narrows list of cities for new headquarters to 20
    Finance
    CNBC

    Amazon narrows list of cities for new headquarters to 20

    Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) said Thursday it narrowed the list of potential cities for its second headquarters to 20 cities. Amazon said it will spend $5 billion in the city where it builds its second headquarters, and will employ 50,000 there.

  • Why Visa Inc Stock Is Charged Up Heading Into Earnings
    Business
    InvestorPlace

    Why Visa Inc Stock Is Charged Up Heading Into Earnings

    It might sound trite, but Visa Inc (NYSE:V) really is “everywhere you want to be” in 2018. Visa stock had a banner year in 2017, rising more than 47%. But, with rising interest rates and a new tax plan in place, this year could be even bigger for Visa

  • Meghan Markle Just Got Her Very First Official Royal Gift
    Celebrity
    Time

    Meghan Markle Just Got Her Very First Official Royal Gift

    Its just four months until the world watches Meghan Markle and Prince Harry get hitched and gifts are starting to arrive. This week, the royal family released their annual list cataloging all the presents they received, a required public disclosure. The royal family does not officially “own” such gifts nor do they pay tax on them.

  • Barack Obama Gave Michelle Obama a Romantic Surprise for Her 54th Birthday
    Celebrity
    Time

    Barack Obama Gave Michelle Obama a Romantic Surprise for Her 54th Birthday

    Barack and Michelle Obama‘s relationship has been a love story for the ages, something that was only confirmed further by the former president’s romantic surprise for his wife on her birthday. Michelle, who turned 54 on Wednesday, took to her Instagram to share that Barack had sent a beautiful bouquet of flowers to her office that morning. Thank you @BarackObama for the beautiful flowers waiting for me in the office this morning.

  • 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Yanked From Chinese Theaters
    Entertainment
    Fortune

    'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Yanked From Chinese Theaters

    The Force isn’t just weak in China, it’s pretty much non-existent. Star Wars: The Last Jedi has been pulled from cinemas in parts of China after tanking with audiences. In its second week, box office receipts were down a jaw dropping 92%.

  • 'I Feel Horrible.' Former University of Alabama Student Apologies After Using Racial Slur in Video
    News
    Time

    'I Feel Horrible.' Former University of Alabama Student Apologies After Using Racial Slur in Video

    A former student at the University of Alabama has apologized after posting videos to social media in which she used the N-word repeatedly. Harley Barber, who identified herself as a member of the Alpha Phi sorority on Instagram, said Wednesday in an interview with the New York Post that she was expelled from the school following the incident. While university officials did not confirm whether Barber was expelled, a spokesperson told the Associated Press that she is no longer enrolled at the college.

  • This High-Yield Stock Just Declared Its 95th Dividend Increase
    Business
    Motley Fool

    This High-Yield Stock Just Declared Its 95th Dividend Increase

    Net-lease REIT Realty Income Corporation (NYSE: O) recently announced a 4% dividend increase, which represents the 95th time the payout has been raised since the company's 1994 NYSE listing. As I mentioned, Realty Income just announced its 95th dividend increase since listing on the NYSE in 1994. The monthly dividends, of which Realty Income will have paid 571 in a row, are going up by 4% from $0.2125 to $0.219 ($2.628 annualized).

  • Amazon sweepstakes is narrowed down to 20 competitors
    News
    Associated Press

    Amazon sweepstakes is narrowed down to 20 competitors

    Amazon's second home could be in an already tech-heavy city, such as Boston, New York or Austin, Texas. Or the company could go outside the U.S. altogether and set up shop in Toronto. The 20 picks, narrowed down from 238 proposals, are concentrated mostly in the East and the Midwest and include several of the biggest metro areas in the country, such as Chicago, Washington and Los Angeles, the only West Coast city on the list.

  • 4 things to know about the new U.S. tax law
    Business
    Yahoo Finance

    4 things to know about the new U.S. tax law

    Under the old tax code, the average family of four (that submitted taxes married-filing-jointly) received a tax break of $16,200 through the personal exemption, one $4,050 exemption for every member of the family. “The idea is that that loss of $4,900 of shieldable income will be offset by the lower brackets,” said Rebecca Walser, a tax attorney at Walser Wealth. Your marginal tax rate is changing, but so are the income levels.