Ranking | Top 99 foodservice groups Europe

QSR back on growth track

Industry expert Gretel Weiß presenting the ranking of the biggest foodservice players in Europe at the 23nd European Foodservice Summit in Zurich.
Thomas Fedra
Industry expert Gretel Weiß presenting the ranking of the biggest foodservice players in Europe at the 23nd European Foodservice Summit in Zurich.

Total sales of the Top 99 foodservice players in Europe amounted to €105.2 bn in 2021 – an increase of 15.5 % compares to the previous year, but still a decrease of 15.4% compared to the last pre-Covid year 2019. “A double-digit drop rate for 24 months, none of us could imagine this in former years.” Gretel Weiß, publisher, foodservice Europe & Middle East (dfv Mediengruppe), points out at the European Foodservice Summit in Zurich.

Following the record-breaking year 2019 with 7.4 % growth, the pandemic pulled down sales in the foodservice industry in 2020 and 2021. In-store, travel and pubs are still with negative figures in the scale of more than 40% compared to the pre-pandemic level of 2019. Only one categoryQSR – within the top 99 foodservice players shows a little plus of 0.6 % versus 2019. These results come from the latest ranking, presented at the 23nd European Foodservice Summit in Zurich on 21 September October 2022.
Looking back twelve months the balance is more positive: Already 77 out of the 99 top foodservice companies are showing growth again. 22 still with declining sales figures. But, compared to 2019 there are still 72 companies with negative growth. 
Far less affected of the negative impacts than the field as a whole are the Top 10 Players. With 65 billion turnover in Euro their share of the top 99’s sales amounts to 62%. Versus one year ago they recorded a plus of 16.9 %, versus two years ago a minus of 2.9%. As every year, the number 1 is clearly in the lead: McDonald’s, with a share of 26% of the total of the top 99, could even report a plus of 3 % versus 2019.

Sodexo is number 2 and Yum! Brands with KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell number 3. The Top 10 QSR players are clearly dominated by three products: burger, pizza & coffee. With Groupe Bertrand (9) and AmRest (10) there are two newcomers among the leading pack. Taking over from Green King and Mitchells & Butlers – now positioned at lower ranks (15 and 16). Showing the best growth rates versus pre-pandemic times is Domino’s Pizza (ranked 6th) with +27.9 %. A large plus of 16 % was also reported by Yum! – mainly due to new openings.

Quickservice – Pacemaker of the industry

With 42 names within the QSR category, the segment is still growing its volume. It stands for nearly 65 billion euros and for more than 61% of the total turnover. Versus 2020 these 42 companies together recorded a big plus of 27.2%. Versus 2019 it is a small plus of 0.6% in constant currency. “QSR is the powerhouse of the away-from-home-market.” The success of the category is also explained by Gretel Weiß: “Within this segment, there are the most chains and highest degree of industrialisation. This is where THE booming businesses – take-away, drive and delivery – are at home. In QSR, dine in is not predominant anymore. That’s a significant change, a big outcome of this pandemic time.”

The top list of the 99 largest restaurant players stands for more than 25% of the total foodservice market volume in Europe, according to Weiß. With nearly 48%, 12 American companies hold the largest share of the top 99 turnover. The groups listed come from 17 countries of origin. System sales including franchise activities are included in the sales figures.

For the majority of the players, the year 2021 was still far away from former success. In most countries and most segments”, says industry expert Weiß. “It will take at least another 2 to 3 years to reach a stable new normality.”


The motto of the 23rd European Foodservice Summit (20.-22.9.2022): " TIME TO ACT! Getting Ahead of the Transformation". The event is the most important European platform for the hospitality industry. The conference is organised by the trade journal foodservice Europe & Middle East of the dfv Mediengruppe and the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute. Participants are the key players in the multi-unit restaurant and catering industry as well as suppliers and consultants. The next Summit will take place from 19 to 21 September 2023.