10 Restaurants and Retailers Popping Up All Over the Place

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Jersey Mike's Subs in Las Vegas
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In business, a brand is a powerful thing. From Coca-Cola to Nike and Apple, brands create an image in consumers’ minds that can lead the companies behind the brands to outsized success.

New brands are constantly emerging, and Yelp recently highlighted the best and brightest of the new generation on its list of the 50 fastest-growing brands.

In compiling its rankings, Yelp looked to its own data about these businesses, including “net-new location openings, consumer interest and searches.”

In a summary of its findings, Yelp says:

“From newly public companies to those scaling regionally to industry mainstays broadening their footprint, the brands featured on the list are expanding at a fast rate nationally, by state and geographical region.”

Yelp notes that so-called “challenger brands” — which are smaller companies aiming to become disruptors in their industry — make up more than 70% of brands in the rankings.

Here are the fastest-growing brands, according to Yelp.

10. Jersey Mike’s Subs

Jersey Mike's
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Jersey Mike’s began in 1956 as a submarine sandwich shop on the New Jersey shore. Today, it has more than 2,800 locations that are either open or under development.

9. Olive Garden

Olive Garden restaurant
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Olive Garden is an Italian restaurant with more than 900 locations nationwide. General Mills founded Olive Garden in 1982 as its first restaurant. Since 1995, the Orlando, Florida-based chain has been part of Darden Restaurants.

8. Rally House

Rally House
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Rally House is a specialty sports store that traces its roots back to the late 1980s in the Kansas City metro area. Formerly known as Kansas Sampler, Rally House now sells apparel, home decor and other goods.

There are more than 190 Rally House locations in 18 states.

7. Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers

Freddy's Steakburgers
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Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers was founded in 2002 in Wichita, Kansas. It has grown to 400 locations across the country, and the company says it has “key regions targeted for expansion.”

6. Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen

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Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen launched in 1972 in the New Orleans suburb of Arabi. At the time, it was known as Chicken on the Run but was renamed for the character Popeye Doyle from the 1971 movie “The French Connection.”

Today, Popeyes has more than 3,800 locations across the globe.

5. Wawa

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Wawa‘s history dates back to 1902, when George Wood started the Wawa dairy in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. Wood’s nephew Grahame opened the first Wawa Food Market in Folsom, Pennsylvania, in 1964.

Today, Wawa has more than 500 fuel stores.

4. The Habit Burger Grill

Habit Burger Grill
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The Habit Burger Grill first opened its doors in 1969 in Goleta, California. The company says it strives to promote a “welcoming environment that radiates a California vibe.”

The chain has more than 330 locations in the U.S.

3. LongHorn Steakhouse

Longhorn Steakhouse entrance
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LongHorn Steakhouse launched in 1981 in Atlanta. Today, the popular chain has more than 500 locations and says it is “as fired up and hungry as ever.”

2. Scooter’s Coffee

Scooter's Coffee
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Scooter’s Coffee began in 1998 as a drive-thru coffeehouse in Bellevue, Nebraska. In 2023, it opened its 600th location and now operates in more than two dozen states.

1. Cava

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Cava is a fast-casual restaurant that specializes in Mediterranean cuisine. Originally opened in 2011, the chain with Maryland roots now has hundreds of locations.

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