June 15, 2023
Lauren Platero

6 Restaurant Groups That Are Shaping the F&B Landscape

Restaurant groups are some of the most influential entities in the restaurant industry. They’re a bit different from hospitality groups, due to the fact that they strictly focus on food and beverage. By catering to a fairly niche market, such groups are able to focus more attention on each brand. In turn, each one can maximize profits and longevity to their fullest capacity. 

As the food and beverage industry continues to evolve, restaurant groups must seek ways to remain profitable innovators. Want to learn all about what makes up restaurant groups, some prime examples, and the industry’s best leaders? If so, read on!

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Restaurant Groups: What Are They?

Restaurant groups are extensive business models that house various brands. You can think of restaurant groups as parent companies. Some might even refer to them as umbrellas. This is because there is a single entity, with multiple brands underneath. Then underneath each brand, you'll find all the locations (or units).

Many people wonder what the point is of forming restaurant groups. Or more importantly, why would a business owner choose to join one? Well, it's a proven system that can simplify restaurant operations, leverage economies of scale, and standardize resources. 

The operational structure of restaurant groups are vast, too. They include numerous departments, all of which have a broad hierarchy. Then, each brand or sub-company has its own team, of course. It all stems from a corporate level, trickling down to each individual unit.

Each brand underneath restaurant groups abide by strict branding and menu types. Restaurant marketing efforts, pricing, and menus will differ from one brand to another. But, being a group partner is an outlet for making each sub-entity uniform across the board. 

As you can imagine, restaurant groups provide a straightforward framework for various food and beverage companies. In fact, they're much more popular than you might think. Now, let's dive into some examples to paint a clearer picture. 

Restaurant Groups: Examples 

Restaurant groups can consists of numerous styles of eateries. That’s one of the great perks about them–they don’t exclude any particular business model. Sure, you’ll have some that cater to one style more than others. But in general, there’s usually a parent company that every restaurant owner can look into. 

Here’s a brief list of restaurant styles that can make up  parent or “umbrella” companies:

For all the restaurant styles above, there are standardized restaurant branding, menus, and language. Despite being broken up into numerous segments, restaurant groups serve as the guide for many establishments you regularly see. Read on to learn about six of the best groups across the industry.

6 Restaurant Groups That Are Shaping the F&B Landscape 

Ready to raise the bar within your food and beverage establishment? Or, perhaps you’re learning how to open a new restaurant and want some high-level inspiration. Either way, we’ve got you covered. In no particular order, here are six of the most powerful restaurant groups in the world. 

1. Darden Restaurants 

Darden restaurants is home to some of the most recognizable restaurant brands of all time. Why? Well, many of their brands are enterprise  restaurants. Eateries like Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, and The Capital Grille are just three brands on their chain restaurant roster. Due to the regimented nature of chains, Darden Restaurants is critically acclaimed for its consistency within each food service company. They also lean toward the more upscale side of restaurants, too, with eateries like Ruth’s Chris Steak House.

2. Union Square Hospitality Group 

Live or work in New York? Union Square Hospitality Group is home to some of the best bars and restaurants in the big apple. In fact, you're probably already familiar with some of their establishmenets. Few of their most notable brands include Gramercy Tavern, Union Square Cafe, and Shake Shack. In this day and age, it’s ideal when sustainable restaurants make an effort for the planet. Luckily, many of Union Square Hospitality Group’s businesses are eco-friendly restaurants

3. McDonald’s 

It’s no surprise that McDonald’s dominates the quick service restaurant industry. As of 2023, there are over 13,500 locations in the United States alone. Across the world, there are 38,000 locations. Annually, the fast food pioneer generates more than $6 billion. Its influence and impact on the F&B landscape is immense, and isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

4. The Dinex Group 

Just because a restaurant offers a casual dining experience, it doesn’t mean that the quality can’t be outstanding. That was the mindset of Michelin-starred chef, Daniel Boulud. Boulud’s restaurant group consists of both fine and casual dining options. However, stellar customer service is an expectation across all of them. After all, the restaurant group is run by a renowned chef with a history in Michelin restaurants. So, it’s no surprise that he expects the absolute best from all the brands under Dinex.

5. Invest Hospitality

As a luxury investment firm, Invest Hospitality supports some of the finest restaurants the world has to offer. Its association with numerous chefs with Michelin Stars makes it one of the most luxurious restaurant groups. In fact, restaurants within this group can provide some of the most notable dishes and stellar service. For decades, Invest Hospitality has been influencing the luxury side of the F&B landscape.

6. Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises 

Restaurant groups can be diverse and own a number of different styles. Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises is a prime example of this fact. Their portfolio consists of dozens of restaurants, from singe-unit eateries to larger franchises. Their restaurants also comprise numerous cuisines. Something that is the same across the board? Their mission to nurture great quality and innovation within each of their brands.

Frequently Asked Questions About Restaurant Groups

Restaurant groups make up a large percentage of the hospitality industry. From casual dining eateries to upscale restaurants, there are so many entities that impact the F&B landscape. Need more information about the topic? See below for additional details:

What Is the Largest Restaurant Group?

As of a 2022 report, Starbucks is the largest restaurant company. This statistics stems from their revenue, surpassing McDonald’s. 

Starbucks currently operates over 35,000 locations worldwide. That's a lot of coffee!

What Restaurants Are Part of the Restaurant Group?

Restaurant groups typically consist of restaurant chains and enterprises. There are multiple units under various brands. In fact, that's why restaurant groups are so valuable to them. They have the resources and guidelines available, making operations straightforward for every unit. 

What Are the Most Popular Types of Restaurants?

The most popular types of restaurants include:

  • Bars 
  • Grilles
  • Buffets 
  • Cafes
  • Fast food 

Who Operates Restaurant Groups?

Restaurant groups are run by large departments that specialize in different operations. Front of house team members, managers, directors, and C-suite executives make up every restaurant group's corporate office. These teams work together to operate all aspects of the business.

What Are the Top Ten Food Chains?

The top ten food chains in the world include:

  1. McDonald’s 
  2. Taco Bell
  3. Subway 
  4. Chipotle
  5. Chick-fil-A
  6. R&L Foods 
  7. Panera Bread
  8. Domino’s Pizza 
  9. Wendy’s 
  10. Burger King
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Key Takeaways

Emulating the best practices and standards of successful restaurant groups is a sure way to achieve longevity and high profits. These business models implement tried and true initiatives that are proven to be successful across restaurants of varying descriptions. With innovation and flexibility, they’re some of the greatest establishments to ever exist. Want to discover how your restaurant business can be up to par with such entities? Book a demo with Revolution Ordering today!