Ask most Top 100 companies what the secret sauce is that makes them successful and a slew of answers surface. Whether it’s a winning concept, the magic of the menu or the service stars who toil for them, there are a host of variables.
But as we know, in any undertaking, success is never a given, nor is it a constant. Like people, companies change and evolve, grow and peak and sometimes even plateau and wane. Today, more than ever, success is harder to attain given the increased competition in the marketplace where stealing share has become the main tactical undertaking for many companies. Never has competition been as intense and never have so many companies held their plans — and their sales numbers — so close to their chests.
For almost 50 years, Foodservice and Hospitality’s Top 100 has tried to demystify the sales numbers of many of the industry’s top companies by ranking them based on their gross sales. In the course of this research, there have always been a few companies that have not released their data and, given that many of those companies were privately owned, it made sense. For those companies, we have typically estimated their sales. But a few years ago, in an effort to provide a clearer picture of the foodservice landscape, we began to rank the brands in the marketplace and not the parent companies. While the endeavour is clearly a better representation of the landscape, it also caused many foodservice companies to keep their brand sales private. Additionally, with the growing number of mergers and acquisitions, many of these behemoths now own a massive portfolio of brands, and if they choose not to release sales for those brands, it has a huge impact on our report. As a result, this year we’ve had an increasing number of companies that have chosen not to release their sales data. Given that many of these companies are prominent, we felt we could not leave them off the report so, in an effort to be as representative as possible, we’ve estimated their sales. While we make every effort to ensure these estimates are grounded in reality and are as accurate as possible, it’s important to keep in mind they are estimates, and may be off the mark. Still, to leave these companies off our report would be a disservice to them and to the industry.
Finally, this year’s Top 100 Report also features a 50th anniversary profile of McDonald’s Canada, a company that through the almost 50-year history of this magazine has been a perennial Top 100 leader. Consistently recognized as one of the great global brands, we salute it on its 50th birthday but also on its ability to recognize where the industry is going — even before the industry did.