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Food and Drink

Fastest-growing quick-serve restaurants in the US to keep an eye on

The fastest-growing fast-food restaurant in 2010 is an all-American, home-style burger joint with red and white checkered décor that serves food in grease-lined paper bags and counts perhaps the most famous American as one of its customers.

In a 2009 TV interview for US network NBC, camera crews followed US President Barack Obama into Five Guys Burgers and Fries where he ordered burgers and fries for himself and his staffers, giving the chain perhaps the biggest celebrity endorsement at the time.

According to the latest report from food industry consultancy group Technomic, Five Guys Burgers and Fries showed the biggest growth in 2010 at 38 percent, to gross an estimated $625 million.

The burger joint, which also sells all manner of hot dogs, expanded into Canada a few years ago to become an international chain with locations in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec.

Last year, both US-based magazine Consumer Reports and ZagatBuzz, the online companion to the oldest crowd-sourcing guide, crowned Five Guys the best burger joint in the country based on reader feedback.

The second fastest-growing quick-serve restaurant was Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwich Shop, which is only in the US, followed by Chipotle Mexican Grill which also has stores in Canada and the UK. Chipotle posted the highest sales of the batch, at $1.8 billion.

Here's a breakdown of the fastest-growing quick-serve restaurants in the US in 2010 in terms of sales growth. Combined sales of the top ten restaurants accounted for $7.8 billion, an 18 percent increase over 2009.

1. Five Guys Burgers and Fries                                 38% growth   

2. Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwich Shop                 22%

3. Chipotle Mexican Grill                                           21%

4. BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse                              20%

5. Yard House                                                          18%

6. Cheddar's Casual Café                                        14%

7. Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar                               14%

8. Firehouse Subs                                                    14%

9. Noodles & Company                                             14%

10. Panda Express                                                   13%