OAK BROOK, Ill. — McDonald's Corp. ranked No. 1 on the Restaurants & Institutions magazine's list of Top 400 Chains, ranked by food-and-beverage sales. The burger giant, which booked global sales of more than $56.78 billion for 2006, has held the top spot since 1973.
 
The Top 400 ranking, which R&I first compiled in 1965, provides a comparative measurement of U.S.-based restaurant brands' global power and influence. Also contained within the report are menu-segment breakdowns that indicate areas with the greatest vibrancy and business potential.
 
McDonald's is four times larger than its closest competitor, KFC, which had 2006 sales of $14.2 billion.
 
The Billionaires Club—those chains with systemwide sales (company-owned and franchised stores) of $1 billion or more—has 40 members this year.
 
Coming in at the No. 400 spot with sales of $42 million is Hot Dog on a Stick. Burger King (No. 3), Starbucks (No. 4), and Red Lobster (No. 20) also made the list in addition to lesser known up-and-comers such as Bar Louie, Famous Famiglia and Bear Rock Cafe.
 
Represented by chains such as Sonic, White Castle, In-and-Out Burger and Cheeburger, the hamburger segment dominates  its $93 billion accounts for nearly 34 percent of total Top 400 sales. Casual dining comes in a distant second, with brands such as T.G.I. Friday's, California Pizza Kitchen, Claim Jumper and Houston's contributing to total segment sales of $26.6 billion.

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