Every year QSR ranks their Top 50 brands based on innovation and excellence. Many of the brands listed will be immediately recognizable to readers. We recognized these brands because we provide many of their franchises with our commercial ice maker subscriptions.
The top brands in this list are certainly there for a reason. All are recognized for delivering exceptional customer experience and creating new and exciting ways to connect to customers.
We’re very proud to offer the best ice machine models to these brands and are happy to see them receive recognition for their achievements.
The QSR Top 50
Below are the brands that made QSR’s list, many of which who have franchises that rely on Easy Ice to handle their ice needs:
- McDonald’s – With over 37,000 locations around the world, McDonald’s is a household name. We’re proud to call 92 of those locations customers! In fact, one customer sat and talked commercial ice maker subscriptions with us!
- Starbucks – The brand that reinvented the coffee industry. With over 14,000 locations in the US, Americans can get coffee however they want – even iced! We serve 8 locations in the US.
- Subway– They sell over 5,300 sandwiches a minute and many of those sandwiches come with an ice-cold drink. We happily serve 84 locations.
- Taco Bell – Taco Bell has grown rapidly in the last two decades by tapping into a young customer base. This quick-serve chain is also self-serve as well. We supply 22 locations with our top of the line beverage and ice dispensers.
- Chick-fil-A – In the war of chicken sandwiches, Chick-fil-A always manages to come out on top! We serve 6 Chick-fil-A locations in the US. Many of which prefer to serve ice from our cubelet ice dispensers.
- Wendy’s – Famous for their square burger patties and signature Frosty. Wendy’s has over 6,700 locations, and we call 65 our customers.
- Burger King – Otherwise known as Hungry Jack’s in Australia, but under any name they still retain their title as the King of Burgers! 30 Burger Kings use our ice machines to keep their customers happy.
- Dunkin’ – What used to be called Dunkin’ Donuts has now branched out to serve more than just donuts. Their coffee is an East Coast favorite, with 22 locations serving iced coffees with our ice!
- Domino’s – Founded in 1960 by Tom Monaghan. Monaghan purchased a small pizzeria called DomiNick’s in Michigan and eventually purchased to more pizzeria’s in the area. The original owner, named Dominick, was not keen on using his name for the other pizzerias, so Monaghan changed the name to Domino’s which has become a household name.
- Panera Bread – This fast-casual bakery and sandwich shop once ran a non-profit restaurant called Panera Cares, where customers pay what they could afford for food. Easy Ice serves 21 Panera locations.
- Pizza Hut – Another household name. Pizza Hut is the largest pizza chain in term of locations, with over 18,000 worldwide. We are happy to serve 27 locations in the US.
- Chipotle – Known for using the freshest ingredients, Chipotle has become a fan favorite for customers looking for Mexican food made to order. We proudly call 36 locations our customer.
- Sonic Drive-In – Our cubelet ice is also called Sonic ice because this brand uses it for their famous slushes. In fact, 113 locations use our ice machines to make their famous slushes.
- KFC – With their famous mix of 11 herbs and spices, KFC has been a household name around the world. We serve 32 KFC locations in the US, working hard to keep their ice needs met.
- Arby’s – They have the meats, we have the ice! Arby’s has branched out beyond roast beef, serving the hottest sandwiches around. Our ice helps to cool the drinks of 41 locations.
- Little Caesars – The 3rd largest pizza delivery chain in the US, behind Pizza Hut and Domino’s. Their popular “two for the price of one” deal inspired their signature catchphrase, “Pizza! Pizza!”
- Dairy Queen – Dairy Queen has no shortage of chilly treats to serve their customers, but they still need ice for their drinks. We cover the ice needs of 32 locations.
- Jack in the Box – A very popular fast-food establishment primarily located on the West Coast. Although known as a burger joint, their most famous menu item is their taco. Other non-burger menu items include egg rolls, burritos, and rice bowls. We currently serve 2 of their franchises.
- Panda Express – This American Chinese quick-serve restaurant was founded in 1983. This chain is credited with inventing Orange Chicken, which is now a staple in American Chinese restaurants. Shout out to our Panda Express customer in Kansas!
- Popeyes – These guys really made a splash when they stepped up as a major chicken sandwich competitor. So much so they ran out! Our company serves 19 Popeyes across the country.
- Papa John’s – This franchise began in the back of a small Indiana bar. Over the years, it became the 3rd largest pizza delivery company in the US. Our customer in Kansas calls Easy Ice their ice machine supplier.
- Whataburger – A Texas-based quick-serve burger shop with locations in New Mexico, Arizona, and some of the Southeastern US. The name derives from founder Harmon Dobson who believed every good burger should require two hands to eat. He wanted his burgers to be so good customers would say, “What a burger!”
- Jimmy John’s – Another rags-to-riches story. Jimmy John Liautaud opened the first Jimmy John’s in a garage in Charleston, IL. They since have 2,800 locations across the US (17 of which we serve).
- Hardee’s – Founded in 1960, this burger franchise was eventually sold to CKE Restaurants Holdings who also own Carl’s Jr. They now operate almost 8,000 Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. Locations around the world. We’re proud to service the ice needs of 8 of their locations.
- Zaxby’s – A very popular fried chicken franchise in the southern US where it was founded. In fact, Alabama alone has 75 locations. Easy Ice handles the ice needs of 9 locations.
- Five Guys – These guys (five to be exact) offer quality fully customizable hamburgers and hot dogs with their signature fresh-cut fries. We happily service 19 of their locations.
- Culver’s – Privately owned and operated since its founding in 1984. Culver’s used to operate only in the midwestern US, but have expanded to Wyoming, Kentucky, Utah, and Arizona. Popular for their frozen custards, their mascot is a walking, talking custard cone named Scoopie.
- Carl’s Jr. – This global quick-serve franchise had humble beginnings as a small hot dog cart in LA. Eventually he moved his way to Anaheim where he opened Carl’s Drive-In Barbeque. As Carl’s grew, he branched out into two, smaller restaurants which he named, “Carl’s Jr”. There are currently over 1,400 Carl’s Jr. locations around the world.
- Bojangles’ – A popular fried chicken stop with Cajun flair. Bojangles’ Famous Chicken and Biscuits operates throughout the Southeastern US. The franchise started in Charlotte, NC and runs over 750 locations.
- Wingstop – Founded in 1994 by Antonio Swad and Bernadette Fiaschetti, who also founded Patron Pizza. Wingstop specializes in chicken wings and strips. 3 locations call Easy Ice their ice machine provider.
- Raising Cane’s – Founded in 1996, Raising Cane’s focuses on chicken fingers and various sides. Founder Todd Graves has used the success of his restaurant to invest heavily into charity. 25% of the profit is sent right back into the community with heavy contributions to education and animal welfare.
- Jersey Mike’s – With over 1,500 locations, Jersey Mike’s brings East Coast flair to made-to-order sandwich shops like Subway. Among the flavor option you can choose, “Mike’s Way” involves onions, lettuce, tomatoes, oregano, salt, and spices. Easy Ice serves 2 locations.
- Steak ‘n’ Shake – Popular for their Steakburgers which were made from T-bone, round, and sirloin ground steak. Steak ‘n’ Shake combines quick-serve with diner-style sit-down service. Of their 628 locations, Easy Ice serves 4.
- In-N-Out Burger – One of the few chains on the list that does not franchise their locations. In-N-Out Burger takes their ingredients and customer experience seriously and they pay their employees well over the state and federal minimum wage.
- El Pollo Loco – Quick-serve chain that focuses on Mexican-style grilled chicken. Although founded in Sinaloa, Mexico, it now operates over 480 locations in the US.
- Qdoba – This popular fast-casual Mexican restaurant used to be owned by Jack-in-the-Box but was purchased for $305 million in December 2017. We serve 4 Qdoba locations.
- Checkers/Rally’s – Separate companies until 1999 when they merged as Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc. They kept both names with Checkers generally serving the East coast while Rally’s operates in the West (although some states have overlap).
- Del Taco – Despite their name, Del Taco serves much more than tacos. They also have burgers, fries, and shakes on the menu, so there’s something for everyone!
- Firehouse Subs – True to their namesake, Firehouse was started by a family of firefighters with only $100. We cover the ice needs of 5 Firehouse Subs location in the US.
- Papa Murphy’s – Papa Murphy’s is the culmination of two take-and-bake establishments founded in the 1980s. Papa Aldo’s Pizza and Murphy’s Pizza merged in 1995 to become Papa Murphy’s! They are currently the fifth-largest pizza chain in the US.
- Tim Hortons – If you’re a fan of coffee and donuts, then you are probably familiar with Tim Hortons. If you’re a sports fan, then you probably also know that the popular restaurant was founded by Canadian hockey player Tim Horton in 1964. Since then, Burger King purchased the chain in 1994.
- Church’s Chicken – Called Texas Chicken outside of the US, the first Church’s Chicken was founded in 1952 right across from the Alamo. We call 9 Church’s locations our customer.
- Moe’s – This popular fast-casual Mexican restaurant names products on their menu after recognizable pop culture references. Enjoy a “Close Talker” (named after a Seinfeld character) or the “Who is Kaiser Salsa” from the movie The Usual Suspects. We currently serve 2 locations.
- McAlister’s Deli – Owned by Focus Brands who also own Moe’s and Cinnabon. Many locations feature a garage door to harken back to their days as a deli within a renovated gas station. We serve 6 locations.
- Jason’s Deli – This brand ranked #1 in QSR’s Annual Sales in 2008. Since then Jason’s has eliminated the use of high-fructose corn syrup and MSG in their food. Our ice machines can be found in 5 locations.
- Marco’s Pizza – Marco’s Pizza was founded by Italian immigrant Pasquale Giammarco in 1978, and since then the chain has more than 800 locations as of 2017. Marco’s is known for their eclectic pizza offerings, such as Spicy Fresco and Chicken Florentine pizzas.
- Baskin-Robbins – Despite their “31 flavors” moniker, this brand has had some interesting ice cream flavors over the years. They once had a dill pickle-flavored ice cream for expecting mothers. We supply ice machines for 3 locations.
- Auntie Anne’s – Nothing makes a trip to the mall complete like a warm pretzel, and Auntie Anne’s has delivered just that since 1988. The chain has over 1,500 locations which can be found in malls, universities, airports, and train stations throughout the world.
- Boston Market – Originally called Boston Chicken when they were founded in 1984, they changed their name to Boston Market in 1995 to reflect their wide range of food offerings from turkey sandwiches, meatloaf, and a host of traditional sides.
- White Castle – Despite still having a strong pop culture following, even inspiring films like the Harold and Kumar series, White Castle is almost a century old. Walter Anderson founded the restaurant chain in 1921 with the goal to offer a truly unique food offering. Since then, the White Castle slider was named the most influential burger of all time by Time Magazine in 2014.
Congratulations to Our Franchise Customers
We’re proud to serve the ice needs for many of the top franchises with the best restaurant ice makers on the market. These brands have stood the test of time and have remained on top, with brilliant innovations in the food industry and clever marketing.
We look forward to seeing next year’s QSR 50 list to keep us up to date on what some of our franchise customers have in store next.
If you’re looking for commercial ice equipment for your business, contact us today. We serve all businesses whether you’re a franchise owner or local restaurant owner. Our Ice Machine Experts will help you choose the perfect ice machine, and we’ll take care of maintenance, cleaning, and repairs for a low monthly charge.
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