The pace was off and the volume was down compared to 2017, but plenty of restaurant chains changed hands in 2018. And while there were also fewer “blockbuster” deals, the big one last year – Inspire Brands acquisition of Sonic – involved nearly 1,000 more units than 2017’s largest deal – Restaurant Brand International’s purchase of Popeye’s. (Check out last year’s chart here.)

In other deals, JAB Holdings was particularly busy continuing to assert itself as the second largest player (after Starbuck’s) in the US coffee, breakfast, bakery and sandwich space. It’s acquisition of Insomnia Cookies (via its Krispy Kreme business) and Pret a Manger not only provided JAB with a couple hundred additional US restaurants but also a ton of upside with room to grow both concepts in the States. (Access a timeline of JAB’s acquisitions since 2012 here.)

Jollibee Foods Corp. also had a big year. With its acquisition of Smash Burger, the Philippines-based quick-serve chain with more than 3,000 restaurants worldwide got its long sought-after burger concept. Prior to the Smash Burger purchase, the company had a US presence of less than 100 units across its Jollibee, Chowking and Red Ribbon Bakeshop brands.

Chain Store Guide customers and clients have full, immediate access to personnel, store-count and sales data, along with the ability to access data changes on a daily basis for all of the companies making news this year with their subscription to one of our online databases.