Fast Food and QSR sector posts strong growth in 2022 adding 301 new stores

Feb 08th 2023

GapMaps, a cloud-based data intelligence platform used by brands to pinpoint optimal locations for its physical stores, has released its 2022 Annual Fast Food & Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) Retail Network Report, tracking store openings and closures in Australia.

Monitoring 29 brands in more than 6,870 locations across Australia, the report shows 301 store openings, with 21 brands showing positive net store growth in 2022. That is an increase from the 188 store openings observed in the year prior.

“The 2022 report reflects increased store development activity as the country continues to emerge from the COVID-19 restrictions that hit brands in 2021,” said Scott Johnson, Senior Analyst, GapMaps.

In 2022, 122 stores closed, which resulted in a net change of 179 additional stores across all brands tracked.

Subway maintains the largest network with a total of 1,229 stores despite more closures than openings (a net change in the year of -1). Relatively high average stores sales combined with the second largest store network (1,049 stores), McDonald’s has the highest total network sales, with coffee and breakfast driving additional store sales that other brands (with the exception of Hungry Jacks and more recently Guzman Y Gomez) do not provide.

Within the major metropolitan areas Subway operates some 46 stores per million residents and within these cities over 80 per cent of residents live within 2km of a store. McDonald’s operates around 39 stores per million residents across most major cities and KFC 27 stores per million.

Of the cities with more than 100,000 residents, both Townsville and the Gold Coast have more than 450 QSR stores per million residents. This compares to only 240 stores per million residents within Sydney. This differential in store provision is observed across all the major QSR brands and the high ratio of tourist to residents within these cities contributes to this high provision.

In terms of best non-metro coverage, both Subway and McDonalds operate a store in every city with more than 20,000 residents, as well as in 66 per cent of the 169 cities that have between five and 20,000 residents.  Domino’s, KFC and Hungry Jacks are between 10 and 20 cities behind.


Highest Store Growth 

Domino’s opened 34 stores in 2022, increasing the network to 754 stores. The focus of this growth has been within growth areas of major cities (+17 stores), as well as in cities with less than 20,000 residents (+10 stores). McDonald’s had the second highest growth (+20) followed by Sushi Hub (+18).

The brand with the highest net growth in percentage terms across 2022 was Patty Smiths, opening 15 stores to increase its total store count to 37 stores (+41%). Betty’s Burgers (54 stores, 13 new) and Taco Bell (36 stores, 10 new) also had major growth, with all three brands focused on the major metropolitan areas.

In terms of the highest growth city, that was Melbourne with 41 new store openings across the 29 brands tracked. Sydney recorded 28 and Perth and Adelaide 27 respectively. The growth was both from the seven largest brands (+13) and from the 22 medium and smaller brands tracked.

“This store activity in Melbourne may be attributed to limited growth or temporary closures observed across Covid-19,” adds Johnson.

“But it is also reflective of rapid population growth within Melbourne’s growth areas.

Undoubtedly, we have seen a thriving QSR sector which despite the pandemic saw strong sales (takeaway food spending has grown by 15% over the past three years) and in the last three months of 2022 saw 76 new store openings versus 20 store closures,” said Johnson.

“Our report provides valuable insights into the changing competitive landscape in the fast food and QSR sector as brands continue to adjust their network strategies in account of population movements and demographic shifts.

“To pinpoint growth opportunities, more brands are using GapMaps Live to access the very latest data and insights to make decisions on where to open, or even close, their restaurants,” he concludes.

To request a copy of the latest report email GapMaps on

Posted by GapMaps

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