The top 10 restaurant companies in the world are primarily chain operations with a major international presence. Despite the discretionary nature of restaurant spending, some companies have positioned themselves to weather economic cycles by maintaining consistent, profitable growth over the long term. In many cases, the world's top restaurant companies by market capitalization are holding companies that control a variety of subsidiary chains.

These are the 10 biggest restaurant companies by 12-month trailing revenue. This list is limited to companies which are publicly traded in the U.S. or Canada, either directly or through ADRs. Some foreign companies may report semiannually, and so may have longer lag times. Data is courtesy of YCharts.com. All figures as of August 4, 2020.

Some of the stocks below are only traded over-the-counter (OTC) in the U.S., not on exchanges. Trading OTC stocks often carries higher trading costs than trading stocks on exchanges. This can lower or even outweigh potential returns.

#1 Starbucks Corp. (SBUX)

  • Revenue (TTM): $24.1 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $1.3 billion
  • Market Cap: $88.3 billion
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: -19.5%
  • Exchange: NASDAQ

Starbucks is the world's dominant coffee shop-themed chain with more than 30,000 stores globally. It has both company-owned and licensed stores globally, and sells specialty beverages such as coffees and teas along with fresh food items. Starbucks also sells branded items outside of its stores, such as roasted whole bean and ground coffees, including Seattle's Best Coffee; Starbucks and Teavana-branded single-serve products; and ready-to-drink beverages such as Frappuccino.

#2 McDonald's Corp. (MCD)

  • Revenue (TTM): $19.3 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $4.8 billion
  • Market Cap: $144.6 billion
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: -7.1%
  • Exchange: New York Stock Exchange

McDonald's is the world's largest fast-food restaurant chain and one of the best-known brand names. The company has more than 39,000 locations in about 100 countries. A pioneer in the fast food industry, the company has maintained consistent, moderate growth through affordable prices, speedy service, and by constantly expanding and refreshing its menu offerings.

#3 Yum China Holdings, Inc. (YUMC)

  • Revenue (TTM): $8.0 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $0.5 billion
  • Market Cap: $19.7 billion
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: 16.6%
  • Exchange: New York Stock Exchange

Spun off by Yum! Brands in 2016, Yum China Holdings is a Fortune 500 company incorporated in the United States but headquartered in Shanghai. It operates thousands of restaurant locations across mainland China. Yum China also operates all-Chinese versions of Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and KFC, as well as local chains.

#4 Darden Restaurants Inc. (DRI)

  • Revenue (TTM): $7.8 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): -$0.1 million
  • Market Cap: $9.7 billion
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: -37.0%
  • Exchange: New York Stock Exchange

Darden Restaurants owns and operates a line of casual and fine dining restaurant chains including brands such as Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, Eddie V’s, and Yard House. The company was spun off from General Mills Inc. (GIS) in 1995.

#5 Autogrill SpA (ATGSF)

  • Revenue (TTM): $6.0 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $0.2 billion
  • Market Cap: $1.4 billion
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: -43.2%
  • Exchange: OTC

Italy-based Autogrill operates in roughly 1,000 locations in 31 countries. Autogrill has a portfolio of about 300 brands, many of which operate in airports or along highways. Some of Autogrill's most popular brands include Spizzico, Grabandfly, and Ciao Ristorante.

#6 Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (CMG)

  • Revenue (TTM): $5.6 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $0.3 billion
  • Market Cap: $32.1 billion
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: 44.8%
  • Exchange: New York Stock Exchange

Chipotle Mexican Grill is one of most successful chains selling simple, fast-casual Mexican food, specializing in burritos, tacos, bowls, and similar dishes. The company operated 2,580 domestic locations and 39 international locations at the end of 2019 and has locations in the U.S., U.K., Canada, France, and Germany.

#7 Restaurant Brands International, Inc. (QSR)

  • Revenue (TTM): $5.6 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $0.7 billion
  • Market Cap: $16.9 billion
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: -24.4%
  • Exchange: New York Stock Exchange

Restaurant Brands International is among the largest global quick-service restaurant chains in the world. It was established by the merger of Burger King and Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons in 2014, valued at $12.5 billion. It purchased Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen in 2017. Restaurant Brands operates more than 27,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries and territories.

#8 Yum! Brands, Inc. (YUM)

  • Revenue (TTM): $5.5 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $1.0 billion
  • Market Cap: $27.4 billion
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: -21.2%
  • Exchange: New York Stock Exchange

Yum! Brands is the largest quick-service restaurant company in the world, with more than 50,000 restaurants in 150 countries. The company is known for its franchise chains KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and WingStreet. The majority of the company's locations are franchised by 2,000 partners. Yum! Brands was spun off from PepsiCo, Inc. (PEP) in 1997.

#9 Domino's Pizza, Inc. (DPZ)

  • Revenue (TTM): $3.7 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): $0.4 billion
  • Market Cap: $15.2 billion
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: 59.6%
  • Exchange: New York Stock Exchange

Domino's Pizza is the largest pizza company in the world, with more than 17,000 stores in 90 countries. Domino's offers a wide range of pizza products, such as traditional hand-tossed pizza, Brooklyn-style pizza, and pizza with crunchy, thick crusts. More than 94% of Domino's stores in the U.S. are franchise-owned.

#10 Bloomin' Brands, Inc. (BLMN)

  • Revenue (TTM): $3.6 billion
  • Net Income (TTM): -$0.1 billion
  • Market Cap: $1.0 billion
  • 1-Year Trailing Total Return: -35.3%
  • Exchange: NASDAQ

Bloomin' Brands is a restaurant holding company that owns chains including Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba's Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, and Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar. Bloomin' Brands has nearly 1,500 restaurants worldwide.