[Fox Business] Cava, Wawa among the fastest-growing brands: Yelp

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A gas station-convenience store chain, fast-casual dining and sit-down restaurants are among the fastest-growing brands, according to new data. 

For the first time, Yelp released a list of the 50 fastest-growing brands to “recognize the companies that have successfully executed growth strategies over the last year.” 

This includes newly public companies and those that are scaling regionally and ones that are considered industry mainstays, according to Yelp, which publishes crowdsourced reviews about businesses.

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Yelp based the ranking off data such as net new location openings, consumer interest and searches. This highlights how quickly businesses are opening new locations and growing existing ones, according to the company.

Mediterranean fast-casual chain Cava notched the top spot on the list. Yelp data showed that the brand had a 54% increase in consumer interest nationwide in 2023, and it also claimed the fastest growing brand spot in California, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Alabama.

Nebraska-based drive-thru coffeehouse Scooter’s Coffee, which came second on the list, saw interest spike 51% over the past year. It also saw a 53% jump in net new locations, which was the largest percentage growth of any food brand on the list, according to Yelp.

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It was also the fastest growing brand in the Midwest, with a 50% increase in consumer interest in the region, according to the data. 

“Coffee house challengers like Scooter’s Coffee and Dutch Bros are redefining the category, with a focus on creating a great customer experience both through convenient drive-thrus and upbeat and friendly employee interactions with customers,” Kadecia Ber, Yelp’s advertising trends expert and director of enterprise solutions, said. 

Ber added that by “serving innovative and in-demand menu options like protein coffee, or ‘proffee’ as regulars sometimes call it, helps them acquire a new cohort of loyal customers.”

LongHorn Steakhouse was third on the list, with consumer interest jumping 38% over the past year. The Habit Burger Grill sat at No. 4, with consumer interest rising 29%. Wawa was No. 5, with interest rising 88%.

1. Cava

2. Scooter’s Coffee 

3. LongHorn Steakhouse 

4. The Habit Burger Grill 

5. Wawa 

6. Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen

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7. Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers 

8. Rally House

9. Olive Garden 

10. Jersey Mike’s Subs

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