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10 Fastest-Growing Burger Chains You're About to See Everywhere

From massive global brands to small, regional dynamos, these burger joints are popping up all over.

Burger chains are a quintessential part of the American landscape, from massive brands with global reach like McDonald's and Burger King to smaller, region-specific institutions like In-N-Out and Culver's. Ask most Americans to name their favorite fast-food burger, and they'll likely have a strong opinion. So it's no surprise that when a burger chain does well, there seems to be no stopping its quest for expansion.

New locations are a major benchmark for chains to demonstrate their forward momentum and expand their customer base. In addition to serving a high-quality product, these chains compete to be front of mind when hunger strikes. What better way to be at the center of conversation than to make sure there's a restaurant on as many street corners as possible?

Not all growth looks the same. Some of the nation's fastest-growing burger chains are preparing to open hundreds of locations in the coming years, while others are opening a couple dozen. No matter the scope, each of the following burger chains is growing quickly, which means more burger options for you down the road.

Shake Shack

Shake Shack exterior
James Mattil / Shutterstock

Things are looking up for the fast-food burger chain Shake Shack. Following solid growth in its latest quarterly earnings, Shake Shake is preparing to open 80 new locations, increasing its footprint by roughly 15% in 2024. Already, new restaurants are emerging in markets like North Brunswick, N.J., and the suburbs of Chicago. Additional locations are set to open this year in Pittsburgh, as well as several spots around California.

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Red Herring / Shutterstock

Culver's is inching closer to 1,000 locations. The Wisconsin-based chain known for its trademark ButterBurgers and infamous CurderBurger ended the year with 944 restaurants, with another 51 planned to open in 2024. A significant swath of the Midwest and Southeast will get at least one new Culver's restaurant throughout the year, with more significant expansions planned for Florida and Indiana.

Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers

Freddy's frozen custard & steakburgers restaurant

If you've never heard of Freddy's Steakburgers, that may soon change. The Kansas-based chain is on the fast track for significant expansion. Freddy's opened 62 new restaurants last year and announced plans to have over 800 restaurants in operation by 2026. From there, the sky is the limit. CEO Chris Dull shared with QSR Magazine that the company believes it has the potential to reach over 3,000 restaurant locations across North America: "Really the Northeast is the last frontier for us, but we're coming."

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McDonald's restaurant
Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock

It's hard to imagine McDonald's could get bigger than it already is, but the fast-food giant is posed for significant growth in 2024. Over 2,000 new restaurants are planned around the world, with roughly 500 of those in the United States. A number of these new locations are in response to population growth, according to McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski. McDonald's is eyeing a 50,000-location threshold worldwide by 2027, so expect even more restaurants to pop up near your neighborhood in the coming years.

The Habit Burger Grill

habit burger grill
Felipe Sanchez / Shutterstock

The Habit Burger Grill is surging in popularity, with Yelp recently naming it as one of the top 10 fastest-growing restaurant chains for 2024. Categorized as a "challenger brand," the California-based chain saw a 29% growth in consumer interest between 2022 and 2023, according to the popular crowd-sourced review site. That's good for fourth place out of 50 top-growing retail brands. According to the Food Institute, the chain has added over 100 new locations over the past four years, boasting a total of 378 restaurants along both coasts at the end of 2023.

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Smalls Sliders

Smalls Sliders storefront
Smalls Sliders / Facebook

Even the biggest burger chains began with just a few locations, and Smalls Sliders is on its way to transition to its next phase of franchise growth. The newer fast-food burger chain opened its first restaurant in 2019 and is currently up to roughly a dozen locations across Louisiana and Mississippi. This year alone, Smalls Sliders expects to open 40 locations, with hundreds more currently in development.

This growth includes expanding into new markets like North Carolina, where Smalls Sliders is preparing to develop locations as part of a nine-unit franchise deal in several cities and suburbs, according to QSR Magazine.

In-N-Out Burger

In-N-Out Burger

As long as you're in the western half of the United States, you stand to see more In-N-Out Burger locations in your future. The Irvine, Calif.-based burger chain known for its not-so-secret menu and palm tree aesthetic is expanding its reach, with at least five new locations "opening soon" in California, Colorado, Idaho, and Utah, according to its website.

In-N-Out President Lynsi Snyder shared with Today in April that the company is also expanding to Washington State, New Mexico, and Tennessee.

If you're on the East Coast, however, don't get your hopes up for any In-N-Out locations popping up anytime soon. "Probably never," Snyder told the NBC morning program.

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Odd Burger

Odd Burger exterior
Amy W. / Yelp

The Canadian fast-food chain known for its vegan burgers is flying south. Some 40 Odd Burger restaurants are now planned for the state of Florida. Odd Burger has not officially found its way into the United States yet, but these locations currently in development—as well as 20 restaurants earmarked for Washington State—are scheduled to open through 2031.

Wayback Burgers

Courtesy of Wayback Burgers

Business is booming at Wayback Burgers. That's according to a report by QSR Magazine, which shows the chain increased same-store sales by double digits during the first quarter of 2024. Wayback is now riding that wave by expanding its footprint and opening new locations. Looking ahead, 25 to 30 restaurants are currently in development across the United States in 2024, including new markets like New Orleans, New York City, and Missouri. Wayback is also expanding within existing markets, such as California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.

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Jack In The Box

jack in the box exterior
Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock

Jack In the Box locations are plentiful in the Western United States. Unlike its competitor In-N-Out Burger, however, Jack in the Box is strengthening its expansion east of the Mississippi River. According to CoStar, new locations are in the works in Florida and Michigan. Those are part of the brand's current 91 signed development agreements. In total, Jack in the Box is looking to increase its total restaurant count by around 400 over the next several years.

Carly Neil
Carly Neil is a freelance writer specializing in all things food, travel, Disney, and theme parks. Read more about Carly