ROSEVILLE, MN-The low-carb diet has yet to hit sales at many restaurant chains that still offer high-carb menus, according to a study of the top restaurant franchisees in the United States by Restaurant Finance Monitor. The Roseville, MN-based trade publication’s Top 200 franchisees listing tracks the top 200 restaurant franchisees in the nation by 2003 revenue.

Chains dealing in high-carb items were still on top, although some have dabbled in low-carb offerings. Of the companies on the on the Monitor 200 list, 42 owned Taco Bell restaurants, 35 owned KFC units, and 31 owned Pizza Hut franchises.

Total revenue of the Monitor 200 companies reached $17.9 billion this year, up 5.3% from last year. Total restaurants operated by the Monitor 200 companies reached 16,633, up from 16,223 last year.

The largest franchisee for the seventh year in a row is RTM Restaurant Group, with 811 Arby’s and 16 Sbarro locations, and $754 million in 2003 revenue. Other concepts that fared well in the ranking this year included Applebee’s, with 32 operators on the list; Burger King with 29; and Wendy’s with 26.

The list was sponsored by Imperial Capital Franchise Finance, a finance source in the multi-unit franchise sector.

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