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10 companies you've never heard of control more than 50 of the biggest restaurant chains in the world

Yutong Yuan/Business Insider

Ten companies control more than 50 of the biggest names in the chain restaurant business, from Panera to Burger King.



As it becomes more expensive to run a restaurant, more chains are consolidating under mega-companies.



Here is a look at who actually owns some of the biggest names in the restaurant business.

Your favorite fast-food chain may not be exactly what it seems. While chains like Burger King, Taco Bell, and Olive Garden have name recognition, many of the biggest brands in the restaurant business are actually owned by mega-companies. These holding companies and private-equity firms often invest in or own a number of brands, in and outside of the restaurant industry. As costs rise, scale is increasingly crucial in the restaurant business. "If you can take it and spread the cost across 8,400 restaurants versus 3,600 restaurants ... there's an inherent advantage in that," Paul Brown, the CEO of Arby's, Sonic, and Buffalo Wild Wings parent company Inspire Brands, recently told Business Insider. Read more: Inspire Brands CEO reveals his plans for Buffalo Wild Wings' comeback, Sonic's expansion, and more acquisitions Here is a look at which companies actually own some of the biggest names in the restaurant business:
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