When you make the decision to go out to eat, you have numerous choices. There are thousands of fast food and full-service restaurants that offer every type of food you can imagine … Steak? Lobster? Tacos? Burgers? Italian? Bagels & Coffee? Donuts? Ice Cream? There are choices everywhere!

Did you know there are seven corporations that dominate the food industry? Let’s take a look at just how many restaurants these “Magnificent Seven” operate:

Yum Brands – This company was once called Tricon Global Restaurants and was previously owned by PepsiCo. They are a Fortune 500 Company and own Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, KFC and WingStreet.  Yum operates fast-food restaurants worldwide and are found on the NYSE under the symbol YUM.

Bloomin’Brands – Headquartered in Tampa Bay, Florida.  Bloomin’ Brands operate more than 1,450 locations under the Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, Fleming’s Steakhouse and Outback Steakhouse names. They are traded on the NASDAQ exchange under the symbol BLMN.

Darden Restaurants – Darden in headquartered in Orlando, Florida and owns over 1,500 restaurants making them the world’s largest full-service restaurant chain. Darden owns and operates Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, Eddie V’s, Cheddar’s, The Yard House and The Capital Grille. They are listed on the NYSE under DRI.

Sun Capital – Sun Capital owns and operates Friendly’s Restaurants, Smokey Bones, Bar Louie, Johnny Rockets and Boston Market Restaurants. Sun Capital is a privately held global investment firm that is headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida.

JAB Holding Company – JAB is a privately held German conglomerate that is headquartered in Luxembourg. Their subsidiaries include Panera Bread, Krispy Kreme Donuts, Peet’s Coffee and Einstein Bros (to name a few).

Roark Capital – Headquartered in Atlanta, Roark Capital is a private equity firm that controls many diverse businesses including: Anytime Fitness, Massage Envy Spas and Pet Supermarket. The restaurants they have include: Moe’s Southwest Grill, Jamba Juice, Carvel, Cinnabon, Auntie Anne’s, Schlotzsky’s, Sonic, Buffalo Wild Wings, Rusty Taco and Arbys.

Golden Gate Capital – Golden Gate is a private equity firm based in San Francisco, California. They operate Bob Evans’ Restaurants, California Pizza Kitchen and Red Lobster Restaurants.

That’s a lot of food choices that are run by seven corporations … I guess bigger is sometimes better!