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The World’s Most Admired Companies by FORTUNE.

March 16, 2011

The World's Most Admired Companies - FORTUNE MagazineFORTUNE Magazine just released their lists of The World’s Most Admired Companies. The study surveys top executives and directors from eligible companies, along with financial analysts, to identify the companies that enjoy the strongest reputations within their industries and across industries. FORTUNE then determines the industry groupings by using the Fortune 1000 listing, a list of the 1000 largest American companies ranked on revenues alone, and the Global 500 listing, ranking the top 500 corporations worldwide by revenue. Companies must rank among the top 15 by revenue within their industry to be awarded a 1 – 10 score. Take a guess at what industry I’m the most interested in.

Though this year’s list doesn’t look too different from 2010’s (last year’s rank in parenthesis), the most admired food service companies in the world for 2011 are:

  1. McDonald’s: (no. 1) This powerhouse has remained at the top since 2008 — they were beat out by Starbucks in 2007.
  2. Yum Brands: (no. 2) After Long John Silver’s and A&W are sold off, the repositioned Yum Brands might just drop a couple of rankings. Remember, this isn’t based on profit, but sales dollars.
  3. Starbucks: (no. 3) As of the end of 2010, Starbucks is twice as good as McD in making the most significant media impact online, says media measurement technology firm General Sentiment.
  4. Darden Restaurants: (no. 4) As the world’s largest full-service restaurant operating company, the only news they’ve made recently is that Burger King signed their previous Senior Vice President as CEO. Well, that and making the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For list.
  5. Cheesecake Factory: (unranked) With their more affordable, yet still elegant, smaller-portion menu, the Cheesecake Factory might just make the list again next year.
  6. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store: (no. 9) American music icon, Kenny Rogers, has been promoting his first ever gospel music album. Being a Cracker Barrel exclusive, revenue might just blow up. Okay, maybe not, but the food is amazing!
  7. Brinker International: (no. 6) If Chili’s international initiatives prove successful, Brinker may be ‘movin’ on up’ like the Jeffersons.
  8. Bob Evans Farms: (no. 10) First their CFO leaves to “do something new” and now they announce they want to move into the grab-n-go retail market. Maybe past-Chief Financial Officer Tod Spornhauer saw the numbers and opted out. We’ll see soon enough. I wonder if their biscuits are going to be grab-n-go — my mother-in-law would love it.
  9. Jack in the Box: (no. 5) When you combine one of the top women in the QSR industry with one of the greatest restaurant mascots of all time…
  10. Wendy’s/Arby’s Group: (no. 7) Okay, so Wendy’s new fries weren’t all they were cracked up to be, but at least the group isn’t talking about selling them off. Someone will come along Arby’s, don’t worry.
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