The world’s largest restaurant, hotel and leisure companies in 2023


McDonald’s is the highest-ranked restaurant on the Global 2000, and Chipotle is one of the year’s big winners.
It’s no surprise that global fast food chain McDonald’s took the No.1 spot on the list | Source: Getty

Last year’s rankings told of the nimbleness of fast-food eateries, whose drive-thru service and digital ordering helped chains hold on to customers during the pandemic. In 2023, McDonald’s, the world’s largest fast-food chain, and Starbucks, remain the only restaurant companies in the top 500. Both stayed essentially flat in our rankings at Nos. 217 and 301. At both companies, sales were up but profits were down, a reflection of having to shut down outlets during China’s long-term border closure.

Long before the Covid-19 public health emergency was officially declared over last month, people around the world had enthusiastically embraced a return to normal life. So it’s unsurprising that the biggest names in the hotel, restaurant and leisure sectors have risen in Forbes’ annual ranking of 2,000 of the world’s largest public companies. Our rankings are based on a composite score calculated from revenue, profits, assets and stock market value.

The world’s largest hotels, restaurants and leisure companies:

RankNameCountrySalesMarket Value
1McDonald’s Corp.U.S.$23.4 billion$216.5 billion
2Starbucks Corp.U.S.$34.0 billion$122.9 billion
3Marriott Int’l, Inc.U.S.$22.2 billion$53.6 billion
4Compass GroupU.K.$32.5 billion$45.5 billion
5MGM Resorts Int’lU.S.$14.1 billion$15.7 billion
6SodexoFrance$23.9 billion$15.5 billion
7Hilton Worldwide HoldingsU.S.$9.4 billion$38.3 billion
8Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.U.S.$9.0 billion$56.0 billion
9Carnival Corp.U.S.$15.0 billion$12.6 billion
10Restaurant Brands Int’l Inc.Canada$6.6 billion$22.2 billion

The restaurant sector’s biggest climber was Chipotle Mexican Grill, which jumped 319 places to land at No. 903. The California-based taco-and-burrito chain has been on a tear, with earnings growing by double digits in each of four consecutive quarters. Revenue, too, has topped analysts’ expectations, hitting $2.4 billion in the first quarter of 2023, fueled by better than expected same-store sales growth. Menu prices are up roughly 10% from last year, which CEO Brian Niccol says demonstrates the chain’s pricing power. Just since the beginning of 2023, Chipotle share prices are up 51% and, despite the current economic uncertainties, the company is maintaining a bullish posture. In January, Chipotle announced “aggressive growth plans” that include doubling its footprint to 7,000 locations, up from a prior target of 6,000.

Now that Covid-related travel restrictions have lifted around the world, pent-up demand has been a boon for the hotel sector. The industry’s three largest companies have come roaring back with double-digit growth in revenue year over year. Marriott, the world’s largest hospitality company, advanced 186 places to No. 426 in our rankings, as sales jumped $8.3 billion to $22.2 billion and profits rose $1.1 billion to $2.7 billion. Rivals Hilton (No. 846) and Hyatt (No. 1814) made even bigger gains, ranking-wise, climbing 652 and 982 places, respectively.

Global coffee giant Starbucks Corp was No.2 on the list | Source: Getty Images

Collectively, their current narrative is one of expansion, with all the hotel giants touting impressive pipelines of new properties around the world. Last fall, Marriott acquired its 31st brand – the Mexico-based City Express – and, at the end of the year, tallied roughly 199,000 rooms under construction. Hilton opened 355 new hotels in 2022 (just under one per day, adding more than 58,000 rooms), while Hyatt came out of last year with a record pipeline of about 117,000 rooms worldwide.

After screeching to an abrupt halt in 2020 and restarting more than a year later, the cruise industry is now breaking pre-pandemic records for passenger volume and hitting $21 billion in profits, nearly double that of a year ago. Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the industry trade and lobby group, forecasts that 31.5 million passengers will embark on cruises in 2023, up 6% from 2019. Industry leader Carnival Corporation, which operates nine cruise lines, rose 261 spots to No. 959 – nudging into the upper half of our list but still a far cry from its pre-pandemic perch among the top 500. With its three cruise lines, Royal Caribbean Group jumped 324 places to No. 1052.

Meanwhile, the gambling industry has enjoyed back-to-back record-setting years, with gross revenue in 2022 hitting $55 billion, beating pre-pandemic 2019 volume by 25%. Of the four casino-hotel companies in the Global 2000, the most notable climbers were MGM Resorts, whose $4.4 billion boost in revenue to $14.1 billion helped it leapfrog 147 spots to land at No. 596, and Las Vegas Sands, which rose 236 spots to No. 1293.

Also making impressive gains this year is Ireland-based Flutter Entertainment, whose roster of betting platforms includes Betfair, FanDuel and Paddy Power. It leapt 239 places to land at No. 1077, driven by a $1.2 billion jump in revenue to $9.5 billion. Meanwhile, Australia’s Aristocrat Leisure, one of the world’s largest slot-machine manufacturers, jumped 333 spots to No. 1611.

Finally, not every company in the Global 2000 is a household name. Consider a trio of multinational food service contractors headquartered in three different countries. Britain’s Compass Group (No. 516), France’s Sodexo (No. 761) and Philadelphia-headquartered Aramark (No. 1535) deliver meals to mundane locations like offices, factories, schools, universities, hospitals and prisons. There’s nothing particularly sexy about this line of business except, of course, that together these three companies hauled in a combined $73.4 billion in annual revenue.

This article was first published on and all figures are in USD.

Look back on the week that was with hand-picked articles from Australia and around the world. Sign up to the Forbes Australia newsletter here or become a member here.

More from Forbes