Business News

The highest 20 franchise corporations of 2020 from the Entrepreneur Franchise 500

The entrepreneur has been one of the 500 best franchise companies in America for 41 years. We use a five pillar system to evaluate the hundreds of entries we receive each year. These five pillars (in no particular order) are:

Costs and fees. This includes the franchise fee, total investment and license fees.
Size and growth. This includes open and operational units, growth rate and closings.
Support. This pillar takes into account training times, marketing support, operational support, franchisor infrastructure, funding availability and litigation.
Brand strength. This aspect is all about social media, system size, years in business, and years in franchising.
Financial strength and stability. This takes into account the audited annual financial statements of the franchisor.

Every year the competition increases as new companies create compelling cases and the established old-school companies keep innovating. Even doing the Franchise 500 is a huge accomplishment, but which ones managed to crack the top tier and hit our top 20?

Start the slideshow to find out.

Related: 5 Affordable Franchises You Can Start For Less Than $ 10,000

Dunkin

Credit:
Dunkin & # 39;

Entrepreneur Franchise 500 List Rank: 1

Start of franchising: 1955

Total units: 12,957

Initial Franchise Cost: $ 395,500 to $ 1.6 million

The latest magazine feature for our top franchise begins: "How Dunkin dropped the word donuts, sold more donuts and climbed to number 1 anyway." That's the kind of energy we could all expend in the New Year: letting go of the things that hold us back and keep growing and innovating.

Somehow, this is the first time Dunkin has topped our list, despite debuting at number 17 in 1980 and ranking at number 2 in three different decades.

Taco Bell

Taco Bell

Credit:
Taco Bell

Entrepreneur Franchise 500 List Rank: 2

Franchising began: 1964

Total units: 7,136

Initial Franchise Cost: $ 525,500 to $ 2.96 million

A decade ago, Taco Bell was ranked number 45 in the franchise 500. Today, Taco Bell ranks second in large part due to the growth the company has seen since then. Even over the past two years, fast food sales rose 6 percent to $ 11 billion in 2018. From the third quarter of 2019, sales in the same business (5 percent) and overall sales (8 percent) should improve again.

The key to this growth, as the latest issue of the magazine shows, is the company's focus on convenience, which includes a checkout system built right into the Grubhub app and 4,800 US locations offering delivery.

Related: 24 Top-Rated, Affordable Franchises You Can Buy for $ 25,000 or less

MC Donalds

MC Donalds

Credit:
MC Donalds

Entrepreneur Franchise 500 List Rank: 3rd

Start of franchising: 1955

Total units: 38,108

Initial Franchise Cost: $ 1.3 million to $ 2.2 million

How should a company like McDonald & # 39; s with more than 38,000 units continue to grow? It seems that the company is relying on technical solutions and platforms that optimize the speed of service and make an already fast place more accessible than ever before.

While it's too early to say definitively whether McDonald's system-wide redesign and investment of $ 10 billion will be a success. However, be aware of the following: McDonald's is now executing 10 delivery orders every second.

Sonic Drive-In

Sonic Drive-In

Credit:
Sonic Drive-In

Entrepreneur Franchise 500 List Rank: 4th

Start of franchising: 1959

Total units: 3,600

Initial Franchise Cost: $ 1.2-3.5 million

For a company that has been around for over 60 years, it seems Sonic is looking to the future. Not only is the menu constantly updated and changed, but Sonic also focuses on analytics (captured via the new Order Ahead app) to find the right offer for each customer. In 2018, it was acquired by Inspire Brands for $ 2.3 billion, making it part of the same family of companies as Arby's and Buffalo Wild Wings. This year the company is preparing to deliver a new brand logo. Who knows where Sonic is going next, but you can be sure that it won't stay silent.

Related: 5 Low-Cost Franchises You Can Start Up for Only $ 4,000

The UPS Store

The UPS Store

Credit:
The UPS Store

Entrepreneur Franchise 500 List Rank: 5th

Start of franchising: 1980

Total units: 5,166

Initial Franchise Cost: $ 138,400 to $ 470,000

While a six-figure price tag is certainly a huge investment, the UPS Store represents the cheapest option among the top 5 – even the top ten – entries in the Franchise 500. And while most of the companies on this list are focused on that, UPS is focused on the future also on returns.

"About a third of online purchases are returned," UPS Store President Tim Davis told our magazine. "This has become a very attractive business area for us." That doesn't mean the UPS Store is a retrospective store: it has actively signed contracts to be the official return courier for several major retailers, and one of the biggest changes is evident before you ever step into the store: Blue, White, and Die The company's traditional brown palette has been expanded to include yellow as The UPS Store considers a new business concept.

Ace hardware

Ace hardware

Credit:
Ace hardware

Entrepreneur Franchise 500 List Rank: 6

Start of franchising: 1976

Total units: 5,312

Initial Franchise Cost: $ 286,000-2.1 million

Ace Hardware is number 6 on the Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list. However, when you think of Ace, consider number 16 instead. According to the company, 75 percent of all US households are within 15 minutes of an Ace store, the retailer had sales of more than $ 16 billion last year. In particular, Ace's online sales rose 81 percent in the third quarter of 2019 after the company offered customers the option to have their orders delivered in the closest store.

However, Ace continues to focus on its personal customer service, which includes the acquisition of Denver-based franchise operator Handyman Matters.

Related: The 5 Best Burger Franchises You Can Buy (And How Much They Cost)

Planet Fitness

Planet Fitness

Credit:
Planet Fitness

Entrepreneur Franchise 500 List Rank: 7

Start of franchising: 2003

Total units: 1,859

Initial Franchise Cost: $ 1.1 million to $ 4.2 million

It's fitting that a fitness franchise should run so lean. "We don't have pools, we don't have classes, we don't have instructors to pay for," Planet Fitness CEO Chris Rondeau told the magazine. "We run our business with 15 employees."

That way, Planet Fitness can charge a basic membership of just $ 10 per month, which is aimed at 80 percent of Americans who don't have a gym membership. So far, the strategy has worked, with Planet Fitness membership doubling from 7 million to more than 14 million in the past five years.

Jersey Mikes Subs

Jersey Mikes Subs

Credit:
Jersey Mikes

Entrepreneur Franchise 500 List Rank: 8

Start of franchising: 1987

Total units: 1,592

Initial Franchise Cost: $ 237,400 to $ 766,970

By the end of 2020 Jersey Mike & # 39; s aims to have 2,000 restaurants and system-wide sales of $ 2 billion. The key to the growth of the sub sandwich franchise lies in having existing franchisees opening more stores. "That tells you two things," Mike Manzo, COO of Jersey Mike, told Entrepreneur. "First, the franchisees are happy and, second, they are profitable enough to reinvest in their brand."

Related: 5 Franchises You Can Buy For Less than $ 18,000

Culvers

Culvers

Credit:
Culvers

Entrepreneur Franchise 500 List Rank: 9

Start of franchising: 1988

Total units: 715

Initial Franchise Cost: $ 1.97 million to $ 4.7 million

Culver's key to success? Scrubbing the floor and collecting rubbish in the parking lot. During a 16-week training program at ButterBurger University by Culver in Wisconsin, franchisees are asked to do just that to prove that no one is above the dirty work. So far, the program appears to have been a success, resulting in 175 new franchisees.

Of course, it may also be true that Culver's just makes a great burger and frozen pudding, but hard work never hurts.

Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut

Credit:
Pizza Hut

Entrepreneur Franchise 500 List Rank: 10

Start of franchising: 1959

Total units: 17,176

Initial Franchise Cost: $ 357,000 to $ 2.2 million

Pizza Hut announced in August that it was planning to close 500 restaurants in the United States. However, thousands of international franchises have also opened in the past three years. Even if the domestic market is more crowded than ever, the international business has allowed the cottage to flourish.

Another growth opportunity for Pizza Hut lies in football through its new partnerships with the NFL and EA Sports (the makers of the Madden NFL franchise).

Related: 100 Franchises You Can Start For Less Than $ 50,000

7-eleven

7-eleven

Credit:
7-eleven

Ranking of the Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list: 11

Franchising began: 1964

Total units: 66,689

Initial Franchise Cost: $ 47,100 to $ 1.2 million

7-Eleven continues to grow massively, adding 4,584 units in the last two years alone. The convenience store franchise, which was our top-rated business in 2017, has ranked no less than 11th in the past decade.

Kumon math and reading centers

Kumon math and reading centers

Credit:
Kumon math and reading centers

Entrepreneur Franchise 500 List Rank: 12

Start of franchising: 1958

Total units: 26,278

Initial Franchise Cost: $ 73,400 to $ 154,800

The supplementary education franchise may not be a household name domestically as only around 6 percent of its units are located in the United States. However, Kumon was a mainstay of the Franchise 500 and landed in our top 20 rankings for the past three years.

Related: Inexpensive Business Ideas How To Start A Small Business

Baskin Robbins

Baskin Robbins

Credit:
Baskin Robbins

Ranking of the Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list: 13

Franchising began: 1948

Total units: 8,072

Initial Franchise Cost: $ 93,600 to $ 401,800

Baskin-Robbins may not have landed quite as high as his partner at Dunkin & # 39; Brands, but # 13 isn't all that shabby. Despite the fact that the ice cream franchise has been around since the 1940s, Baskin-Robbins continues to grow and has added 180 units in the past two years.

Smoothie King

Smoothie King

Credit:
Smoothie King

Ranking of the Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list: 14

Start of franchising: 1988

Total units: 1,073

Initial Franchise Cost: $ 263,600 to $ 844,500

The Dallas-based Smoothie King franchise tops our list of smoothie and juice franchises, marking a significant increase from last year when it finished 22nd.

Related: Do you need a business idea? Here are 55

Great clips

Great clips

Credit:
Great clips

Entrepreneur Franchise 500 List Rank: 15th

Start of franchising: 1983

Total units: 4,371

Initial Franchise Cost: $ 136,900 to $ 259,400

Great Clips tops (without punctuation) a list of competitive hair care franchises that includes companies like Supercuts and Sportclips. The Minneapolis-based hair salon franchise operates across America with well over 4,000 locations across the United States.

Milk queen

Milk queen

Credit:
Milk queen

Entrepreneur Franchise 500 List Rank: 16th

Start of franchising: 1940

Total units: 7,037

Initial Franchise Cost: $ 1.1 million to $ 1.8 million

Last year marked the 40th anniversary of the Franchise 500, and Dairy Queen was one of just a handful of companies to have been on at least 95 percent of our lists since 1979. Why has the Blizzard manufacturer been able to be so successful in the long term? ? Much of this comes from the Berkshire Hathaway-inspired motto: Protect the brand for today, but grow it for tomorrow.

Related: The Top 5 New Franchises You Should Watch Out For

Budget blinds

Budget blinds

Credit:
Budget blinds

Ranking of the Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list: 17th

Start of franchising: 1994

Total units: 1,213

Initial Franchise Cost: $ 110,300 to $ 234,400

Irvine, California-based window covering franchise, Budget Blinds ranked 35th on our Franchise 500 ranking a year ago, but took a big step forward in 2020. This is partly due to the growing number of franchises, which have grown nearly 10 percent in the US over the past two years.

Tropical smoothie cafe

Tropical smoothie cafe

Credit:
Tropical smoothie cafe

Ranking of the Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list: 18

Start of franchising: 1997

Total units: 784

Initial Franchise Cost: $ 246,500 to $ 580,500

Tropical Smoothie Cafe is a younger franchise company than Smoothie King, but it has shown similar (or perhaps even stronger) growth in the more than two decades since franchising began. In the past two years alone, Tropical Smoothie Cafe has added 186 franchises, a 31 percent increase in units.

Related: 5 Tech Franchises You Can Start Now for Just $ 25,000

HomeVestors of America

HomeVestors of America

Credit:
HomeVestors of America

Ranking of the Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list: 19

Start of franchising: 1996

Total units: 1,102

Initial Franchise Cost: $ 56,000 to $ 426,300

Since 2014, HomeVestors of America has more than doubled its number of franchises across America, growing from 544 to 1,102 in just six years. This kind of growth is helping him reach the top spot in the real estate category for 2020.

Palm Beach Tan

Palm Beach Tan

Credit:
Palm Beach Tan

Entrepreneur Franchise 500 List Rank: 20th

Start of franchising: 2001

Total units: 541

Initial Franchise Cost: $ 498,300 to $ 802,400

Palm Beach Tan climbs from 86th place in 2019 to last place in our top 20 rankings. The Coppell, Texas-based tanning company has opened 95 units since 2017, an increase of 21 percent.

Related: 5 Of The Best Fitness Franchises You Can Buy

The top 20 franchises of 2020

The top 20 franchises of 2020

Credit:
Entrepreneur media

Dunkin
Taco Bell
MC Donalds
Sonic Drive-In
The UPS Store
Ace hardware
Planet Fitness
Jersey Mikes Subs
Culvers
Pizza Hut
7-eleven
Kumon math and reading centers
Baskin Robbins
Smoothie King
Great clips
Milk queen
Budget blinds
Tropical smoothie cafe
HomeVestors of America
Palm Beach Tan

Related Articles