Welcome to the top franchises of 2011! Before you get started below, here’s how the ranking works:
Each franchise is thoroughly reviewed based on financial and statistical data from July 2008 through July 2010. They must supply a Franchise Disclosure Documents (FDDs) or Canadian Disclosure Documents and all information is verified by Entrepreneur. Also, they must have a minimum of 10 units with at least one franchise located in the U.S., must be seeking new franchisees in the U.S., and cannot be in Chapter 11 at the time the ranking is compiled.
All companies, regardless of size, are judged by the same criteria: objective, quantifiable measures of a franchise operation. Other important factors include financial strength and stability, growth rate and size of the system, the number of years a company has been in business and the length of time it’s been franchising, startup costs, litigation, percentage of terminations, and whether the company provides financing.
Top 10 Franchises for 2011
Hampton Hotels Since 1984, the mid-price chain has provided its continental breakfast and free local phone service for thousands of guests. Acquired by Hilton in 1999, Hampton operates more than 1,500 locations throughout North America, Mexico, and Ecuador.
ampm The first ampm convenience store and gas station opened in Southern California in 1978. Now, there are now around 3,000 gas station/convenience stores around the world. Ampm Mini Markets offer nearly 2,200 different hot and cold snack food and drink items.
McDonald’s The iconic Golden Arches opened in 1955. Since then, McDonald’s has become an internationally-recognized purveyor of quick-service hamburgers, fries, chicken, breakfast items, salads and milkshakes.
7-Eleven Inc. 7-Eleven’s origins date back to 1927, when Joe C. Thompson bought the Southland Ice Company, turned it into the Southland Corporation, and began opening convenience stores. In 1946 the stores’ hours became 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. so the name changed. 7-Eleven stores are open 24 hours a day now, but the name stuck. Today, 7-Eleven Inc. has over 30,000 stores across the U.S. and around the world.
Supercuts Since 1975, Supercuts has offered an alternative to high-fashion salons and neighborhood barbershops. The model includes a hair-cutting technique that takes only 20 minutes, so customers can find quick and inexpensive haircuts without appointments. Acquired by Regis Corp. in 1996, SuperCuts stores are found throughout the U.S.
Days Inn The first Days Inn opened in 1970 and has grown into a network of nearly 2,000 franchised hotels throughout the U.S. and worldwide, including some hotels that offer free breakfast and allow pets in select rooms.
Vanguard Cleaning Systems Vanguard Cleaning Systems has been franchising since 1984. Its franchisees serve approximately 1,000 commercial cleaning accounts. Vanguard offers a Master Franchise program for experienced businesspeople and a Unit Franchise program for beginning entrepreneurs.
Subway Offering an alternative to hamburger-and-fries fast-food restaurants, Subway has franchises throughout the U.S. and in several countries, with locations in traditional and nontraditional sites alike such as gas stations and mini malls.
Denny’s Inc. Denny’s full-service restaurant locations serve breakfast, lunch and dinner choices 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including its famous Grand Slam breakfast. There are more than 1,500 Denny’s throughout North America.
See all 500 companies on the Entrepreneur 500 list, including their change in rankings from last year, and cost of startup. Been wondering how to open a franchise of your own? Visit www.frannet.com to get connected with the experts in franchising.