Largest franchised Chains
The following U.S. listing tabulates the early 2010 ranking of major franchises along with the number of sub-franchisees (or partners) from data available for 2004. The United States is a leader in franchising, a position it has held since the 1930s when it used the approach for fast-food restaurants, food inns and, slightly later, motels at the time of the Great Depression. As of 2005, there were 909,253 established franchised businesses, generating $880.9 billion of output and accounting for 8.1 percent of all private, non-farm jobs. This amounts to 11 million jobs, and 4.4 percent of all private sector output.
- Subway (sandwiches and salads) | startup costs $84,300 – $258,300 (41,916 locations worldwide in 2015).
Subway is an American privately held fast food restaurant franchise that primarily sells submarine sandwiches (subs) and salads. Subway is one of the fastest-growing franchises in the world and, as of June 2017, has approximately 45,000 stores located in more than 100 countries. More than half of the stores are located in the United States. It is the largest single-brand restaurant chain, and the largest restaurant operator, in the world.
As of 2017, the Subway Group of companies is organized as follows. Subway IP Inc. is the owner of the intellectual property for the restaurant system. Franchise World Headquarters, LLC leads franchising operations. FWH Technologies, LLC owns and licenses Subway’s point of sale software. Franchisors include Doctor’s Associates Inc. in the U.S.; Subway International B.V.; Subway Franchise Systems of Canada, Ltd.; etc. Advertising affiliates include Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust, Ltd.; Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust, B.V.; Subway Franchisee Canadian Advertising Trust; etc.
Subway’s international headquarters are in Milford, Connecticut, with five regional centers supporting the company’s international operations. The regional offices for European franchises are located in Amsterdam (Netherlands); the Australian and New Zealand locations are supported from Brisbane (Australia); the Asian locations are supported from offices in Beirut (Lebanon) and Singapore; and the Latin American support center is in Miami.
- McDonald’s | startup costs in 2010, $995,900 – $1,842,700 (36,368 Locations in 2015)
McDonald’s is an American fast food company, founded in 1940 as a restaurant operated by Richard and Maurice McDonald, in San Bernardino, California, United States. They rechristened their business as a hamburger stand, and later turned the company into a franchise, with the Golden Arches logo being introduced in 1953 at a location in Phoenix, Arizona. In 1955, Ray Kroc, a businessman, joined the company as a franchise agent and proceeded to purchase the chain from the McDonald brothers. McDonald’s had its original headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois, but moved its global headquarters to Chicago in early 2018.
McDonald’s is the world’s largest restaurant chain by revenue, serving over 69 million customers daily in over 100 countries across approximately 36,900 outlets as of 2016. Although McDonald’s is known for its hamburgers, they also sell cheeseburgers, chicken products, french fries, breakfast items, soft drinks, milkshakes, wraps, and desserts. In response to changing consumer tastes and a negative backlash because of the unhealthiness of their food, the company has added to its menu salads, fish, smoothies, and fruit. The McDonald’s Corporation revenues come from the rent, royalties, and fees paid by the franchisees, as well as sales in company-operated restaurants. According to a BBC report published in 2012, McDonald’s is the world’s second-largest private employer (behind Walmart) with 1.9 million employees, 1.5 million of whom work for franchises.
- 7-Eleven Inc. (convenience stores) | startup costs in 2010 $40,500- $775,300, (56,439 locations in 2015)
7-Eleven Inc. is a Japanese-owned American international chain of convenience stores, headquartered in Dallas, Texas. The chain was known as Tote’m Stores until it was renamed in 1946. Its parent company, Seven-Eleven Japan Co., Ltd., operates, franchises, and licenses 66,579 stores in 17 countries as of 30 June 2018. Seven-Eleven Japan is headquartered in Chiyoda, Tokyo and held by Seven & I Holdings Co., Ltd.. The most recent franchise agreement gives up to 59% of a franchise’s gross profit to the company.
- Hampton Inns & Suites (mid-price hotels) | startup costs in 2010 $3,716,000 – $15,148,800
Hampton by Hilton, formerly known as Hampton Inn, is a brand of hotels trademarked by Hilton Worldwide. The Hampton hotel brand is a chain of moderately priced, upper midscale hotels with limited food and beverage facilities. Most Hampton hotels are independently owned and operated by franchisees, though a few are managed by Hilton. Hampton by Hilton is one of the largest hotel franchises in the U.S. The Hampton franchise includes more than 2,300 hotels throughout the United States and in nearly 20 other countries
- Great Clips (hair salons) | startup costs in 2010 $109,000 – $203,000 (3,694 locations in 2015)
Great Clips is a hair salon franchise with over 4,100 locations across the United States and Canada. It is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In 2013, it had system-wide sales of $1.03 billion
- H&R Block (tax preparation and now e-filing) | startup costs $26,427 – $84,094 (10,800 locations in 2015)
H&R Block, Inc., or H&R Block, is an American tax preparation company operating in North America, Australia, and India. The company was founded in 1955 by brothers Henry W. Bloch and Richard Bloch.
As of 2018, H&R Block operates approximately 12,000 retail tax offices staffed by tax professionals worldwide. It also offers consumer tax software as well as online tax preparation and electronic filing from their website. The Kansas City-based company also offers payroll, and business consulting services.
- Dunkin’ Donuts | startup costs in 2010 $537,750 – $1,765,300
- Jani-King (commercial cleaning) | startup costs $11,400 – $35,050, (11,000 partners worldwide in 2004)
- Servpro (insurance and disaster restoration and cleaning) | startup costs in 2010 $102,250 – $161,150
- Mini-Markets (convenience store and gas station) | startup costs in 2010 $1,835,823 – $7,615,065
Mid-sized franchises like restaurants, gasoline stations and trucking stations involve substantial investment and require all the attention of a businessperson.