The 17 Best Restaurant Franchising Deals for 2023

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Mountain Mike's
Mountain Mike's pizza.

Economic headwinds seem to be doing little to stop the growth of franchising.

This year, the number of U.S. franchise locations is expected to increase by almost 15,000, or 1.9 percent, to 805,000, according to the International Franchise Association’s 2023 Franchising Economic Outlook report. Also, the business is projected to grow by 4.2 percent to $860.1 billion, up from $825.4 billion last year. The IFA reported that the top 10 states for franchise growth are Texas, Illinois, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arizona, Colorado, and Indiana.

But here’s the fact to circle—quick-service restaurants are predicted to witness higher growth than other industries.

Corey Nicholson, founding partner and CEO of Cadence Franchising, agrees with IFA’s thoughts on the size of the franchise economy exceeding pre-pandemic levels. His company experienced a drastic decline in franchise inquiries and application volumes in 2020 and 2021, but that was followed by a sharp increase throughout 2022. And that’s continued into 2023.

“Not only are we witnessing faster growth; it’s better growth,” Nicholson says. “Technology-driven sales processes led to deeper engagement from prospects, leading to advancement from more qualified buyers, setting the stage for more successful franchisees. Those successful franchisees led to a better brand story to tell all of the others and more referrals. It’s a chain reaction sparked by ambitious development teams, and made possible by powerful (and affordable) technology in the form of cloud-based franchise development software.”

Quick-service chains are appropriately positioned to thrive in the post-pandemic world, says Graham Chapman, president of 919 Marketing. He adds that customers are gravitating toward four quick-service experiences (drive-thru, kiosks, mobile pickup, and delivery) and that concepts offering all—or most—of these avenues can operate with fewer staff members and provide better convenience for customers.

Additionally, Chapman highlights that private equity investment and multi-unit operations have continued to dominate the conversation. To his latter point, look no further than Subway, the largest franchisor in the U.S. As part of a multi-year transformation, the sandwich chain is moving away from single-unit franchisees to partners who already have experience running other brands. In some cases, it happens on a pretty big scale—two years ago, Papa Johns made noise by striking a deal with Sun Holdings to open 100 restaurants across Texas through 2029.

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“As labor costs rise and supply chain/real estate challenges persist, it becomes more and more challenging to achieve the financial freedom most franchisees/entrepreneurs desire owning and operating just one restaurant (or even just a few),” Chapman says.

The franchise model is still proving fruitful. For more than a decade, QSR has highlighted fast-food and fast-casual concepts offering the best opportunities for entrepreneurs to thrive in the restaurant business. The most recent edition features 17 companies fitting that exact mold.

This is the 13th Best Franchise Deals in QSR’s history. Once again, we tapped our Franchise Council of experts to share their choices. These brands are in no particular order.

The 2023 Best Franchise Deals Council:

  • Graham Chapman, president, 919 Marketing
  • Lorne Fisher, CEO/managing partner, Fish Consulting
  • Stan Friedman, principal consultant, Sensible Franchising
  • Mike Drumm, beer and franchise attorney/founder, Drumm Law, LLC
  • Corey Nicholson, founding partner and CEO, Cadence Franchising
  • Liane Caruso, franchise marketing consultant and owner of helloCMO
  • Michelle Rowan, president and COO, Franchise Business Review
  • Alex Oswiecinski, CEO and founder, Prospect Direct
  • Alex Porter, CEO, Location3
  • Danielle Wright, chief development officer, Premium Service Brands



QSR magazine’s Best Franchise Deals for 2023 were selected from a nomination process that ran from mid-May to mid-June. Finalists were reviewed by the Franchise Council, which selected their top choices from shared information and FDD data. Their top choices comprise the final list. Brands cannot appear for back-to-back years, but can return after a year off. 

New to this year’s edition, we recognized 15 rising franchisors that are on the outside looking in and created a Hall-of-Fame for concepts that have graced the Best Franchise Deals list several times.

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Penn Station East Coast Subs
Penn Station East Coast Subs exterior of restaurant.

Penn Station

Number of U.S. franchise units: 318

Number of U.S. total units: 319

Total systemwide sales: $264,253,694

Franchise average unit volume: $837,668

Total average unit volume: $839,021

Franchise fee: $25,000

Royalty: 0 to 8 percent of total net sales

Renewal fee: $1,000 for each renewal

Marketing fee: Up to 2 percent of total net sales

Total start-up costs: $366,693 to $820,026

Franchisee incentives: 50 percent off initial franchise fee ($12,500 instead of standard $25,000); 0 percent royalty for initial six months (standard royalty rate thereafter)

The skinny: 

Penn Station’s growth plan has proven itself successful over the past couple of decades. The Ohio-based brand uses a 350-mile radius from its headquarters in Cincinnati, and currently, that leads to more than 1,000 whitespace opportunities. COO Craig Dunaway told QSR in October that the chain is faring well in markets such as Nashville, Detroit, and Charlotte because of its off-premises availability and the growing number of cold handheld options—a menu category that’s grown three-fold since 2020, Dunaway said. As of April, the chain had more than 100 restaurants in its pipeline, with hopes of one day becoming a 500-unit company. Some of its targets for growth are Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, Charlotte, and Raleigh, among several others. It’s also important to note that Penn Station doesn’t shy away from single-unit operators either. The brand has nurtured these growth opportunities by making key hires and promotions in the past couple of years. For instance, Dunaway, who joined Penn Station in 1999, was promoted from president to COO in early 2022 while Lance Vaught was bumped from senior vice president of operations to president. A few months later, Russ Smith—with nearly 30 years of experience with brands like The Athlete’s Foot, Planet Beach, REGUS Business Center, and Quiznos—was hired as director of franchise sales. 

Sizing up from the sidelines: 

“Penn Station is in our Hall of Fame, meaning they have achieved high satisfaction from their franchisees for 10-plus years. In the most recent survey done in October 2022, 93 percent of the franchisees participated in the survey. Here are some areas that stood out: 97 percent of franchisees rated the overall opportunity as excellent, very good and good—19 percent higher than the food and beverage segment benchmark of data; 74 percent of franchisees agree/strongly agree that the total investment into the business, including both time and money, is consistent with expectations set when they came into the brand—18 percent above the food and beverage benchmark; 95 percent of franchisees would ‘do it again’ when asked about investing in the brand, knowing what they know today—21 percent above the food and beverage benchmark.”

“To be honest, I previously had no clue who they were. After some review and conversation with colleagues, this sandwich franchise is taking that sector by storm. Their owners are a fast-growing multi-unit group of investors and are a diversifying bunch. Excited to see what comes for them in the next 18 months.”

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Bubbakoo's Burritos
Two burritos from Bubbakoo's.

Bubbakoo’s Burritos

Number of U.S. franchise units: 86

Number of U.S. total units: 98

Total systemwide sales: $80,000,000

Franchise average unit volume: $932,000

Total average unit volume: $1,078,000

Franchise fee: $35,000

Royalty: 6 percent 

Renewal fee: $5.000

Marketing fee: 2 percent

Total start-up costs: $331,000 to $700,000

The skinny: Bubbakoo’s Burritos is enjoying plenty of momentum as it moves through the year of its 15th anniversary. After falling just shy of triple digits in 2022, the fast casual quickly surpassed 100 early this year with the help of multi-unit operators Gerry Miguel and Perry and Fenil Patel. With that opening, the chain entered Connecticut for the first time. The fast casual also enhanced its marketing capabilities by hiring Mimi Somerman as the first CMO in company history. She brings more than 20 years of experience, and has worked across quick service, fast casual, casual, and fine dining. Along with hiring Somerman, Bubbakoo’s modernized its app and loyalty program in partnership with Thanx. Customers have the ability to earn rewards that can be exchanged for discounts and free items and have access to exclusive offers and promotions, three new levels of loyalty membership, and a hidden Backstage Menu. Back in June, the fast casual launched a scavenger hunt via its app, giving 15 consumers a chance to win free burritos for a year. The promotion, titled “Surfin’ for Burritos” tasked fans to uncover facts and share findings on social media. However, don’t expect technological innovation to extend to AI anytime soon. CEO Bill Hart told QSR that he doesn’t envision a robotic make line, but he is interested in what phone AI ordering and Chat GPT could turn into. 

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Scooter’s Coffee
Scooter’s Coffee drive-thru employee handing coffee to a customer.

Scooter’s Coffee 

Number of U.S. franchise units: 525

Number of U.S. total units: 555

Total systemwide sales: $398,450,000

Total average unit volume: $885,335 (this includes franchised and company owned locations)

Franchise fee: $40,000

Royalty: 6 percent

Renewal fee: The greater of $10,000 or 25 percent of the then-current initial franchise fee

Marketing fee: 2 percent of net sales

Total start-up costs: $794,000 to $1,341,500

The skinny: 

Equipped with a drive-thru-only model for franchisees, speed and efficiency is the name of the game for Scooter’s Coffee. Craig Bowman, who was promoted to vice president of learning and process in February 2021, said it’s his mission to determine how cars can move through the drive-thru at a swifter pace. It starts with focusing on each transaction. Through research, Scooter’s discovered that interactions between customers and employees can add eight seconds to the order  process. The brand figures if that can be eliminated, with 120 customers in an hour, that could lead to another 10 cars over 60 minutes. As Bowman explained, the key to doing this is simplifying the menu—offering a better presentation and layout, reducing LTOs, and remaining aware of how complicated an order is. On that last point, Scooter’s has a complexity rating of 1-6 based on a variety of factors, and the chain’s goal is for every item to be between one and three. If a recipe ranks too high, it won’t be added to the menu, for the sake of speed of service and accuracy. The strategy seems to be working quite well. In 2022, same-store sales grew almost 6 percent, and the chain averaged an 18.01 percent net profit margin across all locations. The brand recently opened its Scooter’s Coffee Innovation Lab where it can refine how it prepares signature drinks. 

Sizing up from the sidelines:

“Scooter’s has been on a tear for five-plus years, establishing themselves as the ‘it’ brand in the $48 billion coffee industry. Their unique and compact business model, both the kiosk and drive-thru coffeehouse, allows franchise owners to sell high-quality, high-margin products via a fast and efficient drive-thru that’s perfect for the modern-day customer. Moreover, after initially focusing on building out the Midwest, Scooter’s still has plenty of territory available on both coasts which other notable competitors can’t offer—something that is, and should be, quite appetizing to savvy multi-unit candidates.”

“Scooter’s Coffee, with robust AUVs in the fast-growing $48 billion coffee industry, has an attractive model to enter the coffee and beverage space. Scooter’s is known for their high-quality, handcrafted drinks, and fast drive-thru service. Real estate and creative store design is a strength, allowing the brand to tap into prominent high-visibility, small-footprint standalone sites that keep the drive-thru lines turning all morning. Backed by a robust franchise support system and community involvement, they emerge as a noteworthy franchise opportunity.”

“As a non-essential service that involves people leaving the house, coffee shops were hit hard by COVID-19, but coffee is back, stronger than ever. And, among my favorites in our ever-growing ‘frictionless’ world, is Scooter’s, a drive-thru coffeehouse chain committed to high-quality coffee drinks and customer-focused, speedy service as captured in the company motto: Amazing People, Amazing Drinks … Amazingly Fast! Each and every coffee drink can be served up hot, iced, or blended, and the menu also includes tea and smoothies along with a selection of pastries, sandwiches, and burritos. Founded in 1998 and franchising since 2001, the number of locations has more than quadrupled in the past decade from 100 in 2012 to the current total of 467, of which 25 are company-owned and all are located in the U.S.”

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Mountain Mike's
Mountain Mike's pizza.

Mountain Mike’s

Number of U.S. franchise units: 265

Number of U.S. total units: 265

Total systemwide sales: $291,482,900

Franchise average unit volume: $1,099,935

Total average unit volume: $1,099,935

Franchise fee: $30,000

Royalty: 5 percent

Renewal fee: 50 percent of Mountain Mike’s then current initial franchise fee

Marketing fee: 1 percent

Any other regular fees: 2 percent Advertising Cooperative, if applicable

Total start-up costs: $417,850 to $798,500

Franchisee incentives

Multi-Unit discount: 50 percent off the franchise fee for existing franchisees investing in additional units.

Veteran discount: 50 percent off the initial franchise fee for qualified U.S. veterans

Area development discount: Includes 50 percent off second franchise fee and another 50 percent off the third franchise fee

The skinny: 

This year marks Mountain Mike’s 45th year of business, and it couldn’t have gotten off to a better start. The first quarter featured the chain’s highest sales day in company history and increases in system sales and same-store sales year-over-year. The brand also opened three new restaurants and settled deals for 10 locations, including a five-store agreement in Las Vegas. Mountain Mike’s attributed its fast beginning to promotional efforts that led to a 518 percent increase in wing sales and a 130 percent jump in buffet sales compared to the year-ago period. Additionally, the company implemented a Valentine’s Day campaign around its heart-shaped pizza that led to a 33 percent rise in sales throughout February versus 2022 and 23.1 percent growth in same-store sales on Valentine’s Day against last year. The company is continuing to show digital strength as well. In March, Mountain Mike’s passed 300,000 loyalty members, which equated to an 83 percent increase in year-over-year membership. In the past five years, the chain has expanded by almost 100 units. Last year specifically, the chain opened 20 locations, reached 250 outlets systemwide, and signed more than 25 franchise agreements for 38 locations, including five multi-unit deals. Among those openings was Mountain Mike’s debut in Texas, which is projected to become the brand’s largest market behind California. It plans to open 30 restaurants by the end of 2023 and have more than 400 locations by the end of 2025. 

Sizing up from the sidelines:

“Just look at the numbers—Mountain Mike’s AUV is $1,608,631, putting it within the top 25 percent of franchised restaurants. Although not as well-known as other pizza franchise giants, Mountain Mike’s has been around for over 40 years and is poised to grow its system into a household name. With its tasty ingredients and operational experience, you can’t go wrong with a pizza from Mountain Mike’s.”

“Mountain Mike’s Pizza boasts excellent AUVs over $1.6 million, leading to a strong ROI potential. Quietly building their brand and following patiently over 40 years, they are a bit of hidden gem in the $46 billion pizza space. Controlled growth, seasoned leadership team, and a solid economic model puts Mountain Mike’s as a top contender for the best franchise deal.”

“Delicious product, love their wings. They are a premium product, but well worth it, and shows up in the margins for their franchisees, growing quickly from west to east, good opportunity to get in still early[ish]. Consistently great quality.”

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CRISP & GREEN interior

Crisp & Green

Number of U.S. franchise units: 28 

Number of U.S. total units: 29 

Total systemwide sales: $35,596,000 

Franchise average unit volume: $1,791,529

Total average unit volume: $1,900,899

Franchise fee: $64,500

Royalty: 7 percent of gross monthly sales

Renewal fee: 50 percent of the then current initial franchise fee

Marketing fee: 2 percent of gross monthly sales

Other regular fees: technology fee, $745 per month

Total start-up costs: $860,400 to $1,393,000

The skinny: 

Crisp & Green had 29 restaurants at the end of 2022, but that total is expected to reach 65 restaurants before 2023 finishes and 130 outlets by the conclusion of 2024. An impressive feat, considering the chain didn’t start expanding beyond the Midwest until late November 2021. Crisp & Green’s mission is to help smaller towns lacking healthy options and larger cities that want another option. The fast casual’s real estate team recently identified more than 1,7000 additional markets that fit its site criteria, giving the brand room to open more than 1,000 shops systemwide. All existing franchisees have multi-unit agreements, and many have expanded their initial deals. Chief among them is Salads & Smoothies LLC, an operator that agreed to a company record 40-unit development contract. It includes several territories in Minnesota, as well as Phoenix, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and more. That’s an addition to a preexisting 11-store agreement. The franchisee currently operates a handful of locations in Minnesota, but is expected to have 50-plus restaurants open by 2028. In November 2022, Crisp & Green announced the hiring of CEO Kelly Baltes, who succeeded founder Steele Smiley. The industry veteran brings more than 28 years of experience, including stops at Maggiano’s, Good Smoke Restaurant Group, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, Olive Garden, and Red Lobster. 

Sizing up from the sidelines:

“Crisp & Green is most definitely onto something—doubling its units in 2022 and on pace to do the same in 2023. What’s their secret? For one—quality. More than ever, customers want fast-casual health food, and no one is doing it better at the moment than Crisp & Green. By solving the challenge of doing fast casual health food right [where so many others have failed], coupled with the fact that the healthy lifestyle trend does not seem to be fading anytime soon, be on the lookout for continued growth from Crisp & Green.”

“Crisp & Green is making impressive strides in the burgeoning $1 trillion healthy fast-casual market. For over a decade, they’ve been catering to the health-conscious consumer with their chef-curated, made-from-scratch menu. Their comprehensive support system also sets them apart; covering everything from real estate to marketing, with a driven founder that has a passion for health and wellness. Consequently, Crisp & Green emerges as a compelling franchise opportunity blending growth, performance, and innovation.”

“Fast, quality, healthy is a great market and the produce delivers on the promise of fresh/good [delicious]. The corporate brand is focused on health holistically and this brand fits into their portfolio brilliantly.”

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A picture of Freddy's new design.


Number of U.S. franchise units: 427

Number of U.S. total units: 456

Total systemwide sales: $807,824,412.08

Franchise average unit volume: $1,796,774

Total average unit volume: $1,839,856

Franchise fee: $30,000

Royalty: 4.5 percent of all gross receipts

Renewal fee: $10,000

Marketing fee: 1.5 to 3 percent of gross receipts

Total start-up costs: $794,254 to $2,523,239

Franchisee incentives: Industry-low combined royalty and marketing fees, along with exclusive regional territories

The skinny: 

Freddy’s development took a big leap in 2022 when it nailed down more than 140 new restaurant commitments and opened 37 locations, including debuts in North and South Dakota. Thanks to the franchise agreements with new and existing operators, the fast casual will build its presence in Illinois, Nebraska, South Carolina, and Texas, among other key markets. Amid this growth, Freddy’s is diversifying its footprint. In 2022 the chain opened its second casino location inside Table Mountain Casino in Friant, California. Then in April, the brand unveiled its latest traditional restaurant design in Belleville, Illinois. The format, now available to prospective franchisees, comprises 2,400 or 2,800 square feet, an improved kitchen, and drive-thru lanes for standard and mobile orders. CEO Chris Dull noted that with 70 percent of business being off-premises, the company has been focused on developing restaurant prototypes that increase convenience and ease. Freddy’s anticipates 60-plus openings this year in more than 15 states, like Louisiana, Virginia, California, and Wyoming. The long-term goal is to surpass 800 locations by 2026, and Freddy’s has the necessary commitments in its pipeline to reach it. The company said U.S. franchising opportunities remain in the Northeast, Upper Midwest, California, Florida, Oregon, Washington, and large metropolitan areas such as Pittsburgh. Freddy’s first and second franchisees opened their first restaurant in 2004 and 2006 respectively, and both are still developing stores today. 

Sizing up from the sidelines:

“Years ago, Freddy’s was this quiet success story from the Midwest. For the past several years and with Thompson Street Capital’s acquisition, the brand has opened dozens of stores a year, added 140 new units into its development pipeline, and is approaching its 500th location. The secret sauce for the brand seems to be its high-quality product offering that [in some markets has a cult following], tight operations, and extraordinary service and genuine hospitality. Under Chris Dull’s leadership, the brand’s potential seems to be endless.”

“Investing in a Freddy’s is investing in the almost lost art of service and hospitality. Freddy’s is growing rapidly [140 new units in development over the past year] because it marries nostalgic culture, which offers a customer experience similar to old soda shop hamburger counters, with legitimate financial upside—industry low royalty/marketing fees and $1.8 million AUV. This is a brand to monitor as existing franchisees and multi-unit operators continue to sign on with Freddy’s, an excellent indicator of a healthy franchise system.”

“Freddy’s was named the No. 1 high-investment franchise by Forbes magazine in both 2018 and 2019 [high-investment means an overall initial investment that exceeds $500,000]. Freddy’s may be better known to some for its frozen custard, but it has a growing fan base that comes for their mouth-watering, smash-style burgers served up in a fun classic 40s–50s diner style atmosphere. Their menu is diverse with eight different signature burgers on the menu along with a patty melt, three different chicken sandwiches, and three styles of hot dogs. Culturally, Freddy’s has a lot in common with Jersey Mike’s. It too, boasts a people-first culture that runs through every channel of the business, from HQ to vendors and suppliers and of course, the franchisees and their families. Under the leadership of president and CEO Chris Dull, a highly skilled restaurant and franchise leader, Freddy’s is one to watch, as their dominance in this space seems destined to continue.”

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Jamba smoothie.


Number of U.S. franchise units: 735

Number of U.S. total units: 737

Total systemwide sales: $508,079,820 (U.S. only) 

Franchise average unit volume: $731,361 (U.S. only) 

Total average unit volume: $731,361 (U.S. only) 

Franchise fee: $35,500, traditional store

Royalty: 6 percent of net sales for all stores, except: (i) 7 percent of net sales for robotic kiosks and (ii) 6 percent of net sales for Auntie Anne’s co-branded stores, which we may increase in our sole discretion up to 7 percent of net sales

Renewal fee: 20 percent of the then-current initial franchise fee, except for food trucks and robotic kiosks. For food trucks: 20 percent of the then-current initial franchise fee for food trucks. For robotic kiosks: 50 percent of the then-current initial franchise fee for robotic kiosks

Marketing fee: 3 percent of net sales, except 1 percent of net sales for robotic kiosks

Total start-up costs: $367,150 to $830,600, traditional store without a drive-thru

The skinny: As customers demand convenience, restaurants have dived deeper into automation, and Jamba is squarely among that group. The beverage chain has launched several Blended by Jamba robotic smoothie kiosks across the country in nontraditional locales, such as universities and colleges, travel stops, and malls. Last year, Jamba worked with Gestalt Brand Lab to create a new persona for the robot, resulting in kiosks that feature a mural and bright colors reminiscent of fresh fruit. In addition to the robot, Jamba offers a lineup of prototypes for franchisees—traditional, drive-thru, nontraditional, in-line, and co-brand. The company found room for menu innovation last year with the limited-time rollout of boba tea, with Strawberry Bursting Boba and Sweet Tapioca Boba Pearls. Jamba even added an in-app menu category, called Boba Favorites, where customers could view ways to add boba to smoothies, bowls, and iced beverages. The launch was part of the chain’s brand marketing campaign, “Just Gotta Jamba,” a promotion created to celebrate employees and guests and capture the attention of Gen Z consumers. And to better reach customers, Jamba began testing CLTV, or customer lifetime value. It involves using artificial intelligence to send tailored offers to individuals instead of sending generic messages to several customers.

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Gong cha
Gong cha's peach lineup.

Gong cha 

Number of U.S. franchise units: 186

Number of U.S. total units: 189

Total systemwide sales: $526,711,070

Franchise average unit volume: $535,411

Total average unit volume: $535,411

Franchise fee: $30,000 for 10-year term

Royalty: 6 percent reported and paid monthly

Renewal fee: (50 percent) of the then-current standard initial franchise fee for a Gong cha unit franchise, or fifty percent (50 percent) of the initial franchise fee if franchisor or any subsequent franchisor is not offering Gong cha unit franchises at the time of renewal

Marketing fee: 1 percent of the gross sales of the store for the prior month, will be contributed to the National Marketing Fund and up to 2 percent for a Regional Marketing Fund

Other regular fees

Grand Opening Program: Franchisee shall spend at least $2,000 to conduct a grand opening of the store. 

Transfer Fee: $5,000, payable only if you seek to sell or transfer your business or a majority interest in it

Total start-up costs: $159,200 to $566,000

The skinny: 

Franchisees are attracted to Gong cha’s bubble tea framework because of lower investment costs and simple operations, said Geoff Henry, president of the chain’s Americas segment. The executive added that the brand is “highly effective” in both 250-square-foot kiosk locations and 900-square-foot streetside units. In the kitchen, most ingredients are ambient, meaning they don’t require refrigeration, and typically there’s induction cooking without stoves and hoods. Since Gong cha has been in the U.S., growth has been run by master franchisees. Last year the chain signed three new agreements that awarded territory rights for Louisiana, Colorado, and Michigan. There are plans to open 60-plus locations across those three states. Gong cha is looking to expand growth opportunities even further by adding direct franchising to its arsenal. Henry noted in June that the brand has sold about 60 percent of the U.S., so there’s a lot of untapped markets for operators, such as Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Illinois, Indiana, Hawaii, and a couple of spots in the Northeast. Yearly U.S. expansion nearly tripled between 2018 and 2021, and the concept is aiming for 500 units by 2025. And as Gong cha continues this domestic journey, there’s plenty of international footprints with demonstrated success, like the 900-plus South Korea, where it can learn best practices about entering a new market or trying menu innovation. The ultimate goal is to become the clear leader of the bubble tea category in the U.S., and Henry believes the chain is well on its way. 

Sizing up from the sidelines:

“While bubble tea as a menu item is not completely new, the growth of bubble tea-only businesses in the U.S. is strong. Gong cha seems to be leading this growth as they’ve reported opening more than 190 stores domestically since 2014. Internationally consumers know bubble tea well and Gong cha seems to be educating the U.S. consumer on its appeal. Their relatively simple buildout, inventory shelf life and ease of operations seem to be driving the brand’s growth. Its potential seems to only be growing as well with reports that the industry will hit $5.5 billion by 2031.”

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Jeremiah’s Italian Ice

Jeremiah’s Italian Ice 

Number of U.S. franchise units: 78

Number of U.S. total units: 97

Total systemwide sales: $42,211,981

Franchise average unit volume: $519,374

Total average unit volume: $576,482

Franchise fee: $35,000

Royalty: 6 percent

Renewal fee: $15,000

Marketing fee: 4.5 percent to 1 percent, collected for National, 3.5 percent spent locally by franchisee

Other regular fees: Tech fee, $350

Total start-up costs: $325,567 to $696,000

Any notes about fees

Multi-unit Development Opportunity

For experienced operators

$35,000 franchisee fee for the first unit (total due at signing)

$25,000 for the second unit ($10,000 deposit due at signing)

$15,000 for each additional ($5,000 deposit due at signing)

Franchisee incentives: The Veterans Discount (20 percent discount for active duty service members, first responders and qualified U.S. military veterans) and Multi-Unit Development Opportunity

The skinny: 

Jeremiah’s entered a new era in 2023, and not just because it surpassed 100 locations in the U.S. In June, the brand announced Michael Keller as CEO and president, replacing Jeremy Litwack, who founded the company 27 years ago. Keller has extensive snack and dessert experience, including roles as CEO of Pearson Candy Company, CMO of Dairy Queen, vice president of marketing for Jamba, and senior vice president of Baskin-Robbins. Jeremiah’s also brought on Erin Buono as its first director of research and development, promoted Julianna Voyles to senior director of franchise operations, and added Adam Hing as supply chain director. Since the brand launched franchising in 2019, it’s awarded more than 280 franchise shops across 120-plus groups. It’s witnessed a more than 500 percent increase in new units in fewer than four years, including the opening of 38 stores and entry into four states (Colorado, Nevada, Tennessee, and Alabama) in 2022. The objective is to open a record 45 locations in 2023. Jeremiah’s prides itself on equipping franchisees with proper technological tools. The brand uses PUNCHH, a subscription-based, app-centric loyalty platform. Using this company’s resources, the company launched J-List Rewards and saw 100,000 guests sign up in the first year. Now there’s more than 350,000 customers on the app, with 27 percent using the app during their visit on average. The menu features 40 rotating flavors, such as mango, red raspberry, strawberry-lemon, pumpkin pie, and Scoop Froggy Frog (mint chocolate chip).

Sizing up from the sidelines:

“Jeremiah’s reports strong AUVs, approaching $600,000, at a much lower investment cost than most in the quick-service restaurant sector [$325K at the low end]. The brand has awarded more than 280 locations since it started franchising in 2019 and is supported by a savvy and experienced leadership team. Jeremiah’s has been on the forefront of key technology innovations, such as their Revel POS system and World Manager communications/training program, that streamline operations and enhance the guest experience. Jeremiah’s is certainly the hottest franchise in the frozen dessert category and definitely one to watch.”

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7 Brew
A 7 Brew location.

7 Brew

Number of U.S. franchise units: 107

Number of U.S. total units: 124

Total systemwide sales: $52m

Franchise average unit volume: $2,300,000

Total average unit volume: $2,300,000

Franchise fee: $35,000

Royalty: 7 percent
Renewal fee: None

Marketing fee: 1 percent

Total start-up costs: $887,000 to $1,800,00

The skinny: 

7 Brew is one of the fastest-growing emerging chains in the quick-service industry. After being co-founded six years ago in Rogers, Arkansas, the company reached 40 shops by the end of 2022 and skyrocketed to 100 units by this summer. Drew Ritger, COO and director of franchising, told Arkansas Business in February that the chain hoped to have 200 to 250 locations before 2023 is over. Additionally, the publication quoted CEO John Davidson as saying the brand was approaching 3,000 units sold. The concept uses a roughly 500-square-foot building with two drive-thrus and no dining room. Similar to Chick-fil-A, workers come up to drivers to take their order for the sake of speed and building relationships. 7 Brews’ first franchise store opened in 2021. In 2022, a net of 23 franchise locations debuted. The beverage chain is plotting growth throughout the Southern, Midwest, and Northeast regions of the U.S., with recent examples like San Antonio; Springdale, Arkansas; and Traverse City, Michigan. There are more than 20,000 flavor combinations, including these menu highlights—Blondie (vanilla and caramel), Nightshade Energy (blue raspberry, pomegranate, and lavender), Georgia Peach Green Tea, and Key Lime Pie Lemon Freeze. 

Sizing up from the sidelines:

“With over 70 locations in 17 states and no signs of stopping, 7 Brew is certainly a franchise system on the rise. 7 Brew’s robust menu of hot and cold drinks is sure to suit customers of all types and customers love the convenience of the drive-thru model along with 7 Brew’s easy customization options. Big things on the horizon as brand recognition continues to increase.”

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Marco's Pizza
An aerial view of pizzas from Marco's Pizza.

Marco’s Pizza 

Number of U.S. franchise units: 1,124

Number of U.S. total units: 1,167

Total systemwide sales: $967,570,957

Franchise average unit volume: $945,994

Total average unit volume: $950,547

Franchise fee: $25,000

Royalty: 5.5 percent

Renewal fee: $6,250

Marketing fee: 7 percent

Total start-up costs: $286,852 to $805,927

The skinny: 

Marco’s Pizza is the fifth-largest chain in its food segment based on U.S. systemwide sales and locations. Future growth will be led by franchisees, who have more than 200 locations in various stages of development and signed more than 350 agreements. In the past six years, the pizza chain has doubled its footprint, and there’s more room to expand. Marco’s leadership identified white space for 4,200 domestic stores. To entice new and existing operators, the fast-food chain enhanced its franchise development program regarding financing, growth incentives, real estate, and design and construction. For instance, director of franchise finance Brad Fletcher and his workers established partnerships with eight preferred banks and lending institutions. Through quarterly meetings with banks, the finance team provides updates on the state of business, growth, and performance. Additionally, Marco’s partnered with a single architect to streamline the build-out process by roughly two weeks. The firm moves through permitting on behalf of the franchisee so there’s no additional responsibilities with local municipalities. The company has also brought forth several general contracting experts who provide franchisees with assistance in reviewing the bid, aligning pricing, conducting a pre-construction meeting, and reviewing schedules for project completion. When it comes to menu options, Marco’s kept things fresh with the limited-time rollout of pizza featuring Old World Sausage and boneless wings in buffalo, garlic parmesan, and barbecue sauces. 

Sizing up from the sidelines:

“In the pizza category, Marco’s Pizza was recently named ‘Pizza Chain of the Year’ in a Harris Poll EquiTrend survey of more than 77,000 people. The company was founded by Italian immigrant Pasquale ‘Pat’ Giammarco and is the only major American pizza chain that I know of actually started by a native Italian. Founded in 1978 and franchising since 1979, the number of locations has expanded rapidly in recent years to the current total of 1,103—up from the previous total of 1,038—of which 45 are company-owned and 60 are located outside the U.S.”

“I have been a loyal Marco’s consumer since 2015. The quality of the product, the exceptional service, the support they provide owners, stands out for me. The investment level is in a good sweet spot for pizza and the profit margins are strong for single operators. They hold true to their quality standards and support. They are really pushing for a strong market share in this category and are truly pulling die hard pizza lovers to their fantastic options.”

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Number of U.S. franchise units: 153

Number of U.S. total units: 153

Total systemwide sales: $68,775,033

Franchise average unit volume: $477,785

Total average unit volume: $477,785

Franchise fee: $25,000

Royalty: 6 percent

Renewal fee: 40 percent of current initial fee

Marketing fee: 2 percent (national advertising), 2 percent (local advertising)

Total start-up costs: $108,750 to $512,135

The skinny:

In an increasingly competitive snack space, Pretzelmaker stands out with an attractive bottom line. Growing same-store sales and low start-up/operating costs are combined with 20.8 percent cost of goods sold. Additionally, the chain offers multiple formats for operators, including its first drive-thru restaurant that opened in Mason City, Iowa, earlier this year. The prototype was made with the Fresh Twist branding that debuted in 2018. The reimagined restaurant style involves breakfast and late-night menu options and operations in as little as 250 square feet. Fresh Twist products, such as Pretzel Bites, breakfast sandwiches on pretzel rolls, pretzel flatbread pizzas, and specialty coffee beverages, are available all day. More drive-thru restaurants are on the way in 2023. Pretzelmaker was founded in 1991 by Jeffery Tripp. Over the years, it’s been owned by multiple companies, including Mrs. Fields. FAT Brands purchased the concept in 2021 when it bought Global Franchise Group (Round Table Pizza, Great American Cookies, Marble Slab Creamery, Hot Dog on a Stick, and Pretzelmaker) for $442.5 million. Pretzelmaker is run by brand president Allison Lauenstein, who previously worked as executive vice president of brand operations and marketing at Global Franchise Group. Prior to that role, she spent 13 years at Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins in various leadership positions.

14 of 20
FAT Brands
A Great American Cookies shop.

Great American Cookies & Marble Slab Creamery 

Number of U.S. franchise units: 141

Number of U.S. total units: 141

Total systemwide sales: $70,290,065

Franchise average unit volume: $546,659

Total average unit volume: $546,659

Franchise fee: $25,000

Royalty: 6 percent

Renewal fee: 40 percent of current initial fee

Marketing fee: 2 percent (national advertising), 2 percent (local advertising)

Total start-up costs: $385,185 to $512,135

The skinny: 

The cookie category has grown significantly in the past couple of years with up-and-coming chains, but Great American Cookies has been at it since 1977. CMO Jenn Johnston owed the upward trend to customers’ turning to indulgent treats amid the COVID pandemic. Great American Cookies aims to fill this demand and cater to individuals, families, and groups by offering scoop-and-bake varieties, cookie cakes, and its co-branding proposition with Marble Slab Creamery. Similar to Great American Cookies, Marble Slab Creamery has been around for decades, getting its start in 1983. Parent company FAT Brands announced during its first-quarter earnings call that it signed a 10-unit agreement to open 10 co-branded Great American Cookies and Marble Slab Creamery locations in Puerto Rico. The stores are scheduled to open over the next five years, with the first couple coming in 2024. It also signed a deal that will bring 10 co-branded outlets to Iraq. As for Marble Slab Creamery, it signed a development agreement to open franchised locations in Egypt. Those units will debut over the next decade. In 2022, FAT Brands announced that it was acquiring Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip for the purpose of converting stores to Great American Cookies. By May, the company had switched approximately 50 stores. Twenty additional conversions should be completed by late 2023. 

15 of 20
Auntie Anne's
A stack of pretzels.

Auntie Anne’s

Number of U.S. franchise units: 1,126

Number of U.S. total units: 1,138

Total systemwide sales: $575,600,656 (U.S. only)

Franchise average unit volume: $636,952 (U.S. only)

Total average unit volume: $636,952 (U.S. only)

Franchise fee: 

Full Shop: $35,500

Concession shop: $10,500

Cinnabon co-branded shop: $66,000 

Jamba co-branded Shop: $71,000

The skinny: 

To keep growing, Auntie Anne’s is exploring nontraditional locations like airports, train stations, travel centers, military bases, and universities as society moves on from the COVID pandemic. Additionally, the legacy chain is focused on streetside locations in the right markets. In 2021, the snack chain opened its first drive-thru location in Wylie, Texas, in partnership with sister concept Jamba. Auntie Anne’s told QSR in July 2022 that it would open another 12 drive-thru locations over the next year, bringing the total to 15 outlets. Those stores are scheduled to come in Texas, Idaho, Utah, Oregon, Georgia, and Michigan. Last year the brand announced on its TikTok account that more drive-thru shops were coming, and the video received more than 5 million views. Food trucks, which were launched about a decade ago, are serving as a viable option for franchisees, as well. And thanks to parent company Focus Brands, Auntie Anne’s can dual-brand and even tri-brand with Carvel, Cinnabon, and Jamba. In late 2021, Fresh Dining Concepts—Focus Brands’ largest franchisee—inked a deal to open 10 Auntie Anne’s and Cinnabon co-branded units throughout New York City. A few months later, the operator announced that it bought 73 Auntie Anne’s locations from Double P Corporation. 

16 of 20
Duck Donuts
Duck Donuts shark assortment.

Duck Donuts

Number of U.S. franchise units: 111

Number of U.S. total units: 112

Total systemwide sales: $60,827,601.18

Franchise average unit volume: $563,640.77

Total average unit volume: $569,701.42

Franchise fee: $40,000

Royalty: 5 percent

Renewal fee: $15,000

Marketing fee: 2 percent

Total start-up costs: $424,285 to $608,835

Franchisee incentives: Multi-unit franchise fee discount, 10 percent off franchise fees for veterans, active U.S. military members and first responders

The skinny: 

This spring, Duck Donuts released a new prototype with the hopes of delivering better experiences for franchisees and customers. The box is 1,000 to 4,000 square feet, cuts build-out costs up to $75,000, and the inside will feature localized artwork, including an accent wall. Other modernized designs: 3D graphics, digital menu boards, and high-top barstools with a good enough view to watch the doughnut-making process. When customers walk in, there’ll be three ordering options—at the front counter, self-order kiosks, or pickup area for mobile orders and third-party delivery drivers. Duck Donuts said in April that Collierville, Tennessee, and Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, will be the first franchised locations to open. The updated prototype is paired with high-level growth. In the first quarter, Duck Donuts signed 10 franchise agreements for 25 shops and one food trailer. Among those deals, three were in global markets—five in Sydney, Australia; three in the Bahamas, and 10 in Iraq. In the U.S., operators inked deals in Greater West Palm Beach, Florida; Huntington and Babylon, New York; Queens, New York; South Manhattan, New York; Greenville, South Carolina; and Centerville, Virginia. Overall, the chain expects to open 35 locations in 2023. Duck Donuts is proving to be diverse in its franchise offerings, too. In March, the brand announced the opening of its first food hall location in partnership with Kitchen United. The location, operated by multi-unit franchisee Gary Kopel, opened in Santa Monica, California.

Sizing up from the sidelines:

“Awesome founding story, and transition to the CEO is a great lesson in transition from founder/family to CEO. Delicious product, and I love Duck, North Carolina, so I’m a bit biased.”

“Duck Donuts, for me, has been the most interesting of the groups [on the list]. The donut sector has a dominant player—not players—for years. It is refreshing to see the trend that cookies is playing in the dessert space roll into the breakfast/donut category. Their numbers are strong, the market is huge, and the demand is something that stands out for consumers and franchise owners. From a franchise salesperson perspective, it is a niche that is taking a deeper dive into custom options and LTOs. Hard to make that work sometimes, but they are pulling it off.”

17 of 20
Blaze Pizza
Blaze Pizza location

Blaze Pizza

Number of U.S. franchise units: 296

Number of U.S. total units: 303

Total systemwide sales: $372,858,833

Franchise average unit volume: $1,321,396

Total average unit volume: $1,321,396

Franchise fee: $30,000

Royalty: 5 percent of gross sales

Renewal fee: 50 percent of initial franchise fee, or $15,000 if Blaze is not offering franchises for sale

Marketing fee: 2 percent of gross sales

Total start-up costs: $605,400 to $1,086,500

The skinny: 

Blaze Pizza is feeling momentum as it heads into the post-COVID era. Last year, the fast casual opened 13 restaurants and inked seven multi-store area development agreements that will bring 27 restaurants across markets like Maryland, Georgia, Tennessee, and Texas. Multi-unit operator Baryalay Razi—with 20 years of restaurant operations and management experience—is leading expansion in the Lone Star State. As part of his deal, he acquired four locations in Houston and agreed to develop five new locations. Razi is an example of most Blaze operators—71 percent of the franchise system are multi-unit franchisees. Opportunities remain across the U.S. including in Texas, Colorado, Virginia, and markets in the Northeast. To enhance the franchisee experience, Blaze recently partnered with Qu, a cloud commerce platform, to improve order and operational efficiency. The pizza chain said the system helps with accuracy and kitchen fulfillment, thereby reducing labor costs and food waste. And from a customer perspective, the company underwent its largest first-party research project in history, which led to a new loyalty app and increased regular visits, more digital sales, and a 4.9-star rating. During Pi Day, the chain’s app downloads increased 660 percent from February to March thanks to its $3.14 pizza promotion, according to Apptopia. Blaze is now under the leadership of CEO Beto Guajardo, who entered the brand in 2023 with 20 years of experience in franchise development after overseeing international business at Focus Brands.

Sizing up from the sidelines:

“As the longtime leader in the fast-fired pizza space, Blaze has shown that this segment is alive and well. Known for its high-quality ingredients and customizable pizzas, Blaze continues to invest in its processes—especially its technology—to help its locations grow. The brand’s rollout of Qu the cloud-commerce platform should help franchisees streamline their operations and its new app has received rave reviews. With new leadership—CEO, CDO, and COO—the brand should see another banner year in 2023 with domestic and international growth.”

“Blaze Pizza is another award-winner in the pizza category. It recently nabbed the No. 1 spot in Market Force’s survey of best quick-service brands as chosen by consumers. Although still a relative newcomer, Blaze was started by Rick Wetzel, a cofounder of Wetzel’s Pretzels, and features a thin crust from dough that ferments for a full 24 hours before getting shaped into a crust. This gives Blaze pies a distinctive ‘lighter-than-air’ crispness. Some too would say that the brand has benefitted from the backing of NBA megastar, LeBron James. I’ll leave that for others to determine. Founded and franchising since 2012, their number of locations has grown rapidly to the current total of 336, with seven company-owned and 28 out of country.”

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Jersey Mike’s
Jersey Mike’s sandwich and drink.

Jersey Mike’s 

Number of U.S. franchise units: 2,379

Number of U.S. total units: 2,400

Total systemwide sales: $2,680,000,000

Franchise average unit volume: $1,210,000

Total average unit volume: 1,210,000

Franchise fee: $18,500

Royalty: 6.5 percent

Renewal fee: None

Marketing fee: 5 percent

Regular fees

IT fee: $395 per month

Monthly Software License Fee and Support:
Package for point of sales system, including all currently provided software programs, licensing fees, software upgrades, and support services (“Help Desk”), $31.85 per month

Secure network fee for processing of credit cards and transferring of sales data
$9.50/ month gift card program

Total start-up costs: $214,449 to $1,352,580

Any notes about fees: The technology fee is a lot of value. It provides:
Help Desk—24/7 In House Support
POS Software—Hard & Software, Proprietary & Private System
Reporting Software—Real Time Reporting
Online Ordering—Support through App
Shore Points—Loyalty Program Updates
E-mail Club—National & Local Direction
Texting Program—National & Local Direction
Third Party Integration—Eliminating Extra Fees
LMS—Learning Management Program: from new employee to mgr.
Crunchtime—Direct Ordering & Food Cost Analysis
Behind the Counter—Private Website for Franchisees

Franchisee incentives: Existing owners qualify for the Experienced Franchisee Program, or EFP. The EFP has a discounted franchise fee of $8,500 and the $5,000 construction fee is waived. All-in, franchisees save $15,000 from the capitalization plan.

The skinny: 

Jersey Mike’s provides franchisees with solid unit economics, low cost of entry, and runway for growth, but the company said there’s more to the story than just its FDD. Like when founder Peter Cancro placed $20 million in the marketing budget for Q4 2022, or how he spent $200 million to pay for every owner’s remodel. Cancro also put a caucus together involving the meeting of contractors, architects, real estate brokers, and area directors. The group gathered for the purpose of learning how to drive down build-out costs for franchisees. Additionally, Jersey Mike’s calls itself a training company. The brand held 8,300 training sessions, 112 culture classes, 12 elite operator events, 74 market rallies, and 56 virtual sessions between 2019 and 2022. Beyond sales, the company appeals to operators who engage with their community. During the Day of Giving held annually, franchisees give 100 percent of all sales back to more than 200 local charities nationwide. This year, $21 million was raised. As of this year, Jersey Mike’s is in all 50 states after opening in Wasilla, Alaska, a city about 40 miles north of Anchorage. California is the state with the most Jersey Mike’s restaurants (342), followed by Florida (206), Texas (203), North Carolina (184), and home state, New Jersey (130). The busiest store in the country belongs to a unit in Williston, Vermont; the restaurant opened in 2022 and was the first location in the state. 

Sizing up from the sidelines:

“Jersey Mike’s Subs is a standout in the $23 billion sandwich market. Even with over 2,000 locations there is still room for growth as 93 percent of consumers eat at least one sandwich per week. As Subway tries to find their way with new branding, Jersey Mike’s continues to take market share. They offer an attractive potential ROI for franchisees, with AUVs in excess of $1 million within a relatively small footprint. Their fresh, premium subs and comprehensive franchisee support underpin their success. Jersey Mike’s commitment to community service and customer satisfaction make it a top franchise contender.”

“On the sandwich front, in the U.S., the sandwich franchise segment saw 2.6 percent annualized growth in its market size in the years leading up to 2020, reaching a value of $25 billion. Because they are usually sit-in or carryout restaurants, not drive-thrus or delivery businesses, sandwich shops were hit harder than some others during COVID. But here again, sandwich shops are back and my fave is Jersey Mike’s. Jersey Mike’s has been getting a lot of buzz of late and for all the right reasons. Not only are they moving the needle big time, with new store openings nationwide, this chain is also as culture conscious as they are fanatic, about the quality of their food. Founder and CEO Peter Cancro leads the charge and their people-first culture, which always begins with a mentality of doing what’s best for the franchisees. Founded in 1956 and franchising since 1987, the number of locations has rocketed up over the past 10 years from 584 in 2012 to the current total of 2,253, with 24 that are company-owned and three located outside the U.S.”

“Jersey Mike’s is on my radar. I personally know a multi-unit operator in [quick-service] burger and fast-casual Mexican that have set their family up in the Jersey Mike’s franchise and they have opened five stores in the past three years! They are killing it. The philanthropic reach and give back program are taking Jersey Mike’s to the next level. Its attention to detail and honestly, its passion behind doing what they do brilliantly, is refreshing. The trying to not be everything to everyone is what consumers and franchise owners are seeking in uncertain economic times.”

19 of 20
Pickleman’s Chicken Salad sandwich

15 Franchisors to Watch 

These chains have never appeared on Best Franchise Deals, but are carrying plenty of momentum into the future. 


Mr. Pickle’s Sandwich Shop 

Number of U.S. franchise units: 47

Number of U.S. total units: 47

Franchise average unit volume: $907,346



Number of U.S. franchise units: 84

Number of U.S. total units: 86

Franchise average unit volume: $1,700,000


Playa Bowls 

Number of U.S. franchise units: 136

Number of U.S. total units: 163

Franchise average unit volume: $1,194,103


Nick the Greek 

Number of U.S. franchise units: 60

Number of U.S. total units: 60

Franchise average unit volume: $1,450,000


Cousins Maine Lobster

Number of U.S. franchise units: 44

Number of U.S. total units: 52

Franchise average unit volume: $1,427,608.19


Beans & Brews

Number of U.S. franchise units: 40

Number of U.S. total units: 67

Franchise average unit volume: $810,000


WABA Grill 

Number of U.S. franchise units: 187

Number of U.S. total units: 191

Franchise average unit volume: $920,000


Bad Ass Coffee of Hawaii

Number of U.S. franchise units: 29

Number of U.S. total units: 31

Franchise average unit volume: $717,125 


Smokey Mo's BBQ

Number of U.S. franchise units: 5

Number of U.S. total units: 18

Franchise average unit volume: $1,780,000 


The Great Greek Mediterranean Grill

Number of U.S. franchise units: 22

Number of U.S. total units: 28

Franchise average unit volume: $1,297,769.22



Number of U.S. franchise units: 5

Number of U.S. total units: 14

Franchise average unit volume: $606,194.74


Island Fin Poke

Number of U.S. franchise units: 25

Number of U.S. total units: 26

Franchise average unit volume: $550,000



Number of U.S. franchise units: 118

Number of U.S. total units: 123

Franchise average unit volume: $1,680,000


Kelly’s Roast Beef

Number of U.S. franchise units: 4

Number of U.S. total units: 8

Franchise average unit volume: $3,500,000


Pizza Guys

Number of U.S. franchise units: 81

Number of U.S. total units: 87

Franchise average unit volume: 1,062,656

20 of 20
Wingstop exterior.

Best Franchise Deals Hall of Fame 

These brands are officially retired from Best Franchise Deals, but will be highlighted in future editions. As chains reach four appearances, they will be added to the list. 

Wingstop—2011, 2014, 2017, 2019

McAlister’s—2014, 2015, 2016, 2022

Newk’s Eatery—2012, 2015, 2018, 2019

Tropical Smoothie Cafe—2015, 2016, 2020, 2021