Industry News | September 14, 2017 | By Peggy Carouthers | QSR Exclusive Brief

The 40 Best Franchises, According to Franchisees

Checkers, at 855 units and growing, was one of the top picks by franchisees. Checkers Drive-In Restaurants
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After surveying more than 4,300 franchisees from almost 100 foodservice brands and analyzing 18 months of data, Franchise Business Review has named the Top 40 Food and Beverage Franchises for franchisee satisfaction.

Every segment of the restaurant market was represented, from pizza and burgers to ice cream and soup. Though many of the biggest brands in the industry have made the list, like McDonald’s and Subway, smaller chains, such as Lenny’s Subs and East Coast Wings & Grill, were also strong players due to intense focus on company cultures.

These are the year’s Top 40 franchisees in alphabetical order:

Bahama Buck’s

Startup Investment: $223,346 – $720,825     

Cash Requirement: $90,000    

Total Units: 89

Biggby Coffee

Startup Investment: $220,000

Cash Requirement: $70,000    

Total Units: 254

Billy Sims Barbecue

Startup Investment: $169,000 – $433,000     

Cash Requirement: $60,000    

Total Units: 59

Buffalo Wings & Rings

Startup Investment: $1,224,000 – $3,085,000           

Cash Requirement: $300,000  

Total Units: 57

Captain D’s

Startup Investment: $771,000 – $1,003,000  

Cash Requirement: $350,000  

Total Units: 523

Checkers & Rally’s

Startup Investment: $96,414 – $1,501,265    

Cash Requirement: $250,000  

Total Units: 855

Dick’s Wings & Grill

Startup Investment: $237,500 – $772,500     

Cash Requirement: $100,000  

Total Units: 23

Donatos Pizza

Startup Investment: $449,000 – $667,000     

Cash Requirement: $449,000 – $667,000       

Total Units: 152

East Coast Wings & Grill

Startup Investment: $658,875 – $1,133,502  

Cash Requirement: $250,000  

Total Units: 35

Fazoli’s Restaurants

Startup Investment: $883,000 – $1,399,000  

Cash Requirement: $250,000  

Total Units: 334

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop

Startup Investment: $335,000 – $1,035,000  

Cash Requirement: $250,000  

Total Units: 112

Golden Corral Buffet & Grill

Startup Investment: $2,120,644 – $6,170,713           

Cash Requirement: $500,000  

Total Units: 482

Ground Round Grill & Bar

Startup Investment: $450,000 – $2,200,000  

Cash Requirement: $350,000  

Total Units: 27

Happy & Healthy Products, Inc.

Startup Investment: $45,000 – $90,000         

Cash Requirement: $45,000 – $90,000           

Total Units: 65

Hungry Howie’s Pizza

Startup Investment: $251,375 – $495,850     

Cash Requirement: $100,000  

Total Units: 548

Hwy 55 Burgers Shakes & Fries

Startup Investment: $191,255 – $385,155     

Cash Requirement: $125,000  

Total Units: 137

Jamba Juice

Startup Investment: $201,000 – $619,300     

Cash Requirement: $350,000  

Total Units: 953

Jason’s Deli

Startup Investment: $905,891

Cash Requirement: $905,891  

Total Units: 261

Kona Ice

Startup Investment: $120,225 – $143,025     

Cash Requirement: $20,000    

Total Units: 941

LaRosa’s Pizzeria

Startup Investment: $800,000 – $1,000,000  

Cash Requirement: $500,000  

Total Units: 66

Lenny’s Sub Shop

Startup Investment: $188,216 – $396,146     

Cash Requirement: $75,000    

Total Units: 96

Marco’s Pizza

Investment Level: $222,830 – $436,830 limited seating 

Financial Requirements: $100,000 in capital and $350,000 in assets to be preapproved     

Total Units: 854

Mooyah Burgers & Fries

Startup Investment: $412,750 – $620,000     

Cash Requirement: $250,000  

Total Units: 98

Nothing Bundt Cakes

Startup Investment: $392,875 – $545,475     

Cash Requirement: $150,000  

Total Units: 168

Penn Station

Startup Investment: $293,102 – $593,027     

Cash Requirement: $300,000  

Total Units: 310

Pizza Factory

Startup Investment: $156,000 – $643,500

Cash Requirement: $90,000    

Total Units: 109

Planet Sub

Startup Investment: $182,500 – $402,000     

Cash Requirement: $100,000  

Total Units: 58

Scooter’s Coffee

Startup Investment: $334,000 – $514,000     

Cash Requirement: $100,000  

Total Units: 167

Smoothie King

Startup Investment: $225,650 – $426,185     

Cash Requirement: $100,000  

Total Units: 907

The Häagen-Dazs Company

Startup Investment: $154,158 – $542,408     

Cash Requirement: $154,158 – $542,408       

Total Units: 206

The Honeybaked Ham Co. and Cafe

Startup Investment: $299,200 – $468,200     

Cash Requirement: $100,000  

Total Units: 405

The Wendy’s Company

Startup Investment: $300,000 – $3,000,000  

Cash Requirement: $2,000,000           

Total Units: 6,564

Toppers Pizza

Startup Investment: $291,666 – $527,152     

Cash Requirement: $150,000  

Total Units: 99

Tropical Smoothie Cafe

Startup Investment: $198,050 – $478,550     

Cash Requirement: $125,000  

Total Units: 541

Uno Chicago Grill

Startup Investment: $736,000 – $1,850,500  

Cash Requirement: $750,000  

Total Units: 196

Wings Etc.

Startup Investment: $300,000 – $780,000     

Cash Requirement: $300,000 – $780,000       

Total Units: 40

Wingstop

Startup Investment: $346,775 – $733,249     

Required net worth: $1,200,000; $600,000 liquid

Total Units: 1,056—21 are corporate-owned stores, and the rest are franchise

Zaxby’s

Startup Investment: $352,000 – $664,300     

Cash Requirement: $300,000  

Total Units: 946

Zoup!

Startup Investment: $321,400 – $609,400     

Cash Requirement: $321,400 – $609,400       

Total Units: 87