The 40 Best Franchises, According to Franchisees

  • Industry News September 14, 2017
    Checkers Drive-In Restaurants
    Checkers, at 855 units and growing, was one of the top picks by franchisees.

    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

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