Restaurant franchisees are the driving force behind the growth of many restaurant chains in both limited- and full-service sectors. Pizza Hut, Burger King, and Applebee’s are a few of the many brands that have thrived from franchising.

Franchisees have also been appetizing ventures for private equity and hedge fund investors. Within the last year, several companies were taken over by such firms, including the largest franchisee—-NPC International, Inc. by Merrill-Lynch Global Private Equity Group.

A new industry report from foodservice consultants Technomic provides detailed reporting and analysis of the 200 largest restaurant franchise organizations. “Anyone interested in understanding the franchisee terrain and leveraging opportunities for growth will benefit from this new report,” explains Darren Tristano, Executive Vice President of Technomic Information Services. It explores the leading 200 franchise companies, the brands behind them, unit and sales growth, and outlines trends and opportunities within various regions, restaurant segments, and chain brands.

The fastest-growing franchise companies achieved their growth through both increased average unit volumes as well as through acquisitions. ACF Companies, for example, had the highest sales growth in dollars with a total of $95.5 million, largely fueled by the purchase of 165 Pizza Hut restaurants that occurred over several transactions during 2006. On a percentage basis, R & L Foods experienced the greatest sales increase, growing an impressive 91.7 percent.

In addition to detailed reporting on franchise organization composition and performance, as well as menu segment and regional coverage, the 2007 Technomic Top 200 Restaurant Franchise Company Report also provides comprehensive appendices that list the Top 200 restaurant franchise companies alphabetically and by sales, as well as detailed concept listings.

News, Pizza Hut