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Sizzle! Pop!

The top restaurant franchises of 2010--and some of the dishes that got them there

To view a full listing of the Full-Service Restaurant Franchises, click here.

Though they faced the same struggles as other franchises, restaurants as a whole continued to perform pretty well last year, accounting for more than one-fifth of Entrepreneur's 2010 Franchise 500® . The strongest showings belonged to restaurants that aimed specifically for recession-weary customers, with comfort food (anything fried or frosty), impulse snacks (mall-based baked goods) and, especially, bargains ($5 Footlongs, anyone? $5 anything, anyone?). And, as always, there was plenty of mad science on the menu--from drinkable sundaes to deep-fried hamburgers.

We zoom in for a closer look at all of those dishes and more in our listing of the top 112 restaurant franchises. The franchises are listed by category and then by their rank in the Franchise 500®. This ranking is not an endorsement of any particular franchise; rather, it should only be seen as a jumping-off point for your own research. Always carefully read a company's Franchise Disclosure Document, talk to existing franchisees and consult an attorney and an accountant when considering any franchise investment.

Tracy Stapp Herold is the special projects editor at Entrepreneur magazine. She works on franchise and business opportunity stories and listings, including the annual Franchise 500.

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This article was originally published in the April 2010 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Sizzle! Pop!.

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