The 10 Hottest Industries in Franchising

Sandwiches

Subway
Last April, Subway threw its hat into a crowded ring by introducing a full line of breakfast sandwiches nationally. It was a risk for the hero-slinging behemoth, but the initiative exceeded expectations and boosted per-unit averages.

Fast facts
In 2011, Subway unseated McDonald's to become the fast-food chain with the most outlets worldwide, with more than 33,000 restaurants in 95 countries.

Subway claims there are more than 2 million sandwich varieties available in its stores.

In November, chief development officer Don Fertman appeared on an episode of the reality series Undercover Boss.

It's hard to top the introduction of a new menu category, but Don Fertman, chief development officer, says 2011 will be almost as exciting. The company will be adding higher-profile locations with drive-through service to many areas, as well as adding to its 1,600 Wal-Mart units by expanding to other big-box retailers. A new point-of-sale system, which will roll out in the second quarter, will let franchisees break down their sales to a greater degree, helping them refocus advertising and ordering.

But the main drivers of Subway's growth are its flexibility and ability to wedge a store into nontraditional locations--including the top of the Freedom Tower construction site in New York.

"We have footprints that focus on hospitals, airports or colleges," Fertman says. "If there are potential customers and a couple hundred square feet, we can put a Subway there."

Subway
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 9
Submarine sandwiches & salads
(800)888-4848
Cost: $84.3K-258.3K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 33,188/0

Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwich Shops
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 38
Gourmet sandwiches
(800)546-6904
Cost: $305.5K-460.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,020/23

Charley's Grilled Subs
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 112
Philly cheesesteaks, grilled subs, fries, salads
(800)437-8325
Cost: $103K-432.8K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 379/30

Firehouse Subs
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 113
Submarine sandwiches
(904)886-8300
Cost: $187.5K-412.7K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 360/28

Pita Pit Inc.
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 124
Pita sandwiches
(208)765-3326
Cost: $192.6K-318.6K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 295/7

Arby's
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 132
Roast beef, chicken, sandwiches, fries, salads, shakes
(800)487-2729
Cost: $365K-2.4M
Total franchises/co.-owned: 2,529/1,150

Penn Station East Coast Subs
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 141
Specialty sandwiches
(513)474-5957
Cost: $255.9K-451.7K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 213/2

Extreme Pita
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 176
Pita wrap sandwiches, pizzas, smoothies, salads
(888)729-7482
Cost: $156.5K-371.96K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 224/2

Togo's Franchisor LLC
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 177
Specialty sandwiches, soups, salads & catering
(408)280-6569
Cost: $256.7K-417.3K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 238/2

Which Wich Superior Sandwiches
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 188
Sandwiches
(214)747-9424
Cost: $185.9K-423.3K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 110/1

Schlotzsky's
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 203
Sandwiches & pizza
(512)236-3600
Cost: $473.6K-715.3K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 330/27

Blimpie Subs & Salads
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 221
Submarine sandwiches & salads
(480)362-4800
Cost: $142.9K-401.3K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 919/0

Capriotti's Sandwich Shop Inc.
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 234
Submarine sandwiches
(702)736-3878
Cost: $201K-431.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 61/2

Groucho's Deli
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 317
Subs & salads
(803)799-9867
Cost: $72.7K-310K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 22/1

Lenny's Sub Shop
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 453
Philly cheesesteaks & sub sandwiches
(901)753-4002
Cost: $216.5K-369K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 150/8

Port Of Subs
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 463
Submarine sandwiches & salads
(800)245-0245
Cost: $188.3K-310.3K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 114/25

Great Wraps
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 466
Hot wrapped sandwiches, grilled subs, salads, smoothies
(404)248-9900
Cost: $145.5K-352.95K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 68/1

The Great Steak & Potato Co.
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 467
Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, fries, baked potatoes
(480)362-4800
Cost: $160.9K-511.8K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 169/1

California Fresh
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: NR
Sandwiches, salads, smoothies
(805)453-8574
Cost: $120K-218K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1/1

Carla's Sandwiches & Burgers
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: NR
Sandwiches & burgers
(919)630-1726
Cost: $81K-2.4M
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1/0

Cheba Hut Toasted Subs
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: NR
Toasted sandwiches, salads & munchies
(970)484-2007
Cost: $149.5K-299.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 13/0

Larry's Giant Subs
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: NR
New York-style subs, sandwiches, salads
(800)358-6870
Cost: $197.5K-305K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 65/5

Mr. Goodcents Franchise Systems Inc.
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: NR
Submarine sandwiches, pastas, pizza
(800)648-2368
Cost: $163.2K-265.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 100/1

Murphy's Deli
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: NR
Deli sandwiches, soup, salads
(713)827-8881
Cost: $175.2K-827.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 72/8

My Friend's Place
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: NR
Sandwiches, salads, desserts, catering
(770)973-3300
Cost: $158.5K-262.7K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 20/2

Spicy Pickle
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: NR
Panini, salads, subs, soups, pizzetti
(303)297-1902
Cost: $328.8K-457.9K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 28/6

The Steak Escape
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: NR
Grilled sandwiches, baked potatoes, salads
(614)224-0300
Cost: $105K-501.2K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 75/5

« Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Page 8 9 10 Next »
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.

Like this article? Get this issue right now on iPad, Nook or Kindle Fire.

This article was originally published in the March 2011 print edition of Entrepreneur's StartUps with the headline: Buy In While They're Hot.

Loading the player ...

Conquer the Morning: Before Changing How You Wake Up, Identify 'Why' You Wake Up

Ads by Google

Share Your Thoughts

Franchise Search

Looking to Start a Business?

Eye Level has opportunities available today.

Request Information

Fund Your Franchise with Guidant

Guidant Financal Learn how to invest your IRA or 401k into a franchise penalty-free. ($50k min)

Featured Franchises For Sale

From the Entrepreneur Bookstore

Franchise Bible, 7th Edition
Franchise Bible, 7th Edition
By Erwin J. Keup and Peter Keup
More Info