Entrepreneur's 2011 Best of the Best Franchises List
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They're the A+ students of the franchise world--the overachievers who never settle for being just one of the best. No, these franchises aren't content unless they're at the head of the class, and that's just where they landed this year: on Entrepreneur's Best of the Best list. Here you'll find the franchises that didn't just rank in the Franchise 500®--they ranked at the top of their respective industry categories.
Related: What Makes a Franchise Great?
Keep in mind as you review this list that even the best franchise isn't always the best fit for everyone. To find out whether an opportunity is right for you, read the Franchise Disclosure Document, consult with attorneys and accountants and talk to current and former franchisees. You'll never regret investing extra time in getting to know a franchise before investing your money.
In the interest of getting to know our Best of the Best franchises better, we asked some of them to share some views on their philosophy for success and just what makes them stand out from the crowd. Look for their insights throughout the list.
A Recipe for Greatness
One thing all our Best of the Best companies seem to agree on is that you can't have a great franchise without great franchisees. But what makes a great franchisee? Here's what a few of them had to say:
"A great franchisee is so much more than someone who looks good on paper. [They need] an analytical mind, an engaging personality and an instinct for connecting with people." --Alan Storry, VP of franchise development, Regis Corp. (whose brands include Supercuts)
- Appearance Services - Maaco Franchising Inc.
- Oil-Change Services - Jiffy Lube Int'l. Inc.
- Rentals & Sales - Thrifty Rent-A-Car System Inc.
- Transmission Repair - AAMCO Transmissions Inc.
- Windshield Repair Novus Glass
- Miscellaneous Repair & Maintenance Serivces - Midas
- Miscellaneous Auto Products & Services - RimTyme
- Advertising Services - Direct Mail -Valpak Direct Marketing Systems Inc.
- Advertising Services - Miscellaneous - Coffee News
- Business Coaching/Consulting/Brokerage Services - ActionCoach
- Shipping Services - Unishippers Global Logistics LLC
- Signs - FastSigns Int'l. Inc.
- Staffing - MRINetwork
- Toner Replacement Services - Cartridge World
- Training Programs - Leadership Management Inc.
- Miscellaneous Business Services - Proforma
"A person who will work within the box and yet can think outside of it." --Jim Olson, director of franchise development, Novus Glass
- Art Classes - Young Rembrandts Franchise Inc.
- Child Care - Goddard Systems Inc.
- Enrichment Programs - CompuChild
- Children's Fitness Programs - I9 Sports
- Tutoring - Kumon Math & Reading Centers
- Miscellaneous Children's Businesses - Once Upon A Child
- Business Financial Services - Padgett Business Service
- Check-Cashing - Mr. Payroll Corp.
- Tax Services - Liberty Tax Service
- Miscellaneous Financial Services - American Prosperity Group (APG)
"We like entrepreneurs who are hands-on and very involved with their business. Our team operates that way, and when our owners share that passion and commitment, we all succeed." --Jim Bennett, director of franchise operations, Mr. Payroll
- Baked Goods - Bagels Bruegger's
- Baked Goods - PretzelsAuntie Anne's Hand-Rolled Soft Pretzels
- Baked Goods - Miscellaneous - Great American Cookies
- Chicken Wings - Buffalo Wild Wings
- Chicken - Miscellaneous - KFC Corp.
- Coffee - Dunkin' Donuts
- Hamburgers - McDonald's
- Ice Cream & Frozen Desserts - Dairy Queen
- Juice Bars - Smoothie King
- Mexican Fast Food - Moe's Southwest Grill
- Pizza - Pizza Hut Inc.
- Take & Bake Pizza - Papa Murphy's
- Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches - Charley's Grilled Subs
- Pita Sandwiches - Pita Pit Inc.
- Submarine Sandwiches - Subway
- Sandwiches - Miscellaneous - Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwich Shops
- Miscellaneous Quick Service - Long John Silver's Restaurants Inc.
- Family Restaurants - Denny's Inc.
- Sports Bars - The Greene Turtle Sports Bar and Grille
- Miscellaneous Full-Service Restaurants - CiCi's Pizza
"A great franchisor has the ability to see things through the franchisees' eyes, and a great franchisee can see things through the franchisor's eyes." --Mark Dawson, president, Glass Doctor
- Health Products - Miracle-Ear Inc.
- Health Services - HealthSource Chiropractic and Progressive Rehab
- Building & Remodeling - Border Magic/Boulder Designs
- Decorating Services - Christmas Decor Inc.
- Organization Systems - GarageTek Inc.
- Painting - CertaPro Painters Ltd.
- Surface Refinishing & Restoration - Re-Bath LLC
- Window & Floor Coverings - Budget Blinds Inc.
- Miscellaneous Home Improvements - N-Hance
"We are not looking for the next sale--we are searching for the next successful and satisfied franchisee."
--Julie Standish, president and CEO, CompuChild
- Carpet, Upholstery & Drapery Services - Chem-Dry
- Commercial Cleaning - Vanguard Cleaning Systems
- Electrical Services - Mr. Electric
- Handyman Services - Mr. Handyman Int'l. LLC
- Home Repairs - Miscellaneous - Glass Doctor
- HVAC Services - One Hour Heating & Air
- Lawn Care - Lawn Doctor
- Leather & Vinyl Repair - Color-Glo Int’l. Inc.
- Plumbing - Rooter-Man
- Residential Cleaning - The Maids
- Restoration Services - Servpro
- Restroom Maintenance - Aire-Master of America Inc.
- Window Cleaning - Fish Window Cleaning Services Inc.
- Miscellaneous Maintenance - Businesses American Leak Detection
- Fitness Businesses - Jazzercise Inc.
- Hair Care - Supercuts
- Senior Care - Home Instead Senior Care
- Spa Services - Massage Envy
- Tanning Salons - Palm Beach Tan
- Recreational Rentals - EagleRider Motorcycle Rental
- Sports Businesses - American Poolplayers Association
- Travel Agencies - Cruise-Only - Cruise Planners/American Express
- Travel Agencies - Miscellaneous - Travel Leaders
"The days when you could sell a couple of franchises to the person next to you on a cross-country flight are back."
--Bill Buckley, president, Coffee News
- Apparel & Accessories - Plato’s Closet
- Batteries - Batteries Plus
- Convenience Stores - ampm
- Newsstands - Gateway Cigar Store/Newstands
- Tools Distribution - Matco Tools
- Vitamins - GNC Franchising
- Miscellaneous Retail Businesses - Aaron’s Sales & Lease Ownership
- Dry Cleaning & Delivery Services - Martinizing Dry Cleaning
- Home Inspections - HouseMaster Home Inspections
- Photography & Video Services - Home Video Studio
- Postal & Business Centers - The UPS Store/Mail Boxes Etc.
- Printing - Minuteman Press Int’l. Inc.
- Real Estate - Keller Williams Realty
- Miscellaneous Services - Pop-A-Lock Franchise System