2008 Top Franchises from Entrepreneur's Franchise 500 List

Our 37th Annual Franchise 500 ranking reveals the impact of the newest trends and the industries poised for growth.

Understanding the Ranking Franchise Buying Guide More Franchise Articles

  • Rank
  • Company/Description/Initial Investment
# 151
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory

Chocolates, confections

Initial Investment: $116K - $499K

# 152
Palm Beach Tan

Palm Beach Tan

Tanning

Initial Investment: $503K - $810K

# 153
Charleys Philly Steaks

Charleys Philly Steaks

Philly cheesesteaks, fries, lemonade

Initial Investment: $153K - $450K

# 154
Tutoring Club LLC

Tutoring Club LLC

Individualized instruction for K-12 students

Initial Investment: $26K - $127K

# 155
TacoTime

TacoTime

Mexican food

Initial Investment: $201K - $818K

# 156
Ramada Worldwide

Ramada Worldwide

Hotels

Initial Investment: $196K - $13.1M

# 157
Hilton Hotels and Resorts

Hilton Hotels and Resorts

Upscale hotels and resorts

Initial Investment: $56M - $97.1M

# 158
Pak Mail

Pak Mail

Packing, shipping, crating, freight, mailboxes, business services

Initial Investment: $134K - $180K

# 159
Mr. Rooter

Mr. Rooter

Plumbing, drain and sewer cleaning

Initial Investment: $74K - $187K

# 160
Tuffy Associates Corp.

Tuffy Associates Corp.

Auto repair

Initial Investment: $229K - $419K

# 161
Howard Johnson

Howard Johnson

Hotels

Initial Investment: $162K - $8.7M

# 162
One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning

One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning

Residential HVAC service/replacement

Initial Investment: $74K - $541K

# 163
Express Tax

Express Tax

Tax preparation & electronic filing

Initial Investment: $16K - $48K

# 164
Primrose School Franchising Co.

Primrose School Franchising Co.

Educational child care

Initial Investment: $659K - $5.5M

# 165
Fox's Pizza Den

Fox's Pizza Den

Pizza, sandwiches, wings, salads

Initial Investment: $111K - $210K

# 166
Booster Juice

Booster Juice

Juice & smoothie bar

Initial Investment: $175K - $287K

# 167
L&L Hawaiian Barbecue

L&L Hawaiian Barbecue

Asian-American food

Initial Investment: $130K - $521K

# 168
Knights Inn

Knights Inn

Hotels

Initial Investment: $109K - $7.4M

# 169
Wireless Toyz

Wireless Toyz

Wireless devices & satellite TV services

Initial Investment: $215K - $693K

# 170
Big O Tires LLC

Big O Tires LLC

Tires, tire services, auto products

Initial Investment: $258K - $1.2M

# 171
Homewood Suites by Hilton

Homewood Suites by Hilton

Upscale extended-stay hotels

Initial Investment: $9.9M - $20.5M

# 172
El Pollo Loco

El Pollo Loco

Flame-grilled chicken meals & Mexican entrees

Initial Investment: $428K - $802K

# 173
Travel Leaders

Travel Leaders

Travel agency

Initial Investment: $2K - $17K

# 174
First Choice Haircutters

First Choice Haircutters

Family hair salon

Initial Investment: $182K - $274K

# 175
Extreme Pita

Extreme Pita

Pita wrap sandwiches, pizzas, smoothies, salads

Initial Investment: $160K - $442K

# 176
Carvel

Carvel

Ice cream, ice-cream cakes

Initial Investment: $250K - $383K

# 177
Surf City Squeeze

Surf City Squeeze

Smoothies, fruit drinks, nutritional supplements

Initial Investment: $78K - $287K

# 178
HouseMaster

HouseMaster

Home inspections

Initial Investment: $61K - $108K

# 179
Eye Level Learning Centers

Eye Level Learning Centers

Supplemental education

Initial Investment: $76K - $139K

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# 180
Padgett Business Services

Padgett Business Services

Financial, payroll, consulting and tax services

Initial Investment: $100K - $100K

# 181
American Leak Detection

American Leak Detection

Concealed water, gas and sewer leak-detection

Initial Investment: $77K - $260K

# 182
Beef O'Brady's Family Sports Pub

Beef O'Brady's Family Sports Pub

Family sports restaurant

Initial Investment: $257K - $867K

# 183
Gold's Gym

Gold's Gym

Health and fitness centers

Initial Investment: $1M - $4M

# 184
Super Suppers

Super Suppers

Do-it-yourself home meal preparation

Initial Investment: $175K - $263K

# 185
Curves

Curves

Women's fitness & weight-loss center

Initial Investment: $32K - $39K

# 186
Money Mailer Franchise Corp.

Money Mailer Franchise Corp.

Direct-mail advertising

Initial Investment: $83K - $169K

# 187
Homewatch CareGivers

Homewatch CareGivers

Home care, nursing-care coordination, memory care

Initial Investment: $83K - $138K

# 188
Miracle Method Surface Refinishing

Miracle Method Surface Refinishing

Kitchen and bathroom surface refinishing

Initial Investment: $75K - $120K

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# 189
Spherion Staffing

Spherion Staffing

Staffing, recruiting

Initial Investment: $100K - $168K

# 190
Maui Wowi Hawaiian Coffees & Smoothies

Maui Wowi Hawaiian Coffees & Smoothies

Hawaiian coffee and smoothies

Initial Investment: $75K - $469K

# 191
Lenny's Sub Shop

Lenny's Sub Shop

Subs, philly cheesesteaks, salads

Initial Investment: $140K - $355K

# 192
Famous Dave's

Famous Dave's

Barbecue-theme restaurant

Initial Investment: $637K - $4.2M

# 193
Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham

Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham

Hotels

Initial Investment: $4.5M - $6.9M

# 194
Anago Cleaning Systems

Anago Cleaning Systems

Commercial cleaning

Initial Investment: $11K - $66K

# 195
Pita Pit Inc.

Pita Pit Inc.

Pita sandwiches

Initial Investment: $166K - $323K

# 196
Doubletree by Hilton

Doubletree by Hilton

Upscale hotels and resorts

Initial Investment: $35.5M - $62.4M

# 197
Mathnasium Learning Centers

Mathnasium Learning Centers

Math tutoring

Initial Investment: $91K - $138K

# 198
Two Men and a Truck Int'l. Inc.

Two Men and a Truck Int'l. Inc.

Moving services

Initial Investment: $178K - $556K

# 199
Planet Beach Franchising Corporation

Planet Beach Franchising Corporation

Spray tanning, spa services

Initial Investment: $177K - $351K

# 200
Colors On Parade

Colors On Parade

Mobile auto paint and dent repair

Initial Investment: $34K - $441K

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Understanding the Ranking

There's a lot that goes into putting together the first, best and most comprehensive franchise ranking in the world. Here's a behind-the-scenes look at Entrepreneur's 37th annual Franchise 500®.

The process began in July 2015, when we asked franchisors to participate in our survey. Each submission was vetted before being entered for data analysis; 951 companies made the first cut. Of those, the top 500 became the Franchise 500® ranking, based on financial and statistical data from July 2013 through July 2015.

Only franchise companies that supply a full Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) or Canadian Disclosure Document and whose information is verified by Entrepreneur can receive a listing. To be eligible for the Franchise 500®, a franchisor must have a minimum of 10 units, with at least one franchise located in the U.S. The company must be seeking new franchisees in the U.S., and it cannot be in Chapter 11 at the time the ranking is compiled. (The exception to these rules is Canada-based companies that are expanding only in Canada.)

All companies are judged by the same criteria: objective, quantifiable measures of a franchise operation. The most important factors include financial strength and stability, growth rate and size of the system. We also consider the number of years a company has been in business and the length of time it's been franchising, startup costs, litigation, percentage of terminations and whether the company provides financing. Financial data is analyzed by an independent CPA.

We do not measure subjective elements such as franchisee satisfaction or management style. The objective factors are plugged into our exclusive Franchise 500® formula, with each eligible company receiving a cumulative score.

Remember that the Franchise 500® is not intended to endorse, advertise or recommend any particular franchise. It is solely a research tool you can use to compare franchise operations. Entrepreneur stresses that you should always conduct your own independent investigation before investing money in a franchise. Read the FDD and related materials carefully, get help from a franchise attorney and a CPA in reviewing any legal or financial documents, and talk to as many existing and former franchisees as possible and visit their outlets. The best way to protect yourself is to do your homework.

Research compiled by Tracy Stapp Herold and J.R. Jimenez with assistance from Hava Arieh, Rick Ignarra, Nicole Jurinek, Yvette Madrid, Jessica Nguyen and Giuseppe Ricapito; technical assistance from Angel Cool and Daniel Sibitzky; financial analysis by David R. Juedes, CPA; graphic design by Karen Meneghin.

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Previous Years Rankings

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