2009 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
Plato's Closet

Plato's Closet

Teen- and young-adult-clothing resale store

Initial Investment: $231K - $398K

# 152
Taco John's Int'l. Inc.

Taco John's Int'l. Inc.

Mexican food

Initial Investment: $768K - $1.1M

# 153
Athlete's Foot, The

Athlete's Foot, The

Athletic footwear & related sports accessories

Initial Investment: $210K - $495K

# 154
HouseMaster

HouseMaster

Home inspections

Initial Investment: $61K - $108K

# 155
Jenny Craig

Jenny Craig

Weight-loss program

Initial Investment: $170K - $441K

# 156
Palm Beach Tan

Palm Beach Tan

Tanning

Initial Investment: $503K - $810K

# 157
Pita Pit Inc.

Pita Pit Inc.

Pita sandwiches

Initial Investment: $166K - $323K

# 158
Bojangles' Restaurants Inc.

Bojangles' Restaurants Inc.

Cajun chicken, biscuits, iced tea

Initial Investment: $357K - $559K

# 159
Tuffy Associates Corp.

Tuffy Associates Corp.

Auto repair

Initial Investment: $229K - $419K

# 160
Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham

Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham

Hotels

Initial Investment: $4.5M - $6.9M

# 161
Sir Speedy Print Signs Marketing

Sir Speedy Print Signs Marketing

Printing, signs, marketing services

Initial Investment: $229K - $279K

# 162
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory

Chocolates, confections

Initial Investment: $116K - $499K

# 163
One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning

One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning

Residential HVAC service/replacement

Initial Investment: $74K - $541K

# 164
AmeriSpec Home Inspection Services

AmeriSpec Home Inspection Services

Home inspections

Initial Investment: $23K - $55K

# 165
Decorating Den Interiors

Decorating Den Interiors

Interior decorating services and products

Initial Investment: $56K - $80K

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# 166
Nathan's Famous Inc.

Nathan's Famous Inc.

Hot dogs, hamburgers, seafood, chicken, cheesesteaks

Initial Investment: $276K - $1.1M

# 167
PostNet Neighborhood Business Centers

PostNet Neighborhood Business Centers

Packing, shipping, printing, signs, marketing solutions

Initial Investment: $170K - $212K

# 168
Jersey Mike's Subs

Jersey Mike's Subs

Subs

Initial Investment: $203K - $681K

# 169
Oreck Clean Home Center

Oreck Clean Home Center

Vacuum cleaners, air purifiers & related home care products

Initial Investment: $85K - $221K

# 170
OpenWorks

OpenWorks

Commercial cleaning, facility services

Initial Investment: $17K - $124K

# 171
American Leak Detection

American Leak Detection

Concealed water, gas and sewer leak-detection

Initial Investment: $77K - $260K

# 172
Robeks Fresh Juices & Smoothies

Robeks Fresh Juices & Smoothies

Smoothies, juices, healthful snacks

Initial Investment: $229K - $340K

# 173
Mathnasium Learning Centers

Mathnasium Learning Centers

Math tutoring

Initial Investment: $91K - $138K

# 174
Labor Finders

Labor Finders

Industrial staffing

Initial Investment: $120K - $207K

# 175
Dippin' Dots Franchising LLC

Dippin' Dots Franchising LLC

Specialty ice cream, frozen yogurt, ices, sorbet

Initial Investment: $112K - $377K

# 176
Tropical Smoothie Cafe

Tropical Smoothie Cafe

Smoothies, wraps, salads, sandwiches, flatbreads

Initial Investment: $196K - $427K

# 177
Play It Again Sports

Play It Again Sports

New and used sporting goods/equipment

Initial Investment: $242K - $393K

# 178
Homewatch CareGivers

Homewatch CareGivers

Home care, nursing-care coordination, memory care

Initial Investment: $83K - $138K

# 179
Realty Executives Intl. Svcs. LLC

Realty Executives Intl. Svcs. LLC

Real estate

Initial Investment: $20K - $119K

# 180
Kitchen Tune-Up

Kitchen Tune-Up

Residential and commercial kitchen and bath remodeling

Initial Investment: $46K - $56K

# 181
Schlotzsky's

Schlotzsky's

Sandwiches, pizza, salads

Initial Investment: $504K - $787K

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# 182
Friendly's Restaurants Franchise LLC

Friendly's Restaurants Franchise LLC

Family-style restaurant/ice cream shop

Initial Investment: $148K - $2M

# 183
Lenny's Sub Shop

Lenny's Sub Shop

Subs, philly cheesesteaks, salads

Initial Investment: $140K - $355K

# 184
GolfTEC

GolfTEC

Indoor high-tech golf instruction

Initial Investment: $125K - $470K

# 185
Wireless Zone

Wireless Zone

Wireless-communications store

Initial Investment: $127K - $393K

# 186
Re-Bath LLC

Re-Bath LLC

Bathroom and kitchen remodeling

Initial Investment: $81K - $353K

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# 187
Realty World Inc.

Realty World Inc.

Real estate

Initial Investment: $16K - $227K

# 188
Furniture Medic

Furniture Medic

Furniture and wood restoration, repair and refinishing

Initial Investment: $55K - $74K

# 189
Juice It Up!

Juice It Up!

Raw juices, smoothies, acai and pitaya bowls, healthful snacks

Initial Investment: $152K - $378K

# 190
Beef O'Brady's Family Sports Pub

Beef O'Brady's Family Sports Pub

Family sports restaurant

Initial Investment: $257K - $867K

# 191
Fast-teks On-site Computer Services

Fast-teks On-site Computer Services

On-site computer-repair services

Initial Investment: $36K - $62K

# 192
Extreme Pita

Extreme Pita

Pita wrap sandwiches, pizzas, smoothies, salads

Initial Investment: $160K - $442K

# 193
Primrose School Franchising Co.

Primrose School Franchising Co.

Educational child care

Initial Investment: $659K - $5.5M

# 194
Tutoring Club LLC

Tutoring Club LLC

Individualized instruction for K-12 students

Initial Investment: $26K - $127K

# 195
Pump It Up

Pump It Up

Children's entertainment centers

Initial Investment: $366K - $790K

# 196
Postal Annex+

Postal Annex+

Packing, shipping, postal and business services

Initial Investment: $139K - $205K

# 197
Once Upon A Child

Once Upon A Child

New and used children's clothing, equipment, furniture, toys

Initial Investment: $245K - $377K

# 198
First Choice Haircutters

First Choice Haircutters

Family hair salon

Initial Investment: $182K - $274K

# 199
A & W Restaurants Inc.

A & W Restaurants Inc.

Burgers, hot dogs, root beer

Initial Investment: $912K - $1.6M

# 200
Martinizing Dry Cleaning

Martinizing Dry Cleaning

Dry cleaning and laundry services

Initial Investment: $446K - $675K

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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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