2011 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
# 101
First Choice Haircutters

First Choice Haircutters

Family hair salon

Initial Investment: $182K - $274K

# 102
Plato's Closet

Plato's Closet

Teen- and young-adult-clothing resale store

Initial Investment: $231K - $398K

# 103
Cost Cutters Family Hair Care

Cost Cutters Family Hair Care

Family hair salon

Initial Investment: $140K - $287K

# 104
American Leak Detection

American Leak Detection

Concealed water, gas and sewer leak-detection

Initial Investment: $77K - $260K

# 105
Friendly's Restaurants Franchise LLC

Friendly's Restaurants Franchise LLC

Family-style restaurant/ice cream shop

Initial Investment: $148K - $2M

# 106
Pretzelmaker

Pretzelmaker

Pretzels

Initial Investment: $155K - $238K

# 107
Knights Inn

Knights Inn

Hotels

Initial Investment: $109K - $7.4M

# 108
Pearle Vision

Pearle Vision

Eye care and eyewear

Initial Investment: $410K - $614K

# 109
Homewood Suites by Hilton

Homewood Suites by Hilton

Upscale extended-stay hotels

Initial Investment: $9.9M - $20.5M

# 110
Anago Cleaning Systems

Anago Cleaning Systems

Commercial cleaning

Initial Investment: $11K - $66K

# 111
HealthSource Chiropractic and Progressive Rehab

HealthSource Chiropractic and Progressive Rehab

Chiropractic, rehab, nutrition and wellness services

Initial Investment: $58K - $249K

# 112
Charleys Philly Steaks

Charleys Philly Steaks

Philly cheesesteaks, fries, lemonade

Initial Investment: $153K - $450K

# 113
Firehouse Subs

Firehouse Subs

Subs

Initial Investment: $129K - $1.2M

# 114
Yogen Fruz

Yogen Fruz

Frozen yogurt, soft-serve ice cream

Initial Investment: $136K - $472K

# 115
Express Employment Professionals

Express Employment Professionals

Staffing, HR solutions

Initial Investment: $120K - $196K

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# 116
Great American Cookies

Great American Cookies

Cookies

Initial Investment: $183K - $317K

# 117
One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning

One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning

Residential HVAC service/replacement

Initial Investment: $74K - $541K

# 118
American Poolplayers Association

American Poolplayers Association

Recreational billiard league

Initial Investment: $17K - $20K

# 119
Oreck Clean Home Center

Oreck Clean Home Center

Vacuum cleaners, air purifiers & related home care products

Initial Investment: $85K - $221K

# 120
Fast-teks On-site Computer Services

Fast-teks On-site Computer Services

On-site computer-repair services

Initial Investment: $36K - $62K

# 121
Maid Brigade

Maid Brigade

Residential cleaning

Initial Investment: $85K - $124K

# 122
Mr. Rooter

Mr. Rooter

Plumbing, drain and sewer cleaning

Initial Investment: $74K - $187K

# 123
Molly Maid

Molly Maid

Residential cleaning

Initial Investment: $86K - $131K

# 124
Pita Pit Inc.

Pita Pit Inc.

Pita sandwiches

Initial Investment: $166K - $323K

# 125
Color Glo Int'l.

Color Glo Int'l.

Leather, vinyl, fabric, carpet and surface repair and restoration

Initial Investment: $56K - $61K

# 126
Oxi Fresh Franchising Co.

Oxi Fresh Franchising Co.

Carpet, upholstery, hardwood floor, tile and grout cleaning

Initial Investment: $39K - $67K

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# 127
Marco's Franchising LLC

Marco's Franchising LLC

Pizza, subs, wings, cheese bread

Initial Investment: $222K - $547K

# 128
Nathan's Famous Inc.

Nathan's Famous Inc.

Hot dogs, hamburgers, seafood, chicken, cheesesteaks

Initial Investment: $276K - $1.1M

# 129
Rainbow Int'l. Restoration & Cleaning

Rainbow Int'l. Restoration & Cleaning

Indoor cleaning and restoration

Initial Investment: $156K - $256K

# 130
Benjamin Franklin Plumbing

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing

Plumbing service, repair, maintenance

Initial Investment: $82K - $414K

# 131
El Pollo Loco

El Pollo Loco

Flame-grilled chicken meals & Mexican entrees

Initial Investment: $428K - $802K

# 132
Arby's Restaurant Group Inc.

Arby's Restaurant Group Inc.

Sandwiches, fries, salads, shakes

Initial Investment: $353K - $2.4M

# 133
Golden Corral Franchising Systems Inc.

Golden Corral Franchising Systems Inc.

Family steakhouse, buffet and bakery

Initial Investment: $2M - $5.5M

# 134
Wetzel's Pretzels

Wetzel's Pretzels

Soft pretzels, lemonade, hot dogs

Initial Investment: $157K - $371K

# 135
Pop-A-Lock Franchise System

Pop-A-Lock Franchise System

Mobile locksmith and security services

Initial Investment: $100K - $135K

# 136
Leadership Management Inc.

Leadership Management Inc.

Leadership, organization, training, development

Initial Investment: $20K - $28K

# 137
Once Upon A Child

Once Upon A Child

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

Initial Investment: $245K - $377K

# 138
Mathnasium Learning Centers

Mathnasium Learning Centers

Math tutoring

Initial Investment: $91K - $138K

# 139
Fish Window Cleaning Services Inc.

Fish Window Cleaning Services Inc.

Window cleaning

Initial Investment: $78K - $140K

# 140
Re-Bath LLC

Re-Bath LLC

Bathroom and kitchen remodeling

Initial Investment: $81K - $353K

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# 141
Penn Station East Coast Subs

Penn Station East Coast Subs

Grilled subs

Initial Investment: $269K - $535K

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# 142
Lawn Doctor

Lawn Doctor

Lawn, tree and shrub care; mosquito and tick control

Initial Investment: $82K - $100K

# 143
Budget Blinds Inc.

Budget Blinds Inc.

Window coverings, window film, rugs, accessories

Initial Investment: $89K - $187K

# 144
Cinnabon

Cinnabon

Cinnamon rolls, baked goods, coffee

Initial Investment: $181K - $388K

# 145
Jet's Pizza

Jet's Pizza

Pizza, subs, wings, salads

Initial Investment: $351K - $615K

# 146
Tutor Doctor

Tutor Doctor

Tutoring

Initial Investment: $66K - $104K

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# 147
Marble Slab Creamery

Marble Slab Creamery

Ice cream, frozen yogurt, baked goods

Initial Investment: $238K - $372K

# 148
AlphaGraphics

AlphaGraphics

Digital publishing, internet services, printing, marketing and communications

Initial Investment: $258K - $396K

# 149
U.S. Lawns

U.S. Lawns

Commercial grounds care

Initial Investment: $33K - $79K

# 150
N-Hance

N-Hance

Wood floor and cabinet refinishing

Initial Investment: $24K - $145K

Request More Info

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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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Top New Franchises

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Top Global Franchises

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