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
# 201
MaidPro

MaidPro

Residential cleaning

Initial Investment: $38K - $203K

# 202
EagleRider Motorcycle Rental

EagleRider Motorcycle Rental

Motorcycle, scooter, ATV & watercraft rentals & tours

Initial Investment: $49K - $179K

# 203
Schlotzsky's

Schlotzsky's

Sandwiches, pizza, salads

Initial Investment: $504K - $787K

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# 204
SpeedPro Imaging

SpeedPro Imaging

Graphics and large-format imaging

Initial Investment: $225K - $365K

# 205
Learning Experience Academy of Early Education, The

Learning Experience Academy of Early Education, The

Preschool/educational child care

Initial Investment: $495K - $3.6M

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# 206
Learning Express

Learning Express

Specialty toy store

Initial Investment: $210K - $298K

# 207
Bojangles' Restaurants Inc.

Bojangles' Restaurants Inc.

Cajun chicken, biscuits, iced tea

Initial Investment: $357K - $559K

# 208
Honey Dew Donuts

Honey Dew Donuts

Donuts, coffee, baked goods

Initial Investment: $88K - $796K

# 209
Play It Again Sports

Play It Again Sports

New and used sporting goods/equipment

Initial Investment: $242K - $393K

# 210
Caring Transitions

Caring Transitions

Sales of estates and household goods

Initial Investment: $56K - $85K

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# 211
Kiddie Academy

Kiddie Academy

Educational child care

Initial Investment: $414K - $3.6M

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# 212
Villa Italian Kitchen

Villa Italian Kitchen

Pizza, Italian food

Initial Investment: $297K - $894K

# 213
i9 Sports

i9 Sports

Youth sports leagues, camps and clinics

Initial Investment: $45K - $70K

# 214
Showhomes

Showhomes

Real estate services

Initial Investment: $50K - $96K

# 215
AdviCoach

AdviCoach

Business coaching

Initial Investment: $66K - $74K

# 216
Yogurtland Franchising Inc.

Yogurtland Franchising Inc.

Self-serve frozen yogurt

Initial Investment: $307K - $700K

# 217
Tuffy Associates Corp.

Tuffy Associates Corp.

Auto repair

Initial Investment: $229K - $419K

# 218
Dentist's Choice, The

Dentist's Choice, The

Dental-handpiece repairs

Initial Investment: $54K - $59K

# 219
Murphy Business & Financial Corp. LLC

Murphy Business & Financial Corp. LLC

Business and franchise brokerage, commercial real estate

Initial Investment: $54K - $114K

# 220
Ben & Jerry's

Ben & Jerry's

Ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet, smoothies

Initial Investment: $156K - $486K

# 221
Blimpie Subs & Salads

Blimpie Subs & Salads

Subs, salads

Initial Investment: $130K - $359K

# 222
Griswold Home Care

Griswold Home Care

Nonmedical home care

Initial Investment: $99K - $121K

# 223
Wheel Fun Rentals

Wheel Fun Rentals

Recreational rentals

Initial Investment: $46K - $230K

# 224
Interface Financial Corp.

Interface Financial Corp.

Invoice discounting

Initial Investment: $91K - $142K

# 225
Color Me Mine Enterprises Inc.

Color Me Mine Enterprises Inc.

Paint-your-own-ceramics studio

Initial Investment: $136K - $185K

# 226
Gymboree Play & Music

Gymboree Play & Music

Parent/child play and learning programs

Initial Investment: $120K - $277K

# 227
Carvel

Carvel

Ice cream, ice-cream cakes

Initial Investment: $250K - $383K

# 228
GolfTEC

GolfTEC

Indoor high-tech golf instruction

Initial Investment: $125K - $470K

# 229
Chester's

Chester's

Chicken

Initial Investment: $21K - $303K

# 230
Palm Beach Tan

Palm Beach Tan

Tanning

Initial Investment: $503K - $810K

# 231
1-800-Water Damage

1-800-Water Damage

Restoration services

Initial Investment: $105K - $141K

# 232
Ledo Pizza

Ledo Pizza

Pizza, subs, pasta

Initial Investment: $126K - $442K

# 233
Pak Mail

Pak Mail

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

Initial Investment: $134K - $180K

# 234
Capriotti's Sandwich Shop Inc.

Capriotti's Sandwich Shop Inc.

Subs

Initial Investment: $364K - $848K

# 235
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory

Chocolates, confections

Initial Investment: $116K - $499K

# 236
Retro Fitness

Retro Fitness

Health clubs

Initial Investment: $781K - $1.6M

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# 237
Aire-Master of America Inc.

Aire-Master of America Inc.

Restroom deodorizing and maintenance

Initial Investment: $38K - $138K

# 238
Jantize America

Jantize America

Commercial cleaning

Initial Investment: $51K - $207K

# 239
Window Gang

Window Gang

Window, exterior, dryer-vent and chimney cleaning; deck and fence sealing

Initial Investment: $34K - $81K

# 240
Fast-Fix Jewelry & Watch Repairs

Fast-Fix Jewelry & Watch Repairs

Jewelry and watch repairs

Initial Investment: $186K - $358K

# 241
Utility Company, The

Utility Company, The

IT services

Initial Investment: $45K - $70K

# 242
City Publications

City Publications

Publication for affluent homeowners

Initial Investment: $93K - $268K

# 243
Mister Sparky

Mister Sparky

Residential electrical maintenance, repair and replacement services

Initial Investment: $67K - $473K

# 244
College Nannies and Tutors

College Nannies and Tutors

Nanny-placement, babysitting, tutoring

Initial Investment: $177K - $229K

# 245
Straw Hat Pizza

Straw Hat Pizza

Fast-casual pizza & grill restaurant

Initial Investment: $191K - $787K

# 246
TacoTime

TacoTime

Mexican food

Initial Investment: $201K - $818K

# 247
Pillar To Post Home Inspectors

Pillar To Post Home Inspectors

Home inspections

Initial Investment: $33K - $43K

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# 248
NrGize Lifestyle Cafe

NrGize Lifestyle Cafe

Smoothies, meal-replacement shakes, protein bars

Initial Investment: $99K - $341K

# 249
Wild Birds Unlimited

Wild Birds Unlimited

Bird-feeding supplies and nature gift items

Initial Investment: $123K - $192K

# 250
Plan Ahead Events

Plan Ahead Events

Corporate event planning

Initial Investment: $46K - $71K

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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.

More Franchise Rankings

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87 franchises for under $50,000

Top Homebased/Mobile Franchises

These 100 businesses can be managed from home

Fastest-Growing Franchises

These companies have shown rapid unit expansion over the last two years

Top New Franchises

The top 75 companies that began franchising in the last five years

Top Global Franchises

200 North American franchisors seeking international franchisees

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Previous Years Rankings

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