2012 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
# 251
Kilwins Chocolates Franchise, Inc.

Kilwins Chocolates Franchise, Inc.

Chocolate, fudge, ice cream

Initial Investment: $352K - $622K

# 252
Signal 88, LLC

Signal 88, LLC

Private security guard and patrol services

Initial Investment: $70K - $136K

# 253
Menchie's

Menchie's

Self-serve frozen yogurt

Initial Investment: $218K - $385K

# 254
Weichert Real Estate Affiliates Inc.

Weichert Real Estate Affiliates Inc.

Real estate

Initial Investment: $50K - $365K

# 255
Straw Hat Pizza

Straw Hat Pizza

Fast-casual pizza & grill restaurant

Initial Investment: $191K - $787K

# 256
Showhomes

Showhomes

Real estate services

Initial Investment: $50K - $96K

# 257
AdvantaClean

AdvantaClean

Environmental services

Initial Investment: $121K - $218K

# 258
Handyman Connection

Handyman Connection

Home repairs, remodeling

Initial Investment: $103K - $159K

# 259
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory

Chocolates, confections

Initial Investment: $116K - $499K

# 260
Postal Annex+

Postal Annex+

Packing, shipping, postal and business services

Initial Investment: $139K - $205K

# 261
Kinderdance Int'l. Inc.

Kinderdance Int'l. Inc.

Movement/educational programs

Initial Investment: $15K - $46K

# 262
City Publications

City Publications

Publication for affluent homeowners

Initial Investment: $93K - $268K

# 263
Spherion Staffing

Spherion Staffing

Staffing, recruiting

Initial Investment: $100K - $168K

# 264
1-800-Water Damage

1-800-Water Damage

Restoration services

Initial Investment: $105K - $141K

# 265
Smashburger Franchising LLC

Smashburger Franchising LLC

Burgers

Initial Investment: $546K - $895K

# 266
Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services

Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services

Commercial cleaning

Initial Investment: $51K - $100K

# 267
i9 Sports

i9 Sports

Youth sports leagues, camps and clinics

Initial Investment: $45K - $70K

# 268
Biggby Coffee

Biggby Coffee

Specialty coffee, tea, smoothies, baked goods

Initial Investment: $160K - $317K

# 269
Tuffy Associates Corp.

Tuffy Associates Corp.

Auto repair

Initial Investment: $229K - $419K

# 270
Mighty Distributing System

Mighty Distributing System

Wholesale distribution of auto parts

Initial Investment: $134K - $302K

# 271
Plan Ahead Events

Plan Ahead Events

Corporate event planning

Initial Investment: $46K - $71K

# 272
LearningRx

LearningRx

Learning enhancement, cognitive training, reading training

Initial Investment: $102K - $201K

# 273
Glass Guru, The

Glass Guru, The

Window and glass restoration and replacement

Initial Investment: $32K - $122K

# 274
GolfTEC

GolfTEC

Indoor high-tech golf instruction

Initial Investment: $125K - $470K

# 275
Hospitality Int'l. Inc.

Hospitality Int'l. Inc.

Hotels

Initial Investment: $134K - $2.6M

# 276
Wyndham Hotels and Resorts

Wyndham Hotels and Resorts

Hotels

Initial Investment: $564K - $65M

# 277
Home Video Studio

Home Video Studio

Video production and postproduction services

Initial Investment: $79K - $107K

# 278
Martinizing Dry Cleaning

Martinizing Dry Cleaning

Dry cleaning and laundry services

Initial Investment: $446K - $675K

# 279
Kid to Kid

Kid to Kid

New and used children's and maternity clothing and products

Initial Investment: $249K - $373K

# 280
Slumberland Franchising Inc.

Slumberland Franchising Inc.

Home furnishings

Initial Investment: $539K - $2M

# 281
Real Deals on Home Decor

Real Deals on Home Decor

Home decor, furniture & accessories

Initial Investment: $102K - $162K

# 282
Computer Troubleshooters

Computer Troubleshooters

Technology consulting and services for small businesses

Initial Investment: $32K - $48K

# 283
Home Care Assistance

Home Care Assistance

Nonmedical home care

Initial Investment: $120K - $265K

# 284
Fresh Coat

Fresh Coat

Residential and commercial painting

Initial Investment: $52K - $79K

Request More Info
# 285
Leadership Management Inc.

Leadership Management Inc.

Leadership, organization, training, development

Initial Investment: $20K - $28K

# 286
RE/MAX LLC

RE/MAX LLC

Real estate

Initial Investment: $38K - $280K

# 287
Young Rembrandts Franchise Inc.

Young Rembrandts Franchise Inc.

Art classes for ages 3 to 12

Initial Investment: $37K - $49K

# 288
Genghis Grill-Build Your Own Stir Fry

Genghis Grill-Build Your Own Stir Fry

Build-your-own Asian stir-fry restaurant

Initial Investment: $347K - $974K

# 289
School of Rock

School of Rock

Music education

Initial Investment: $138K - $327K

Request More Info
# 290
Expense Reduction Analysts Inc.

Expense Reduction Analysts Inc.

Cost-management consulting

Initial Investment: $66K - $86K

# 291
Fox's Pizza Den

Fox's Pizza Den

Pizza, sandwiches, wings, salads

Initial Investment: $111K - $210K

# 292
Marble Slab Creamery

Marble Slab Creamery

Ice cream, frozen yogurt, baked goods

Initial Investment: $238K - $372K

# 293
Tiger-Rock Martial Arts

Tiger-Rock Martial Arts

Martial-arts and fitness programs

Initial Investment: $87K - $184K

# 294
Billboard Connection/Izon Global Media

Billboard Connection/Izon Global Media

Ad agency specializing in outdoor media

Initial Investment: $44K - $69K

# 295
HomeWell Senior Care

HomeWell Senior Care

Home care

Initial Investment: $60K - $120K

# 296
Philly Pretzel Factory

Philly Pretzel Factory

Pretzels

Initial Investment: $119K - $379K

# 297
Flip Flop Shops

Flip Flop Shops

Flip-flops and casual footwear

Initial Investment: $174K - $280K

# 298
Allegra Marketing-Print-Mail

Allegra Marketing-Print-Mail

Printing, marketing and mail services

Initial Investment: $162K - $593K

# 299
Express Tax

Express Tax

Tax preparation & electronic filing

Initial Investment: $16K - $48K

# 300
Zoup! Systems LLC

Zoup! Systems LLC

Soups, salads, sandwiches

Initial Investment: $321K - $589K

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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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