2013 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
Hilton Hotels and Resorts

Hilton Hotels and Resorts

Upscale hotels and resorts

Initial Investment: $56M - $97.1M

# 102
Mathnasium Learning Centers

Mathnasium Learning Centers

Math tutoring

Initial Investment: $91K - $138K

# 103
Marco's Franchising LLC

Marco's Franchising LLC

Pizza, subs, wings, cheese bread

Initial Investment: $222K - $547K

# 104
Smoothie King

Smoothie King

Smoothies, health products

Initial Investment: $181K - $423K

# 105
Qdoba Mexican Grill

Qdoba Mexican Grill

Mexican Food

Initial Investment: $623K - $815K

# 106
Steamatic Inc.

Steamatic Inc.

Insurance/disaster restoration, cleaning, mold remediation

Initial Investment: $137K - $162K

# 107
Tutor Doctor

Tutor Doctor

Tutoring

Initial Investment: $66K - $104K

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# 108
Padgett Business Services

Padgett Business Services

Financial, payroll, consulting and tax services

Initial Investment: $100K - $100K

# 109
Knights Inn

Knights Inn

Hotels

Initial Investment: $109K - $7.4M

# 110
Golden Corral Franchising Systems Inc.

Golden Corral Franchising Systems Inc.

Family steakhouse, buffet and bakery

Initial Investment: $2M - $5.5M

# 111
Ramada Worldwide

Ramada Worldwide

Hotels

Initial Investment: $196K - $13.1M

# 112
Kona Ice

Kona Ice

Shaved-ice truck

Initial Investment: $114K - $129K

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# 113
First Choice Haircutters

First Choice Haircutters

Family hair salon

Initial Investment: $182K - $274K

# 114
Rainbow Int'l. Restoration & Cleaning

Rainbow Int'l. Restoration & Cleaning

Indoor cleaning and restoration

Initial Investment: $156K - $256K

# 115
DKI

DKI

Insurance/disaster restoration

Initial Investment: $22K - $95K

# 116
Signarama

Signarama

Signs

Initial Investment: $97K - $248K

# 117
Homewood Suites by Hilton

Homewood Suites by Hilton

Upscale extended-stay hotels

Initial Investment: $9.9M - $20.5M

# 118
Pop-A-Lock Franchise System

Pop-A-Lock Franchise System

Mobile locksmith and security services

Initial Investment: $100K - $135K

# 119
American Leak Detection

American Leak Detection

Concealed water, gas and sewer leak-detection

Initial Investment: $77K - $260K

# 120
Sears Home & Business Franchises Inc.

Sears Home & Business Franchises Inc.

Carpet, upholstery, air-duct & dryer-vent cleaning; garage solutions

Initial Investment: $11K - $192K

# 121
Rita's Italian Ice

Rita's Italian Ice

Italian ice, frozen custard

Initial Investment: $141K - $414K

# 122
Fish Window Cleaning Services Inc.

Fish Window Cleaning Services Inc.

Window cleaning

Initial Investment: $78K - $140K

# 123
American Poolplayers Association

American Poolplayers Association

Recreational billiard league

Initial Investment: $17K - $20K

# 124
Right at Home Inc.

Right at Home Inc.

Home care, medical staffing

Initial Investment: $78K - $132K

# 125
Wild Birds Unlimited

Wild Birds Unlimited

Bird-feeding supplies and nature gift items

Initial Investment: $123K - $192K

# 126
WSI Digital Marketing

WSI Digital Marketing

Internet services

Initial Investment: $64K - $172K

# 127
Menchie's

Menchie's

Self-serve frozen yogurt

Initial Investment: $218K - $385K

# 128
Coffee News

Coffee News

Weekly newspaper distributed at restaurants

Initial Investment: $10K - $11K

# 129
Doubletree by Hilton

Doubletree by Hilton

Upscale hotels and resorts

Initial Investment: $35.5M - $62.4M

# 130
Nathan's Famous Inc.

Nathan's Famous Inc.

Hot dogs, hamburgers, seafood, chicken, cheesesteaks

Initial Investment: $276K - $1.1M

# 131
U.S. Lawns

U.S. Lawns

Commercial grounds care

Initial Investment: $33K - $79K

# 132
Primrose School Franchising Co.

Primrose School Franchising Co.

Educational child care

Initial Investment: $659K - $5.5M

# 133
Lawn Doctor

Lawn Doctor

Lawn, tree and shrub care; mosquito and tick control

Initial Investment: $82K - $100K

# 134
Country Inns & Suites By Carlson

Country Inns & Suites By Carlson

Hotels

Initial Investment: $6.6M - $7.9M

# 135
AlphaGraphics

AlphaGraphics

Digital publishing, internet services, printing, marketing and communications

Initial Investment: $258K - $396K

# 136
Penn Station East Coast Subs

Penn Station East Coast Subs

Grilled subs

Initial Investment: $269K - $535K

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# 137
Schlotzsky's

Schlotzsky's

Sandwiches, pizza, salads

Initial Investment: $504K - $787K

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# 138
Once Upon A Child

Once Upon A Child

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

Initial Investment: $245K - $377K

# 139
Seniors Helping Seniors

Seniors Helping Seniors

Nonmedical home care

Initial Investment: $87K - $141K

# 140
Griswold Home Care

Griswold Home Care

Nonmedical home care

Initial Investment: $99K - $121K

# 141
Wetzel's Pretzels

Wetzel's Pretzels

Soft pretzels, lemonade, hot dogs

Initial Investment: $157K - $371K

# 142
Always Best Care Senior Services

Always Best Care Senior Services

Medical and nonmedical home care, assisted-living placement

Initial Investment: $62K - $111K

# 143
Real Property Management

Real Property Management

Property management

Initial Investment: $77K - $100K

# 144
Remedy Intelligent Staffing

Remedy Intelligent Staffing

Staffing

Initial Investment: $139K - $226K

# 145
Baymont Inn & Suites

Baymont Inn & Suites

Hotels

Initial Investment: $172K - $6.4M

# 146
Jet's Pizza

Jet's Pizza

Pizza, subs, wings, salads

Initial Investment: $351K - $615K

# 147
Two Men and a Truck Int'l. Inc.

Two Men and a Truck Int'l. Inc.

Moving services

Initial Investment: $178K - $556K

# 148
Wireless Zone

Wireless Zone

Wireless-communications store

Initial Investment: $127K - $393K

# 149
Homewatch CareGivers

Homewatch CareGivers

Home care, nursing-care coordination, memory care

Initial Investment: $83K - $138K

# 150
Steak n Shake Enterprises Inc.

Steak n Shake Enterprises Inc.

Steakburgers & milkshakes

Initial Investment: $672K - $1.8M

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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

200 North American franchisors seeking international franchisees

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Previous Years Rankings

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