2014 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
# 51
Merry Maids

Merry Maids

Residential cleaning

Initial Investment: $60K - $186K

# 52
Meineke Car Care Centers

Meineke Car Care Centers

Auto repair and maintenance

Initial Investment: $200K - $466K

# 53
Super 8

Super 8

Hotels

Initial Investment: $134K - $4.3M

# 54
Massage Envy Spa

Massage Envy Spa

Therapeutic massage and facial services

Initial Investment: $414K - $961K

# 55
Budget Blinds Inc.

Budget Blinds Inc.

Window coverings, window film, rugs, accessories

Initial Investment: $89K - $187K

# 56
Coverall Health-Based Cleaning System

Coverall Health-Based Cleaning System

Commercial cleaning

Initial Investment: $15K - $48K

# 57
Motel 6

Motel 6

Economy hotels

Initial Investment: $2.2M - $3.1M

# 58
Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen

Ice cream, burgers, chicken

Initial Investment: $356K - $1.8M

# 59
Comfort Keepers

Comfort Keepers

Home care

Initial Investment: $83K - $114K

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# 60
Valvoline Instant Oil Change

Valvoline Instant Oil Change

Oil changes

Initial Investment: $162K - $2M

# 61
Chem-Dry Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning

Chem-Dry Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning

Carpet, drapery and upholstery cleaning; tile and stone care

Initial Investment: $30K - $143K

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# 62
Buffalo Wild Wings

Buffalo Wild Wings

Buffalo wings, sandwiches

Initial Investment: $1.4M - $3.6M

# 63
Home Instead Senior Care

Home Instead Senior Care

Nonmedical senior care

Initial Investment: $102K - $118K

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# 64
Cinnabon

Cinnabon

Cinnamon rolls, baked goods, coffee

Initial Investment: $181K - $388K

# 65
Firehouse Subs

Firehouse Subs

Subs

Initial Investment: $129K - $1.2M

# 66
Cellairis Franchise Inc.

Cellairis Franchise Inc.

Cell-phone and wireless-device accessories and repairs

Initial Investment: $145K - $196K

# 67
System4

System4

Commercial cleaning

Initial Investment: $6K - $38K

# 68
Jersey Mike's Subs

Jersey Mike's Subs

Subs

Initial Investment: $203K - $681K

# 69
Eye Level Learning Centers

Eye Level Learning Centers

Supplemental education

Initial Investment: $76K - $139K

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# 70
Results! Travel

Results! Travel

Travel agency

Initial Investment: $25 - $10K

# 71
Express Employment Professionals

Express Employment Professionals

Staffing, HR solutions

Initial Investment: $120K - $196K

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# 72
Choice Hotels Int'l.

Choice Hotels Int'l.

Hotels

Initial Investment: $88K - $13.2M

# 73
Sixt Franchise USA LLC

Sixt Franchise USA LLC

Auto rentals

Initial Investment: $1.1M - $10.5M

# 74
Signarama

Signarama

Signs

Initial Investment: $97K - $248K

# 75
Minuteman Press Int'l. Inc.

Minuteman Press Int'l. Inc.

Printing, graphics and mailing center

Initial Investment: $64K - $185K

# 76
RE/MAX LLC

RE/MAX LLC

Real estate

Initial Investment: $38K - $280K

# 77
Wingstop Restaurants Inc.

Wingstop Restaurants Inc.

Chicken wings

Initial Investment: $192K - $688K

# 78
Mac Tools

Mac Tools

Automotive tools and equipment

Initial Investment: $86K - $240K

# 79
Batteries Plus Bulbs

Batteries Plus Bulbs

Batteries, light bulbs, related products

Initial Investment: $215K - $389K

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# 80
Hilton Garden Inn

Hilton Garden Inn

Upscale midprice hotels

Initial Investment: $11.7M - $22.3M

# 81
Rita's Italian Ice

Rita's Italian Ice

Italian ice, frozen custard

Initial Investment: $141K - $414K

# 82
Heaven's Best Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning

Heaven's Best Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning

Carpet and upholstery cleaning

Initial Investment: $55K - $84K

# 83
Proforma

Proforma

Printing and promotional products

Initial Investment: $5K - $50K

# 84
Hungry Howie's Pizza & Subs

Hungry Howie's Pizza & Subs

Pizza, subs, bread, wings, salads

Initial Investment: $240K - $472K

# 85
Moe's Southwest Grill

Moe's Southwest Grill

Southwestern food

Initial Investment: $369K - $916K

# 86
Smoothie King

Smoothie King

Smoothies, health products

Initial Investment: $181K - $423K

# 87
FastSigns Int'l. Inc.

FastSigns Int'l. Inc.

Signs, graphics

Initial Investment: $169K - $309K

# 88
Culver Franchising System Inc.

Culver Franchising System Inc.

Frozen custard, specialty burgers

Initial Investment: $1.4M - $3.7M

# 89
Anago Cleaning Systems

Anago Cleaning Systems

Commercial cleaning

Initial Investment: $11K - $66K

# 90
Cartridge World

Cartridge World

Ink and toner cartridges, printers, printer services and supplies

Initial Investment: $69K - $151K

# 91
Kona Ice

Kona Ice

Shaved-ice truck

Initial Investment: $114K - $129K

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# 92
Molly Maid

Molly Maid

Residential cleaning

Initial Investment: $86K - $131K

# 93
Coffee News

Coffee News

Weekly newspaper distributed at restaurants

Initial Investment: $10K - $11K

# 94
Visiting Angels

Visiting Angels

Nonmedical home care

Initial Investment: $64K - $105K

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# 95
Chester's

Chester's

Chicken

Initial Investment: $21K - $303K

# 96
ampm

ampm

Convenience stores and gas stations

Initial Investment: $1.8M - $7.9M

# 97
Buildingstars Int'l. Inc.

Buildingstars Int'l. Inc.

Commercial cleaning

Initial Investment: $2K - $52K

# 98
Weed Man

Weed Man

Lawn care

Initial Investment: $68K - $86K

# 99
Qdoba Mexican Grill

Qdoba Mexican Grill

Mexican Food

Initial Investment: $623K - $815K

# 100
Bojangles' Restaurants Inc.

Bojangles' Restaurants Inc.

Cajun chicken, biscuits, iced tea

Initial Investment: $357K - $559K

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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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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

2016 2015 2014 2013 2012