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
# 251
Pinkberry Ventures Inc.

Pinkberry Ventures Inc.

Frozen yogurt, frozen-yogurt shakes, Greek-yogurt smoothies

Initial Investment: $311K - $615K

# 252
Pro Image Sports

Pro Image Sports

Licensed sports apparel and accessories

Initial Investment: $156K - $537K

# 253
Acti-Kare Inc.

Acti-Kare Inc.

Nonmedical home care

Initial Investment: $33K - $52K

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# 254
Gymboree Play & Music

Gymboree Play & Music

Parent/child play and learning programs

Initial Investment: $120K - $277K

# 255
American Poolplayers Association

American Poolplayers Association

Recreational billiard league

Initial Investment: $17K - $20K

# 256
Weichert Real Estate Affiliates Inc.

Weichert Real Estate Affiliates Inc.

Real estate

Initial Investment: $50K - $365K

# 257
Checkers and Rally's Restaurants Inc.

Checkers and Rally's Restaurants Inc.

Burgers, fries

Initial Investment: $155K - $1.3M

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# 258
Synergy HomeCare

Synergy HomeCare

Nonmedical home care

Initial Investment: $59K - $148K

# 259
Massage Heights

Massage Heights

Therapeutic massage services and products

Initial Investment: $360K - $637K

# 260
GameTruck Licensing LLC

GameTruck Licensing LLC

Mobile video-game theaters

Initial Investment: $121K - $303K

# 261
Ben & Jerry's

Ben & Jerry's

Ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet, smoothies

Initial Investment: $156K - $486K

# 262
Nestle Toll House Cafe by Chip

Nestle Toll House Cafe by Chip

Bakery cafe

Initial Investment: $148K - $497K

# 263
LearningRx

LearningRx

Learning enhancement, cognitive training, reading training

Initial Investment: $102K - $201K

# 264
AFC/Doctors Express

AFC/Doctors Express

Urgent-care centers

Initial Investment: $808K - $1.4M

# 265
Jet-Black Franchise Group

Jet-Black Franchise Group

Asphalt maintenance

Initial Investment: $43K - $104K

# 266
Wyndham Hotels and Resorts

Wyndham Hotels and Resorts

Hotels

Initial Investment: $564K - $65M

# 267
Christian Brothers Automotive Corp.

Christian Brothers Automotive Corp.

Auto repair

Initial Investment: $403K - $475K

# 268
WoodSpring Suites

WoodSpring Suites

Limited-service extended-stay lodging

Initial Investment: $5M - $7M

# 269
Aire-Master of America Inc.

Aire-Master of America Inc.

Restroom deodorizing and maintenance

Initial Investment: $38K - $138K

# 270
Apricot Lane

Apricot Lane

Women's clothing, accessories, gifts

Initial Investment: $131K - $410K

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# 271
Zaxby's Franchising Inc.

Zaxby's Franchising Inc.

Chicken fingers, Buffalo wings, sandwiches, salads

Initial Investment: $284K - $664K

# 272
Fleet Feet Sports

Fleet Feet Sports

Athletic footwear, apparel, accessories

Initial Investment: $180K - $338K

# 273
Dryer Vent Wizard Int'l. LLC

Dryer Vent Wizard Int'l. LLC

Dryer-vent cleaning, replacement

Initial Investment: $53K - $75K

# 274
Fuzzy's Taco Shop

Fuzzy's Taco Shop

Baja-style Mexican food

Initial Investment: $329K - $1.1M

# 275
Postal Annex+

Postal Annex+

Packing, shipping, postal and business services

Initial Investment: $139K - $205K

# 276
Painting with a Twist

Painting with a Twist

Paint-and-sip studio

Initial Investment: $89K - $143K

# 277
Brightway Insurance

Brightway Insurance

Property and casualty insurance

Initial Investment: $115K - $181K

# 278
Certified Restoration DryCleaning Network LLC

Certified Restoration DryCleaning Network LLC

Textile restoration

Initial Investment: $46K - $236K

# 279
Get In Shape For Women

Get In Shape For Women

Small-group personal training for women

Initial Investment: $56K - $189K

# 280
City Publications

City Publications

Publication for affluent homeowners

Initial Investment: $93K - $268K

# 281
HUMAN Healthy Markets

HUMAN Healthy Markets

Healthful-food distribution

Initial Investment: $64K - $110K

# 282
Gigi's Cupcakes LLC

Gigi's Cupcakes LLC

Cupcakes

Initial Investment: $236K - $396K

# 283
Fatburger North America Inc.

Fatburger North America Inc.

Burgers

Initial Investment: $498K - $891K

# 284
Play It Again Sports

Play It Again Sports

New and used sporting goods/equipment

Initial Investment: $242K - $393K

# 285
Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham

Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham

Hotels

Initial Investment: $276K - $12.1M

# 286
FocalPoint Coaching Inc.

FocalPoint Coaching Inc.

Business coaching and consulting

Initial Investment: $72K - $119K

# 287
Kid to Kid

Kid to Kid

New and used children's and maternity clothing and products

Initial Investment: $249K - $373K

# 288
CarePatrol Franchise Systems LLC

CarePatrol Franchise Systems LLC

Assisted-living referral and placement

Initial Investment: $64K - $82K

# 289
Retro Fitness

Retro Fitness

Health clubs

Initial Investment: $781K - $1.6M

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# 290
Kiddie Academy

Kiddie Academy

Educational child care

Initial Investment: $414K - $3.6M

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# 291
iLoveKickboxing.com

iLoveKickboxing.com

Kickboxing fitness classes

Initial Investment: $120K - $309K

# 292
AdviCoach

AdviCoach

Business coaching

Initial Investment: $66K - $74K

# 293
Capriotti's Sandwich Shop Inc.

Capriotti's Sandwich Shop Inc.

Subs

Initial Investment: $364K - $848K

# 294
Scooter's Coffee

Scooter's Coffee

Specialty coffee, smoothies, pastries

Initial Investment: $273K - $394K

# 295
Engineering for Kids

Engineering for Kids

Math, science, technology and engineering activities

Initial Investment: $27K - $94K

# 296
Athletic Revolution

Athletic Revolution

Youth fitness and athletic training

Initial Investment: $18K - $116K

# 297
AlphaGraphics

AlphaGraphics

Digital publishing, internet services, printing, marketing and communications

Initial Investment: $258K - $396K

# 298
Mighty Distributing System

Mighty Distributing System

Wholesale distribution of auto parts

Initial Investment: $134K - $302K

# 299
Mister Sparky

Mister Sparky

Residential electrical maintenance, repair and replacement services

Initial Investment: $67K - $473K

# 300
Orion Food Systems LLC

Orion Food Systems LLC

Fast-food systems for nontraditional markets

Initial Investment: $59K - $134K

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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

For reprints and licensing questions, click here.

Previous Years Rankings

2016 2015 2014 2013 2012