Click to Print

30 Years of the Franchise 500

August 19, 2009
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/199048
1980

Slide 1 of 30

1980

#1 Franchise: McDonald's
  • McDonald's has 4,173 franchised locations.
  • Of the 9.1 million small businesses in the country, more than 500,000 are franchise operations.
  • Millions of viewers tune in to Dallas to find out who shot J.R. Ewing. 
  • CNN launches.
1981

Slide 2 of 30

1981

#1 Franchise: Dan Hanna Auto Wash
  • Dan Hanna Auto Wash would later be the only No. 1 franchise that no longer exists. 
  • MTV launches. 
  • Sandra Day O'Connor becomes the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court.
1982

Slide 3 of 30

1982

#1 Franchise: McDonald's
  • McDonald's new slogan: "We cook it all for you at McDonald's."
  • All but one of the top 10 franchises have to do with food or cars.
  • Michael Jackson releases Thriller, the bestselling album of all time.
1983

Slide 4 of 30

1983

#1 Franchise: McDonald's
  • McDonald's includes Mattel's Hot Wheels toy cars in Happy Meals. 
  • Franchised waitering schools gain popularity. 
  • The Disney Channel launches. 
  • Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space.
  • Microsoft Word is released.
1984

Slide 5 of 30

1984

#1 Franchise: McDonald's
  • A new McDonald's location opens somewhere in the world every 17 hours. 
  • Eight out of the top 10 franchises are related to food or hospitality.
  • The first Apple Macintosh is sold.
  • Alex Trebek hosts Jeopardy! for the first time.
  • Band-Aid releases "Do They Know It's Christmas?"
1985

Slide 6 of 30

1985

#1 Franchise: Kentucky Fried Chicken
  • KFC has 6,300 franchised locations and opens the $23 million Colonel Harland Sanders Technical Centre in Louisville, Kentucky.
  • John Hendricks launches the Discovery Channel.
1986

Slide 7 of 30

1986

#1 Franchise: Domino's Pizza
  • Domino's Pizza opens its 3,000th outlet, which is also the first unit in Hong Kong, and the company sells 160 million pizzas this year alone.
  • The first federal Martin Luther King Jr. Day is observed on January 20.
  • About 7 million people form a human chain from New York City to Long Beach, California, in the Hands Across America event to raise money to fight hunger and homelessness.
1987

Slide 8 of 30

1987

#1 Franchise: Domino's Pizza
  • Domino's Pizza reduces average delivery time to 24 minutes.
  • Jazzercise is considered the top new franchise as well as the top low-investment franchise.
  • Prozac makes its debut in the U.S.
1988

Slide 9 of 30

1988

#1 Franchise: Subway
  • This is the first time Subway is ranked No. 1 in the Franchise 500®. 
  • Subway's first Australian location opens in Perth, and it adds 1,100 locations this year alone.
  • The Wonder Years premieres.
  • The Winter Olympics are held in Calgary, Alberta.
1989

Slide 10 of 30

1989

#1 Franchise: Subway
  • Subway's minimum startup cost is $27.4K. (Today's minimum startup cost is $80K.)
  • The Exxon Valdez spills about 11 million gallons of oil in Alaska's Prince William Sound.
  • Batman is released and becomes the year's top-grossing film.
1990

Slide 11 of 30

1990

#1 Franchise: Subway
  • Fred DeLuca, co-founder of Subway, reaches his goal of opening 5,000 stores--four years earlier than expected. 
  • Franchises generate nearly $600 billion in sales and account for one-third of all consumer purchases in the U.S. 
  • Nelson Mandela is released from prison in South Africa after 27 years.
  • The first World Wide Web page is created.
  • Germany is reunified.
  • 1991

    Slide 12 of 30

    1991

    #1 Franchise: Subway
    • DeLuca says he wants to match McDonald's store for store. 
    • Subway accounts for more than 60 percent of all sub sandwich locations in the U.S. 
    • Nirvana's hit single "Smells Like Teen Spirit" tops the Billboard charts.
    • The Rodney King beating, captured on video by an amateur photographer, is broadcast around the world. 
    • The Soviet Union collapses.
    1992

    Slide 13 of 30

    1992

    #1 Franchise: McDonald's
    • McDonald's serves an estimated 20 million customers each day in more than 12,000 restaurants worldwide. 
    • The Los Angeles riots result in more than 50 deaths and $1 billion in property damage.
    1993

    Slide 14 of 30

    1993

    #1 Franchise: Subway
    • Subway is opening about 100 new stores a month, and its closure rate is less than 2 percent annually. 
    • Janet Reno becomes the first woman U.S. attorney general. 
    • Oprah Winfrey hosts a 90-minute primetime interview with Michael Jackson, which becomes one of the most watched interviews in TV history.
    1994

    Slide 15 of 30

    1994

    #1 Franchise: Subway
    • This is Subway's best year ever in terms of average store sales (up 5 percent from the previous year).
    • According to management consulting firm Francorp Inc., only 11 percent of franchises are sold to minorities.
    • Friends premieres on NBC.
    • The "Chunnel" linking Britain with mainland Europe officially opens.
    1995

    Slide 16 of 30

    1995

    #1 Franchise: Subway
    • About 450 Subway shops reside in convenience stores and truck stops, many of which are in towns of only a few thousand people, and Subway posts about $2.5 billion in sales. 
    • The murder trial of O.J. Simpson is broadcast live on national TV.
    • Al Green, Janis Joplin, Neil Young and Led Zeppelin are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
    1996

    Slide 17 of 30

    1996

    #1 Franchise: Subway
    • Subway adds more than 1,300 units worldwide and reaches $3 billion in sales. The franchise can be found in 27 countries across the globe.
    • Entrepreneur picks bagels, specialized staffing and home health care as some of the hottest franchises of the year. 
    • Dolly the sheep, the first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell, is born.
    1997

    Slide 18 of 30

    1997

    #1 Franchise: McDonald's
    • McDonald's has nearly 20,000 stores worldwide, and 33 million customers a day and counting.  
    • Madeleine Albright becomes the first female U.S. secretary of state.
    • Princess Diana dies at the age of 36 in a Paris car crash. 
    • Titanic opens in theaters and grosses more than $1 billion globally.
    1998

    Slide 19 of 30

    1998

    #1 Franchise: McDonald's
    • The franchise fee for a McDonald's is $45,000, and the startup cost is $363,600 to $602,000.
    • Three of the top 10 franchises are in the frozen desserts category. 
    • President Bill Clinton admits that he had an "improper physical relationship" with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. He's impeached by the House of Representatives.
    1999

    Slide 20 of 30

    1999

    #1 Franchise: Yogen Fruz
    • Yogen Fruz is the world's largest franchisor of frozen dessert outlets, with 4,799 locations in 82 countries.
    • Herbal products, coffee, children's education and senior care are among the hottest franchise trends.
    • The world population surpasses  6 billion.
    • Napster launches.
    2000

    Slide 21 of 30

    2000

    #1 Franchise: McDonald's
    • McDonald's has more than 25,000 restaurants in 117 countries.
    • AOL buys Time Warner for $162 billion, the largest-ever corporate merger. 
    • Survivor spurs the reality TV trend.
    • George W. Bush wins a close presidential race after more than a month of determining disputed vote counts.
    2001

    Slide 22 of 30

    2001

    #1 Franchise: Subway
    • Subway becomes a $3.6 billion company, with more than 14,500 franchises in 76 countries.
    • Capitalizing on its successful Jared Fogle ads, Subway adds more than 600 new franchises and sees store sales increase 16 percent.
    • Terrorists attack the World Trade Center and Pentagon on Sept. 11.
    • Apple Inc. debuts the first iPod.
    2002

    Slide 23 of 30

    2002

    #1 Franchise: Subway
    • Subway becomes the national sponsor of the American Heart Association's Start! Heart Walk.
    • The Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl is kidnapped and later killed by a militant group in Pakistan.
    • President Bush signs the Homeland Security Act into law.
    2003

    Slide 24 of 30

    2003

    #1 Franchise: Subway
    • Subway grows to more than 17,000 locations in 75 countries.
    • Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates during re-entry over Texas, killing all seven crew members.
    • The U.S. invades Iraq, seizing control of Baghdad and ending Saddam Hussein's regime.
    2004

    Slide 25 of 30

    2004

    #1 Franchise: Subway
    • Subway receives about 130,000 requests for franchise information, with 25 percent of those applying for a franchise
    • Franchise 500® companies generate $206.6 billion in their most recent fiscal years.
    • Martha Stewart receives a five-month prison sentence for lying about insider trading.
    2005

    Slide 26 of 30

    2005

    #1 Franchise: Subway
    • Subway aims to reach 7,500 international stores by 2010. 
    • 391,139 franchises are sold in 2005--up 11 percent from 351,459 in 2004. 
    • YouTube launches.
    • Pope John Paul II dies at age 84. Millions of mourners attend his funeral in Vatican City.
    2006

    Slide 27 of 30

    2006

    #1 Franchise: Subway
    • Thousands register to receive inspirational phone messages from Subway weight-loss icon Jared Fogle.
    • Warren Buffett donates more than $30 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
    • Google acquires YouTube for $1.65 billion.
    2007

    Slide 28 of 30

    2007

    #1 Franchise: Subway
    • Subway has 26,197 locations worldwide. 
    • Apple introduces the iPhone at the 2007 MacWorld Conference & Expo.
    • A Virginia Tech student kills 32 people before committing suicide in the deadliest mass shooting by a single gunman in modern U.S. history.
    • The Writers Guild of America begins a three-month strike.
    2008

    Slide 29 of 30

    2008

    #1 Franchise: 7-ELEVEN
    • After 16 times in the top 10, 7-Eleven takes the No. 1 spot for the first time. 
    • Franchises jump on trends such as green business and fighting obesity.
    • Barack Obama is elected 44th president of the United States, making him the first black man to hold this office.
    2009

    Slide 30 of 30

    2009

    #1 Franchise: Subway