From fast-food to ice vending machine franchises, 2014 was a crazy year in the world of franchising.
This year brought the franchise industry some impressive highs, like the increasing growth of new jobs, and some difficult lows, such as the ongoing fast-food worker strikes. 2014 ushered in the National Labor Relations Board's landmark "joint employer" decision. It also birthed Taco Bell's Waffle Taco.
Here at Entrepreneur, we work to cover all these issues and more. Here's a countdown of our most-viewed articles about franchising in 2014.
10. The Top Franchise in Every Industry
From automotive to tech, here are the best-of-the-best picks for every category of the franchising industry.
9. Franchise or New Venture? That Depends on You.
Franchise coach and Entrepreneur contributor Rick Bisio broke down the decision to buy a franchise or open an independent business. Check out his key questions to ask yourself if you're struggling with this choice.
8. This 24-Hour On-Demand Ice Machine Is a Game Changer
IceBorn made it into Entrepreneur's Franchise 500 list for the first time in 2014. The ice machine franchise is spreading like wildfire as the demand for on-demand ice catches on across the U.S.
7. The Weirdest Fast-Food Mashups in America
The Waffle Taco. The Pizza Cake. Loaded Doritos. In the fast-food industry, 2014 will be remembered as the year of the mashup. Here is a list of the weirdest of the weird.
6. Burger With A Side of Heroin? McDonald's Worker Found Selling Drugs in Happy Meals
Here's one news story we might prefer to forget. In January, an employee at a Pittsburgh McDonald's was arrested for selling heroin in Happy Meal boxes.
5. Can a Food Blogger Force Starbucks to Change Its Pumpkin Spice Latte?
Blogger Vani Hari has had a busy few years, convincing Chick-fil-A to cut the corn syrup and forcing Subway to remove chemicals from its bread. Here's her case against the Pumpkin Spice Latte.
4. How a Former Denny's Waitress Amassed an Empire of Over 75 Denny's Locations
Dawn Lafreeda bought her first restaurant at 23. Over the last 30 years, she has become a major franchisee, with 75 Denny's locations.
3. Denny's Just Capitalized on Apple's Tech Glitch in a Genius Marketing Move
If you don't follow Denny's on Twitter, now is the time to start. Even though you may be occasionally overwhelmed by the bizarre brand, if you're following the franchise you won't miss jokes like this spot-on tweet poking fun at Apple Day's tech glitches.
2. The Top 10 Franchises of 2014
Anytime Fitness, Hampton Hotels and Subway led the pack in Entrepreneur's 35th annual Franchise 500 rankings.
1. Our Top Homebased Franchises, No Office Space Required
Want to work from home? Consider buying one of these franchises, including Jan-Pro, Cruise Planners and Vanguard Cleaning Systems.