Franchises

Learn What Fuels the Fastest-Growing Franchises of the Year

Learn What Fuels the Fastest-Growing Franchises of the Year
Image credit: Shutterstock
  • ---Shares
This story appears in the February 2016 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The franchising business is booming, and nowhere is that more evident than Entrepreneur’s fastest-growing franchises ranking. Growth is the goal of every franchise system, of course, but not all achieve it as successfully as our top performers. To find out their secret sauce, we asked executives from the companies in our ranking. As their responses poured in, a clear theme emerged: Real growth -- growth that’s not only quick, but sustainable -- comes from a focus on people; not just the franchisees, but the employees they hire, the customers they serve, and the corporate staff who support them. In short: Take care of people and the numbers take care of themselves. 

The 105 companies listed on the following pages represent a total of 9,695 new franchises opened in North America between July 2014 and July 2015, an almost 32 percent increase from the previous year’s growth. The companies are ranked based on their growth during that time frame, with ties listed alphabetically.

As you look over this listing and take in some words of wisdom from the fastest-growing companies, keep in mind that the ranking is not intended as an endorsement of any particular company. Growth is just one sign of a healthy franchise system, but finding the right opportunity for you requires due diligence. Before investing, always read the company’s legal documents, consult with an attorney and an accountant, and look beyond the numbers by talking to franchisees about their experiences.

1. Jan-Pro Franchising International 
Commercial cleaning
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #24
Total franchises/co.-owned: 7,849/0
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +480

2. Subway
Subs, salads
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #5
Total franchises/co.-owned: 43,916/0
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +435

3. Dunkin' Donuts
Coffee, doughnuts, baked goods
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #8
Total franchises/co.-owned: 11,460/0
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +419

4. Hardee's
Burgers, chicken, biscuits
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #12
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,894/192
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +325

5. Jazzercise 
Group fitness classes, conventions, apparel and accessories
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #80
Total franchises/co.-owned: 8,697/2
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +315

6. Cruise Planners
Travel agency
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #25
Total franchises/co.-owned: 2,071/1
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +314

7. Stratus Building Solutions
Commercial cleaning
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #236
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,384/0
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +297

8. Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches
Gourmet sandwiches
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #1
Total franchises/co.-owned: 2,238/48
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +296

9. Carl's Jr. Restaurants
Burgers
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #54
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,257/238
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +221

10. Anytime Fitness
Fitness center
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #10
Total franchises/co.-owned: 3,004/36
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +202

11. Planet Fitness
Fitness club
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #95
Total franchises/co.-owned: 956/58
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +183

12. Supercuts
Hair salon
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #3
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,493/1,070
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +180

13. Great Clips
Hair salon
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #28
Total franchises/co.-owned: 3,694/0
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +176

14. Sport Clips
Men’s sports-theme hair salon
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #16
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,373/32
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +164

15. Vanguard Cleaning Systems
Commercial cleaning
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #26
Total franchises/co.-owned: 3,109/0
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +163

16. Jersey Mike's Subs
Subs
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #66
Total franchises/co.-owned: 928/38
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +159

17. RE/MAX 
Real estate
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #21
Total franchises/co.-owned: 6,824/15
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +158

18. Orangetheory Fitness
Group personal training
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #255
Total franchises/co.-owned: 260/0
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +148

19. HomeVestors of America 
Home buying, repair and selling
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #91
Total franchises/co.-owned: 605/0
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +128

20. Kona Ice
Shaved-ice truck
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #77
Total franchises/co.-owned: 667/10
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +126

21. IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group)
Hotels
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #38
Total franchises/co.-owned: 4,942/8
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +123

21. Painting with a Twist
Paint-and-sip studio
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #225
Total franchises/co.-owned: 237/0
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +123

23. Taco Bell
Mexican food
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #18
Total franchises/co.-owned: 5,272/926
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +116

24. McDonald's
Burgers, chicken, salads, beverages
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #6
Total franchises/co.-owned: 29,712/6,656
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +114

25. Buildingstars International 
Commercial cleaning
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #90
Total franchises/co.-owned: 641/0
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +109

26. Mathnasium Learning Centers
Math tutoring
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #169
Total franchises/co.-owned: 666/11
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +109

27. Matco Tools
Mechanics’ tools and equipment
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #37
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,598/1
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +105

28. Dickey’s Barbecue Pit
Barbecue
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #101
Total franchises/co.-owned: 506/9
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +100

29. Firehouse Subs
Subs
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #62
Total franchises/co.-owned: 870/31
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +99

30. Wingstop Restaurants 
Chicken wings
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #71
Total franchises/co.-owned: 766/19
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +97

31. Mac Tools
Automotive tools and equipment
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #72
Total franchises/co.-owned: 851/5
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +96

32. Motel 6
Economy hotels
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #56
Total franchises/co.-owned: 686/490
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +96

33. 9Round-30 min Kickbox Fitness
Kickboxing fitness programs
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #190
Total franchises/co.-owned: 240/3
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +91

34. Massage Envy Spa
Therapeutic massage and facial services
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #43
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,085/0
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +86

35. Marco’s Franchising 
Pizza, subs, wings, cheese bread
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #81
Total franchises/co.-owned: 607/0
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +84

36. Auntie Anne’s Hand-Rolled Soft Pretzels
Soft pretzels
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #31
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,602/15
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +80

37. Pop-A-Lock Franchise System
Mobile locksmith and security services
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #98
Total franchises/co.-owned: 511/3
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +79

38. Pure Barre
Fitness classes and apparel
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #168
Total franchises/co.-owned: 307/14
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +79

39. TapSnap
Digital photo booths
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #452
Total franchises/co.-owned: 312/12
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +77

40. Budget Blinds 
Window coverings, window film, rugs, accessories
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #47
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,009/0
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +74

41. Hampton by Hilton
Midprice hotels
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #2
Total franchises/co.-owned: 2,053/1
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +74

42. Merry Maids
Residential cleaning
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #48
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,506/172
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +74

43. Mosquito Joe
Outdoor pest control
2016 Franchise 500 rank: Not ranked
Total franchises/co.-owned: 113/1
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +74

44. The UPS Store
Postal, business, printing and communications services
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #17
Total franchises/co.-owned: 4,862/0
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +69

45. Cinnabon
Cinnamon rolls, baked goods, coffee
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #55
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,306/1
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +67

46. Bricks 4 Kidz
Lego-engineering classes, camps, parties
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #79
Total franchises/co.-owned: 672/2
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +66

47. Jet’s Pizza
Pizza, subs, wings, salads
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #126
Total franchises/co.-owned: 373/30
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +63

48. Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spa
Massage and spa services
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #187
Total franchises/co.-owned: 221/1
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +62

49. Chester’s
Chicken
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #64
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,117/0
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +60

50. Express Employment Professionals
Staffing, HR solutions
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #70
Total franchises/co.-owned: 725/0
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +60

51. Fyzical Therapy & Balance Centers
Physical therapy, balance treatment, preventative wellness services
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #719
Total franchises/co.-owned: 97/0
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +60

52. Moe’s Southwest Grill
Southwestern food
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #83
Total franchises/co.-owned: 607/4
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +60

53. Seva Beauty
Threading, eyelash extensions, waxing, spa services and products
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #294
Total franchises/co.-owned: 137/2
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +59

54. Rent-A-Center
Rent-to-own furniture, electronics, computers, appliances
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #78
Total franchises/co.-owned: 150/2,928
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +56

55. SafeSplash Swim School
Child and adult swimming lessons, parties, summer camps
2016 Franchise 500 rank: Not ranked
Total franchises/co.-owned: 56/24
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +56

56. Zaxby's Franchising 
Chicken fingers, Buffalo wings, sandwiches, salads
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #82
Total franchises/co.-owned: 574/122
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +56

57. Sola Salon Studios
Salon suites
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #348
Total franchises/co.-owned: 261/12
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +55

58. Which Wich Superior Sandwiches
Sandwiches
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #262
Total franchises/co.-owned: 351/3
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +53

59. Red Roof Franchising 
Economy hotels
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #164
Total franchises/co.-owned: 290/117
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +52

60. Miracle-Ear 
Hearing instruments
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #44
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,259/6
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +51

61. CPR-Cell Phone Repair
Electronics repairs and sales
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #462
Total franchises/co.-owned: 216/2
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +50

62. Tropical Smoothie Café
Smoothies, wraps, salads, sandwiches, flatbreads
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #399
Total franchises/co.-owned: 461/1
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +50

63. Circle K
Convenience stores
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #36
Total franchises/co.-owned: 5,201/3,255
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +49

64. Edible Arrangements International 
Sculpted fresh-fruit bouquets
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #35
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,202/4
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +48

65. uBreakiFix
Electronics repairs
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #500
Total franchises/co.-owned: 107/19
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +48

66. AdvantaClean
Environmental services
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #186
Total franchises/co.-owned: 216/0
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +47

67. Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza
Assembly-line pizza
2016 Franchise 500 rank: Not ranked
Total franchises/co.-owned: 98/5
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +47

68. Pinot’s Palette
Paint-and-sip studio
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #247
Total franchises/co.-owned: 132/4
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +46

69. Weed Man
Lawn care
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #86
Total franchises/co.-owned: 563/0
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +46

70. Maid Right Franchising 
Residential cleaning
2016 Franchise 500 rank: Not ranked
Total franchises/co.-owned: 111/0
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +44

71. Phenix Salon Suites Franchising 
Salon suites
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #443
Total franchises/co.-owned: 114/6
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +44

72. Rooter-Man
Plumbing, drain and sewer cleaning
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #100
Total franchises/co.-owned: 533/17
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +42

73. Rita’s Italian Ice
Italian ice, frozen custard
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #94
Total franchises/co.-owned: 597/0
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +40

74. Freddy's Frozen Custard 
Frozen custard, steakburgers, hot dogs
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #215
Total franchises/co.-owned: 146/14
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +39

75. Culver Franchising System 
Frozen custard, specialty burgers
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #89
Total franchises/co.-owned: 549/7
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +38

76. ServiceMaster Clean
Commercial/residential cleaning, disaster restoration
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #33
Total franchises/co.-owned: 5,021/10
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +38

77. Apex Fun Run
Elementary-school fundraising programs
2016 Franchise 500 rank: Not ranked
Total franchises/co.-owned: 60/0
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +37

78. Baymont Inn & Suites
Hotels
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #141
Total franchises/co.-owned: 383/0
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +37

79. Oxi Fresh Franchising 
Carpet, upholstery, hardwood floor, tile and grout cleaning
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #216
Total franchises/co.-owned: 283/6
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +37

80. Smoothie King
Smoothies, health products
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #92
Total franchises/co.-owned: 702/22
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +37

81. Jantize America
Commercial cleaning
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #414
Total franchises/co.-owned: 252/0
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +35

82. Mosquito Squad
Outdoor pest control
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #249
Total franchises/co.-owned: 176/0
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +35

83. Papa John’s International 
Pizza
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #30
Total franchises/co.-owned: 3,993/740
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +34

84. Visiting Angels
Nonmedical home care
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #96
Total franchises/co.-owned: 519/0
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +34

85. FastSigns International 
Signs, graphics
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #87
Total franchises/co.-owned: 587/0
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +33

86. Fresh Healthy Vending
Snack and beverage vending machines
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #482
Total franchises/co.-owned: 219/62
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +33

87. Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park
Trampoline playing court
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #308
Total franchises/co.-owned: 106/2
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +33

88. BurgerFi International 
Burgers, hot dogs, fries, onion rings, custards
2016 Franchise 500 rank: Not ranked
Total franchises/co.-owned: 73/12
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +32

89. Jack in the Box
Burgers
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #13
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,818/431
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +32

90. Pita Pit 
Pita sandwiches
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #113
Total franchises/co.-owned: 554/16
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +32

91. Bahama Buck’s Original Shaved Ice 
Shaved ice, fruit smoothies
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #364
Total franchises/co.-owned: 68/3
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +31

92. Pillar To Post Home Inspectors
Home inspections
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #102
Total franchises/co.-owned: 470/0
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +31

93. Plato’s Closet
Teen- and young-adult-clothing resale store
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #105
Total franchises/co.-owned: 439/0
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +31

94. Synergy HomeCare
Nonmedical home care
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #150
Total franchises/co.-owned: 311/0
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +31

95. Weichert Real Estate Affiliates 
Real estate
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #137
Total franchises/co.-owned: 277/139
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +31

96. Assisting Hands Home Care
Home health care, respite care
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #307
Total franchises/co.-owned: 88/3
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +30

97. Heits Building Services
Commercial cleaning and maintenance
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #193
Total franchises/co.-owned: 231/1
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +30

98. Hilton Garden Inn
Upscale midprice hotels
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #85
Total franchises/co.-owned: 637/2
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +30

99. Mint Condition Franchising 
Commercial cleaning, building maintenance
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #149
Total franchises/co.-owned: 312/0
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +30

100. Servpro
Insurance/disaster restoration and cleaning
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #4
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,694/0
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +30

101. Batteries Plus Bulbs
Batteries, light bulbs, related products
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #75
Total franchises/co.-owned: 614/46
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +28

102. Computer Troubleshooters
Technology consulting and services for small businesses
2016 Franchise 500 rank: Not ranked
Total franchises/co.-owned: 361/1
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +28

103. Elements Massage
Therapeutic massage services
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #182
Total franchises/co.-owned: 207/0
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +28

104. FocalPoint Coaching 
Business coaching and consulting
2016 Franchise 500 rank: Not ranked
Total franchises/co.-owned: 167/0
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +28

105. Seniors Helping Seniors
Nonmedical home care
2016 Franchise 500 rank: #167
Total franchises/co.-owned: 277/6
U.S./Canada franchise growth: +28

Edition: December 2016

Get the Magazine

Limited-Time Offer: 1 Year Print + Digital Edition and 2 Gifts only $9.99
Subscribe Now