Welcome to the 44th annual Franchise 500. With this year’s record-breaking number of applicants, the list offers a comprehensive overview of the state of the franchise world as it emerges from the most challenging days of the pandemic into uncertain economic conditions—and still keeps going strong. There’s something here for every prospective franchisee, whether you’re interested in finding an opportunity within a brand that has been around for decades or in getting in on the ground floor of the next emerging trend.
So how do we evaluate all of these opportunities, new and old, large and small, to bring you the world’s first, best and most comprehensive franchise ranking? Read on:
The Five Pillars of the Franchise 500®
Some key factors that go into our evaluation:
COSTS & FEES
- Franchise fee
- Total investment
- Royalty fees
- Training times
- Marketing support
- Operational support
- Franchisor infrastructure
- Financing availability
SIZE & GROWTH
- Open & operating units
- Growth rate
- Social media
- System size
- Years in business
- Years franchising
FINANCIAL STRENGTH & STABILITY
- Franchisor's audited financial statements
Note: Pillars are not listed in order of importance or weighting.
The first step in our ranking process is gathering the data. Starting in June 2022, we asked franchisors to fill out our extensive online form and submit a copy of their current Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) or Canadian Disclosure Document. A whopping 1,321 companies supplied all the required information. Each submissions was vetted by our editorial team before being entered for data analysis.
To be eligible to rank, a franchisor must be seeking new franchisees in the U.S. or Canada and must have had a minimum of 10 units open and operating as of July 31, 2022, with at least one franchise located in North America. Each eligible franchisor was scored based on more than 150 data points, and those with the highest cumulative scores became this year’s Franchise 500.
Note: The Franchise 500 is not intended to endorse, advertise, or recommend any particular franchise. It is solely a tool to compare franchise operations. You should always conduct your own careful research before investing in a franchise. Read the FDD and related materials, get help from a franchise attorney and an accountant to review legal and financial documents, talk to as many existing and former franchisees as possible, and visit their outlets. Protect yourself by doing your homework to find the opportunity that’s best for you.
Research compiled by Tracy Stapp Herold and Michael Frazier, with assistance from Sean Strain, Jordan Hall, Isabel Esquivel, Maria Kim, and Andrew Robinson; technical assistance from Michael Flach and Angel Cool.