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4 Lists of Franchise Rankings You Don't Want to Miss You're likely to find out a few things you didn't know about the brands who've earned a spot on these lists.

By Jeff Cheatham

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Let's face it: Americans are obsessed with rankings. All you have to do is look at the hotly debated Top 25 in college football to see just how passionate fans can get. We're an extremely competitive society, and our love of lists and rankings satisfy our appetite for bragging rights. The franchising industry is no different. Because entrepreneurs are looking to buy and franchisors are looking to sell, both want to know who the top franchise brands are at any given moment. A ranking on a prestigious list ups the value and buzz for any franchisor, and each year, thousands apply for inclusion.

To that end, here are four lists of franchise rankings you don't want to miss.

1. Entrepreneur's Franchise 500

By far the most popular, and compelling, of the many available rankings goes to Entrepreneur magazine. The Entrepreneur Franchise 500 ranking, now in its 43rd year, is by far the most recognizable and prestigious list of them all. In January of each year, the Franchise 500 is released, but the evaluations begin six months earlier in June. Franchisors are sent an online application form and must submit a copy of their most recent FDD. All submissions are vetted by Entrepreneur's internal research team and statistics from each franchise are entered into a database for a head-to-head comparison with all other entries (last year, over 1,100 applied). Eligibility requirements include a minimum of 10 units open, with at least one located in North America. Each concept is scored based on an analysis of more than 150 data points. The top 500 cumulative scores make the franchising industry's most enviable list.

Related: How to Win PR and Media Coverage With Unique Original Data


Billing itself as the "Independent Guide on the Best Franchises," has over a decade of consecutive listings and claims to have analyzed and ranked over 12,000 franchise concepts. It ranks franchises into the following categories: food, service, real estate, consumer, B2B and miscellaneous. It also ranks franchise suppliers and marketers. There's a searchable directory and places to submit brands for consideration. You can also find sub-categories including "Most Popular" and "Most Reviews".

Related: The Hottest Franchise Categories of 2021

3. Franchise Business Review

Franchise Business Review is a leading market research firm in the franchise industry that specializes in franchisee satisfaction, as well as performance. According to its website, the firm has researched and analyzed more than 1,000 franchise concepts since its inception in 2005. According to its mission, Franchise Business Review pledges transparency and independence. Each year, it publishes its Top 200 franchises. Earning a spot on this prestigious list is based on reviews from franchise owners on their level of satisfaction with the brand. And you can sort through the results by industry, investment level, initial fees or alphabetically. This list is not based on popularity, sales or volume — just simple owner satisfaction, which makes it different than most of the other rankings.

4. Franchise Times

Franchise Times is one of the premier magazine publications in the industry. The periodical offers readers with expert opinions, in-depth analysis, investigative journalism and profile pieces that cover the world of franchising. It also has its own branded list of rankings, called the "Franchise Times Top 400". The methodology behind this list is based on the largest franchisors, according to global systemwide sales and the previous year's performance. Each year, the list is compiled by a team of seven researchers who spend five months collecting, analyzing and verifying each of the brand's qualifications.

For entrepreneurs considering franchise ownership, it's a worthwhile exercise to check out each of these franchise rankings. You're likely to find out a few things you didn't know about the brands who've earned a spot on these lists. For franchisors, if you're eligible to participate, you should make inquiries about applying for consideration on each of the examples listed above.

After all, bragging rights are at stake.

Related: Franchise 500: Our Definitive Ranking of 2022's Strongest Franchises

Jeff Cheatham

Founder and CEO of Creative Content

Jeff Cheatham is the founder and CEO of Creative Content, a full-service copywriting and public relations firm. He's based in Dallas and works with multiple B2B clients and over a dozen franchise brands to develop proprietary content campaigns for lead generation and sales development programs.


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