Franchise 500

The 13 Fastest Growing Franchise Opportunities From Our Franchise 500 List

Use these rankings as a starting point for your own franchise research.
The 13 Fastest Growing Franchise Opportunities From Our Franchise 500 List
Image credit: Taco Bell
Entrepreneur Staff
Associate Editor, Contributed Content
8 min read

If you consider yourself an entrepreneur, you probably don't dream about maintaining the status quo. Instead, you thrive on trying to take what you have and grow it. 

If that describes you, these franchises may match your personality. According to our studies, the businesses on this list enjoyed the most growth by number of units in North America between July 2016 and July 2017. 

But these companies aren't one-year wonders. We've tracked each company's growth by number of units since 2008, and you can see those numbers for yourself by checking out the full list of fastest-growing franchises here.

Start the slideshow to see the 13 fastest-growing franchise opportunities on the Entrepreneur Franchise 500.

Related: 5 Affordable Restaurant Franchises You Can Start for 5 Figures

 

 

The 13 Fastest Growing Franchise Opportunities From Our Franchise 500 List

Dunkin' Donuts

Dunkin' Donuts might have started franchising 63 years ago, but it's still somehow the no. 1 entry on this list, in addition to taking the no. 3 slot overall on the 2018 Franchise 500 list.

There are over 12,000 Dunkin' Donuts franchises around the globe, and more than 9,000 in the U.S. alone at the start of 2018.

CEO: Nigel Travis

Business headquarters: Canton, Mass.

Franchising since: 1955

Initial investment: $228,620 to $1,691,200

Initial franchise fee: $40,000 to $90,000

New units in 2017: 409 units (3.4 percent)

Training: 219 to 324 hours on the job, 68 to 73 hours in the classroom

Marketing support: Co-op advertising, ad templates, national media, regional advertising, social media, SEO, website development, email marketing, loyalty program/app

Related: Krispy Kreme Vs. Dunkin' Donuts: Which Is the Better Franchise Investment for You?

The 13 Fastest Growing Franchise Opportunities From Our Franchise 500 List

7-Eleven

7-Eleven
Image credit: 7-Eleven | Facebook

If we were counting international growth, 7-Eleven would be lapping the field, having increased from 27,079 international franchises in 2008 to a whopping 54,061 in 2017. (Unfortunately, for the coffee and convenience franchise, those numbers aren't counted for this.)

That said, 7-Eleven's domestic growth has been nearly as impressive by percentage, if not by sheer numbers. The no. 2 business on the Franchise 500 list (and no. 1 last year) has gone from 4,330 U.S. franchises to 7,025 by the start of 2017. 

CEO: Joseph DePinto

Business headquarters: Dallas

Franchising since: 1964

Initial investment: $37,550 to $1,149,900

Initial franchise fee: $10,000 to $1,000,000

New units in 2017: 3,336 units (5.7 percent)

Training: 240 hours on the job, 24 hours in the classroom

Marketing support: Co-op advertising, ad templates, national media, regional advertising, social media, SEO, website development, email marketing, loyalty program/app

Related: 24 Top-Ranked, Affordable Franchises You Can Buy for $25,000 or Less

The 13 Fastest Growing Franchise Opportunities From Our Franchise 500 List

Planet Fitness

Planet Fitness, founded in 1992 by Michael Grondahl, is ranked 21st on the Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list. One of three fitness franchises on this list, Planet Fitness is known for having a strong return on investment despite the six- or seven-figure price tag.

CEO: Chris Rondeau

Business headquarters: Hampton, N.H.

Franchising since: 2003

Initial investment: $857,080 to $4,234,750

Initial franchise fee: $20,000

New units in 2017: 287 units (25.5 percent)

Training: 20 hours on the job, 76 hours in the classroom

Marketing support: Co-op advertising, ad templates, national media, regional advertising, social media, SEO, website development, email marketing

The 13 Fastest Growing Franchise Opportunities From Our Franchise 500 List

Jan-Pro

Jan-Pro might not be the biggest name on this slideshow, but it's insanely low price tag helps make it accessible to people who can't afford to spend six or seven figures on a place like Dunkin' Donuts. The commercial cleaning company is ranked 51st on the Franchise 500, and there are multiple investment options for franchisees. You can decide whether you want to become a cleaner yourself, which comes with a lower price tag, or to become a manager of those unit franchisees, which is more expensive.

CEO: Eddie Curry

Business headquarters: Alpharetta, Ga.

Franchising since: 1992

Initial investment: $3,985 to $51,105

Initial franchise fee: $2,520 to $44,000

New units in 2017: 262 units (3.2 percent)

Training: 15 hours on the job, 15 hours in the classroom

Marketing support: Regional advertising, social media, SEO, website development, email marketing

The 13 Fastest Growing Franchise Opportunities From Our Franchise 500 List

Taco Bell

Taco Bell
Image credit: Taco Bell | Facebook

Taco Bell CEO Brian Niccol might be leaving the company to join Chipotle, but the Mexican fast food restaurant, ranked no. 8 on the Franchise 500, isn't going anywhere. At the start of 2017, there were 5,535 Taco Bell franchises in the U.S., up from 4,279 in 2008.

CEO: N/A

Business headquarters: Irvine, Calif.

Franchising since: 1964

Initial investment: $525,100 to $2,622,400

Initial franchise fee: $25,000 to $45,000

New units in 2017: 218 units (3.4 percent)

Training: 8 hours of classroom training, 400 hours on the job

Marketing support: Co-op advertising, ad templates, national media, regional advertising

Related: The 10 Best Franchises to Open in 2018

The 13 Fastest Growing Franchise Opportunities From Our Franchise 500 List

Orangetheory Fitness

Orangetheory Fitness, the second fitness franchise appearing on this slideshow, is ranked 48th on the Entrepreneur Franchise 500. Primarily focused on cardio workouts and training sessions, Orangetheory gyms are significantly less expensive than a Planet Fitness, helping to lead to its 57 percent growth in total units.

CEO: Dave Long

Business headquarters: Boca Raton, Fla.

Franchising since: 2010

Initial investment: $488,405 to $994,360

Initial franchise fee: $54,950 - $59,950

New units in 2017: 267 units (57.5 percent)

Training: 3.3 hours on the job, 58.25 hours in the classroom

Marketing support: Co-op advertising, ad templates, national media, regional advertising, social media, SEO, website development, email marketing

The 13 Fastest Growing Franchise Opportunities From Our Franchise 500 List

Great Clips

Great Clips
Image credit: Great Clips | Facebook

Great Clips isn't just a fast-growing franchise; it has steadily been growing since 1983. There are now more than 4,000 locations in North America, which one major reason why the haircutting business is ranked 7th on the Entrepreneur Franchise 500.

CEO: Rhoda Olsen

Business headquarters: Minneapolis, Minn.

Franchising since: 1983

Initial investment: $136,900 to $258,250

Initial franchise fee: $20,000

New units in 2017: 223 units (5.8 percent)

Training: 12 hours on the job, 44 hours in the classroom

Marketing support: Co-op advertising, ad templates, national media, regional advertising, social media, SEO, website development, loyalty program, app

The 13 Fastest Growing Franchise Opportunities From Our Franchise 500 List

Mac Tools

Mac Tools
Image credit: Mac Tools | Facebook

Mac Tools probably isn't what you think it is. The 40th-ranked business on the Entrepreneur Franchise 500 is a division of Stanley Black & Decker Inc. -- not Apple -- and sells automotive tools instead of smartphones. Even so, the company has experienced a ton of growth in the number of units since it started franchising in 2011, especially in the U.S., where the number of franchises has grown from just five to 781 in 2017.

CEO: Brett Shaw

Business headquarters: Westerville, Ohio

Franchising since: 2011

Initial investment: $103,190 to $256,005

Initial franchise fee: $5,950

New units in 2017: 246 units (26.7 percent)

Training: 2 weeks on the job, 40+ hours in the classroom

Marketing support: Co-op advertising, ad templates, national media, social media

The 13 Fastest Growing Franchise Opportunities From Our Franchise 500 List

Cruise Planners

Cruise Planners are home-based travel agents, which allows the company to offer its franchises for even less than Jan-Pro. In fact, Cruise Planners -- ranked 60th overall -- is the single cheapest business on the Entrepreneur Franchise 500. That has allowed the company to grow from 766 U.S. franchises in 2008 to 2,565 units by the start of 2017.

CEO: Michelle Fee

Business headquarters: Coral Springs, Fla.

Franchising since: 1999

Initial investment: $2,095 to $10,495

Initial franchise fee: $495 to $10,495

New units in 2017: 132 units (5.4 percent)

Training: Ongoing training on the job, 58.5 hours in the classroom

Marketing support: Co-op advertising, ad templates, national media, regional advertising, social media, SEO, website development, email marketing

The 13 Fastest Growing Franchise Opportunities From Our Franchise 500 List

Jazzercise

Jazzercise
Image credit: Jazzercise | Facebook

If Orangetheory Fitness is still out of your price range, but you have a passion for exercise, Jazzercise provides an affordable alternative. The 63rd-ranked business on the Entrepreneur Franchise 500 can go for as little as $3,700 and tops out at $32,750, which is still several times less than its franchise competitors on this list.

CEO: Judi Sheppard Missett

Business headquarters: Carlsbad, Calif.

Franchising since: 1982

Initial investment: $3,700 to $32,750

Initial franchise fee: $1,250

New units in 2017: 199 units (2.2 percent)

Training: Ongoing training on the job

Marketing support: Co-op advertising, ad templates, regional advertising, social media, SEO, website development, email marketing

The 13 Fastest Growing Franchise Opportunities From Our Franchise 500 List

McDonald's

McDonald's
Image credit: McDonald's | Facebook

McDonald's never stops growing, which is why (at least in part) we ranked it first on the 2018 Entrepreneur Franchise 500, taking over the top spot from 7-Eleven. McDonald's franchises don't come cheap (you're going to end up spending seven figures at minimum)m but the company's branding and global renown make it a good investment for many.

CEO: Steve Easterbrook

Business headquarters: Carlsbad, Calif.

Franchising since: 1955

Initial investment: $1,008,000 to $2,214,080

Initial franchise fee: $45,000

New units in 2017: 507 units (1.4 percent)

Training: 6 to 24 months training on the job, 75 hours training in the classroom

Marketing support: Co-op advertising, ad templates, national advertising, regional advertising, social media, loyalty program, app

The 13 Fastest Growing Franchise Opportunities From Our Franchise 500 List

RE/Max

RE/Max
Image credit: REMAX | Facebook

RE/MAX LLC is the fifth ranked business on the Entrepreneur Franchise 500 and the top-ranked real estate agency. Because RE/MAX agents are in charge of their own business and share office expenses, the price of a RE/MAX is fairly affordable and has helped drive its growth even after four decades of franchising.

CEO: Dave Liniger and Adam Contos

Business headquarters: Denver

Franchising since: 1975

Initial investment: $37,500 to $225,000

Initial franchise fee: $45,000

New units in 2017: 343 units (4.8 percent)

Training: 31 hours training in the classroom

Marketing support: Ad templates, national advertising, regional advertising, social media, SEO, website development, email marketing

The 13 Fastest Growing Franchise Opportunities From Our Franchise 500 List

Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches

Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches
Image credit: Jimmy John's | Facebook

Jimmy John's is one of three restaurant chains on this slideshow, but it's about 20 years younger than the other two on this list -- meaning it still has plenty of time to grow. The company had 701 U.S. franchises in the start of 2008 and 2,657 by the start of 2017.

CEO: James North

Business headquarters: Champaign, Ill.

Franchising since: 1993

Initial investment: $329,500 to $557,500

Initial franchise fee: $35,000

New units in 2017: 84 units (3.2 percent)

Training: 40 hours on the job, 40 hours in the classroom

Marketing support: Co-op advertising, ad templates, national media, regional advertising, social media, SEO, website development, email marketing

Related: Krispy Kreme Vs. Dunkin' Donuts: Which Is the Better Franchise Investment for You?

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  • The 13 Fastest Growing Franchise Opportunities From Our Franchise 500 List
  • 1. Dunkin' Donuts
  • 2. 7-Eleven
  • 3. Planet Fitness
  • 4. Jan-Pro
  • 5. Taco Bell
  • 6. Orangetheory Fitness
  • 7. Great Clips
  • 8. Mac Tools
  • 9. Cruise Planners
  • 10. Jazzercise
  • 11. McDonald's
  • 12. RE/Max
  • 13. Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches
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