Franchise 500

While IHOb Makes Burgers, These 4 Franchises Still Focus on Breakfast

These breakfast franchises know where their metaphorical and literal bread is buttered.
While IHOb Makes Burgers, These 4 Franchises Still Focus on Breakfast
Image credit: Denny's | Facebook
Entrepreneur Staff
Associate Editor, Contributed Content
4 min read

The artist formerly known as IHOP made waves over the past several days by announcing a name change to IHOb, or International House of Burgers. While the company hasn’t stopped flipping pancakes, it’s clear that the restaurant chain wants to be known for more than just one menu item. That’s why it developed a line of seven new burgers and flipped its “P” upside down.

While this was a big move for the iconic chain, there are plenty of other franchises that still focus on breakfast. Here are four options from the Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list.

Dunkin' Donuts

It’s right there in the name: Dunkin' Donuts. Dunkin’ is known for its coffee and doughnut offerings, though it also offers breakfast sandwiches and smoothie drinks. Funnily enough, the business originally came from founder Bill Rosenberg’s Industrial Luncheon Services, a business that delivered food to Boston workers. The company’s success convinced him to start The Open Kettle, a doughnut shop in Massachusetts that eventually changed its name to Dunkin’ Donuts.

The breakfast chain, which has been ranked No. 3 in the Franchise 500 for the past two years, had 12,538 locations during our 2018 count, including over 9,000 franchises in the U.S.

  • 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: 346 units (2.9 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: The Top 5 Franchises of the 21st Century

Denny's

Denny’s is ranked No. 76 in our Franchise 500. Founded in 1953 by Harold Butler, the company was originally called Danny’s Donuts. It became just Denny’s in 1961, when there were 20 shops. Denny’s started franchising in 1963 and introduced its Grand Slam breakfast, which includes two pancakes, two sunny-side-up-eggs, two bacon strips and two sausage links, in 1977.

There were 1,621 Denny’s restaurants around the world as of 2017, including 1,424 U.S. franchises.

  • CEO: John Miller
  • Business headquarters: Spartanburg, S.C.
  • Franchising since: 1963
  • Initial investment: $228,000 to $2,546,075
  • Initial franchise fee: $10,000 to $40,000
  • New units in 2017: 1 units (0.1 percent)
  • Training: 91 hours on the job, 16 hours in the classroom
  • Marketing support: Co-op advertising, ad templates, national media, regional advertising, social media, website development, email marketing, loyalty program/app

Cinnabon

Cinnabon squeaked into the top 100 of the Entrepreneur Franchise 500, ranking No. 98. Founded in 1985 and franchising since 1986, there were 1,466 locations of the cinnamon bun bakery as of 2017, including 834 U.S. franchises. However, that number is quickly rising. Cinnabon added 115 units from 2016 to 2017, and it’s nearly doubled in number since 2008, when there were 743.

  • CEO: Joe Guith
  • Business headquarters: Atlanta, Ga.
  • Franchising since: 1986
  • Initial investment: $182,750 to $327,300
  • Initial franchise fee: $30,000
  • New units in 2017: 115 units (8.5 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, loyalty program/app

Black Bear Diner

Black Bear Diner is without question the youngest and least well-known of the four franchises on this list. The diner chain, ranked No. 211 on the Franchise 500, was founded in 1995 and started franchising in 2002. As a result, there were only 97 locations as of our 2017 count -- 64 U.S. franchises and 33 company-owned locations. 

However, in 2011, there were only 51 Black Bear Diners, so the company has nearly doubled in just six years.

  • CEO: Bruce Dean
  • Business headquarters: Redding, Calif.
  • Franchising since: 2002
  • Initial investment: $912,800 to $1,804,200
  • Initial franchise fee: $24,000 to $55,000
  • New units in 2017: 16 units (19.8 percent)
  • Training: 240 hours on the job
  • Marketing support: Co-op advertising, ad templates, national media, regional advertising, social media, SEO, website development, email marketing

Related: 5 Coffee and Diner Franchises That Are Perfect for Fall

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The Top 5 Franchises of the 21st Century