Franchise 500

What Do Schlotzsky's, Cinnabon and Auntie Anne's Have in Common? The Same Parent Company: Focus Brands.

You can research franchises by price, location, industry … and parent company, too.
Entrepreneur Staff
Associate Editor, Contributed Content
4 min read

Maybe the best part of opening a franchise is the support you receive from an established brand. Those brands can help you with advertising, social media, SEO and much more. In doing so, they can make your life a lot easier.

So, if you're trying to decide which franchise fits your style, it makes sense that you might research not by industry or price tag, but also by parent company. It seems reasonable that different franchises owned by the same company might share tendencies, and you can see that clearly with Focus Brands Inc. 

Headquartered in Atlanta, five of the six franchises are also located there, with Auntie Anne's being the sole exception. All of the franchise fees cost between $30,000 and $35,000, and most of the entries offer similar marketing support.

So, if you love McAlister's Deli, but can't afford it, you might take a look at Schlotzsky's. If you have always wanted to own a Cinnabon, but they aren't available in your area, take a look at Auntie Anne's.

Let's get started with Focus Brands' top-ranked franchise.

Cinnabon

Cinnabon
Image credit: Cinnabon | Facebook

Cinnabon is the only Focus Brands franchise in the top 100 of our Franchise 500, coming in at No. 98. The food court and airport staple has been franchising since 1986, and there were 1,466 locations in our 2017 count, up from 743 in 2008.

  • President: Kristen Hartman
  • Business headquarters: Atlanta
  • Franchising since: 1986
  • Initial investment: $182,750 to $327,300
  • Initial franchise fee: $30,000
  • New units: 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

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

McAlister's Deli

McAlister's Deli, ranked No. 114 on our list, is by far the most expensive of the Focus Brands restaurants. That's due in part to the fact that it is a sit-down cafe with an actual waitstaff, so it needs more space.

The restaurants serve sandwiches, salads and stuffed baked potatoes. McAlister's has been franchising since 1994, and there were 387 locations according to our 2017 count.

  • President: Joe Guith
  • Business headquarters: Atlanta
  • Franchising since: 1994
  • Initial investment: $762,000 to $2,028,500
  • Initial franchise fee: $35,000
  • New units in 2017: 11 units (2.9 percent)
  • Training: 206 hours on the job, 45 hours in the classroom
  • Marketing support: Co-op advertising, ad templates, regional advertising, social media, SEO, website development, email marketing, loyalty program/app

Related: The 5 Best Pizza Franchises You Can Start Today

Auntie Anne's Hand-Rolled Soft Pretzels

Auntie Anne's Hand-Rolled Soft Pretzels
Image credit: Auntie Anne's | Facebook

Auntie Anne's, the No. 124 franchise on our list, started at a concession stand in Maryland. Anne Beiler sold pizzas, pretzels and more at a farmer's market, but the pretzels sold particularly well. That success was the start of something special (and salty). As of 2017, there were 1,749 Auntie Anne's around the world.

  • CEO: Heather Neary
  • Business headquarters: Lancaster, Penn.
  • Franchising since: 1989
  • Initial investment: $199,475 to $385,100
  • Initial franchise fee: $30,000
  • New units: 79 units (4.5 percent)
  • Training: 32 hours on the job, 40 to 64 hours in the classroom
  • Marketing support: Ad templates, national media, social media, SEO, website development, email marketing, loyalty program/app

Related: The 10 Best Franchises to Open in 2018

Moe’s Southwest Grill

Moe's Southwest Grill is ranked No. 219 on the Franchise 500. The fast-casual restaurant serves southwestern items like burritos, similar to a Chipotle. (The major difference is that Chipotle doesn't franchise.)

Founded in 2000 and franchising since 2001, there were 682 Moe's locations in our 2017 count.

  • CEO: Bruce Schroder
  • Business headquarters: Atlanta
  • Franchising since: 2001
  • Initial investment: $368,930 to $956,400
  • Initial franchise fee: $30,000
  • New units: 16 units (2.4 percent)
  • Training: 125 hours on the job, 22.6 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 5 Best Taco Franchises You Can Own Today

Schlotzsky's

Schlotzsky's
Image credit: Schlotzsky's | Facebook

Schlotzsky's, the specialty sandwich and pizza store, is ranked No. 231 on the Franchise 500. Though the company has been franchising for over 40 years, there were just 364 locations in 2017 -- fewer than any other franchise on this list.

  • CEO: Kelly Roddy
  • Business headquarters: Atlanta
  • Franchising since: 1976
  • Initial investment: $503,814 to $787,984
  • Initial franchise fee: $30,000
  • New units: 5 units (1.4 percent)
  • Training: 240 hours on the job, 50 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

Carvel Ice Cream

Carvel Ice Cream
Image credit: Carvel | Facebook

Carvel Ice Cream is the only Focus Brands franchise not ranked in the top 500, but it's still worth mentioning. The ice cream store first opened its doors in Hartsdale, N.Y., in 1934, and it's been franchising since 1947. As of 2017, there were 398 locations around the world.

  • CEO: Scott Colwell
  • Business headquarters: Atlanta
  • Franchising since: 1947
  • Initial investment: $250,600 to $415,500
  • Initial franchise fee: $30,000
  • New units: -19 units (-4.6 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, email marketing
Related: 7 Ice-Cream Franchises Perfect for Summer

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