Published on 9 Aug 2023 Time 19 min read Last update by 18 Mar 2024

20 Largest Franchises in the World by Location Count (2024)

Largest Franchises

In the vast and ever-expanding world of franchising, certain brands have managed to establish themselves as true giants. These industry leaders have successfully expanded their reach across the globe, setting up numerous locations in various countries. Today, we bring you an exclusive list of the 20 largest franchises in the world by location count for 2023. Based on data compiled by Vetted Biz Franchise Research Team from the prestigious Franchise Times Top 500 rankings, this comprehensive report provides insights into these powerhouse brands’ global presence.

Please note that all figures mentioned throughout this article have been rounded to the nearest hundred for clarity and ease of comparison. Join us as we delve into each franchise’s impressive network size and uncover what makes them stand out among their competitors on a global scale. Whether you’re a potential investor seeking lucrative opportunities or simply curious about which franchise reigns supreme as the largest in the world, this compilation is sure to pique your interest.

So without further ado, let’s dive into our exploration of these remarkable franchises that dominate markets worldwide!

20 Largest Franchises in the World by Location Count (2023)

1. 7-Eleven

Number of locations: 78,400

7-Eleven is a renowned international convenience store chain that has become synonymous with convenience and accessibility. Founded in 1927 in Dallas, Texas, by Joe C. Thompson Jr., the company has grown exponentially over the years and now operates in more than 20 countries, with over 70,000 stores worldwide. This has earned it the first spot on the list of the 20 largest franchises in the world.

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One of the key factors contributing to 7-Eleven’s success is its commitment to providing a wide range of services to meet the needs of its diverse customer base. Apart from offering a vast selection of snacks, beverages, and groceries, 7-Eleven has become a one-stop shop for many daily necessities. Customers can find everything from freshly brewed coffee, ready-to-eat meals, and frozen foods to personal care items, household products, and even fuel at select locations.

The convenience store chain is renowned for its extended operating hours. Most stores are open 24/7, allowing customers to shop anytime. This accessibility has made 7-Eleven a go-to destination for quick purchases. It’s also popular for satisfying late-night cravings.

In addition to its retail services, 7-Eleven has also ventured into financial services, offering prepaid debit cards, money orders, and bill payment services, further solidifying its position as a convenient destination for various needs.

2. McDonald’s

Number of locations: 40,000

McDonald’s is a globally recognized fast-food restaurant chain that has become an integral part of the fast-paced modern lifestyle. It was founded in 1940 by Richard and Maurice McDonald as a small barbecue restaurant in San Bernardino, California. McDonald’s has since evolved into one of the largest and most successful fast food chains in the world.

McDonald’s is renowned for its signature golden arches, an iconic symbol of fast food culture. The company’s success can be attributed to its commitment to delivering consistent quality, convenience, and affordability. Moreover, with a diverse menu catering to various tastes and preferences, McDonald’s offers a wide range of options, such as hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, fish fillets, salads, breakfast items, and a variety of sides and desserts.

One of the key aspects that sets McDonald’s apart is its emphasis on speed and efficiency. The restaurant’s innovative assembly-line system, known as the “Speedee Service System,” revolutionized the fast food industry. It allowed for quick service without compromising on quality. Today, McDonald’s continues to prioritize efficiency by incorporating technology, such as self-order kiosks and mobile ordering, to enhance the customer experience.

3. Subway

Number of locations: 37,100

Subway is a renowned fast-food restaurant chain that has become a global phenomenon, known for its delicious and customizable sandwiches. Founded in 1965 by Fred DeLuca and Peter Buck, Subway started as a small submarine sandwich shop in Bridgeport, Connecticut, to provide fresh and healthy alternatives to traditional fast food options.

Since its humble beginnings, Subway has grown exponentially and now boasts over 40,000 locations in more than 100 countries. The company’s success can be attributed to its commitment to offering a wide range of fresh and nutritious ingredients, allowing customers to create their personalized sandwiches. From a variety of bread choices, including Italian herbs and cheese, honey oat, and whole wheat, to an extensive selection of meats, cheeses, vegetables, and sauces, Subway provides endless combinations to satisfy every taste and dietary preference. This has earned it the third spot on the list of the 20 largest franchises in the world.

Subway’s commitment to healthy eating is evident in its “Eat Fresh” philosophy, which emphasizes using fresh ingredients and promoting a balanced lifestyle. They have introduced several initiatives to support this, including reducing sodium content in their products and offering healthier alternatives like low-fat dressings and whole-grain bread.



4. KFC

Number of locations: 26,900

Kentucky Fried Chicken, commonly known as KFC, is a globally recognized fast-food restaurant chain that specializes in fried chicken. Founded by Colonel Harland Sanders in 1952, KFC has become a household name and an icon in the fast-food industry.

The story of KFC started in Corbin, Kentucky, where Colonel Sanders honed his secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices—a closely guarded secret to this day. Through his special blend of seasonings and cooking methods, he created the renowned “finger-lickin’ good” taste adored by chicken enthusiasts globally.

Over the years, KFC has expanded its menu to cater to changing consumer demands, introducing healthier options like grilled chicken and salads. They have also adapted to local tastes in different countries, incorporating regional flavors into their offerings. This commitment to innovation and adaptation has allowed KFC to maintain its position as a leader in the fast-food industry.

5. Burger King

Number of locations: 19,200

Burger King, often abbreviated as BK, is a global fast-food chain that has become synonymous with flame-grilled burgers and the iconic slogan, “Have it your way.” Founded in 1954 by James McLamore and David Edgerton, Burger King has grown to become one of the largest hamburger fast-food chains in the world.

The story of Burger King began in Miami, Florida. McLamore and Edgerton recognized the potential of a fast-food restaurant. They wanted to offer high-quality, flame-grilled burgers at affordable prices. Their aim was to create a unique dining experience, where customers could customize their orders according to their preferences. This concept, known as “Have it your way,” quickly became the cornerstone of Burger King’s success.

Burger King’s menu offers a variety of flame-grilled burgers. Among them, the iconic Whopper stands out as a global favorite. Their menu also includes chicken sandwiches, fish sandwiches, salads, sides, and desserts. Over time, they have expanded their offerings to cater to diverse tastes and dietary preferences. Notably, they introduced vegetarian and plant-based options like the Impossible Whopper.

6. Domino’s

Number of locations: 18,800

Domino’s is a global leader in the pizza delivery industry, renowned for its commitment to quality, innovation, and exceptional customer service. Founded in 1960 by Tom Monaghan and his brother James, Domino’s started as a small pizza store in Ypsilanti, Michigan, with a mission to deliver hot, delicious pizzas to customers’ doorsteps in record time.

Since its humble beginnings, Domino’s has rapidly expanded its presence worldwide, with over 17,000 stores across more than 90 countries. The company’s success can be attributed to its relentless focus on improving its products and services. Domino’s constantly strives to enhance the pizza experience by using high-quality ingredients, developing innovative recipes, and adopting cutting-edge technology to ensure efficient delivery.

Domino’s menu offers a wide variety of pizzas, including classic favorites like Margherita and Pepperoni, as well as unique creations like BBQ Chicken and Veggie Supreme. Customers can choose from a range of crust options, such as hand-tossed, thin-crust, and gluten-free, and customize their pizzas with an extensive selection of toppings and sauces.

7. Pizza Hut

Number of locations: 18,400

Pizza Hut is a global pizza chain that has become a household name synonymous with delicious, mouthwatering pizzas. Founded in 1958 by brothers Dan and Frank Carney in Wichita, Kansas, Pizza Hut has grown to become one of the largest and most recognized pizza brands in the world.

The Carney brothers borrowed $600 from their mother to open the first Pizza Hut restaurant, which was initially a small, single-store operation. However, their commitment to quality ingredients, exceptional customer service, and innovative pizza offerings quickly propelled the brand to success. Today, Pizza Hut operates thousands of restaurants across more than 100 countries, serving millions of customers each day. As such, it is seventh on the list of the 20 largest franchises in the world

Pizza Hut is renowned for its wide variety of pizzas. These range from classic favorites like Margherita and Pepperoni to unique creations like the Meat Lover’s and Supreme. Customers can customize their pizzas with a choice of crusts, toppings, and sauces, ensuring a personalized and satisfying dining experience. Additionally, in addition to pizzas, Pizza Hut also offers a diverse menu. This includes appetizers, salads, pasta, desserts, and beverages.

8. Dunkin’

Number of locations: 13,000

Dunkin’, formerly known as Dunkin’ Donuts, is a renowned American multinational coffee and doughnut company. Founded in 1950 by William Rosenberg in Quincy, Massachusetts, Dunkin’ has become an iconic brand that has been serving millions of customers worldwide for over seven decades.

Dunkin’ is primarily known for its delicious and wide variety of doughnuts, which are freshly baked every day. From classic glazed doughnuts to unique flavors like Boston Kreme, Jelly, and Old Fashioned, Dunkin’ offers a treat for every taste bud. However, Dunkin’ is not just about doughnuts; it has evolved into a full-service restaurant and coffee shop, catering to a diverse range of customer preferences.

In addition to doughnuts and coffee, Dunkin’ provides an array of breakfast and bakery items. Customers can indulge in freshly baked bagels, muffins, croissants, and sandwiches, making Dunkin’ a convenient stop for a quick and satisfying meal any time of the day.

9. Circle K

Number of locations: 11,200

Circle K is a global convenience store chain that has become a household name in many countries around the world. Founded in 1951 in El Paso, Texas, Circle K has grown to become one of the largest convenience store operators, with thousands of locations across North America, Europe, and Asia.

The company’s success can be attributed to its commitment to providing customers with a wide range of products and services in a convenient and friendly environment. Circle K stores offer a variety of everyday essentials, including snacks, beverages, tobacco products, lottery tickets, and personal care items. Moreover, they also provide fuel services, with many locations equipped with gas stations offering a range of fuel options to meet the needs of both motorists and commercial customers.

10. H&R Block

Number of locations: 10,700

H&R Block is a renowned American tax preparation company that has been serving individuals and businesses for over six decades. Founded in 1955 by brothers Henry W. Bloch and Richard Bloch, the company has grown to become a trusted name in the tax industry, with a strong presence in the United States, Canada, and Australia.

The founders’ vision was to provide affordable and accessible tax preparation services to the average American. H&R Block has remained true to this mission, offering a wide range of services tailored to meet individuals’ and small businesses’ needs. Their services include tax return preparation, electronic filing, tax planning, and audit support. Moreover, they provide personalized tax advice and guidance to help clients maximize their tax refunds or minimize tax liabilities.

Over the years, H&R Block has expanded its services beyond tax preparation. They offer financial products, such as refund anticipation loans and prepaid debit cards, to help clients manage their finances more effectively. They also provide small business accounting services, helping entrepreneurs with bookkeeping, payroll, and tax compliance.

11. RE/MAX

Number of locations: 9,000

RE/MAX, short for Real Estate Maximums, is a renowned global real estate franchise company that has been providing exceptional services in the industry for over 45 years. Founded in 1973 by Dave and Gail Liniger, RE/MAX has grown to become one of the largest and most successful real estate networks worldwide.

RE/MAX offers a wide range of services to cater to the diverse needs of buyers, sellers, and investors. Whether it’s residential or commercial properties, RE/MAX agents are equipped to handle all types of real estate transactions. They provide comprehensive assistance throughout the entire process, from property search and valuation to negotiations, financing, and closing.

With its strong global presence, RE/MAX has established a vast network of offices and agents in over 100 countries. This extensive reach allows the company to connect buyers and sellers on a global scale, providing unparalleled opportunities for international real estate transactions.

12. Taco Bell

Number of locations: 7,800

Taco Bell is an iconic fast-food chain that has become synonymous with delicious Mexican-inspired cuisine. Founded in 1962 by Glen Bell, Taco Bell has grown to become one of the largest and most recognizable fast-food chains in the world.

Glen Bell’s passion for Mexican food drove him to experiment with diverse recipes and flavors. This ultimately led to the birth of Taco Bell. The first restaurant, initially called Taco-Tia, opened in Downey, California. Rapidly gaining popularity, it expanded swiftly, with the first franchised location launching in 1964. Since then, Taco Bell has persistently innovated and introduced fresh menu items, firmly establishing its position in the fast-food industry.

Taco Bell, renowned for its Mexican-inspired dishes such as tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, and more, has a diverse menu with bold and unique flavors. Additionally, they cater to different dietary preferences, providing options for vegetarians and vegans. Moreover, the restaurant offers value meals, combo deals, and special promotions to ensure affordability for customers.

13. Baskin Robbins

Number of locations: 7,700

Baskin Robbins is a renowned international ice cream parlor chain that has been delighting customers with its delectable frozen treats for over seven decades. Founded in 1945 by two ice cream enthusiasts, Burt Baskin, and Irv Robbins, the company has grown from a humble storefront in Glendale, California, to become one of the most beloved ice cream brands in the world.

Baskin Robbins, a renowned ice cream brand, is famous for its innovative flavors. It offers an impressive array of 31 flavors, with each one representing a day of the month. From classics like Chocolate, Vanilla, and Strawberry to unique creations such as Mint Chocolate Chip, Pralines ‘n Cream, and Jamoca Almond Fudge, the options cater to every palate.

Priding itself on high-quality ingredients, the company ensures the rich and creamy taste synonymous with the Baskin Robbins brand. Additionally, beyond their diverse ice cream range, Baskin Robbins tantalizes customers with a variety of other delicious offerings.

14. Dairy Queen

Number of locations: 7,200

Dairy Queen, often referred to as DQ, is a popular and iconic fast-food chain that specializes in soft-serve ice cream and a wide variety of delicious frozen treats. Founded in 1940 by John Fremont McCullough, Dairy Queen has become a beloved brand with a rich history and a strong presence in over 6,800 locations worldwide.

The story of Dairy Queen’s founding is quite fascinating. McCullough, along with his son Bradley, developed a unique formula for soft-serve ice cream in their family kitchen. They opened their first store in Joliet, Illinois, and it quickly gained popularity due to its creamy and smooth texture. The signature curl on top of each cone became synonymous with the brand, and the rest is history.

Today, Dairy Queen offers an extensive menu that goes beyond soft-serve ice cream. Moreover, customers can indulge in a wide range of delectable treats such as Blizzards, which are a blend of soft-serve ice cream and various toppings. Additionally, they serve sundaes, milkshakes, ice cream cakes, and even savory items like burgers, chicken strips, and hot dogs. Their diverse menu caters to people of all ages and preferences. This makes it a go-to destination for families, friends, and ice cream enthusiasts alike.

15. Wendy’s

Number of locations: 6,900

Wendy’s is a renowned fast-food restaurant chain that has been serving delicious meals since its founding in 1969. The company was established by Dave Thomas, a man with a passion for quality food and exceptional customer service. Named after his daughter, Wendy’s quickly became known for its fresh, never frozen beef burgers, made-to-order sandwiches, and unique square-shaped patties that set them apart from their competitors.

Wendy’s prides itself on using only the highest quality ingredients. From their juicy beef patties to their fresh produce and flavorful toppings, the menu offers a wide variety of options to cater to different tastes and dietary preferences. In addition to their signature burgers, Wendy’s provides chicken sandwiches, salads, wraps, and a range of sides like fries, chili, and baked potatoes. Moreover, they also have a selection of frosty treats, including their famous chocolate and vanilla Frosty desserts.

16. Papa John’s

Number of locations: 5,700

Papa John’s is a renowned pizza delivery and takeout restaurant chain that has become a household name in the United States and around the world. Founded in 1984 by John Schnatter, the company has grown to become one of the largest pizza chains globally, with thousands of locations in over 45 countries.

The story of Papa John’s began in Jeffersonville, Indiana. It was where John Schnatter started his first pizza business in the back of his father’s tavern. His passion for creating high-quality pizzas using only the finest ingredients quickly gained popularity among the locals. In 1984, Schnatter opened the first official Papa John’s restaurant, which focused on delivering superior pizzas. These pizzas had a signature thin crust, fresh tomato sauce, and a generous amount of high-quality mozzarella cheese.

Papa John’s offers an extensive menu beyond their classic pizzas, including a variety of appetizers, sides, desserts, and beverages. They also offer specialty pizzas, such as The Works, BBQ Chicken Bacon, and Spinach Alfredo, catering to a wide range of tastes and preferences. The company is committed to using only fresh, never frozen, dough and high-quality ingredients to ensure every bite is delicious.

17. Ace Hardware

Number of locations: 5,600

Ace Hardware is a renowned American hardware retail cooperative that has been serving customers for over nine decades. Founded in 1924 by a group of independent store owners, Ace Hardware has grown from a small association of retailers to a global network of more than 5,300 stores in over 60 countries.

What sets Ace Hardware apart is its unique cooperative business model. Each Ace Hardware store is independently owned and operated by local entrepreneurs who are deeply rooted in their communities. This structure allows Ace Hardware to provide personalized service and tailor their offerings to meet the specific needs of their customers.

Moreover, from neighborhood hardware stores to large-scale home improvement centers, Ace Hardware offers a wide range of products. These include tools, paint, electrical and plumbing supplies, outdoor equipment, and much more.

Ace Hardware prides itself on being a helpful place, where customers can find knowledgeable staff who are always ready to assist with expert advice and guidance. Whether you are a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a novice homeowner, Ace Hardware is committed to helping you tackle any project, big or small. Their friendly and approachable team members are trained to offer personalized recommendations, ensuring that you find the right tools and materials for your specific needs.

18. The UPS Store

Number of locations: 5,400

The UPS Store, a subsidiary of UPS (United Parcel Service), is a renowned chain of retail shipping, printing, and business service centers. With over 5,000 locations worldwide, The UPS Store has become a trusted name in providing convenient and reliable solutions for individuals and businesses alike.

The UPS Store was founded in 1980 as Mail Boxes Etc., offering private mailbox rentals and postal services. Over the years, the company expanded its services to include printing, copying, packaging, and shipping. In 2001, UPS acquired Mail Boxes Etc. and rebranded it as The UPS Store, integrating its global network and resources to enhance customer experience.

One of the key services offered by The UPS Store is shipping. Whether it’s a small package or a large shipment, customers can rely on The UPS Store to handle their shipping needs efficiently. The stores also present a range of packaging options, guaranteeing that items remain adequately protected during transit.

19. Little Caesars

Number of locations: 5,300

Little Caesars is a renowned American pizza chain that has become a household name in the fast-food industry. Founded in 1959 by Mike Ilitch and his wife Marian Ilitch, the company has grown from a single location in Garden City, Michigan, to a global empire with thousands of outlets across the United States and around the world.

Little Caesars has earned renown for its dedication to providing customers with affordable and convenient options without compromising on taste and quality. The company’s signature offering is its Hot-N-Ready pizza, which allows customers to walk into any Little Caesars outlet and grab a freshly made, hot pizza without the need to wait. This innovative concept has revolutionized the fast-food industry, making Little Caesars a go-to choice for busy individuals and families looking for a quick and delicious meal.

20. Tim Hortons

Number of locations: 5,300

Last on our list of the 20 largest franchises in the world is Tim Hortons, a renowned Canadian coffee shop and fast-food restaurant chain. The company has become a beloved institution for both locals and visitors alike. Founded in 1964 by Canadian ice hockey player Tim Horton and his business partner Ron Joyce, the company has grown to become one of the largest and most recognizable brands in Canada.

What sets Tim Hortons apart is its commitment to providing high-quality coffee and fresh-baked goods. The chain offers a wide range of beverages, including signature coffee, specialty coffees, teas, and hot chocolates. Their menu also features an array of delicious breakfast and lunch options, such as sandwiches, wraps, soups, and salads. Tim Hortons prides itself on using only the finest ingredients and ensuring that every customer receives a consistently excellent experience.

Tim Hortons is not just a coffee shop; it is a Canadian institution that has become synonymous with quality, community and a genuine love for coffee and fresh-baked goods.

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