The Top 20 Most Popular Franchises of 2020

Vetted Biz is the leading platform for accessible and analytical data on franchises and businesses available in the U.S. Our research team has reviewed over 2,900 franchises and knows the key facts and data that signal a successful franchise system. Upon extensive review using a number of internet research tools, our team was able to compile a short list of the “Top 20 Most Popular Franchises in the United States.” In the article below we will review each of these 20 franchises and the requirements to join their prestigious franchise systems!

McDonald’s

Founded in 1948 by the two brothers, Maurice and Richard McDonald, McDonald’s currently has over 38,000 locations open across more than 119 countries. Amongst the extensive requirements to join their renown franchise system, the company requires potential franchisees to have previously managed or owned a McDonald’s restaurant and to have a minimum net worth of $1,263,000 and liquid assets totaling at least $500,000. The total investment amount to establish a unit is of $2,235,000, and once operations begin, the franchisee is expected to pay the parent company a Royalty Fee and a Marketing Fee of 4% each. Despite the high investment amount and meticulous profile the franchisor is seeking however, the franchise’s popularity remains high amongst potential investors, particularly given that Mc Donald’s was ranked #1 in QSR Magazine’s top 50 of 2019. If interested in becoming a McDonald’s franchisee, read our article to learn more about the concept and begin your application process today!

Orange Theory Fitness

Named by Forbes as the fastest-growing woman-owned company of 2017, Orange Theory was founded in 2009 when Elle Latham, decided to open a gym to implement her personally designed workout. The concept, which became known for its demanding workout sessions that alternated between cardiovascular and strength training, today has over 1,000 locations across 18 countries and 49 states. Amongst the numerous requirements to become an Orange Theory franchisee, prospective candidates must be willing to run the business on a daily basis, have a net worth of $500,000 and liquid assets totaling at least $150,000. The total investment amount to establish an Orange Theory location ranges from $575,422 to $1,497,732 and the franchisee is expected to pay the parent company a Royalty Fee of 8% and a Marketing Fee of 2% on gross sales each. The company was ranked amongst the top 50 franchises in Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 list of 2019, after the average gross revenue for franchised studios in 2018 was of $1,142,442. If interested in becoming an Orange Theory franchisee, read our article to learn more about the concept and begin your application process today!

Taco Bell

Founded in 1962 by Glen Bell, Taco Bell currently has over 6,000 franchised stores in the United States and another 500 across international markets. Amongst the numerous requirements to become a franchisee, candidates looking to own a Taco Bell franchise must have previous experience in the restaurant management industry and have enough capital to support a multi-unit franchise development which involves having a minimum net worth of $1,500,000 and liquid assets totaling at least $750,000. The total investment amount to establish a Taco Bell franchise ranges from $525,524 to $2,956,765 and once the store begins operations, franchisees are expected to pay the parent company a Royalty Fee of 5.5% and a Marketing Fee of 4.25% on gross sales each. Despite the high investment amount to join their franchise system, Taco Bell was ranked #4 in QSR Magazine’s top 50 of 2019 which accounts for the system’s continued popularity amongst prospective franchisees. If interested in becoming a Taco Bell franchisee, read our article to learn more about the concept and begin your application process today!

Kumon

The Kumon method was developed more than 60 years ago in Japan when high school math teacher, Toru Kumon, realized that a strong foundation in the basics – addition, subtraction, multiplication and division – was essential for higher-level math. Today, the concept currently has over 1,5000 franchises across the US and has developed its system to teach other subjects rather than just Mathematics. The requirements to become. Kumon franchisee includes being a resident or citizen of the United States, having a bachelor’s degree, as well as a minimum net worth of $150,000 and liquid assets totaling at least $70,000.  The total investment amount to establish a Kumon franchise ranges from $73,373 to $154,825 and once classes begin, franchisees are expected to pay the parent company a Royalty Fee of $34-$38 per student every month. Kumon was ranked the #1 tutoring franchise in 2019, due to its outstanding performance in areas including unit growth, financial strength and stability – making it a popular franchise investment option for candidates interested in the childhood education industry. If interested in becoming a Kumon franchisee, read our article to learn more about the concept and begin your application process today!

Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut opened its first store in Wichita, Kansas in 1958 after its founders, brothers Dan and Frank Carney, borrowed $600 from their mother to finance their pizza dreams. The concept, whose business model is focused on creating food that is served and delivered at a fast pace, currently has over 6,000 franchised stores in the United States and another 11,000 across international markets. Amongst the requirements to become a franchisee, Pizza Hut requires candidates to be willing to work on their location on a daily basis and to have enough capital to commit to opening at least two locations throughout their time as a franchisee, which includes having a minimum net worth of $700,000 and liquid assets totaling at least $350,000. The total investment amount to establish a Pizza Hut franchise ranges from $357,000 to $2,213,500 and once the restaurant begins operations, franchisees are expected to pay a Royalty Fee of 6% and a Marketing Fee of 4.75% on gross sales each. Pizza Hut was ranked #11 in QSR Magazine’s top 50 of 2019, making it a popular choice amongst candidates looking to open a franchise within the Quick Service Restaurant industry. If interested in becoming a Pizza Hut franchisee, read our article to learn more about the concept and begin your application process today!

7-Eleven

7-Eleven began its story in 1927, when Joe C. Thompson began selling milk, bread and eggs across the Southland Ice Company stores. Their business model that consists of stores being open from 7am to 11pm – hence, the name 7/11 – immediately drew renown success to the concept, and today the system currently has more than 9,000 stores across the United States and additional units across a number of continents such as Europe, Asia and Oceania. Amongst the requirements to become a franchisee, 7/Eleven requires candidates to be residents of the United States, have previous management or customer service experience, and minimum liquid assets ranging from $50,000 to $250,000. The total investment amount to establish a 7/11 franchise ranges from $47,050 to $1,165,400 and once the store begins operations, franchisees are expected to pay a Royalty Fee that varies according to the growth percentage of the store’s Gross Profit for that month, and a Marketing Fee of 1%. 7-Eleven was ranked #1 on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 list in 2019, making it a popular option across prospective investors looking to join the retail industry. If interested in becoming a 7-Eleven franchisee, read our article to learn more about the concept and begin your application process today!

Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A opened its first store in Atlanta, Georgia in 1967, after its founder, Truett Cathy finished perfecting his chicken sandwich recipe initially devised in the kitchen of his first restaurant: Dwarf Grill. After 43 years of relentless success, Chick-fil-A currently has more than 2,300 stores in the United States and is now focusing on expanding internationally across the United Kingdom and in Canada. Amongst the requirements to become a franchisee, Chick-fil-A’s candidates must have at least 5 years of established work experience, be authorized to work in the United States and not ever have filed for bankruptcy or received protection from creditors. Additionally, Chick-fil-A’s franchise model deviates from most others in the sense that the corporate office is financially responsible for all startup costs including real estate, restaurant construction and store equipment which makes this franchise opportunity an extremely popular option amongst investors, that in turn are met with a 0.4% acceptance rate. Chick-fil-A was ranked #8 in QSR Magazine’s Top 50 in 2018 after having generated $9 billion in sales that year. If interested in becoming a Chick-fil-A franchisee, read our article to learn more about the concept and begin your application process today!

The UPS Store

The UPS Store started off as “Mailboxes Etc” back in 1980, when it functioned as an alternative service to the U.S. post office. The concept continued to grow exponentially, particularly after their acquisition of UPS and today their franchise system currently has over 5,000 stores across Canada, Puerto Rico and the United States. Amongst the requirements to become a franchisee, The UPS store is looking for experienced candidates who are driven to own a UPS store, have a minimum net worth of $150,000 and liquid assets totaling at least $60,000. The total investment amount to establish a UPS Store ranges from $133,470 to $566,585 and once the store begins operations, franchisees are expected to pay a Royalty Fee of 5% and a Marketing Fee of 2.5%. The UPS Store, had an average adjusted gross sale of $494,418 across all centers in 2018, a number that was exacerbated particularly due to the growth rate of 2.1% within the packing and shipping service industry from 2015 to 2020. If interested in becoming a UPS Store franchisee, read our article to learn more about the concept and begin your application process today!

Arby’s

Arby’s began its story when the two brothers Forrest and Leroy Raffel, decided to pursue their passion for the food industry by opening a service restaurant focused primarily on serving roast-beef sandwiches. 70 years later, the franchise system currently has over 3,400 restaurants across 4 continents – a growth that was particularly due to their initial business model’s popularity. Amongst the requirements to become an Arby’s franchisee, Arby’s is looking for candidates with previous experience and that also have a minimum net worth of $1,000,000 and liquid assets totaling at least $500,000. The total investment amount to establish an Arby’s restaurant ranges from $628,950 to $2,205,6000 and once the restaurant begins operations franchisees are then expected to pay the company a Royalty Fee of 4% ad a Marketing Fee of 4.2% on gross sales each. Arby’s was ranked #17 in QSR Magazine’s Top 50 Franchises for 2019, thus emphasizing the concept’s popularity amongst prospective franchisees. If interested in becoming an Arby’s franchisee, read our article to learn more about the concept and begin your application process today!

KFC

Kentucky Fried Chicken was founded by Harland Sanders in 1930 when he inaugurated his first Sanders Court & Café in Corbin, Kentucky. After 68 years of exponential growth, KFC’s franchise system currently has over 20,000 stores across 145 countries. Amongst the requirements to become a KFC franchisee, candidates must have some sort of business background, a minimum net worth of $1,500,000 and liquid assets totaling at least $750,000. The total investment amount to establish a KFC restaurant, ranges from $1,442,550 to $2,771,550 and once the store begins operations the franchisee is expected to pay the parent company a Royalty Fee of 4-5% and a Marketing Fee of 5% on gross sales each. KFC was ranked #13 in QSR Magazine’s top 50 of 2019, which accounts for the system’s popularity amongst prospective franchisees. If interested in becoming a KFC franchisee, read our article to learn more about the concept and begin your application process today!

Hampton Inn

Hampton Inn was founded in 1984 by the Promus Hotel Corporation in Memphis, Tennessee. The concept’s business model of inaugurating the mid-price national hotel market, allowed for the system to grow exponentially and today the company currently has over 2,430 hotels across 20 countries. Amongst the requirements to become a Hampton Inn franchisee, the company requires candidates have past business experience, a minimum net worth of at least $100,000 and liquid assets totaling at least $50,000. The total investment amount to establish a Hampton Inn franchise ranges from $7,662,800 to $20,306,500 and once the hotel begins operations, franchisees are expected to pay the parent company a Royalty Fee of 6% and a Marketing Fee of 4% on gross sales. The Hotel industry had a 2.1% growth in 2019, and even with the current pandemic economists expect a 1.9% growth in the industry for the year of 2020, thus reflecting positive prospects for candidates interested in engaging in the Travel and Hospitality industry. If interested in becoming a Hampton Inn franchisee, read our article to learn more about the concept and begin your application process today!

Dunkin’

Dunkin’ Donuts began its story in 1948 when its founder, Bill Rosenberg, opened a donut and coffee restaurant in Quincy, Massachusetts called “Open Kettle” that sold doughnuts for five cents and coffee for ten cents. The concept’s growing success allowed the business to begin franchising 5 years later, and today, Dunkin’s stores can be found in over 32 countries. Amongst the requirements to become a Dunkin’ franchisee, the company is looking for experienced candidates who are willing to run the business on a daily basis, have a minimum net worth of $250,000 to $500,000 and liquid assets totaling at least $125,000 to $250,000. The total investment amount to establish a Dunkin’ franchise ranges from $395,500 to $1,597,200 and once the store begins operations franchisees are expected to pay a Royalty Fee of 5.9% and a Marketing Fee of 5% on gross sales each. Dunkin’ was ranked #8 in QSR Magazine’s Top 50 of 2019, thus accounting for the franchise systems’ growing success amongst potential investors. If interested in becoming a Dunkin’ franchisee, read our article to learn more about the concept and begin your application process today!

Papa John’s

Papa John’s began its story in Jeffersonville, Indiana in 1984 when its founder, John Schnatter, proposed to his business partner that they begin selling high-quality pizza in their bar in order to supplement revenues. The concept’s successful business model propelled its exponential growth, and today Papa John’s has over 2,800 pizza delivery and carry-out restaurants open. Amongst the requirements to become a Papa John’s franchisee, the company is looking for experienced candidates with a good credit history, a minimum net worth of $300,000 and liquid assets totaling at least $75,000. The total investment amount to establish a Papa John’s franchise ranges from $130,120 to $844,420 and once the store begins operations franchisees are expected to pay the franchise system a Royalty Fee of 5% and a Marketing Fee of 8% on gross sales each. Papa John’s was ranked #21 in QSR Magazine’s Top 50 of 2019 making it a popular options amongst candidates looking to enter the Quick Service Restaurant industry. If interested in becoming a Papa John’s franchisee, read our article to learn more about the concept and begin your application process today!

Jan-Pro

Jan-Pro was founded in 1991 as a commercial cleaning service company catered specifically towards the “B2B” audience. The concept’s outright success allowed franchise to begin one year later and today the concept currently has over 10,000 units across the United States and Canada. Amongst the requirements to become a Jan-Pro franchisee, candidates must have previous experience in business management, a minimum net worth ranging from $1,000 to $14,000 and liquid assets totaling at least $1,000. The total investment amount to establish a Jan-Pro franchise ranges from $4,170 to $54,700 and once the franchise begins operations, franchisees are expected to pay the parent company a Royalty Fee of 10% and a Marketing Fee of 1% on gross sales each. For candidates looking to enter the cleaning and maintenance industry, Jan-Pro offers a good opportunity, particularly because they only had one unit closure by the end of the year. If interested in becoming a Jan-Pro franchisee, read our article to learn more about the concept and begin your application process today!

Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen its first store in Joilet, Illinois in 1940, when father and son, John and Alex McCullough, partnered with their longtime friend, Sherb Noble, to begin selling a new delicious dairy product they created that is known today as Dairy Queen’s soft serve. The concept’s instant success allowed franchising to begin soon after and today Dairy Queen currently has over 7,000 stores across 27 countries. Amongst the requirements to become a Dairy Queen franchisee, candidates must have previous experience, a minimum net worth of $750,000 and liquid assets totaling at least $400,000. The total investment amount to establish a Dairy Queen franchise ranges from $1,151,135 to $1,936,655 and once the store begins operations franchisees are expected to pay the parent company a Royalty Fee of 4% and a Marketing Fee of 5-6% on gross sales each. The fast-food industry shows strong prospects for growth having generated $200 billion in revenues in 2015, and Dairy Queen is a popular option for candidates looking to operate a business in it. If interested in becoming a Dairy Queen franchisee, read our article to learn more about the concept and begin your application process today!

Sonic Drive-In

Sonic was founded in 1953, by Troy Smith Sr. in Shawnee, Oklahoma. The drive-in restaurant experienced success as soon as it opened, which allowed the concept to continue growing exponentially and today the concept currently has over 3,400 restaurants across 46 U.S. states. Amongst the requirements to become a Sonic Drive-In franchisee, candidates must have previous experience, a minimum net worth that ranges between $1,000,000 to $2,000,000 and liquid assets totaling at least $500,000 to $1,000,000. The total investment amount to establish a Sonic franchise ranges from $1,242,000 to $3,523,300 and once the restaurant begins operations franchisees are expected to pay the parent company a Royalty Fee ranging from 2.45% to 5% and a Marketing Fee of 3% on gross sales each. Sonic was ranked #13 in QSR Magazine’s Top 50 Franchises of 2019, making it a popular option amongst candidates looking to enter the Quick Service Restaurant industry. If interested in becoming a Sonic Drive-In franchisee, read our article to learn more about the concept and begin your application process today!

Planet Fitness

Planet Fitness got its start in 1992, when its founder, Michael Grondahl, acquired a struggling gym in Dover, New Hampshire, and reduced membership prices to compete against better-known brands while focusing on serving occasion or first-time gym users. The concept’s success allowed franchising to begin 10 years later and today the gym currently has over 2,000 franchises in their system. Amongst the requirements to become a Planet Fitness franchisee, candidates must be willing to maintain the place open 24 hours, have a minimum net worth of $3,000,000 and liquid assets totaling at least $1,500,000. The total investment amount to establish a Planet Fitness franchisee ranges from $1,084,600 to $4,178,000 and once the gym begins operations, franchisees are expected to pay the corporate team a Royalty Fee of 7% and Marketing Fee of 9% on gross sales. Planet Fitness was ranked by Forbes in 2016 #4 amongst the best franchises to invest in, making it a popular option amongst candidates looking to invest in the Fitness industry. If interested in becoming a Planet Fitness franchisee, read our article to learn more about the concept and begin your application process today!

Domino’s Pizza

Domino’s Pizza’s story began in 1960 when brothers Tom and James Monaghan purchased a pizza shop for $500 in Michigan called DomiNick’s. Franchising began 5 years later after the concept’s growing success, and today Domino’s currently has more than 17,000 stores in over 60 countries and across 6 continents. Amongst the requirements to become a Domino’s Pizza franchisee, candidates must be willing to personally oversee store operations on a daily basis, have a minimum net worth of $250,000 and liquid assets totaling at least $75,000. The total investment amount to establish a Domino’s Pizza franchise, ranges from $119,950 to $461,700 and once the restaurant begins operations franchisees are expected to pay the parent company a Royalty Fee of 5.5% and Marketing Fee of 3% on gross sales. Domino’s was recently named the #1 pizza chain and ranked #9 in QSR Magazine’s top 50 of 2019, making it a popular option for candidates looking to enter a pizza franchise system. If interested in becoming a Domino’s Pizza franchisee, read our article to learn more about the concept and begin your application process today!

Ace Hardware

Ace Hardware began its story in 1924 when four hardware store owners joined together to buy merchandise in bulk in order to maximize their profits and consequently be able to compete effectively with larger stores. After years of initial success and considerable expansion across the country, franchising began in 1976 and today the concept currently has 5,000 independently owned stores operating across the glove. Amongst the requirements to become an Ace Hardware franchisee, candidates are required to be passionate about local customers, have a minimum net worth of $400,00 and liquid assets totaling at least $250,000. The total investment amount to open an Ace Hardware franchise ranges from $286,000 to $2,110,230 and franchisees are not required to pay any royalty or marketing fees to the corporate company. Ace Hardware was ranked #13 on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 list in 2019, making it a popular franchise option to invest in. If interested in becoming an Ace Hardware franchisee, read our article to learn more about the concept and begin your application process today!

Subway

Known for their unbeatable Spicy Italian combination, Subway was founded in 1965 by two young 17-year old friends – Fred DeLuca and Peter Buck. The concept’s business model allowed franchising to begin 10 years later and today the company currently has over 44,750 locations across more than 100 countries. Amongst the requirements to become a Subway franchisee, the candidates must have some sort of business background, be a U.S. permanent resident or citizen, have a minimum net worth of $80,000 and liquid assets totaling at least $30,000. The total investment amount to establish a Subway franchise ranges from $116,000 to $263,000 and once the restaurant begins operations, franchisees are expected to pay the parent company a Royalty Fee of 8% and a Marketing Fee of 4.5% on gross sales each. Subway was ranked #3 in QSR Magazine’s Top 50 Franchises of 2019, making it a popular option amongst candidates looking to enter the Quick Service Restaurant industry. If interested in becoming a Subway franchisee, read our article to learn more about the concept and begin your application process today!

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