8 Franchise Owners Who Are Billionaires in 2023
This article is based on the video featured above, originally recorded for Vetted Biz Youtube Channel.
We’ve researched thousands of franchisees to compile a list of the richest franchise owners in the world. They made their money in restaurants, hotels, and beyond. We use net worth for individuals/families and enterprise value for companies that have various shareholders. Below, we will be showing the top 7 franchise billionaires to this day.
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Top 7 Franchise Billionaires
Estimated Net Worth: $5.0 Billion
Jack Cowin is a Canadian-Australian businessman and entrepreneur who has been involved in the franchise of fast-food chains in Australia and Canada. He brought KFC to Australia, founded and owns Hungry Jack’s (the Burger King franchise in Australia), and at various points has controlled the Domino’s Pizza franchise in Australia prior to its listing on the ASX in 2005. According to the Financial Review Rich List in 2021, Cowin’s net worth was estimated at AUD 4.94 billion, making him the 17th richest Australian. Forbes Asia estimated Cowin’s net worth at USD 1.7 billion in 2019 and ranked him as the 23rd richest Australian by net worth.
In addition to his involvement in the fast-food industry, Cowin also has an ownership stake in the Lone Star Texas Grill restaurant chain in Canada and upstream Australian investments in cattle stations and food processing. He is the Executive Chairman of Competitive Foods Australia, one of Australia’s largest privately held businesses, and has also been an investor in Australia’s Ten Network, serving as a non-executive director.
Estimated Net Worth: $1.6 Billion
William Ellwood Heinecke is a Thai businessman who is the Founder and Chairman of Minor International PCL. Minor International is a global company that operates in the hospitality, restaurants, and lifestyle brands distribution sectors. The company owns and operates a portfolio of 536 hotels under various brands in 55 countries around the world, including Anantara, AVANI, Oaks, Tivoli, NH Collection, NH Hotels, Elewana, and Minor International.
Minor International is one of Asia’s largest restaurant companies, with over 2,200 outlets in 26 countries under various brand names such as The Pizza Company, The Coffee Club, Riverside, Benihana, Thai Express, Bonchon, Swensen’s, Sizzler, Dairy Queen, and Burger King. In addition, Minor International is a major distributor of lifestyle brands and a contract manufacturer in Thailand, representing brands such as Anello, Bodum, Bossini, Brooks Brothers, Charles & Keith, Esprit, Etam, Joseph Joseph, OVS, Radley, Scomadi, Zwilling J.A. Henckels, and Minor Smart Kids. In 2017, Minor International acquired a 74% stake in the London restaurant group Corbin & King, and in 2022 it purchased the remaining stake at auction, removing restaurateur Jeremy King from the group he had helped to establish in 1981.
Enterprise Value: $3.8 Billion
Jollibee Foods Corporation is a Filipino multinational company based in Pasig, Philippines. JFC is the owner of the fast food brand Jollibee. Jollibee Foods Corporation has stakes in restaurant chains based or originating outside the Philippines such as in Mainland China, Taiwan, Canada, and the United States,States, as well as the holder of the master franchise of Burger King in the Philippines.
The company acquired 80% of Greenwich Pizza in 1994. From a 50-branch operation, Greenwich gradually established a strong presence in the Food Service industry. In early 2006, Jollibee Foods Corp. bought out the remaining shares of its partners in Greenwich Pizza Corp., equivalent to a 20% stake, for P384 million in cash. In 2000, the company acquired Chowking, a Chinese fast-food restaurant, thus making Jollibee a part of the Asian quick service restaurant segment. In 2005, Jollibee acquired Red Ribbon, a bakeshop business in the Philippines.
On October 19, 2010, Jollibee acquired a 70% share of Mang Inasal, a Filipino food chain specializing in barbecued chicken, for P3 billion ($68.8 million).
JFC subsidiary Fresh N’ Famous Foods, Inc. manages the Greenwich and Chowking brands. The Red Ribbon brand is under Red Ribbon Bakeshop Inc., which in turn is managed by a holding company of the JFC, RRB Holdings, Inc. The firm has also stakes in Burger King’s outlets in the Philippines through Perf Restaurants, Inc., which is 54% owned by JFC as of 2012.
With the success of its flagship brand, JFC acquired some of its competitors in the fast food business in the Philippines and abroad such as Chowking, Greenwich Pizza, Red Ribbon, and Mang Inasal. As of December 2021, JFC operates more than 5,900 stores worldwide, with system-wide retail sales totaling 211.7 billion pesos.
Flynn Restaurant Group
Enterprise Value: $2.0 Billion
Flynn Restaurant Group began in 1999 with just 8 Applebee’s locations in Seattle and has grown to become the largest restaurant franchisee in the United States. The group now operates 444 Applebee’s, 367 Arby’s, and 280 Taco Bell locations, from Portland, Maine, to Portland, Oregon.
Flynn Restaurant Group has seen ~30% compound annual growth for over two decades. Its initial focus was on growing within the Applebee’s system. It then branched into Taco Bell in 2012 followed by Panera in 2014, Arby’s in 2018, and then both Wendy’s and Pizza Hut in 2021. Flynn has a presence across the three major segments of the industry – Casual Dining, Quick Service, and Fast Casual.
Carrols Restaurant Group
Enterprise Value: $1.4 Billion
Carrols Restaurant Group is an American franchisee company and is the largest Burger King franchisee in the world. Carrols owns and operates over 1,000 Burger Kings and 55 Popeyes restaurants. The company has operated Burger Kings since 1976 in locations across 23 U.S. states. The company formerly owned the restaurant chains Pollo Tropical, Taco Cabana, and Carrols.
Estimated Net Worth: $1.3 Billion
Starting in the gas and convenience store business in 1976, the Dhanani Group became a franchisee for Burger King in 1994 with their first co-branded restaurant in Houston, Texas. The Sugar Land, Texas-based company is now one of the nation’s top QSR franchisees for Burger King Corporation and Popeyes with a growing presence in casual and fine dining starting with La Madeleine restaurants. The group runs 504 Burger King, 339 Popeyes, and 41 La Madeleine locations across the United States.
Enterprise Value: $1.1 Billion
MUY! Companies owned and operated franchisees of Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and Wendy’s restaurants. It was based in San Antonio, Texas. James Bodenstedt, founder of Muy Cos., sold all 755 of his Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and Wendy’s restaurants in a $1 billion-plus grand exit last October.
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The Withers and Barlow families
Enterprise Value: $2.11 Billion
Back in 1977, the Withers and Barlow families kicked off an incredible journey by bringing the 7-Eleven brand down under. Starting with just one store in Melbourne, they’ve grown the business into an impressive network of over 750 stores scattered across Victoria, New South Wales, ACT, Queensland, and Western Australia. Imagine this: 7-Eleven now handles a whopping 250 million transactions every year and provides jobs to more than 9,000 folks across its corporate and franchise network. Recently, the families made a big move, deciding it’s time to hand over the reins to new owners to keep growing this beloved brand.