Top 10 Leading and Most Innovative Franchise Businesses Worldwide

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There are many multi-national franchises spread all over the world. However, it is not the expansion that has defined their success but rather their ability to innovate and adapt. This article talks of 1) top 10 leading and innovative Franchises, followed by 2) how to make your franchise successful and 3) the characteristics of successful franchises.


1. Anytime Fitness

Around 50.2 million people in America registered to fitness centers this year, based on the Worldwide Health, Racquet & Sports Club Association. At present, approximately 1.9 million are Anytime Fitness members and the number is increasing each year, currently with 2500 clubs all around the world.

Founded: 2002

Headquarters: Hastings, Minnesota

Sales: $484 million

Number of Employees: 166

Business Model: Fitness centers for the general population, mainly the elite and the middle class.

2. Hampton Hotels

Initially Hampton Hotels were part of a division of Holiday Inn, which was later acquired by Promus Hotel Corporation, a hotel chain based in Memphis, Tennessee. Hamptons opened its hotels in 14 states along with its setup in Russia, Poland, Romania and the Netherlands last year. All in all they have locations in Europe, India and North America and are further expanding globally.

Founded: 1983

Headquarters: McLean, Virginia

Sales: Not Available

Number of Employees: Not Available

Business Model: The go-to Hotel targeting the elite population of the city. Therefore the price range is also a little expensive.

3. Subway

Subway is a franchise of an American fast food restaurant. Its main USP is submarine sandwiches and salads. Last year in 2013, it introduced several key events. Most significant was in August when the sandwich tower crossed the 40,000-store mark, making it the biggest restaurant chain on the planet. Owned and managed by Doctor’s Associates, it is one of the fastest growing franchises in the world. Subway has its international head offices in Connecticut and Milford, and five regional centers that assist in international operations. Furthermore, worldwide growth saw a better growth compared to United Sates sales by adding 1,600-plus locations last year, tapping Djibouti, Kenya, and Estonia for the first time.

Founded: 1965

Headquarters: Milford, Connecticut

Sales: $18.8 billion

Number of Employees: Not Available

Business Model: Providing fast food to the general population, creating a niche with its healthy lifestyle approach.

4. Supercuts

Supercuts, a franchise in hair salon has more than 2,000 locations all across the US. The salon was founded in San Francisco Bay Area, by Frank E. Emmett and Geoffrey M. Rappaport. The first salon location that still exists is in California. It is owned completely by a subsidiary of Regis. Its franchise locations in the United Kingdom are also owned by Regis.

Founded: 1975

Headquarters: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Sales: Not available

Number of Employees: Not Available

Business Model: Supercuts provides affordable hair cuts.

5. Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches

It is a franchised sandwich eatery chain founded by Jimmy John Liautaud, specializing in delivery services. The company has expanded to over 2,000 locations over the last 30 years in around 43 countries. Moreover, the company has been opening just about 200 units every year for the past three consecutive years. However, 98 percent of the restaurants are franchise-owned as of 2013.

Founded: 1983

Headquarters: Illinois, USA

Sales: Not Available

Number of Employees: Not Available

Business Model: Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches targets the masses at large.

6. 7-Eleven

It has more than 51,000 stores around the world and 10,200 in the United States. But you will find plenty of them. In the past several years 7-Eleven has become more than a cultural convenience shop. It offers hot-food menu, a low-cost lunch while keeping branded products inexpensive. It has managed to do so because of its considerable buying power that made the store into a quick shop stop.

Founded: 1927

Headquarters: Dallas, Texas

Sales: $84.8 billion (Estimated 2009)

Number of Employees: 45,000 (2010 NA)

Business Model: It targets the masses due to its low pricing strategy.

7. Servpro

Servpro is a 45-year-old organization using more than 1,600 models within the United States of America, as well as Canada, because of which it is among the biggest restoration companies in the United States. Coming to maturity means for Servpro that it may be able to achieve more than its rivals, like responding simultaneously to a large group of clients with major problems. For example, last year Servpro’s Storm Team had dispatched 100s of deck hands to Colorado which was then a difficult area as it suffered flooding in September. While in June, Canada and Alberta went through a disastrous torrent.

Founded: 1967

Headquarters: Gallatin, Tennessee

Sales: Not Available

Number of Employees: 350 (Corporate), 1600 Franchises

Business Model: It caters to the mass population. Due to the company’s age, it has a niche of its own so that its prices are also high.

8. Denny’s

It might call itself “America’s diner,” However, Denny’s is becoming the most preferred hangout for the whole Western Hemisphere. This past year, the chain that has approximately 1,700 models, made its first transfer to South America by setting up a bistro in Santiago, Chile with plans of ten more within the next fifteen years. That contributes to units in Canada, the Caribbean, Central America, New Zealand and Mexico.

Founded: 1953

Headquarters: Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Sales: $2.5 billion (2013)

Number of Employees: Around 8,250

Business Model: Denny’s provides reasonably prived American food.

9. Pizza Hut

In the last decade, Pizza Hut has gained a status of a researcher, experimenting with stuffed crusts amongst other things. On its 55th anniversary in the year 2013, the organization experienced one of its most creative years yet, starting Crazy Cheesy Crust, Firebaked-Style Flatbreads, Large Pizza Slider and three-Cheese Stuffed Crust pizzas. However, it further added more than hundreds of domestic stores last year, getting its fleet to approximately 8,000 franchise units in the United States.

Founded: 1958

Headquarters: Plano, Texas

Sales: Not Available

Number of Employees: More than 160,000

Business Model: Affordable American food for the masses.

10. Dunkin Donuts

Dunkin Donuts made its name with people who are early risers and is symbolized by the “time to help make the inflatable donuts” man. After functioning for more than six decades, Dunkin’ Inflatable donuts is marketing itself as right for all occasions and for all customers; from individuals searching for a fast sugary treat or coffee for individuals who wish to relax abroad having a healthy snack.


Headquarters: Canton, Massachusetts

Sales: $6.9 billion USD (estimated 2012)

Number of Employees: More than 1100 permanent employees in Headquarter

Business Model: With its ready to go products, it has found loyal customers.


So why do few franchises thrive while others close down? At times the concept of a franchise or the franchise location tells the success story, but mainly it is related to the franchisee. Read on for tips to improve your odds for a successful franchise.

1. Choose the best business for you

Franchisees with prior relevant experience tend to run a business far better than individuals who aren’t within their element. How can you be sure that the franchise you’re purchasing fits your skill-set? It’s simple: brainstorm what you love to do the most. For instance, if you like kids, look for a franchise that enables you to utilize these emotions. Should you like technology, look for a pc-related franchise idea. Do not just consider the service or product, but what your day to day routine is going to be. You might enjoy cooking but possessing a cafe or restaurant is not going to be about only food. Actually, most of your tasks call for controlling, employing, training and firing staff.

Additionally, make sure your expertise matches exactly what the franchise will need from you.

2. Improve your business skills

While franchisors will acquaint you with their system that will help you develop an effective outlet, most also require that you bring some fundamental business abilities to the table. Should you not know accounting basics, how can you read and understand financial documents or know when to employ and dismiss employees?

In case your sales abilities are rusty, your understanding of economic taxation is a little shaky or you aren’t updated enough about internet marketing, consider going for a class to enhance your abilities. Continuously strive to expand your knowledge. These courses are frequently offered at nearby colleges/institutes and you will also find one-day workshops and online seminars (Internet-based workshops) that take a shorter period of time and less financial investment.

3. Follow the system

One of the reasons you select a specific franchise is because it features an effective system which attracts you. To be able to be effective, you need to discover the method. Don’t simply ‘get by’ through your early training but rather absorb everything that was conveyed within this training period. Make it a point to frequently browse the manuals. Ignore when other franchisees try to convince you that there is a better option compared to the one you have selected, a tried-and-tested system.

When you apply changes yourself you place your franchise in danger or encounter unforeseen effects the franchisor has already expected. It is best to follow the system laid out for you.

4. Have a Business plan

The idea of assembling a strategic business plan may be intimidating for a franchising novice but it doesn’t have to be. It may be as easy as setting a few objectives and laying out a financial plan for the following year. If there is more doubt, request you franchisor for advice on how to move forward.

5. Take control

Benefits gained from a franchise are usually in terms of the support a franchisor can offer. However, the failure or success of the franchise is basically under your control. Your franchisor will instruct you and provide you with the various tools to construct a company-but you will still be handling it by yourself. Operation of day-to-day procedures of the outlet is naturally your responsibility. You are however, able to call the franchisor for queries but despite that choices and decisions ultimately belong to you. Embrace and revel in this freedom as it is an advantageous part of entrepreneurship.

6. Avoid credit cards

The unbelievably high rates on credit cards can gradually eat away your income and result in anxiety. To raise the required financing can be challenging, although not impossible. Be sure that you have ample cash before you decide to launch your company, and look for immediate financing if you notice a recession in your business ahead.

7. Learn about your industry

When your franchise is ready to go, learn just as much you are able to regarding your new industry. Nearly each sector has associations and conferences where business proprietors assemble and share ideas. Other franchisees may also share knowledge of your industry and a  unique perspective.

8. Never stop marketing

Like a franchisee, your work may be the marketing and advertising of your products or services. Don’t let your franchisor be the one to remind you to begin marketing, evaluate the potency of both ways and share effective techniques together with your associate franchisees. If you are busy focusing managerial work over a marketing plan, you’re restricting your ability to succeed.

9. Should you find that you can’t sell, bring in help who will

To put it simply, many people don’t like marketing. They simply aren’t happy about picking up the telephone. But marketing and sales are an unavoidable part of just about any business. Should you not feel at ease handling this, you have to hire a company to do this job for you.


Risk aversion

According to many people to be successful as a franchiser you must know how to gamble. Those who have been successful in this business are risk averse. There is always a possibility for a start-up business to face some kind of failure, but a strong franchise has minimal risk. To be successful franchisees you must know what you are getting into and be prepared for it.

System orientation

Entrepreneurs have an out of control urge to re-invent the entire system since they are confident enough about their abilities to find out the way things should be carried out in order to maximize results. On the other hand, successful franchisees prefer proven systems rather than trying out untried approaches. They need a system of operation that could indicate the best possible method to do anything linked with the business. They are eager enough to learn from other associates in order to avoid mistakes and be more successful.

Hard-work affinity

To be successful franchisees you must have the willingness to get the job done through hard work and innovative solutions. This could mean long hours and carrying out multiple tasks at the same time. Irrespective of the franchise you want, it will require a lot of work and patience to make it a success.

Strong people skills

Those who have been successful franchisees always have outstanding interpersonal skills and have the ability to effectively communicate with both employees and clients. They apply these skills to create an atmosphere of loyalty, faith and value.

Successful franchisees seek opportunities to observe others in their franchise system. They know that that they can’t come up with every answer so asking for assistance and helpful criticism is better. Moreover, with innovation, diligence and the right strategy, one can pave the way for success in a franchise business.

how to choose a franchise business
Infographic by chander.shekhar.

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