Top 500 Franchise Brands for 2018

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Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top Franchise 500 list is out for 2018 and, if you read between the lines, it shows some interesting franchising trends to look out for.

Most Popular Franchises

Taking a look at the most popular franchises for 2018, there is, yet again, a very strong presence from the fast food industry, with six of the top 10 spots taken up with some of the biggest names in franchising. Big-hitting names in franchising, like McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts and Taco Bell.

Another strong franchise group represented in the top 500 taking on the fast food industry is the salon industry. Great Clips, Sport Clips and Supercuts are all ranked within the top 15 best franchises for 2018.

McDonald’s sits in the number one position for 2018. While this may not be any surprise to some, the company have done well to recover from their identity crisis which came to a head in 2015 when new CEO and President Steve Easterbrook took over. Leading up to him taking on the leadership of this internationally iconic brand, McDonald’s had been losing market share.

While the big names certainly do weigh heavy among the most popular franchises for 2018, there are also some fresh newcomers.

uBreakiFix made an impressive ranking at number 18, especially considering the company was established less than 10 years ago and has only been franchising for the past five years. Mosquito Joe, a pest control service, founded in 2010 and franchising since 2012 is ranked number 42.

Fitness franchises are another familiar industry scattered within the top 50 franchises. The highest is Anytime Fitness in at number 17, closely followed by Planet Fitness holding the 21st position and a little further down the rankings at number 48 is relative newcomer Orangetheory Fitness, founded in 2010.

So what do these rankings results tell us about emerging trends for 2018?

Emerging Franchising Trends in 2018

With the U.S. economy looking positive and unemployment at a low according to the Whitehouse, potential franchisees are looking for opportunities to get into franchising while still keeping their current job, at least in the short-term. This is where the fitness and hair salon franchises are filling the need. Many of these types of franchise businesses, like Great Clips, are attracting franchisees based on their manager-run framework, as opposed to the traditional owner-operator run style of business structure.

Another emerging franchising trend for 2018 is very positive growth in the aged care service industry. Census statistics show the percentage growth rate of those aged 65 years plus over the coming few decades. And these statistics are staggering. By 2030 the U.S. population is expected to get significantly older, with more than 20 percent of the population being 65 years and over, compared with 13 percent in 2010 and 9.8 percent in 1970. The Government are fully aware of the pressure this will place on health care provision for this ageing population group.

Moving into the aged care franchising industry is one that will pay dividends for the significant long-term future.

What Makes a Top 500 Franchise?

After taking a look at Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top 500 Franchise list, here’s a quick overview of what is considered when establishing the rankings.

Entrepreneur Magazine stresses their criteria for selecting ranking positions is something that is continually evolving, just like the top-ranking business are doing in order to stay at or reach top positions.

A franchises costs and fees, support offered including training, marketing, operational and financial support, brand strength including social media, as well as its size, growth and financial stability.

To be eligible for the top 500 list, a franchise must meet certain criteria. It must have at least 10 units open and operating, be actively seeking new franchises and have at least one franchise in North America.

All eligible franchises, of which there were more than 1,000 in this year’s list, are then scored based on a 150-plus point analysis. Those with the highest cumulative points make the top 500 list.

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