Despite an industry beset by challenges ranging from the thrust of automation and labor pressures to disruptive technology and intense competition, restaurant franchises continue to attract entrepreneurial souls.
“There’s nothing like the food sector,” says Franchise Business Review (FBR) CEO and managing director Eric Stites. “You’re face-to-face with your customer every day and see immediate results. People know it’s a hard business, but they’re drawn to the challenge and the energy of the sector.”
While some restaurant entrepreneurs will chart their own path with a self-created concept, many others, particularly on the industry’s quick-service side, embrace franchising, feeling the opportunity to leverage an existing entity’s playbook, brand identity, and counsel is worth the required cost of entry.
But not all quick-service franchises are created equal. The best of the bunch view their franchisees as true business partners, involving them in decisions, minding their needs, and, ultimately, devoting resources to their success, because when individual franchisees win, so too does the brand.
For the ninth consecutive year, QSR investigates some of the industry’s top franchise deals. This year, we’ve chosen standouts in six foodservice categories that offer a strong mix of compelling financial returns and brand power. And for the first time, FBR offered its own pick in each category, weighing franchisee satisfaction and other metrics, in this list.
And now on to the brands that cracked this year’s annual list of best franchise deals.