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Duck Donuts® Ranked #1 Franchise Opportunity

Duck Donuts® Ranked #1 Franchise Opportunity in Its Category in Entrepreneur Magazine’s 40th Annual Franchise 500

Duck Donuts, known for serving Warm, Delicious and Made-to-Order!® donuts, recently ranked in Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500®, the world’s first, best and most comprehensive franchise ranking. Placement in the Franchise 500® is a highly sought-after honor in the franchise industry, as evidenced by the fact that Entrepreneur received more than 1,000 applications this year, making it one of the company’s most competitive rankings ever. Recognized as an invaluable resource for potential franchisees, the Franchise 500® ranks Duck Donuts as #247, for its outstanding performance in areas including unit growth, financial strength and stability, and brand power. In addition, the company ranked #1 in its category of Baked Goods: Doughnuts.

“We are honored to be included in Entrepreneur magazine’s 40th Annual Franchise 500 list as this recognition demonstrates the strength of our expanding brand since we began franchising in 2013,” said Russ DiGilio, founder and CEO of Duck Donuts Franchising Company. “Our team is dedicated to continue seeking innovative ways to engage our customers and support our franchisees as we strive towards our vision of serving an edible ring of happiness around the globe.”

Duck Donuts, which currently operates 78 locations across 16 states and two countries, plans to open 24 stores in 2019. The franchising company recently celebrated the opening of its first international location in Santiago, Chile. For more information on franchising opportunities, visit

The key factors that go into the evaluation include costs and fees, size and growth, support, brand strength, and financial strength and stability. Each franchise is given a cumulative score based on an analysis of more than 150 data points, and the 500 franchises with the highest cumulative scores become the Franchise 500® in ranking order.

Over its 40 years in existence, the Franchise 500® has become both a dominant competitive measure for franchisors and a primary research tool for potential franchisees. Duck Donuts’s position on the ranking is a testament to its strength as a franchise opportunity.

To view Duck Donuts in the full ranking, visit Results can also be seen in the January/February 2019 issue of Entrepreneur, available on newsstands January 15.


Duck Donuts was founded in 2006 by Russ DiGilio in Duck, North Carolina. His intention? To solve a family vacation problem: “Our family wanted a place to buy warm, delicious, made-to-order donuts, and when we couldn’t find one, we decided to start our own.”

By 2011, Duck Donuts had expanded to four Outer Banks locations and the donut business was so successful that DiGilio was continuously approached about franchise opportunities by fans who begged for a Duck Donuts in their community. The first franchise opened in Williamsburg, Virginia, in 2013, and there are now 78 open franchise locations and more than 145 additional contracts in 25 states and two countries.