Special Report

Hottest Businesses to Franchise in America

Michael B. Sauter, Grant Suneson

Source: Michael Rivera / Wikimedia Commons

10. Jersey Mike’s Subs
> U.S. franchise growth 2013-2018: +95.5% (689 to 1,347)
> Total 2018 global locations: 1,431
> Est. franchise startup cost: $179k – $746k
> Product: Sandwiches

Founded in Point Pleasant, New Jersey in 1956, Jersey Mike’s has over 1,400 locations, almost all of which are franchise locations in the United States. Less than 100 of the sub shop locations are company-owned. While the company has been around for over six decades, it has only gone through explosive growth recently, going from less than 400 U.S. franchise locations in 2009 to nearly 1,400 U.S. franchise locations today.

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9. Tropical Smoothie Cafe
> U.S. franchise growth 2013-2018: +97.1% (343 to 676)
> Total 2018 global locations: 677
> Est. franchise startup cost: $222k – $569k
> Product: Smoothies

The number of Tropical Smoothie Cafe franchises has nearly doubled. There is just one corporate-owned Tropical Smoothie Cafe location and no overseas franchises. In addition to smoothies, the cafe also offers sandwiches, wraps, breakfast, and other food options.

Source: Buildingstars International / Facebook

8. Buildingstars Int’l. Inc.
> U.S. franchise growth 2013-2018: +103.5% (431 to 877)
> Total 2018 global locations: 883
> Est. franchise startup cost: $2k – $53k
> Product: Cleaning

Buildingstars International, a commercial cleaning company, has one of the lowest costs of entry of any franchising opportunity. While it takes tens of thousands of dollars to buy a franchise from most companies, Buildingstars requires just a minimum investment of just $2,000 from its prospective franchise owners.

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7. Mathnasium Learning Centers
> U.S. franchise growth 2013-2018: +108.4% (391 to 815)
> Total 2018 global locations: 937
> Est. franchise startup cost: $113k – $149k
> Product: Tutoring

Math scores on the ACT test have fallen in recent years, hitting a 20-year low in 2018. These struggles may have helped tutoring center Mathnasium become a more attractive business, as parents look to give their kids an academic edge or help them keep pace with their classmates. The number of Mathnasium U.S. franchises has more than doubled in the past five years. The company has also added more than 100 franchises overseas.

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6. Planet Fitness
> U.S. franchise growth 2013-2018: +113.9% (704 to 1,506)
> Total 2018 global locations: 1,608
> Est. franchise startup cost: $970k – $4.2m
> Product: Fitness

Planet Fitness added over 100 new franchised locations in each of the past three years, expanding to more than 1,600 locations across the globe. The gym franchise is growing at one of the most rapid paces of any American franchise — despite the high cost of entry. It costs nearly $1 million at minimum to open a Planet Fitness.