Special Report

Hottest Businesses to Franchise in America

Samuel Stebbins
Source: Dcawton / Wikimedia Commons

20. Firehouse Subs
> U.S. franchise growth 2014-2019: +43.8%
> Total 2019 global locations: 1,174
> Est. franchise startup cost: $161,000 – $996,000
> Product: Sandwiches

Firehouse Subs is a Jacksonville, Florida-based sandwich shop that started in 1994 and became a franchise the following year. Over the last five years, the number of branded U.S. franchise locations rose 43.8%, and that does not include the company’s expansion into Canada.

The company claims to provide comprehensive training and operational support in order to make business easy and profitable for franchisees.

Source: Dream Vacations Franchise

19. Dream Vacations
> U.S. franchise growth 2014-2019: +44.8%
> Total 2019 global locations: 1,432
> Est. franchise startup cost: $2,000 – $20,000
> Product: Travel planning

Dream Vacations is one of two cruise planning companies to rank on this list. Starting a Dream Vacations franchise can cost as little as $2,000, making it one of the least expensive brands on this list. A subsidiary of CruiseOne, Dream Vacations franchisees typically work out of a home office, selling and planning cruise vacations for clients. Franchise owners go through a six-day training session at the company headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. They can also use the company’s team of technical support staff, and benefit from company-sponsored marketing as well as travel perks and discounts.

Source: Buildingstars International / Facebook

18. Buildingstars Intl. Inc.
> U.S. franchise growth 2014-2019: +50.2%
> Total 2019 global locations: 805
> Est. franchise startup cost: $2,000 – $53,000
> Product: Cleaning services

Buildingstars Intl. Inc. is a commercial cleaning business. There were 799 franchise locations in the United States alone in 2019, up from 532 in 2014. The company has operations across the country, including the New York City metro area, Phoenix, Houston, and Chicago. The commercial cleaning industry may be attractive to many franchisees as demand for such services tends to remain constant during good economic times and bad.

Source: RiverNorthPhotography / Getty Images

17. Carl’s Jr. Restaurants LLC
> U.S. franchise growth 2014-2019: +52.1%
> Total 2019 global locations: 1,656
> Est. franchise startup cost: $1.6M – $2.1M
> Product: Fast food

Carl’s Jr. Restaurants is a fast food chain that began as a hot dog cart in Los Angeles in 1941. It is now headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee. The restaurants offer options for a wide range of dining preferences, and the company recently introduced Beyond Meat vegetarian burgers in addition to several Keto diet friendly options.

Franchisees must go through a four-step process before they can open their own store: completing an application, developing a business plan, passing a financial and operational review, and training upon approval. The majority of the nearly 1,700 Carl Jr. locations worldwide are franchise businesses in one of 13 western states.

Source: Courtesy of Motel 6

16. Motel 6
> U.S. franchise growth 2014-2019: +58.8%
> Total 2019 global locations: 1,246
> Est. franchise startup cost: $207,000 – $8.8M
> Product: Accommodations

Motel 6 is a Carrollton, Texas-based discount motel chain. A subsidiary of G6 Hospitality, it is the largest owned and operated motel chain in North America. It is also one of the fastest growing franchises in the United States. There are currently over 900 franchised Motel 6 locations across the country, up from 571 in 2014. Brand franchisees benefit from multimedia advertising and an average nightly occupancy rate of 66%.