Special Report

Hottest Businesses to Franchise in America

Samuel Stebbins
Source: Courtesy of Kite M. via Yelp

15. N-Hance Wood Refinishing
> U.S. franchise growth 2014-2019: +62.4%
> Total 2019 global locations: 590
> Est. franchise startup cost: $52,000 – $167,000
> Product: Wood refinishing services

N-Hance Wood Refinishing offers cabinet and floor refinishing services. The franchise business began nearly two decades ago. Estimated startup cost for new franchisees can go as high as $167,000, but the company offers in-house financing options. Over the last five years, the number of U.S. franchise businesses operating under the N-Hance brand climbed from 330 to 536, a 62.4% jump.

Source: southbeachcars / Flickr

14. Smoothie King
> U.S. franchise growth 2014-2019: +64.2%
> Total 2019 global locations: 1,073
> Est. franchise startup cost: $264,000 – $844,000
> Product: Smoothies

Smoothie King is a brand of smoothie stores that first opened in 1973. The brand’s first U.S. franchise opened its doors in New Orleans in 1989, and today, it is among the fastest growing franchises in the United States. The number of U.S. locations grew from 553 in 2014 to 908 last year.

Like many brands on this list, Smoothie King offers franchisees extensive training. The process starts with a one-day orientation at the company’s Dallas headquarters, followed by an 11-day management training program. When a new location opens, Smoothie King sends a training professional to help train new employees for up to five days.

Source: Mr. Blue MauMau / Flickr

13. Marco’s Pizza
> U.S. franchise growth 2014-2019: +73.1%
> Total 2019 global locations: 933
> Est. franchise startup cost: $294,000 – $789,000
> Product: Pizza

Marco’s Pizza is a chain of pizza restaurants that started in 1978 and became a franchise business the following year. It is one of the few brands on this list with no company-owned stores. Of the 933 global franchise Marco’s Pizza locations, 900 are located in the United States. Marco’s claims its franchisees have an advantage over the competition because of the high quality of its pizza.

Source: Photo by Bruno Vincent / Getty Images

12. Cruise Planners
> U.S. franchise growth 2014-2019: +74.2%
> Total 2019 global locations: 3,062
> Est. franchise startup cost: $2,000 – $24,000
> Product: Travel planning

Of the two travel planning companies on this list, Cruise Planners is growing the fastest. Over the last half decade, the number of franchise locations — all of which are based in the United States — climbed from 1,757 to 3,061, a 74.2% growth. Franchisees with the company are effectively travel agents who serve their own customers from home offices. Becoming a travel agent with the company requires a relatively small financial investment, and franchisees do not need any prior experience and benefit from travel discounts.

Source: Michael Rivera / Wikimedia Commons

11. Jersey Mike’s Subs
> U.S. franchise growth 2014-2019: +86.5%
> Total 2019 global locations: 1,592
> Est. franchise startup cost: $237,000 – $767,000
> Product: Sandwiches

Along with Firehouse Subs, Jersey Mike’s is one of two sub sandwich chains to rank on this list. Over the last five years, the number of Jersey Mike’s franchise locations in the United States has jumped by 86.5%. While there are no international Jersey Mike’s franchise locations, 72 stores, including several outside of the United States, are company owned. It took more than 30 years after the store’s 1956 founding in Point Pleasant, New Jersey, for it to become a franchise business.