Largest Franchised Brands Back in the Game

MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The 200 largest U.S.-based franchisors grew their combined annual sales by more than $20 billion or 3.4 percent last year, to $616.4 billion, with most categories seeing across-the-board gains, according to the newly released Franchise Times Top 200+, an exclusive ranking of the 500 largest franchises.

The 10 largest franchised brands added $7.8 billion in sales, roaring back in 2016 after losing sales the prior year for the first time in the history of the ranking, which began in 1999 and is the result of a five-month research and reporting effort each year that results in the most credible and objective franchise ranking available, said Franchise Times Editor-in-Chief Beth Ewen.

“This year’s ranking shows that franchising is heating up after last year’s tepid performance, with the industry’s sales growth doubling the current U.S. inflation rate,” said Tom Kaiser, associate editor at Franchise Times who wrote the lead article for the project. “Most notable among the biggest players were RE/MAX, Domino’s, Chick-fil-A and Keller Williams Realty, all posting double-digit sales gains. By category, employment services and health-oriented franchises led the list with 9.4 percent and 6.9 percent sales gains.”

McDonald’s retains its spot atop the Franchise Times Top 200+ with a 2.8 percent gain in sales, with Domino’s up 10.1 percent and making it into the Top 10 for the first time. Orangetheory Fitness led all performers with an 111 percent increase in sales.

In an exclusive interview, Subway CEO Suzanne Greco describes life at the brand founded by her late brother, Fred DeLuca, and her efforts to turn around the world’s largest restaurant chain by units, where systemwide sales declined by $100 million last year. It is one of four exclusive CEO interviews included in this year’s ranking.

Franchise Times Fastest-Growing Industry Sectors

  1. Employment services up 9.4%
  2. Health & medical up 6.9%
  3. Hotel/travel up 4.5%
  4. Restaurants up 3.5%
  5. Commercial cleaners up 3.4%

Franchise Times Top 10 Franchises by Worldwide Sales

  1. McDonald’s: $85 billion sales, +2.8% from prior year; 36,899 units, +1%
  2. 7-Eleven: $82.5 billion* sales, +1.2% from prior year; 61,805 units, +5.3%
  3. KFC: $23.2 billion* sales, +2.3% from prior year; 20,604 units, +3.3%
  4. Burger King: $18.2 billion sales, +5.2% from prior year; 15,738 units, +4.9%
  5. Subway: $17 billion sales, -0.6%; 45,936 units, +0.2%
  6. Ace Hardware: $15 billion sales, +1.1%; 5,092 units, +2.2%
  7. Pizza Hut: $12 billion* sales, -0.1%; 16,411 units, +2.2%
  8. RE-MAX: $11.5 billion sales, +11.8%; 7,459 units, +6.8%
  9. Domino’s: $10.9 billion sales, +10.1%; 13,811 units, +10.2%
  10. Marriott Hotels & Resorts: $10.8 billion* sales, +7.5%; 626 units, +3.8%
    *Franchise Times estimate

Franchise Times Top 10 Fastest Growers by Sales

  1. Orangetheory Fitness: 111.3% increase from prior year
  2. Smoothie King: 30.7%
  3. HomeVestors: 28.3%
  4. Sky Zone: 27.8%
  5. Freddy’s: 27.5%
  6. Realty One Group: 27.3%
  7. Planet Fitness: 26.7%
  8. Dutch Bros.: 22.8%
  9. Jersey Mike’s: 22.2%
  10. Tropical Smoothie Cafe: 20.2%

Franchise Times Top 10 Fastest Growers by Units

  1. Orangetheory Fitness: 73.2% increase from prior year
  2. Realty One Group: 33.9%
  3. Freddy’s: 33.3%
  4. Sky Zone: 20.4%
  5. Krispy Kreme: 19%
  6. HomeVestors: 18.6%
  7. Wingstop: 18.1%
  8. Planet Fitness: 16.8%
  9. Tropical Smoothie Café: 15.9%
  10. Marco’s Pizza: 15.6%

The Franchise Times Top 200+® is the only ranking by systemwide sales and units of the largest 500 U.S.-based franchise brands. Published in the October issue and available in a searchable database online, the Franchise Times Top 200+ also analyzes industry sectors based on percentage change in sales growth, reports the 10 fastest-growing franchises by four different measures, and includes exclusive news stories about the biggest names in franchising. The rankings and full report, and the searchable online database, are available at, now in its 8th year, does not sell products or services and we rely on sponsors to keep the site up. We are independently owned and operated. Please visit the POS software pages and POS hardware pages (see left side menu above) to find great POS products from various vendors. For more info, contact us through the Footer menu below.

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