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Top 10 Franchises of the 2012 Global 2000

 The Top 10 Franchises in the Forbes Global 2000

A Look at Ten of the Biggest Companies in the World with Franchise Operations.

Each year, Forbes releases its list of the 2000 companies in the world that are the “biggest, most powerful and most valuable.” Criteria for the ranking includes: sales, profits, assets and market value. Most of these companies, as expected, are huge conglomerates spanning multiple brands with outlets or distribution points all over the world.

But how many of these 2000 companies have franchise operations? That’s the question we set out to answer when we dissected the Global 2000 and pulled out the Top 10 companies that allow everyday entrepreneurs to be a part of their worldwide operations via a franchise business model.


The Top 10 Franchises in the Forbes Global 2000
Company Global 2000 Rank
UPS (The UPS Store) 168
McDonald’s 183
Carrefour 347
Seven & i Holdings Co., Ltd. (7-Eleven) 230
YUM! Brands (KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell) 605
Marriott International 1246
Hertz Global Holdings 1254
Wyndham Worldwide 1534
Tim Hortons 1703
InterContinental Hotels 1752


It’s no surprise that many of these brands are very familiar to consumers. However, if you look at the list closer you will see that these 10 brands can be grouped into three staple categories of everyday life: food, transportation, and lodging.



The 10 franchises listed are equally divided amongst the three categories, with food having one additional entry. To many, McDonald’s is the undisputed leader of franchising so it’s no surprise to see the company on this list. This summer, McDonald’s continues its longstanding tradition of being an official Olympic sponsor. The company has been an Olympic sponsor since 1976, and recently announced extension of the sponsorship through 2020 as part of The Olympic Partner (TOP) program. top10_food.jpg

Probably the least known company on the list to Americans is Carrefour. Headquartered in France, Carrefour is the parent company of four distinct grocery store formats (hypermarkets, supermarkets, convenience stores, and cash-and-carry outlets) located in several countries. The company also offers e-commerce services. Last year, Carrefour spun off Dia, a hard discount store brand, which on its own is one of the largest franchisors in Europe. 

KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell make the list as a group under the heading of their parent YUM! Brands. A major part of the company’s revenue generation in the past few years has been its growth in China. In fact, YUM! currently generates more revenue in China than in the United States due in no small part to the nation’s infatuation with KFC.

The fourth food franchisor on our Top 10 list, Tim Hortons, has been making steady gains for the past several years. The Canadian café and bake shop first came to the United States in 1985. Now, the chain has over 700 U.S. locations in 10 states, and operates its largest coffee bean processing and roasting facility in Rochester, NY.



Companies that sell products or services to facilitate the transport of people or things are included in this section. UPS (United Parcel Service) is a world leader when it comes to logistics and package delivery. The company also leads when it comes to our Top 10 list. Originally, The UPS Store locations were named “The Mail Boxes Etc.” following the introduction of the post office alternative in 1980. Twenty-one years later UPS acquired Mail Boxes Etc., Inc. and subsequently rebranded all of the locations as “The UPS Store” in 2003.top10_transport.jpg

Along with previously mentioned Carrefour, Seven & i Holdings Co., Ltd. most likely is a company not familiar to Americans. The Japanese company handles the planning, management, and operations of its group companies, which include convenience stores, general merchandise stores, department stores, supermarkets, food-services, financial services, and IT services. The Convenience Store segment of the company operates convenience stores under the brand name 7-Eleven through direct operation and franchise. 7-Eleven, Inc. has over 46,000 stores, making it the world’s largest convenience store chain. The company also has more outlets than any other retailer or food service provider.

Hertz Global Holdings boasts the largest general use car rental brand in the world. But the car rental unit of Hertz is just one branch of the mega organization that includes truck & van rental, equipment rental, car sales, claim management, and other ventures including entertainment services. These entertainment services, which assist companies putting on productions or events, aren’t just limited to automotive needs. Hertz also offers access to filming locations, office space and parking; along with protection packages (such as loss damage waivers).



Hoteliers make up the last of the three categories. The highest ranked of them is Marriott International. The company just announced plans to open the first hotel as part of its LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Volume Program. The hotel, The Courtyard Scottsdale Salt River in Arizona, is also the first Marriott-branded property built on U.S. tribal land in cooperation with the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and will feature Native American aspects of the Pima and Maricopa tradition and culture.top10_lodging.jpg

Wyndham Worldwide is made up of three divisions: Wyndham Hotel Group, Wyndham Exchange & Rentals, and Wyndham Vacation Ownership. The company’s operation spans six continents with the Wyndham Hotel Group accounting for over 7,150 hotels under 12 hotel brands. In addition, Wyndham has license agreements to franchise Planet Hollywood Hotels, Dream and Night brands. 

InterContinental Hotels operates nine brands, which the company estimates serves over 153 million guests annually. The company recently launched new brands in the United States and China to cater to each location. In the U.S., EVEN Hotels is designed to meet “the large and growing customer demand for healthier travel, at a mainstream price.” While in China, the HUALUXE Hotels and Resorts brand was launched as “the first upscale, international hotel brand designed specifically for the Chinese traveller,” per a company release.


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