|2013 RANK||FRANCHISE||2012 RANK|
|7||Wyndham Hotel Group||7|
|9||Ace Hardware Corporation||8|
|10||InterContinental Hotel Group||13|
Table 1: The Top 10
As the Global Top 100 ranking celebrates its fifth anniversary, there’s a lot of movement in the ranking – but not at the very top. Nine of the top 10 were in the top 10 in 2012 and Subway remains the top ranked franchise on our list. The ability to evolve with the times is one way Subway’s appeal as a world class franchise system remains strong.
Growth by Gaming
It’s not surprising that Subway is using advanced technology to interact with potential franchise partners. What may be surprising to some is that the company is experimenting with recruiting the next generation of franchise owners through an online “business simulation” game.
From January 29, 2013 to March 31, 2013, the game pitted entrepreneurs from 100 countries against one another in a quest to build the best virtual Subway store (http://www.ysn.com/subway/). Participants were instructed to build their virtual store with startup capital, learn the business and operate the virtual store by way of completing challenges.
Competitors were ranked throughout the duration of the challenge on the game’s homepage live leaderboard. At the completion of the game, five winners were invited to Subway headquarters in Connecticut to meet with company executives to explore real-life options with the company.
While the game appears to be a good way of introducing the Subway brand to parties around the world, founder Fred DeLuca views the virtual challenge as a video detailing the history of the chain as well as a way to aid professors at colleges and universities with educating young people about the franchising industry. “In the short term, it’ll help professors and students,” he said in an interview with National Restaurant News. “In the longer term, we might have some people who would gravitate to Subway to learn about employment and later on, the franchise opportunities.” 1
Subway isn’t the only franchise getting bigger. Many of the brands on this year’s top 100 are in the midst of opening a significant number of new units or adding to their offerings.
Among these companies is Auntie Anne’s (#37), which celebrated the opening of its 1,000th U.S. location in December. The franchise opened over 200 locations in 2012, 80 of which were international locations. GNC (#11) not only added hundreds of units in 2012, the company also increased franchise revenue by nearly 22 percent over 2011.2 7-Eleven rode their recent growth into the second spot on the top 100 for 2013, narrowly displacing McDonald’s (#3), which also experienced continued significant unit growth.
7-Eleven is nonetheless growing and experiencing certain transitions to alter its array of merchandise. Evolving beyond primary commodities of gasoline, cigarettes and snacks, the convenience store is making moves to become more of a destination rather than a stop along the way. One way it’s seeking to accomplish this goal is by expanding its food offerings, which is explained more in the “Trends and Things to Watch” section.
Another way 7-Eleven is expanding their services is a partnership with Amazon that allows customers to pick up small packages (less than 10 pounds) at participating 7-Eleven locations via computerized lockers within the store. The Global Top 100 isn’t the only one recognizing the shift at 7-Eleven either. Fast Company magazine recently named the convenience store chain one of “The World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Retail.” 3
Non-U.S. Based Companies in the Top 100
Though most of the Top 100 list is comprised of U.S.-based companies likely due to the franchise industry’s inception there, franchising has been steadily increasing in popularity around the world. This is evidenced by an increasing number of companies present in the ranking that were founded outside of the U.S.
|FRANCHISE||2013 RANK||COUNTRY OF ORIGIN||INDUSTRY/CATEGORY|
|InterContinental Hotel Group||10||UK||Hotel Franchises|
|Europcar||12||France||Car Rental Franchises|
|Carrefour||13||France||Grocery/Convenience Store Franchises|
|Dia||15||Spain||Grocery Store Franchises|
|Tim Hortons||18||Canada||Food Franchises|
|Kumon||27||Japan||Child Education Franchises|
|Yves Rocher||30||France||Health & Beauty Franchises|
|Yogen Fruz||32||Canada||Food Franchises|
|H&R Block||39||Canada||Accounting & Financial Franchises|
|Tutor Doctor||54||Canada||Child Education Franchises|
|Cartridge World||61||Australia||Computer & Internet Franchises|
|ActionCOACH||71||Australia||Business Consulting Franchises|
|WSI Internet||76||Canada||Computer & Internet Franchises|
|No Mas Vello||84||Spain||Health & Beauty Franchises|
|Vom Fass||86||Germany||Food Franchises|
|The Pita Pit||87||Canada||Food Franchises|
|Naturhouse||91||Spain||Health & Beauty Franchises|
Table 2: Franchises in the Top 100 with Origins Outside the United States
Newcomers to the Top 100
5àSec (#57): 5àSec is a French-based dry-cleaning franchise and the world's leading retailer in textile care and treatment. 5àSec was created from a concept based on services with a good quality to price ratio accessible to everybody with fast delivery return, including straight forward rates with five different prices (hence the “5” in 5àSec).
Applebee’s (#82): Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar and Applebee's Grill specialize in the sale of uniform, high quality, moderately priced food and alcoholic beverages in a distinctive, casual setting.
Carrefour (#13): The Carrefour Group, based in France, has grown to become one of the world’s leading distribution groups. The world’s second-largest retailer and the largest in Europe, the group currently operates four main grocery store formats: hypermarkets, supermarkets, cash & carry, and convenience stores.
Coldwell Banker (#44): Founded in 1906, Coldwell Banker is the oldest residential real estate franchise system in North America. Coldwell Banker also offers commercial real estate brokerage franchises in the United States.
Coverall (#51): Coverall is a janitorial franchise that offers a health-based cleaning system. Coverall services a myriad of building types, including: offices, medical facilities, healthcare buildings, fitness centers, health clubs, daycare centers and educational facilities, retail stores, manufacturing plants, government facilities, auto dealerships, restaurants, airports, warehouses and transportation-based facilities.
IHOP (#73): International House of Pancakes Restaurants feature “IHOP” pancakes as well as a diverse menu of other breakfast, lunch and dinner items.
Jamba Juice (#100): Jamba Juice branded stores feature a wide variety of fresh blended-to-order smoothies and other cold or hot-blended-to-order beverages, and offering fresh squeezed juices and healthy, portable food items for snacks and meals.
No Mas Vello (#84): Spanish-based No Mas Vello (No+Vello) is a med-spa center that offers intense pulsed light (IPL) hair removal services for a flat rate. No+Vello centers also offer other non-medical services, and can offer medical services as well if medically trained individuals are involved in the franchise.
Tutor Doctor (#54): Tutor Doctor touts its “affordable, professional, one-on-one, individualized tutoring services.” Tutor Doctor’s services cover all grade levels, from kindergarten to university.
Ziebart (#79): Ziebart franchises are auto specialty businesses that offer structural protective coatings, detailing and appearance protective coatings, scratch repair, scratch and scuff, window treatment, accessories, polyurethane protective coatings, as well as glass replacement and repair.
Even though these franchise systems didn’t hit the top 100 mark, they are still great representations of how companies can grow into successful international operations. Similar to Home Instead (#78), PostNet (#90), Smoothie King (#65), and Tutor Doctor (#54), which were part of this chart last year, maybe next year one or more of these companies will be on the main ranking list.
|FRANCHISE||2013 RANK||COUNTRY OF ORIGIN||INDUSTRY/CATEGORY|
|Jenny Craig||102||Australia||Health & Beauty Franchises|
|Coffee News||104||Canada||Advertising & Marketing Franchises|
|Sylvan Learning||105||USA||Child Education Franchises|
|Color Glo||106||USA||Automotive Franchises|
|Budget Blinds||107||USA||Home Improvement Franchises|
|Gymboree Play & Music||108||USA||Fitness Franchises|
|The Athlete's Foot||110||USA||Retail Franchises|
|Furniture Medic||111||USA||Maintenance Franchises|
|CertaPro Painters||112||USA||Home Improvement Franchises|
|Almeida Viajes||113||Spain||Travel Franchises|
|Pak Mail||114||USA||Mailing & Shipping Franchises|
|Five Guys||115||USA||Food Franchises|
|Heaven's Best||117||USA||Cleaning Franchises|
|Maid Brigade||118||USA||Cleaning Franchises|
|Nathan's Famous||119||USA||Food Franchises|
|American Leak Detection||121||USA||Maintenance Franchises|
|Homewatch||124||USA||Senior Care Franchises|
|Perkins Restaurant & Bakery||125||USA||Food Franchises|
Table 3: Franchises Ranked 101-125
2 GNC Holdings, Inc. Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2012 Results, http://gnc.mediaroom.com/2013-02-14-GNC-Holdings-Inc.-Reports-Fourth-Quarter-and-Full-Year-2012-Results-Exceeds-Earnings-Outlook-Capping-Record-Year-for-Revenue-and-Earnings-Increases-Quarterly-Dividend-and-Announces-Share-Repurchase-Program