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Top 100 Global Franchises 2013 - Top 100 Overview

1 Subway 1
2 7-Eleven 4
3 McDonald's 2
4 KFC 3
5 Burger King 5
6 Pizza Hut 6
7 Wyndham Hotel Group 7
8 Hertz 10
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.


Top 100 Global Franchises 2013-1

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 ( 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


Expansion Efforts

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.


Top 100 Global Franchises 2013-1

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.

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
5áSec 57 France Cleaning 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).


Top 100 Global Franchises 2013-1Applebee’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.


Honorable Mentions

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.




101 USA Automotive Franchises
Jenny Craig 102 Australia  Health & Beauty Franchises
Pirtek 103 Australia  Maintenance 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
Schlotzsky's 109 USA  Food 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
Maaco 116 USA  Automotive Franchises
Heaven's Best 117 USA  Cleaning Franchises
Maid Brigade 118 USA  Cleaning Franchises
Nathan's Famous 119 USA  Food Franchises
Haagen-Dazs 120 USA  Food Franchises
American Leak Detection 121 USA  Maintenance Franchises
Quick 122 Belgium  Food Franchises
PuroClean 123 USA  Cleaning Franchises
Homewatch 124 USA  Senior Care Franchises
Perkins Restaurant & Bakery 125 USA  Food Franchises

 Table 3: Franchises Ranked 101-125


Previous   Next

1 Subway Founder Talks Growth, Health Care, Menu,

2 GNC Holdings, Inc. Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2012 Results,

3 The World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Retail,

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