Identify the perfect franchise for you! Take our short quiz Take our free franchise quiz!
Identify the perfect franchise for you! Take our short quiz Take our free franchise quiz!
Identify the perfect franchise for you! Take our short quiz Take our free franchise quiz!

Top Five Restaurants People Wish Were Franchises

Not every business in the U.S. is a franchise. (Much to the chagrin of us here at FranchiseHelp.) But that doesn’t stop people from searching desperately for information on opening a location of their favorite stores.

In some instances, like a few listed below, companies actually used to be franchises, but are no longer expanding via the franchise model. They decided that it was more profitable to grow using company funds as opposed to leveraging franchisee capital.

Unsurprisingly, almost all the searches we get for companies that are not currently franchising are restaurants. So here are the five most companies people wish were franchises:

Chipotle – With 2012 sales of $2.7B, Chipotle is the 16th largest fast food restaurant. Even though it was briefly owned by McDonald’s, they’ve never had to franchise as the founder, Steve Ells, turned to his work and personal network to finance the expansion of the restaurant. One of the fastest growing restaurants in the world, Americans are desperate to open their own Chipotle. However, the only way that they can become owners is by buying stock!

Starbucks – Starbucks booked 2012 sales of over $10B, making it the third largest fast food restaurant. When you look at their store breakdown, you’ll see that about ~40% of their stores are franchises and ~60% are company owned. That’s because Starbucks used to franchise, but they do not anymore. Some of their other brands, like Seattle’s Best Coffee, will accept new franchisees, but the Starbucks brand does not.

White Castle – Ranking at #36 in terms of 2012 sales ($618MM), White Castle may not be the biggest “non-franchisor” out there, but it is very popular. Coming in with over 400 company owned stores, those small little burgers drive people crazy about becoming owners. We’ll call it the Harold and Kumar effect! Having been in the Ingram family since being founded in 1921, your best chance to own a piece of White Castle is through marriage!

In-N-Out– Here’s one for all you West Coasters out there. 2012 sales for In-N-Out Burger were just over $500MM coming from 280 company owned stores. For those of you who have eaten at an In-N-Out, it’s easy to understand why becoming a franchisee would be attractive. Its simple menu and tasty ingredients have people clamoring for more. Unfortunately Lynsi Snyder, the owner of In-N-Out has decreed that In-N-Out has no interest in ever franchising!

Panda Express – If you’ve ever been to a shopping mall or airport (which is highly likely), you’ve seen a Panda Express! With 2012 sales of $1.8B, Panda Express ranks as the 21st largest fast food restaurant. Having over 1,500 company-owned stores, they’ve achieved massive growth without seeking much franchisee capital. Although they do have 47 franchise stores, they are few and far between.

Bonus: Boston Market – As of the writing of this article, Boston Market has never opened a franchise store. Even so, they’ve been able to grow to over $500M in sales and crack the top 50 list of fast food restaurants. However, they are exploring entering the franchising game! Their website cryptically reports that, “Boston Market is considering developing a franchise program that may launch in 2015.”(How’s that for being wishy-washy!)

So there you have it, the six franchises that people desperately want to open, but don’t actually exist.

That being said, don’t be discouraged! There are hundreds of franchises looking to find new owners in your local owners. Some restaurants and some not.

To see which franchises are looking for you, click here to take our brief franchise matching quiz. When you answer a few questions, we’ll figure out which franchises are right for you.

(And if any of these six ever change their mind, we’ll let you know!)

Source: QSR magazine’s top 50

Getting into Baby Boomers Wallets

Savvy businesses have been marketing to the Boomer generation for years. But interest is accelerating now that Boomers are approaching their 60s. In this day and age, no business can afford to ignore the economic realities of this phenomenon, with one in three adults currently at least the age of 50. The target audience for these marketing schemes should be adults aged 54 to 64. They have the deepest pockets, with an estimated average net worth of $210,000 -- higher than any other age group.

Steps to Select and Protect a Valuable Trademark

The first thing to keep in mind when selecting a trademark is that not all words and names are capable of being protected as trademarks. No one business owner can claim exclusive rights in generic terms and logos, because all business owners need to be able to use these in order to identify their goods or services. Thus, a residential painting franchise likely could not claim exclusive rights in the name “Painting Pros”, because this is simply a generic description of the services that the business offers.

Running a Franchise While Keeping Your Career!

Something that is possible with franchise ownership that may not always work with a start-up business is the ability to maintain your career while you run your business. Although many franchisees rely on their business unit as the basis of their revenue stream, there are more people interested in buying a franchise to generate a second source of income. A flexible franchise option makes this a possibility and can afford some opportunities that other franchises cannot.