The 20 Best Franchises To Open In 2011


What does it take to make it to the top of the franchising heap in a time of economic pessimism? As Entrepreneur‘s 32nd Annual Franchise 500® reveals, it’s quality accommodations for frugal-minded travellers (complete with free waffles).

The recession mentality has prompted similar innovation and strategic transformation throughout the franchising world–resulting in some shake-ups and surprises to this year’s rankings. In addition to a new player being in the No. 1 spot, a familiar competitor is back in the Top 10 — after a 25-year absence.

Belt-tightening also has sparked a new, smarter focus on giving consumers what they crave: affordable products and services they can’t live without, whether that’s a value meal for seniors or a luxury massage for less.

Shake-ups are good: It means change is happening. And this year, the theme in franchising is change.

20. Stratus Building Solutions

Type of franchise: Commercial cleaning

Startup cost: $3,450 - $57,750

19. Matco Tools

Type of franchise: Mechanics' tools & service equipment

Startup cost: $79,926 - $188,556

18. Anytime Fitness

Type of franchise: Fitness centre

Startup cost: $44,074 - $300,074

17. Jazzercise Inc.

Type of franchise: Dance fitness classes

Startup cost: $2,980 - $75,500

16. KFC Corp.

Type of franchise: Chicken

Startup cost: $1,309,900 - $2,471,000

15. Dunkin' doughnuts

Type of franchise: Coffee, doughnuts, baked goods

Startup cost: $358,200 - $1,980,300

14. Kumon maths & Reading centres

Type of franchise: Supplemental education

Startup cost: $36,538 - $145,250

13. Pizza Hut Inc.

Type of franchise: Pizza, pasta, wings

Startup cost: $302,000 - $2,149,000

12. Hardee's

Type of franchise: Burgers, chicken, biscuits

Startup cost: $1,182,000 - $1,583,500

11. Jan-Pro Franchising Int'l. Inc.

Type of franchise: Commercial cleaning

Startup cost: $3,145 - $50,405

10. Denny's Inc.

Type of franchise: Full-service family restaurant

Startup cost: $1,125,609 - $2,396,419

9. Subway

Type of franchise: Submarine sandwiches & salads

Startup cost: $84,300 - $258,300

8. Servpro

Type of franchise: Insurance/disaster restoration & cleaning

Startup cost: $127,300 - $174,700

7. Vanguard Cleaning Systems

Type of franchise: Commercial cleaning

Startup cost: $8,200 - $38,100

6. Days Inn

Type of franchise: Hotels

Startup cost: $192,291 - $6,479,764

5. Supercuts

Type of franchise: Hair salon

Startup cost: $112,550 - $243,200

4. 7-Eleven Inc.

Type of franchise: Convenience store

Startup cost: $30,800 - $604,500

3. McDonald's

Type of franchise: Hamburgers, chicken, salads

Startup cost: $1,057,200 - $1,885,000

2. ampm

Type of franchise: Convenience store & gas station

Startup cost: $1,786,929 - $7,596,688

1. Hampton Hotels

Type of franchise: Mid-priced hotels

Startup cost: $3,716,000 - $13,148,800

If you want to open a franchise with a low startup cost, don't miss...

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