The top 26 retail franchises in the world

Given how tumultuous the retail industry can be, investing in a franchise opportunity is risky.

Earlier this year, compiled a list of the top franchises in the world.

We identified the top 26 retail franchises that made the list, ranging from fast casual eateries to convenience stores.

Check out the top-ranking chains.

Hayley Fitzpatrick contributed to this story.

24. Yogen Fruz

Facebook/Yogen Fruz

Number of franchises: 1,121

Cost to open a franchise: $US135,700-$US472,200

Why it's hot: Yogen Fruz has a large global presence with more than 1400 locations in over 46 countries. The healthy frozen yogurt is growing fast because of the company's respected reputation.

23. Church's Chicken

Number of franchises: 1,396

Cost to open a franchise: $US413,300-$US1.3 million

Why it's hot: Church's is one of the largest chicken chains recognised around the world. The company is aiming for widespread, rapid growth, so they really support their franchisees. Church's encourages those with an entrepreneurial spirit to join.

21. Pita Pit

Number of franchises: 489

Cost to open a franchise: $US187,500-$US314,980

Why it's hot: Pita Pit is a healthier spin on fast-casual. The company has experienced tremendous growth in recent years due to its abundance of nutritious options. The investment required to open a Pita Pita is inexpensive when compared to other fast food restaurants, which draws franchisees in, according to Franchise Chatter.

11. Dunkin' Doughnuts

Number of franchises/co.: 11,310

Cost to open a franchise: $US216,100-$US1.5 million

Why it's hot: Dunkin' Doughnuts is another company that's distinguishable worldwide. With coffee being such a large commodity in the world, these franchises succeed in most cases. Brand loyalty is at its peak with the chain's customers as well.

9. Papa John's International Pizza

Number of franchises/co.: 3,924

Cost to open a franchise: $US129,900-$US844,200

Why it's hot: Papa John's is planning major international expansion, which is attracting entrepreneurs. The business has been reporting strong sales lately, which brings in people looking to invest in the company and become a part of the Papa John's family.

8. Circle K

Number of franchises/co.: 5,093

Cost to open a franchise: $US211,500-$US1.6 million

Why it's hot: Circle K is an international convenience store chain that allows its franchisee owners to customise their individual quick service restaurants. The company stocks many popular brands and offers its franchisees support in business and marketing systems among other services.

6. McDonald's

The infamous sign.

Number of franchises/co.: 29,544

Cost to open a franchise: $US1 million-$US2.3 million

Why it's hot: McDonald's is one of the most popular fast-food chains in the world. The extensive training and support from the company brings in many franchisees looking to be a part of the dynasty.

5. KFC

The exterior of KFC's Bracknell store before its makeover.

Number of franchises/co.: 13,846

Cost to open a franchise: $US1.3 million-$US2.5 million

Why it's hot: Like McDonald's, KFC is a world-renowned company. Recently the chain been shaking up its menu and expanding, helping it to gain plenty of media attention. This brings in entrepreneurs looking to take part in the innovative time for the company.

2. Subway

Getty Images/Scott Olson

Number of franchises/co.: 42,227

Cost to open a franchise: $US116,600-$US263,200

Why it's hot: Despite the recent controversy surrounding the brand, the chain remains one of the leading global sandwich chains. The company started making its menu healthier in recent years, which is also helping to attract customers. It's expanding globally, and many look to be a part of this expansion.

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