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10 Emerging Franchises Primed for Growth in 2021

1851 rounded up 10 of the most exciting up-and-coming franchise concepts that are positioned to thrive in the ‘new normal’.

For anyone considering starting their own business, franchising offers a way to simplify the logistics and optimize the investment. Buying into a franchise solves a lot of challenges, but it also creates one new one: How do you choose which concept to invest in? Especially when it comes to emerging franchises, which typically have lower initial investments and a lot of room for growth, finding the right concept can be daunting.

If you’re new to business ownership and are looking for the opportunity to eventually expand your business, check out these emerging franchise brands that are well positioned for substantial growth in the next year.

Famous Toastery

  • Startup Costs: $601,500–$1,044,000
  • Unit Count: 30+

A Famous Toastery franchise allows owners to truly have the best of both worlds: a business with a track record for growth in a high demand market segment and a lifestyle proposition that allows for flexibility and family time. Famous Toastery is making a name for itself thanks to quality ingredients and a commitment to excelling in the better-breakfast segment. Amid COVID-19, Famous Toastery didn’t slow down like other restaurant brands, it actually revamped its franchising efforts and implemented a brand new POS system for owners.


  • Startup Costs: $99,000–$152,000
  • Unit Count: 2+

Any Where Any Time fitness (AWATfit for short) was founded by international fitness enthusiast Richard Decker. The mobile gym franchise uses trucks with built in equipment, allowing clients to work out, as you might have guessed, anytime and anywhere. 

AWAT’s differentiates itself from other gym concepts by bringing the gym to you; their trucks have workout stations that address strength, flexibility, core, agility and cardio. The brand is especially well suited for fitness enthusiasts who are worried about COVID-19 in the confinement of traditional brick-and-mortar facilities. 

Robin Autopilot

  • Startup Costs: $49,850–$111,600
  • Unit Count: 15+

Looking ahead to the future, innovation is the name of the game, and tech-focused concepts are positioned for success in a post-COVID world where customers prefer automation over human interaction. With a device that’s reminiscent of a Roomba, Robin Autopilot offers everything from robot mowing to full-service lawn care, as well as the ability to monitor mowing schedules from an app on your phone. The brand offers franchisees a subscription-based platform that allows anyone interested to start a robot-mowing business with their support, software, marketing, financing and products.

Mayweather Boxing + Fitness

  • Startup Costs: $199,600–$598,000
  • Developing Units: 41+

This franchise brand has been generating a lot of buzz thanks to the star power of founder and boxing champ Floyd Mayweather. The franchise offers a high-intensity fitness experience developed by Mayweather himself and seeks to foster an inclusive environment. Mayweather’s program provides a combination of boxing, strength and cardio conditioning that are designed to give you a full-body workout and, as in their motto, release your inner champ.

Buffalo Wings & Rings

  • Startup Costs: $1,280,000–$2,412,000
  • Unit Count: 80

Driven by a demand for an alternative to traditional sports bars, Buffalo Wings & Rings aims to take the fun of gathering around sports events and elevate that experience with better food than consumers have come to expect from the bar scene. Franchise owners can carve out a sizable niche in their market as an alternative to traditional sports bars, where food and customer service are too often treated as an afterthought. Plus, the brand’s recently unveiled G4 restaurant revamp is designed to help franchisees thrive in a post-COVID landscape, with an innovative valet pickup area, combined indoor and outdoor seating, self-service kiosks, simplified menus and much more.

Little Medical School

  • Startup Costs: $41,800–$58,200
  • Unit Count: 1

Founded by Dr. Mary Mason in 2015, Little Medical School takes kids “playing doctor” to a whole new level. The school engages students 4–14 by encouraging the act of role-play, and gives them the space to play dress-up while being introduced to the real tools doctors, nurses, pharmacists and veterinarians use. 

While at the school, children perform unique activities that mimic what real healthcare professionals do on a daily basis. The idea is to encourage today’s children to develop a curiosity for medicine. As the pandemic continues, many parents will be compelled to educate their kids about the importance of healthcare in their communities.

DEA Music & Art

  • Startup Costs: $136,700–$215,400
  • Unit Count: 5

DEA Music & Art School offers a wide range of programs for children in music, visual and performing arts. The international brand aims to make a meaningful, lifelong impact on children’s lives by instilling in them the confidence they need to become artists and performers. 

With a brand new franchising opportunity launched in 2020, the brand aims to be the perfect business opportunity for those with a love for the arts and sharp business acumen.

Walk-On's Sports Bistreaux

  • Startup Costs: $1,200,000–$2,500,000
  • Unit Count: 35

Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar is a leading full-service family sports bar that provides gourmet takes on game-day favorites. While Walk-On’s has only been franchising since 2015, it has already grown to 35 locations nationwide by offering exceptional support and a proven business model. In terms of 2020 buzz, Walk’s was recently ranked the No. 1 brand in Entrepreneur magazine's 2020 Top New Franchises.

Digme Fitness

  • Startup Costs: Available upon inquiry
  • Unit Count: 6

Digme, named for the beach in Hawaii that holds the start-line for the famous Ironman World Championship, is a high-intensity fitness franchise that aims to provide regimens for exercise fanatics. Digme offers both in-person studio training and digital, remote training that’s been essential in the COVID-19 landscape. Though there are currently only six units in the UK, Digme Fitness is looking for master franchisees outside of London and in primary cities internationally.

IDEA Lab Kids

  • Startup Costs: $160,500–$373,000
  • Unit Count: 25+

IDEA Lab Kids gives kids the opportunity to spend their summers building rockets and robots, learning crime-solving techniques and making their own chewing gum. The brand offers summer camps, after school classes, birthday experiences and workshops that merge the principles of STEM learning with creativity to build critical-thinking skills in its students. This year saw the brand roll out a new personalized learning program called IDEA Lab Plus, which was designed specifically to offer support for students and families struggling with the shift to virtual learning that disrupted so many lives amid COVID-19. Those that franchise with the brand should be passionate about instilling a bright future for children.