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The 10 Best Franchise Markets To Consider for 2024

If you’re weighing your investment options this year, these markets show promise for entrepreneurs looking to plant their franchise flag.

By Chris IrbyCopy Editor
1:13PM 01/28/24

Are you wondering which franchise categories are going to be trending this year? 1851 Franchise has put together this list of 10 categories with potential, based on past performance, current saturation and the trends we’ve noticed in the world at large.

Children’s Enrichment Centers

Children’s enrichment centers provide hands-on, interactive and entertaining programs specially designed to spark interest in subjects such as science, technology, engineering and math (STEM); arts and crafts; coding; and cooking. Rather than focusing solely on academics, these programs emphasize skill-building. Participants will also have an edge when competing for scholarships and exclusive schools.

In 2023, the after-school program industry in the U.S. grew to $23.1 billion, employing 630K people in over 130K businesses, and it shows no sign of slowing. Children’s enrichment centers are the ideal opportunity for franchisees who have the imagination, energy and enthusiasm required for working with young people.

Children’s Enrichment Center Franchises To Consider

Coffee Shops

From the caffeine kickstart in the morning to the decadent café noir in the evening, coffee has become an integral part of our culture. According to a survey conducted by the National Coffee Association, seven of 10 people in the U.S. drink coffee every week, with the average coffee drinker chugging down three cups daily.

The coffee market in the U.S. currently amounts to $11.4 billion and is projected to grow by 3.01% annually between now and 2028. If you’re an entrepreneur with a passion for coffee and a penchant for customer service, then a coffee shop franchise may be the perfect fit for you.

Coffee Shop Franchises to Consider

Fast-Food Chicken Restaurants

Chicken restaurant franchises are undergoing a renaissance similar to the burger revolution, where fast-food chains such as McDonald’s and Burger King gave rise to a wave of specialty burgers such as Five Guys and Burger 21. In this case, venerable brands such as KFC and Church’s have paved the way for a whole slew of fast-serve chicken restaurant chains specializing in dishes that are Korean fried, Mexican grilled and/or Nashville hot.

The market size of the fast-food chicken industry in the U.S. was $59.4 billion in 2023 and is expected to grow annually by 8.1% over the next five years. If you’re looking to make an entrepreneurial leap in the restaurant business, a fast-food chicken franchise might be the way to go.

Fast-Food Chicken Franchises to Consider

Health and Wellness

With all the recent emphasis on self-care in the wake of the pandemic, more people than ever are taking the necessary steps to tend to their physical and mental health. In addition, the rise of corporate wellness programs has created even more demand for gyms and fitness centers, mental counseling, masseuses, and chiropractors.

The health and fitness market reached an estimated $1.43 billion in 2022, with an anticipated annual growth of 10.28% that should take it to $2.32 billion by 2027. The overall market is wide but fragmented to the point that there are no clear leaders in the industry. For that reason, this could be the perfect time for health-conscious entrepreneurs to throw their hats into the health and wellness ring.

Health and Wellness Franchises to Consider

Pest Control

Death and taxes may be the only certainties in the world, but insects and rodents deserve at least an honorable mention. Pest control is a vital industry in the U.S. — not just for health and safety reasons but because it provides comfort to people suffering from infestations of cockroaches, rats, mosquitoes, termites or other wildlife. Some pest control franchises handle a wide variety of vermin while others narrow their focus to a specific type of critter. Environmental concerns have led to many pest control businesses using eco-friendly products to get rid of infestations.

The pest control industry in the U.S. had an estimated market value of more than $26.2 billion in 2023, nearly doubling from its value of $14.7 billion in 2013. The market is projected to grow 6.31% annually, reaching an estimated $31.9 billion by 2027. However, the bulk of those billions isn’t going to local operations; it’s going to big-name franchises. When it comes to starting a pest control business, an established brand may be your biggest asset.

Pest Control Franchises to Consider

Pets

According to a 2023/24 pet owners survey, an estimated 65.1 million households in the U.S. own at least one dog. Cats come a close second at 46.5 million, and freshwater fish trail in third place with 11.1 million. These big-business franchise brands focus on matching pets and owners to provide pet care, supplies, training and grooming.

The U.S. pet market size is currently estimated at $80.7 billion and is expected to reach $103.3 billion by 2029. Pet ownership has become increasingly popular amongst millennials, who currently house one-third of all pets in the U.S. In addition, there has been a recent trend toward pet humanization, with pet owners pampering their fur babies with increased care and hygiene.

Pet-Related Franchises to Consider

Ready-to-Eat Meals

Ready-to-eat meal businesses generally operate on a subscription-based model, offering a weekly menu of meals specifically tailored to the customer’s preferences. Unlike meal kit services, which provide the ingredients and the instructions, a ready-to-eat meal service offers fully prepared meals (fresh or frozen) that can be heated, plated and eaten with minimal hassle.

The ready-to-eat meal market currently amounts to $47.6 billion and is expected to grow annually by 2.32% through 2028. If you’ve got a passion for food and are looking to start your own business, you should consider a ready meal franchise.

Ready-to-Eat Meal Franchises to Consider

Restoration

Restoration franchises specialize in major cleanups, especially in areas that have been rendered uninhabitable by disaster or prolonged neglect. Typical restoration services include cleaning and repairing properties damaged by water, fire, smoke or storms. Most restoration businesses also provide mold removal and remediation services. Some franchises may focus exclusively on residential or commercial customers while some may offer services to both.

The damage restoration industry has seen explosive growth over the last few years, reaching a valuation globally of $41.2 billion in 2023. This trend shows no sign of slowing as the demand for disaster restoration is expected to increase by 5.7% annually to $80.1 billion by the end of 2033. The field is lucrative, but the entry requirements are rather steep so consider working with a franchisor who will provide the necessary equipment and training.

Restoration Franchises to Consider

Sports and Recreation

The sports and recreation franchise industry includes a wide range of services catering to the general public, as well as niche audiences. While there is considerable overlap with gym and fitness franchises, sports and recreation businesses tend to be more focused on entertainment or education than physical training. 

The U.S. sports and recreation market size reached an estimated $2.37 billion in 2024 and is expected to grow 5.87% annually to $3.15 billion by 2029. With the growing emphasis on fitness, especially among millennials, this promises to remain a lucrative market as people turn to more physical activities to enjoy their downtime.

Sports and Recreation Franchises to Consider

Tutoring

Tutoring franchises basically cater to two types of students: those with learning difficulties and those that are high achievers. Typically, lessons are focused on specific subjects — math, reading, writing, science, foreign languages and computer coding. Some curriculums may have more of a meta focus, such as coursework to prepare students for tests or to help them improve their study habits.

The private tutoring market size in the U.S. is increasing rapidly, with an annual 9.65% growth rate expected to bring it to $2.05 billion by 2027. The addition of remote/online tutoring, along with the growing emphasis on STEM education and the rising popularity of one-on-one instruction, have contributed to this industry’s continued growth.

Tutoring Franchises to Consider

When It Comes to Franchise Opportunities, You Are Spoiled for Choice

These are the franchise markets that look particularly promising for the coming year, but bear in mind that this list is far from complete. If you’re gung-ho about starting your own business but find that none of these categories are sparking your interest, we invite you to dig deeper into the 1851 Franchise Industry Spotlight and find a franchise opportunity you can really be passionate about.
 

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.

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