Top Awards for Franchise Brands
Top Awards for Franchise Brands

We break down the top five rankings that can be bestowed upon a franchise—and what you need to know to make the cut.

As we get deeper into college football season and college hoops are starting to get underway, fans across the country are plugged in each week for the release of the NCAA rankings. College teams live and die by those lists—and in the competitive franchise world, landing higher on a list of the top, best, or most attractive franchise opportunities can also have an impact on your ability to sign franchise prospects.

But what rankings carry the most weight, and where do you need to go to make sure that your franchise concept is represented?

We’ve done the homework for you, and here are five rankings (in no particular order) to add to your 2016 “to do list”—if you haven’t submitted or nudged already.

 
 

This is the gold standard of franchise rankings, and the most highly respected and referenced within the industry. For nearly four decades, Entrepreneur has been ranking the top 500 franchise concepts. Hampton by Hilton took the No. 1 spot in 2015. The top ten of 2015 included a cross section of industry leaders with both restaurant and service brands represented.

How Do I Get In?
 
The Entrepreneur rankings look at annual performance from July to July, and only companies that participate in their survey and supply Entrepreneur with their FDD (or CDD in Canada) are considered. More on qualifications and contact info for the right folks to contact can be found here. 
 
 
 

The Forbes name carries weight with it, and this list is one that can have a tremendous upside—but it can also serve as a black eye if you land on the “worst” side of their annual ranking. Powered by information from FRANdata, the 2015 list was only the second installment of what the publication plans to continue producing annually. Topping the 2015 list of the best franchises was Brightway Insurance, while American Express Travel Services had the less than favorable distinction of the worst franchise to buy.

How Do I Get In?  
 
Forbes works with FRANdata to compile their list and bases it on a five year time period. For example, the 2015 list was created by looking at data from 2009 to 2013. For that reason, the best course of action is to reach out to make sure you’re on FRANdata’s radar as they’re compiling next year’s list. Also, since Forbes typically writes several articles based on the rankings, it would be a good idea to drop them a line for potential inclusion if you are listed as one of the best…and to try and anticipate and mitigate any problems if you happen to fall on the list of the worst.
 
 

Since 1999, Franchise Times has been putting out their ranking of the top 200 concepts in the industry. The ranking is based on the previous year’s performance by global system-wide sales—so it serves as a power list of sorts for the biggest franchise concepts. In the past four years, the publication has also included the next 300 companies out of 500 overall. The top franchise in 2014 was McDonald’s, followed by heavyweights like 7-Eleven, KFC, Subway and Burger King.

How Do I Get In?
 
The FT list takes into consideration a variety of factors, including companies’ voluntary reports and publicly available data, FDD and Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Companies must be a legal U.S. franchise with 15 percent franchisee-ownership and be based in the U.S., or have ten percent of units in the U.S. More on qualifications can be found in the “Methodology” section here. Franchise Times typically emails reminders that the list is coming up in order for franchisors to update their data on file. So, you should reach out to make sure you’re on their list.
 
 
 
This is the “people’s choice award” in franchising, as the ranking is based entirely on feedback from franchisees about their satisfaction level. FranchiseBusinessREVIEW puts this list out annually after extensively surveying franchisees across the country and getting feedback. In 2015, they surveyed more than 26,000 franchisees from across more than 350 of the top franchise brands.
 
How Do I Get In?
 
FranchiseBusinessREVIEW makes three attempts to connect with franchisees to complete the 50+ question survey before moving on, so it’s important to make sure that franchisees are aware of the opportunity to participate—and that they are solid validators of the brand. You can find out more on qualifications here. 
 
 
 
 
Franchise Gator works in conjunction with The Educated Franchisee, as well as FranchiseBusinessREVIEW and Franchise Performance Group, to compile their list of the top 100 franchise opportunities. In 2015, Sport Clips landed at the top of their list, which uses a formula related to a variety of factors within a brand’s FDD.
 
How Do I Get In?
 
Franchise Gator encourages anyone who would like to be considered for their ranking to contact them directly by filling out the form here. 
 

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