Top 10 Full-Service Restaurant Franchises

If you're a foodie looking to franchise, these selections may be right for you.

By
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Everyone needs to eat, and what better way to jump into the food business than with the training, support, and resources of a top restaurant franchise? Though each franchise listed here is committed to providing an essential service to humanity--and providing it well--each offers a unique twist on the kind of food and dining experience to customers. Use this list as a starting point to find one that suits your taste and style.

#1 Denny's Inc.

2008 Franchise 500 ranking: #47

Full-service family restaurant

Casual dining and moderately priced meals are available 24 hours a day at Denny's locations. Starting as a donut chain in 1953, Denny's now has more than 1,500 locations in the U.S. and around the world and is designated as one of the best companies for diversity.

Complete franchise profile.

#2 CiCi's Pizza

2008 Franchise 500 ranking: #92

All-you-can-eat pizza buffet

America can't seem to get enough of the buffet style pizza and pasta, quality service, and low prices CiCi's Pizza promises. And we can't either as they have more than 600 franchises nationwide and counting since first opening in 1985 in Plano, Texas. Between 2007 and 2008, it saw a 2.3 percent increase in sales with a 16 percent increase in sales the year before that.

Complete franchise profile.

#3 Golden Corral Franchising Systems Inc.

2008 Franchise 500 ranking: #135

Family steakhouse, buffet & bakery

Golden Corral is home to the "Great Steak Buffet" as well as pasta, pizza, and grilled meats. Committing to their motto of "Everyone Deserves a Good Meal," they keep prices low while offering tasty food. As of 2007, the company started in 1973 has grown to $1.5 billion in sales.

Complete franchise profile.

#4 Huddle House

2008 Franchise 500 ranking: #137

Family-style diner

Since starting in Georgia in 1964, Huddle House has sought to provide a warm and inviting environment as well as Southern-style comfort food for the communities around them. This past year alone, customers downed 125 million cups of coffee and about 30 million orders of hash browns from one of the 400 and counting franchise locations.

Complete franchise profile.

#5 Beef 'O' Brady's

2008 Franchise 500 ranking: #182

Family sports pub

Jim Mellody started Beef 'O' Brady's in 1985 after acquiring a small sandwich shop. Mellody eventually introduced chicken wings into the menu, along with signature sandwiches, burgers, and salads. The chain offers a family, sports pub environment and for franchisors a large network of partners to help in any and all ways possible.

Complete franchise profile.

#6 Famous Dave's

2008 Franchise 500 ranking: #192

Barbecue-themed restaurant

After a long journey to perfectly smoked BBQ ribs, Dave Anderson opened his first restaurant in Hayward, Wisconsin in 1994. With an intensive 10-week training program for managers and specific qualifications for pit masters, Famous Dave's commits to providing the best service and best tasting BBQ in the country.

Complete franchise profile.

#7 The Melting Pot Restaurants Inc.

2008 Franchise 500 ranking: #201

Fondue-specialty restaurant

The first Melting Pot Restaurant opened in 1975 in Maitland, Florida, and since has expanded to more than 129 locations, with at least 42 more in development. The fondue franchise promises a unique experience, private tables, and attentive service at every restaurant.

Complete franchise profile.

#8 DoubleDave's Pizzaworks Systems Inc.

2008 Franchise 500 ranking: #283

Pizza

Davyyd Miller founded DoubleDave's in 1984, serving up pizza, stromboli and the signature pepperoni rolls. The Texas-based company prides itself in training its employees and franchisees to make its signature, hand-tossed pizza dough.

Complete franchise profile.

#9 Boston Pizza

2008 Franchise 500 ranking: #316

Casual dining restaurant & sports bar


It started in 1964, with a concept: provide two different dining experiences under the same roof. Offering both casual, family dining, and a sports bar experiences, the Canada-based company plans to bring those experiences to the public with 100 new restaurants in the next few years. In an effort to give back to their communities, it started the Boston Pizza Foundation and commits to supporting three national charities through various events during the year.

Complete franchise profile.

#10 BD's Mongolian Barbeque

2008 Franchise 500 ranking: #377

Create-your-own stir fry restaurant

By allowing its customers to create their own stir fry, BD's Mongolian Barbeque promises a unique experience, every visit. Since 1992, guests choose their own ingredients from a variety of meats, seafood, vegetables, salads, sauces, and spices and it's prepared on a large grill.

Complete franchise profile.

Take our franchise quiz to find the perfect match for you.