Learn What Fuels the Fastest-Growing Franchises of the Year

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This story appears in the February 2016 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The franchising business is booming, and nowhere is that more evident than Entrepreneur’s fastest-growing franchises ranking. Growth is the goal of every franchise system, of course, but not all achieve it as successfully as our top performers. To find out their secret sauce, we asked executives from the companies in our ranking. As their responses poured in, a clear theme emerged: Real growth -- growth that’s not only quick, but sustainable -- comes from a focus on people; not just the franchisees, but the employees they hire, the customers they serve, and the corporate staff who support them. In short: Take care of people and the numbers take care of themselves. 

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The 105 companies listed on the following pages represent a total of 9,695 new franchises opened in North America between July 2014 and July 2015, an almost 32 percent increase from the previous year’s growth. The companies are ranked based on their growth during that time frame, with ties listed alphabetically.

As you look over this listing and take in some words of wisdom from the fastest-growing companies, keep in mind that the ranking is not intended as an endorsement of any particular company. Growth is just one sign of a healthy franchise system, but finding the right opportunity for you requires due diligence. Before investing, always read the company’s legal documents, consult with an attorney and an accountant, and look beyond the numbers by talking to franchisees about their experiences.

1. Jan-Pro Franchising International 

Commercial cleaning

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #24

Total franchises/co.-owned: 7,849/0

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +480

2. Subway

Subs, salads

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #5

Total franchises/co.-owned: 43,916/0

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +435

3. Dunkin' Donuts

Coffee, doughnuts, baked goods

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #8

Total franchises/co.-owned: 11,460/0

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +419

4. Hardee's

Burgers, chicken, biscuits

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #12

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,894/192

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +325

5. Jazzercise 

Group fitness classes, conventions, apparel and accessories

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #80

Total franchises/co.-owned: 8,697/2

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +315

6. Cruise Planners

Travel agency

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #25

Total franchises/co.-owned: 2,071/1

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +314

7. Stratus Building Solutions

Commercial cleaning

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #236

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,384/0

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +297

8. Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches

Gourmet sandwiches

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #1

Total franchises/co.-owned: 2,238/48

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +296

9. Carl's Jr. Restaurants

Burgers

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #54

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,257/238

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +221

10. Anytime Fitness

Fitness center

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #10

Total franchises/co.-owned: 3,004/36

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +202

11. Planet Fitness

Fitness club

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #95

Total franchises/co.-owned: 956/58

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +183

12. Supercuts

Hair salon

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #3

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,493/1,070

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +180

13. Great Clips

Hair salon

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #28

Total franchises/co.-owned: 3,694/0

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +176

14. Sport Clips

Men’s sports-theme hair salon

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #16

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,373/32

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +164

15. Vanguard Cleaning Systems

Commercial cleaning

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #26

Total franchises/co.-owned: 3,109/0

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +163

16. Jersey Mike's Subs

Subs

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #66

Total franchises/co.-owned: 928/38

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +159

17. RE/MAX 

Real estate

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #21

Total franchises/co.-owned: 6,824/15

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +158

18. Orangetheory Fitness

Group personal training

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #255

Total franchises/co.-owned: 260/0

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +148

19. HomeVestors of America 

Home buying, repair and selling

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #91

Total franchises/co.-owned: 605/0

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +128

20. Kona Ice

Shaved-ice truck

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #77

Total franchises/co.-owned: 667/10

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +126

21. IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group)

Hotels

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #38

Total franchises/co.-owned: 4,942/8

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +123

21. Painting with a Twist

Paint-and-sip studio

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #225

Total franchises/co.-owned: 237/0

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +123

23. Taco Bell

Mexican food

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #18

Total franchises/co.-owned: 5,272/926

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +116

24. McDonald's

Burgers, chicken, salads, beverages

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #6

Total franchises/co.-owned: 29,712/6,656

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +114

25. Buildingstars International 

Commercial cleaning

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #90

Total franchises/co.-owned: 641/0

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +109

26. Mathnasium Learning Centers

Math tutoring

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #169

Total franchises/co.-owned: 666/11

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +109

27. Matco Tools

Mechanics’ tools and equipment

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #37

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,598/1

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +105

28. Dickey’s Barbecue Pit

Barbecue

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #101

Total franchises/co.-owned: 506/9

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +100

29. Firehouse Subs

Subs

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #62

Total franchises/co.-owned: 870/31

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +99

30. Wingstop Restaurants 

Chicken wings

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #71

Total franchises/co.-owned: 766/19

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +97

31. Mac Tools

Automotive tools and equipment

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #72

Total franchises/co.-owned: 851/5

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +96

32. Motel 6

Economy hotels

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #56

Total franchises/co.-owned: 686/490

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +96

33. 9Round-30 min Kickbox Fitness

Kickboxing fitness programs

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #190

Total franchises/co.-owned: 240/3

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +91

34. Massage Envy Spa

Therapeutic massage and facial services

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #43

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,085/0

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +86

35. Marco’s Franchising 

Pizza, subs, wings, cheese bread

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #81

Total franchises/co.-owned: 607/0

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +84

36. Auntie Anne’s Hand-Rolled Soft Pretzels

Soft pretzels

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #31

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,602/15

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +80

37. Pop-A-Lock Franchise System

Mobile locksmith and security services

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #98

Total franchises/co.-owned: 511/3

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +79

38. Pure Barre

Fitness classes and apparel

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #168

Total franchises/co.-owned: 307/14

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +79

39. TapSnap

Digital photo booths

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #452

Total franchises/co.-owned: 312/12

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +77

40. Budget Blinds 

Window coverings, window film, rugs, accessories

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #47

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,009/0

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +74

41. Hampton by Hilton

Midprice hotels

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #2

Total franchises/co.-owned: 2,053/1

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +74

42. Merry Maids

Residential cleaning

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #48

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,506/172

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +74

43. Mosquito Joe

Outdoor pest control

2016 Franchise 500 rank: Not ranked

Total franchises/co.-owned: 113/1

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +74

44. The UPS Store

Postal, business, printing and communications services

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #17

Total franchises/co.-owned: 4,862/0

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +69

45. Cinnabon

Cinnamon rolls, baked goods, coffee

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #55

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,306/1

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +67

46. Bricks 4 Kidz

Lego-engineering classes, camps, parties

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #79

Total franchises/co.-owned: 672/2

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +66

47. Jet’s Pizza

Pizza, subs, wings, salads

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #126

Total franchises/co.-owned: 373/30

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +63

48. Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spa

Massage and spa services

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #187

Total franchises/co.-owned: 221/1

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +62

49. Chester’s

Chicken

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #64

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,117/0

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +60

50. Express Employment Professionals

Staffing, HR solutions

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #70

Total franchises/co.-owned: 725/0

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +60

51. Fyzical Therapy & Balance Centers

Physical therapy, balance treatment, preventative wellness services

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #719

Total franchises/co.-owned: 97/0

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +60

52. Moe’s Southwest Grill

Southwestern food

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #83

Total franchises/co.-owned: 607/4

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +60

53. Seva Beauty

Threading, eyelash extensions, waxing, spa services and products

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #294

Total franchises/co.-owned: 137/2

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +59

54. Rent-A-Center

Rent-to-own furniture, electronics, computers, appliances

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #78

Total franchises/co.-owned: 150/2,928

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +56

55. SafeSplash Swim School

Child and adult swimming lessons, parties, summer camps

2016 Franchise 500 rank: Not ranked

Total franchises/co.-owned: 56/24

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +56

56. Zaxby's Franchising 

Chicken fingers, Buffalo wings, sandwiches, salads

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #82

Total franchises/co.-owned: 574/122

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +56

57. Sola Salon Studios

Salon suites

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #348

Total franchises/co.-owned: 261/12

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +55

58. Which Wich Superior Sandwiches

Sandwiches

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #262

Total franchises/co.-owned: 351/3

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +53

59. Red Roof Franchising 

Economy hotels

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #164

Total franchises/co.-owned: 290/117

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +52

60. Miracle-Ear 

Hearing instruments

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #44

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,259/6

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +51

61. CPR-Cell Phone Repair

Electronics repairs and sales

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #462

Total franchises/co.-owned: 216/2

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +50

62. Tropical Smoothie Café

Smoothies, wraps, salads, sandwiches, flatbreads

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #399

Total franchises/co.-owned: 461/1

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +50

63. Circle K

Convenience stores

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #36

Total franchises/co.-owned: 5,201/3,255

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +49

64. Edible Arrangements International 

Sculpted fresh-fruit bouquets

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #35

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,202/4

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +48

65. uBreakiFix

Electronics repairs

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #500

Total franchises/co.-owned: 107/19

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +48

66. AdvantaClean

Environmental services

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #186

Total franchises/co.-owned: 216/0

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +47

67. Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza

Assembly-line pizza

2016 Franchise 500 rank: Not ranked

Total franchises/co.-owned: 98/5

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +47

68. Pinot’s Palette

Paint-and-sip studio

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #247

Total franchises/co.-owned: 132/4

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +46

69. Weed Man

Lawn care

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #86

Total franchises/co.-owned: 563/0

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +46

70. Maid Right Franchising 

Residential cleaning

2016 Franchise 500 rank: Not ranked

Total franchises/co.-owned: 111/0

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +44

71. Phenix Salon Suites Franchising 

Salon suites

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #443

Total franchises/co.-owned: 114/6

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +44

72. Rooter-Man

Plumbing, drain and sewer cleaning

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #100

Total franchises/co.-owned: 533/17

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +42

73. Rita’s Italian Ice

Italian ice, frozen custard

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #94

Total franchises/co.-owned: 597/0

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +40

74. Freddy's Frozen Custard 

Frozen custard, steakburgers, hot dogs

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #215

Total franchises/co.-owned: 146/14

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +39

75. Culver Franchising System 

Frozen custard, specialty burgers

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #89

Total franchises/co.-owned: 549/7

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +38

76. ServiceMaster Clean

Commercial/residential cleaning, disaster restoration

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #33

Total franchises/co.-owned: 5,021/10

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +38

77. Apex Fun Run

Elementary-school fundraising programs

2016 Franchise 500 rank: Not ranked

Total franchises/co.-owned: 60/0

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +37

78. Baymont Inn & Suites

Hotels

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #141

Total franchises/co.-owned: 383/0

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +37

79. Oxi Fresh Franchising 

Carpet, upholstery, hardwood floor, tile and grout cleaning

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #216

Total franchises/co.-owned: 283/6

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +37

80. Smoothie King

Smoothies, health products

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #92

Total franchises/co.-owned: 702/22

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +37

81. Jantize America

Commercial cleaning

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #414

Total franchises/co.-owned: 252/0

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +35

82. Mosquito Squad

Outdoor pest control

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #249

Total franchises/co.-owned: 176/0

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +35

83. Papa John’s International 

Pizza

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #30

Total franchises/co.-owned: 3,993/740

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +34

84. Visiting Angels

Nonmedical home care

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #96

Total franchises/co.-owned: 519/0

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +34

85. FastSigns International 

Signs, graphics

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #87

Total franchises/co.-owned: 587/0

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +33

86. Fresh Healthy Vending

Snack and beverage vending machines

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #482

Total franchises/co.-owned: 219/62

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +33

87. Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park

Trampoline playing court

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #308

Total franchises/co.-owned: 106/2

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +33

88. BurgerFi International 

Burgers, hot dogs, fries, onion rings, custards

2016 Franchise 500 rank: Not ranked

Total franchises/co.-owned: 73/12

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +32

89. Jack in the Box

Burgers

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #13

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,818/431

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +32

90. Pita Pit 

Pita sandwiches

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #113

Total franchises/co.-owned: 554/16

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +32

91. Bahama Buck’s Original Shaved Ice 

Shaved ice, fruit smoothies

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #364

Total franchises/co.-owned: 68/3

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +31

92. Pillar To Post Home Inspectors

Home inspections

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #102

Total franchises/co.-owned: 470/0

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +31

93. Plato’s Closet

Teen- and young-adult-clothing resale store

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #105

Total franchises/co.-owned: 439/0

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +31

94. Synergy HomeCare

Nonmedical home care

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #150

Total franchises/co.-owned: 311/0

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +31

95. Weichert Real Estate Affiliates 

Real estate

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #137

Total franchises/co.-owned: 277/139

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +31

96. Assisting Hands Home Care

Home health care, respite care

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #307

Total franchises/co.-owned: 88/3

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +30

97. Heits Building Services

Commercial cleaning and maintenance

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #193

Total franchises/co.-owned: 231/1

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +30

98. Hilton Garden Inn

Upscale midprice hotels

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #85

Total franchises/co.-owned: 637/2

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +30

99. Mint Condition Franchising 

Commercial cleaning, building maintenance

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #149

Total franchises/co.-owned: 312/0

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +30

100. Servpro

Insurance/disaster restoration and cleaning

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #4

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,694/0

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +30

101. Batteries Plus Bulbs

Batteries, light bulbs, related products

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #75

Total franchises/co.-owned: 614/46

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +28

102. Computer Troubleshooters

Technology consulting and services for small businesses

2016 Franchise 500 rank: Not ranked

Total franchises/co.-owned: 361/1

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +28

103. Elements Massage

Therapeutic massage services

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #182

Total franchises/co.-owned: 207/0

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +28

104. FocalPoint Coaching 

Business coaching and consulting

2016 Franchise 500 rank: Not ranked

Total franchises/co.-owned: 167/0

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +28

105. Seniors Helping Seniors

Nonmedical home care

2016 Franchise 500 rank: #167

Total franchises/co.-owned: 277/6

U.S./Canada franchise growth: +28

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