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Most Successful Franchises

From food to homes and tools, the most successful franchises have stood the test of time and made a name for themselves in their industry.

By Anthony GramugliaPublished 7 years ago 5 min read

The franchise business model has, in many cases, become kinda over-powering. Business empires have set their roots in every continent (actually, maybe not Antarctica), which has forever altered the course of history. Some franchises rise, others fall.

Among them, however, a few stand apart. The most successful of their number. The most financially successful. Entrepreneur and Forbes and the like have analyzed the data in order to figure out, at the present day, which franchises stand upon the corpses of lesser businesses to become the most powerful businesses in the world.


This international real estate franchise has existed since 1973. It started as a small, Denver real estate firm that branched out. They must have been pretty successful to start selling franchises.

Once the ball started rolling, it became impossible to stop. They provide a necessary service. Everyone needs a place to live, and they offered some pretty good deals. Once the RE/MAX bug settles in, it is impossible to escape.

Sport Clips

People need hair cuts. While most private barber shops and hair dressers remain popular, there is something to be said for brand recognition and cheapness.

In addition to being cheap... it's cheap for men. It's hard to find a good barber who isn't super expensive. Sport Clips appeals to a specific demographic and it's worked pretty well so far.


I've never been here before. I can't tell you if their wings are any good, despite being in the title. I can tell you that Wingstop owes some of its success to its brand, which invokes 30s and 40s aviation nostalgia.

While this distinctive branding sets it apart from the crowd of wing joints, what makes this franchise so successful probably has to do with the variety of wings offered. You want wings? They got 'em.

...Craving wings now, but all I have are apples. Great.

Ace Hardware

There really aren't a ton of hardware stores out there, are there? Try to name one or two. Ace – okay, that's obvious, every town has one. Home Depot? Okay. And... uh...

Yeah. Ace has brand recognition in a market you really need. Need paint? Ace. Need tools? Ace has them, too. They hit that important niche that, sometimes, you forget even exists. And, because of that, they are established as sort of the go-to place for home issues.

Dairy Queen

Everyone loves ice cream, right? Hot summer day – cold winter night – don't matter. Ice cream is essential. While there are tons of ice cream places, Dairy Queen has hit that international market, and ran with it.

It really is the McDonald's of ice cream places. Cheap, yet oddly pricy if you think about how much you're eating. Not wholly satisfying. There are better options. but it's so convenient.

But seriously, we all know that Little Baby's Ice Cream is the best place for ice cream.

Jimmy John's

Sandwich places are a dime a dozen. There are tons of delis and fast food places that offer sandwiches of varying quality. I assumed that Subway was the most successful of these sandwich places, but, apparently, Jimmy John's has them beat.

Jimmy John's is a little classier than Subway, but still convenient fast-food for the sandwich cravings you get at three in the morning. Terrific.

The UPS Store

Unless you're willing to go around and ship items yourself, you're going to need some transportation for your goods. UPS has you covered. There are plenty of shipping companies, of course, but UPS has earned its place due to its reliable storage and transportation records.

There is a global need for these services, as evidenced by its international appeal as a company.

Dunkin' Donuts

True fact: people who are half-awake don't think. They don't want to. They just want coffee and breakfast on the run. The inception of Dunkin' Donuts, a place where you can get sugary breakfast foods and coffee, is so criminally brilliant that it defies belief.

Sure, Starbucks is fairly popular, too, but Dunkin' Donuts is a place for convenience. Don't know what a "venti" is? Don't worry. Just order a large. Also, donuts. Sure, the donuts are kinda airy and not gourmet donuts, but, like most fast food, you don't need gourmet. You need it now.


You want to talk evil organizations that rule the world? Let's talk McDonald's. More people recognize the Golden Arches than their country's leader. What's the secret to their success?

Brand recognition and getting on the fast food bandwagon first.

They struck the market first, and, thus, managed to leave a massive cultural mark early on. Sure, their mascot Ronald McDonald took some development (early on, Ronald looked terrifying), but, once they did...

Look, McDonald's has funded movies to exist as giant commercials. Ever see Mac and Me? There is a dance sequence in a McDonald's. To have the power to push your terrible idea for a 90 minute commercial through Hollywood proves the power of this company.

It's almost the number one most successful franchise. Almost.

7-Eleven Inc.

Every town has a convenience store. That store-side market for people who are just not feeling a big store trip. Grab a snack, a slurpie, and leave. You don't linger. You just go in and out, sometimes in your PJs.

And everyone wants one.

In an era of franchises, it makes sense that the most successful franchise is the simplest, smallest... the one that you almost forget even exists. Its cheap to make, but rakes in the profits. Beautiful.


About the Creator

Anthony Gramuglia

Obsessive writer fueled by espresso and drive. Into speculative fiction, old books, and long walks. Follow me at

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