Entrepreneur Magazine's 32nd Annual Franchise 500®

Shake-ups and Surprises Shape the World's First, Best and Most Comprehensive Franchise Ranking

Dec 13, 2010, 06:00 ET from Entrepreneur magazine

IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 13, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Entrepreneur's annual Franchise 500® ranking hits newsstands December 21. This year's listing mimics the overall trends in the economy and illustrates that while consumers may be spending again – value prevails. Overall, more than 10 percent of the ranked companies are newcomers to the Franchise 500®.

Hampton Hotels lands in the top spot at #1. With a back-to-basics success trend for many franchises, Hampton Hotels strikes a chord with quality accommodations for frugal-minded travelers. The brand has become a value leader for mid-priced hotels with a slew of free upgrades, high-speed Internet and added touches. Coming in second through fifth place, respectively, are ampm, McDonald's, 7-Eleven Inc. and Supercuts.  

Since 2009, the featured companies have added more than 12,000 franchise units across the country and internationally. Inching up from the poor economy, those that cater to recession-minded customers by providing products with good deals fared well. This includes services formerly seen as luxuries, such as restaurants, hotels and massages.

In the January issue, Entrepreneur discusses the first ever Economic Census Franchise Report, which provides helpful data on franchise industries, sales numbers and employee statistics. One finding was that franchises appear in 295 different industries.

"Franchises are not only a great avenue to business ownership for many with a thirsty entrepreneurial spirit, but they're also capable of playing a key role in carrying us into a growing economy," says Amy Cosper, VP and editor in chief of Entrepreneur. "The $153.7 billion in total payroll and 7.9 million jobs they account for speak to that loud and clear, and this year's Franchise 500® is a must-see list for anyone searching for the right business."

Accompanying the rankings is a complete reference guide for all entrepreneurs, whether they are established or just beginning their business endeavors. It includes the industry category winners from the Franchise 500®, a look at 10 promising $20,000-or-less startups, financial tips, guidance on using social media to promote a franchise, and much more.

The rankings for all 500 companies are determined using an exclusive formula that takes into account objective and quantifiable factors. An independent CPA analyzes all financial data. The most important factors include financial strength and stability, growth rate and size of the system. All franchises are given a cumulative score, and the 500 franchises with the highest cumulative scores become the Franchise 500® in ranking order.

To view the full ranking, pick up a copy of the January 2011 issue of Entrepreneur on newsstands December 21st, or visit www.entrepreneur.com/franchise500.

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SOURCE Entrepreneur magazine