It's the Year of the Sandwich in Entrepreneur Magazine's 31st Annual Franchise 500(R)

Dec 17, 2009, 06:00 ET from Entrepreneur Magazine

IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The rankings are in and Entrepreneur's 31st Annual Franchise 500® is out, with Subway taking the number-one spot. McDonald's, 7-Eleven, Hampton Inn and Supercuts are next up in positions two through five, respectively, in the world's first, best and most comprehensive franchise ranking.

While Subway leads, in all, 21 sandwich shops made the ranking this year, including many smaller chains like Charley's Grilled Subs, Jimmy John's, Jersey Mike's and Firehouse Subs showing strong growth.

Together, the 500 franchises on the ranking added more than 12,000 units, or 2.9 percent above 2008's numbers, proving the growth of franchises as a whole - recession or not. Not that it hasn't been a tough year - growth is still down from the 4.7 percent seen the year before. The franchises that grew the most were the ones who serve a budget-minded consumer, didn't cost as much to set up, or both. Take Subway, which with its $5 Footlong offer started a chain reaction among countless sandwich and fast-food franchises to bring out similar $5 programs.

Amy Cosper, vice president and editor-in-chief at Entrepreneur, says "What we've been recognizing for some time is now getting widespread recognition: that the recession is adding momentum to the pursuit of entrepreneurship and self-employment. For the growing numbers seeking business ownership opportunities, franchising can offer advantages like having established products or services; marketing, start-up and management assistance; proven systems and business models; and brand name recognition. All this can add up to better odds for success. For anyone considering pursuing this path, the Franchise 500® is a great place to get started."

The January issue containing the ranking is a complete reference guide for established and aspiring entrepreneurs, revealing not only the companies who made the list according to their industry categories, but also top franchise trends for 2010, a look at 10 great franchises for less than $20,000, sources for financing, what 2010 will hold for franchises as a whole and much more.

The rankings for all 500 companies are determined using an exclusive formula that takes into account objective and quantifiable factors. 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 2010 issue of Entrepreneur on newsstands December 22nd, or visit

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SOURCE Entrepreneur Magazine