FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: October 1, 2021
Contact: Laura Michaels, editor in chief, Franchise Times; firstname.lastname@example.org
Franchise Times Top 400 ranks the industry’s biggest brands Annual ranking shows COVID’s impact on franchising
Top 400 sales fell 13.1 percent in 2020, to $635.9 billion, as some brands thrived and others took a hit in a year of shutdowns, pandemic-related restrictions and radical change. Sales at the 10 largest franchises dropped 2.1 percent as those brands collectively lost nearly $7 billion. Among restaurants, the performance of Jersey Mike’s stands out, with CEO Peter Cancro among four exclusive featured interviews. The online database launches today, listing all 400 brands by worldwide sales.
MINNEAPOLIS—Combined annual sales at the 400 largest U.S.-based franchisors declined by more than $96 billion or 13.1 percent last year, to $635.9 billion, according to the newly released Franchise Times Top 400, an exclusive ranking of the 400 largest franchises.
The 10 largest franchised brands lost $6.9 billion in sales in 2020, a 2.1 percent decrease compared to that cohort’s 6.7 percent sales growth the prior year. The top 10 now account for more than $323 billion in annual sales.
Previously the Top 200+, Franchise Times renamed its annual ranking of the 400 largest U.S.- based franchise systems by global systemwide sales to better encompass the biggest brands in franchising, along with promising young concepts in growth mode. The rigorous approach to research remains the same, said Franchise Times Editor in Chief Laura Michaels. The project is the result of a five-month research and reporting effort that leads to the most credible and objective franchise ranking available.
The collection of systemwide sales data also provides useful insight into the franchise industry’s performance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While overall growth took a 13.1 percent hit in 2020, sales increases at major brands such as No. 2 7-Eleven and Ace Hardware, which grew to $91.8 billion and $20.6 billion, respectively, illustrate notable shifts in consumer spending,” said Michaels. “The retail category as a whole grew 7.4 percent, to more than $140 billion. In restaurants, however, overall sales declined 5.1 percent, with only pizza delivery, better burgers and chicken as the growth segments.”
“McDonald’s managed to retain the No. 1 overall position despite systemwide sales falling 6.8 percent to $93.3 billion,” continued Michaels. “KFC held onto the No. 3 spot even as its sales fell 5.8 percent, a contrast to Chick-fil-A’s gain of 11.2 percent to move up to No. 8.”
Burger King fell to No. 5, supplanted by No. 4 Ace’s performance and its own sales decline of $2.8 billion. No. 9 Subway and No. 10 Pizza Hut saw steep declines of 14.9 percent and 7.3 percent, respectively.
Among the four exclusive CEO interviews included in this year’s ranking, Jersey Mike’s CEO Peter Cancro shares how he powered through the pandemic and even completed a top-to-bottom
brand update that helped fuel a 25-spot jump on the Top 400. Executives from Jack in the Box, United Real Estate and College HUNKS Hauling Junk also share how they’ve accelerated sales.
Franchise Times Fastest-Growing Industry Sectors
1. Real Estate +18.5%
2. Health & Medical +9.2% 3. Retail +7.4%
4. Home Services +5.6%
5. Printing & Shipping +5.1%
Franchise Times Top 10 Franchises by Worldwide Sales
*Franchise Times estimate
Franchise Times Top 10 Fastest Growers by Sales Percentage
Franchise Times Top 10 Fastest Growers by Unit Percentage
9. Brightway Insurance: 15.9% 10. Jan-Pro: 15.6%
ABOUT THE FRANCHISE TIMES TOP 400
The Franchise Times Top 400 is the only ranking by systemwide sales and units of the largest 400 U.S.-based franchise brands. Published in the October issue and available in a searchable database online, the Franchise Times Top 400 also analyzes industry sectors based on percentage change in sales growth, reports the 10 fastest-growing franchises by four different measures, and includes exclusive news stories about the biggest names in franchising. The rankings and full report, and the searchable online database, are available at www.franchisetimes.com/top-400- 2021.