Fans cast thousands of Zor Awards votes
With more than 4,000 individual votes cast over 30 days, franchisees, ambassadors and enthusiastic fans voted to show their love for the 40 brands nominated in this year’s Franchise Times Zor Awards. These tallies comprise one of three key pillars, along with editorial reporting and financial research, to select this year’s final winners.
By category, South of the Border garnered the most votes. Among the finalists, Moe’s Southwest Grill received more votes than any other brand, and our editorial team agreed as Moe’s had the fundamentals to back up that enthusiasm.
Older & Wiser was second, reflecting strong online support for ComForCare, which received the most votes by a wide margin but was bested by Right at Home for the quality of its franchise disclosure document and other financial metrics.
It was no surprise that Between Two Buns was the third most popular category among respondents, given the love for the sub sandwich category. With 442 individual votes supporting the final winner, Firehouse Subs, this one was a landslide.
Fourth place, by votes, was the Pamper Me category, which was a close fight between Sport Clips, which received a few dozen more votes than My Salon Suite, which ultimately took the category for having the fewest closings, best franchisee return on investment, lowest marketing and royalty fees and, by far, the most detailed Item 19 in the group.
The fifth most popular category was Regional Pizza, with Hungry Howie’s Pizza nabbing the most votes, just ahead of Marco’s Pizza, which was the ultimate winner looking beyond the online votes.
Snacks & Treats was a popular category as well, with the sixth highest vote tally, led by Dunkin’ Donuts, which received more votes than all other snack-alicious contenders combined. This was the biggest upset for this year’s Zor Awards, as Bahama Buck’s received the fewest online votes, but bested all others for return on investment, among other metrics.
In seventh place for online votes, New Ethnic Eats resonated, with Teriyaki Madness and Hu Hot Mongolian Grill nabbing the most votes, by far, over The Flame Broiler and Vitality Bowls. Ultimately, Vitality Bowls took the cake—yet another upset compared with the online vote totals.
The economy lodging category, Home Away From Home, may not have been the most popular with respondents, but winning brand Studio 6 once again came in with the fewest votes. Having pored over the brand’s franchise disclosure document, financial metrics and spoken with some exceptionally content franchisees, this was another instance where popular sentiment was outshined by hard-nosed numbers. No fake news!
Next up was The Fast Lane, automotive franchises that are as plentiful as fast-food restaurants in some communities. As an industry that’s quickly modernizing and consolidating as mom-and-pop shops give way to national chains, auto repair may not engender rabid fans. Valvoline took the top voting spot, just ahead of Christian Brothers Auto, which won the category.
Last in terms of vote count, Office Space was led by Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning and PuroClean, which nabbed the second highest vote total but ultimately eclipsed popular sentiment due to the excellent return on the investment, eye-popping year-over-year sales growth and ample financial disclosures provided to franchisees.
'Zor Awards 10 Categories
Finalists: Teriyaki Madness, HuHot Mongolian Grill, The Flame Broiler, Vitality Bowls
Finalists: Donatos Pizza, Hungry Howie’s Pizza, Marco’s Pizza, Toppers Pizza
Finalists: Charley’s Grilled Subs, Cousins Subs, Erbert & Gerbert’s, Firehouse Subs
Finalists: Days Inn, Econolodge,Studio 6, Super 8
Finalists: Amazing Lash Studio, Elements Massage, My Salon Suite, Sport Clips
Finalists: Brightstar Care, Comforcare, Right at Home, Senior Helpers
Finalists: Big O Tires, Carstar, Christian Brothers Automotive, Valvoline Instant Oil Change
Finalists: Costa Vida, Del Taco, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Taco John’s
Finalists: AdvantaClean, Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning, PuroClean, Stratus Building Solutions
Finalists: Bahama Buck’s, Smoothie King, Philly Pretzel Factory, Dunkin’ Donuts