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How we chose the Zor Awards


STEP 1: We started by selecting 10 new industry categories, which were chosen to be popular and attractive to different types of franchisees (for example, those who have a passion for fitness or want to run a restaurant). We change these categories each year.

STEP 2: We identified initial contenders for each category, drawn from the Franchise Times Top 200+ database, which is a 20-year-old research tool covering more than 650 U.S.-based franchise systems. We further narrowed the list by analyzing the quality of information in each brand’s Item 19 (which contains information about profitability for franchisees) or other key financial data, and also focusing on brands that are currently expanding inside the United States.

STEP 3: Our research team examined six financial metrics in each brand’s franchise disclosure document, with a focus on profitability for the franchisee. Narrowing the categories to the final four was a matter of the quality of that financial information disclosed, an exclusive calculation of return on investment, as well as editorial research including knowledge of management teams, product or service offerings, unit openings and closings, financial backing of the brand, litigation, etc.

STEP 4: To come up with the winners, we then did a deeper dive into the finalist FDDs and publicly available financial metrics forming one strongly weighted pillar of our three-part scoring process. Next, our editorial team talked to experts in franchising, reviewed our own coverage of these brands, and looked at analyst reports, recent financial performance and outside press articles to form the second heavily weighted component of the ranking.

STEP 5: Lastly, we compiled the results of the online voting conducted in December to reflect industry enthusiasm, and used this third metric as a tiebreaker.

STEP 6: We then declared a winner in each category and conducted interviews with a few top-performing franchisees in each brand to share best advice and lessons learned.

ApplePie Capital

'Zor Awards 10 Categories

Fresh Baked:
Bakery/café restaurants

Finalists: Einstein Bros Bagels, Great Harvest Bread Co., La Madeleine, McAlister’s Deli

After the Storm:
Disaster restoration franchises

Finalists: 911 Restoration, Paul Davis Restoration, Rainbow International, Restoration 1

Sweat It Out:
Boutique fitness franchises

Finalists: 9Round, CycleBar, The Camp Transformation Center, Title Boxing Club

Game, Set, Match:
Sports bars

Finalists: Arooga’s Grille House & Sports Bar, Hooters, Oggi’s Sports Brewhouse Pizza, Twin Peaks

Cut & Dry:
Lawn care & painting franchises

Finalists: CertaPro Painters, Five Star Painting, The Grounds Guys, Spring-Green Lawn Care

Help Wanted: Employment/staffing franchises

Finalists: Express Employment Professionals, Link Staffing Services, PrideStaff, Spherion

Quick Flip:
QSR burger restaurants

Finalists: Carl’s Jr., Culver’s, Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, Wendy’s

Window Shopping:
Retail franchises

Finalists: Fleet Feet, uBreakiFix, Wild Birds Unlimited, Wireless Zone

Around the House:
Home repair franchises

Finalists: Precision Door Service, Screenmobile, Mr. Handyman, The Glass Guru

Bring It Home:
Delivery/takeout pizza

Finalists: Donatos Pizza, Hungry Howie’s, Pizza Factory, Toppers Pizza

'Zor Awards Introduction

Votes are in

How we chose the Zor Awards

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