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.
'Zor Awards 10 Categories
Finalists: Einstein Bros Bagels, Great Harvest Bread Co., La Madeleine, McAlister’s Deli
Finalists: 911 Restoration, Paul Davis Restoration, Rainbow International, Restoration 1
Finalists: 9Round, CycleBar, The Camp Transformation Center, Title Boxing Club
Finalists: Arooga’s Grille House & Sports Bar, Hooters, Oggi’s Sports Brewhouse Pizza, Twin Peaks
Finalists: CertaPro Painters, Five Star Painting, The Grounds Guys, Spring-Green Lawn Care
Finalists: Express Employment Professionals, Link Staffing Services, PrideStaff, Spherion
Finalists: Carl’s Jr., Culver’s, Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, Wendy’s
Finalists: Fleet Feet, uBreakiFix, Wild Birds Unlimited, Wireless Zone
Finalists: Precision Door Service, Screenmobile, Mr. Handyman, The Glass Guru
Finalists: Donatos Pizza, Hungry Howie’s, Pizza Factory, Toppers Pizza