How we chose our 'Zors
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 like working with kids or running a healthy 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 selecting brands that are actively 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, 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 from mid-December to mid-January to reflect public 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: Abrakadoodle, Engineering for Kids, LearningRx, Mad Science
Finalists: Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits, Church’s Chicken, Pollo Campero, Zaxby's
Finalists: 1-800-GOT-JUNK, Caring Transitions, College Hunks Hauling Junk, Junk King
Finalists: Kid to Kid, Clothes Mentor, Plato’s Closet, Uptown Cheapskate
Finalists: Another Broken Egg Cafe, Denny’s, Huddle House, Village Inn
Finalists: Nekter Juice Bar, Pita Pit, Saladworks, Tropical Smoothie Café
Finalists: Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Golden Corral, Hilton, Ruth’s Chris
Finalists: Rock & Brews, Walk-On's, Wingstop, UFC Gym
Finalists: Cicis Pizza, Dickey's BBQ, Hardees, Taco Bell
Finalists: Bar Louie, Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom, The Brass Tap, Bar Louie
3 ways to choose a franchise