• Comprehensive: The Franchise Times Top 200+ is the most comprehensive ranking of the 500 largest U.S. franchise systems.

• Objective: It’s backed by more than 20 years of research and is the only objective ranking available.

• Expert: Each year we deploy seven researchers and reporters for a five-month process to collect, verify and analyze the numbers.

• Credible: Franchising is all we cover all year around, enhancing the credibility of the Franchise Times Top 200+.

• Reader-friendly: We’ve grouped all 500 companies into industry categories, so readers can easily compare top, middle and bottom performers.


The Franchise Times Top 200+ is an annual ranking of the 500 largest franchise systems in the United States by global systemwide sales, based on the previous year’s performance.

In a five-month research process and building upon a database that began in 1999, our research team uses a combination of companies’ voluntary reports and publicly available data, including the franchises’ most recent franchise disclosure documents and Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

Our research team spends months compiling information for the rankings, the five-year sales history graphs, Top 10 lists and industry subcategories, and then reconciling to ensure all published data is accurate and all estimates are based on a solid sales formula.

The research process is as follows:

-We begin in late April with our first email and a Top 200 survey, which contains contacts from a wide range of databases dating back to 1999.

-We enter all the survey information into our database, and during that process we update our records with any changes to ownership, top executives, addresses, etc.

-We verify survey information is being reported accurately by reconciling sales, units and unit volumes to prior years from our database.  If any discrepancies are found we contact the person who completed the survey to verify the information submitted is correct.  

-If we get no response from the company and have no prior data in our database we research the companies franchise disclosure documents, including Item 19, Item 20 and financial statements to ensure we portray accurate information on our rankings.

To qualify, a company must be a legal U.S. franchise. Franchisees must own at least 15 percent of the company’s total units. The company must also be based in the United States, or have at least 10 percent of its total units in the United States.

Systemwide sales is defined as the total sales for both franchise and company units. Those sales figures should represent sales to customers, and not corporate sales to franchisees or prospective franchisees, such as royalty revenue or franchise fees. Other revenue not directly related to franchising should not be included.

If two companies reported the same systemwide sales, the higher ranking is given to the company with the most units. Preference is also given to companies that voluntarily report their systemwide sales, rather than those companies for which we must estimate the sales figures.

Franchise Times’ estimated revenue for hotels is based on a formula multiplying the chain’s revenue per available room (RevPAR) by the number of rooms and the number of days in the year. RevPAR comes from the company, or from industry estimates.

We estimate real estate companies based on 2.5 percent of their reported sales volume. Real estate companies report sales based on total volume of homes sold. So if a home is sold for $200,000, it would be listed as $200,000 in revenue. Franchise Times’ estimate would count $5,000 in revenue earned as a commission from the sale.

We estimate travel agencies based on 12.5 percent of their total sales volume. Like real estate companies, travel agencies report sales volume based on the value of the vacations sold, rather than their commissions.

Research begins for next year’s project in late April. To submit your brand’s numbers or for more information, contact Franchise Times Controller Matt Haskin, who leads the research effort for the Top 200+, at

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