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Finalizing This Year’s Top 200+


Longtime readers of Franchise Times are no doubt familiar with our Top 200+, but for the uninitiated it’s an annual ranking of the largest U.S.-based franchises by worldwide sales. Nobody else does it and, from my behind-the-scenes perch, it’s incredible how much work goes into this project.

For a right-brain writer like myself, this is more math than I encounter throughout the rest of the year put together. It’s not exactly fun to crunch so many numbers, but it’s always interesting to see where our industry is heading through this exclusive insight.

Truly, the vast majority of the numerical credit goes to our controller, Matt Haskin, who is not only accurate and thorough, but has a writer’s eye for spotting the trends and greater storylines behind annual sales and unit-growth figures.

Without spoiling the surprise for the big reveal of the numbers on October 1 on FranchiseTimes.com, there are some clear stories behind this year’s numbers. First, the trend of the largest franchises looking abroad for their future growth continues without pause. Secondly, some of the most prominent companies in franchising have struggled mightily this year, while the vast majority of less-massive players have shown positive sales growth.

The economy’s strength in a few big-ticket items clearly translates into the franchise industry. Automobiles, health, senior services, hospitality and hip, fast-growing food concepts are all continuing to grow during this long-standing economic expansion. There are no conspicuous signs of a looming slowdown other than instability in the restaurant biz. That’s no surprise, and something we’re watching with a close eye as the shine comes off the restaurant category as a whole.

Once our 12 Top 200+ categories have been sorted out, it’s incredible to stop, step back and see how big franchising is compared with the overall U.S. economy—and how many people's lives depend on this still-unique ticket into individual business ownership. The state of the franchise industry is strong, and there is still incredible money to be made in franchising. May these good times never end.

In the meantime, stay tuned for Franchise Times’ flagship product of the year. The Top 200+ is an incredible thing to be part of, and I hope you find this information as interesting and valuable as we do.

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About This Blog

The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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