The Top Four Restaurant and Food Franchises For 2013

The United States has maintained its status as the leader in franchising since the 1930s, when restaurants and other establishments used franchising as a means of expansion during the Great Depression. In the years since, restaurant franchises and food franchises have consistently ranked amongst the top-performing franchises in the industry.


In the past five years, food and restaurant franchises have appeared consistently in Entrepreneur magazine’s list of top new franchises, especially the most recent list released.


In 2013, Entrepreneur listed four restaurant franchises in its top ten: Kona IceMenchie’s, Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt and Smashburger Franchising LLC.


Kona Ice


Kona Ice, a shaved ice truck franchise, serves up shaved ice anywhere customers require refreshment. Kona Ice partners with various community groups, like schools, teams, and youth groups for fundraising events. In addition to trucks, Kona Ice franchisees may operate ice carts, kiosks or trailers. There are currently 279 Kona Ice units in operation in the U.S.


Franchises similar to Kona Ice: Hokulia Shave Ice



best frozen yogurt franchise menchie's

When it comes to restaurant franchises, the frozen yogurt craze has yet to cool down. Menchie’s, a self-serve frozen yogurt franchise, serves over 100 flavors, including low-carb, low-sugar, gluten-free, dairy-free and kosher options offered on a rotating basis. Franchising since 2009, Menchie’s has 220 units in operation in the U.S., 26 in Canada and 10 outside of the U.S. and Canada.


Franchises similar to Menchie’s:  Farr’s Fresh32 Degrees a Yogurt BarAll American Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt , Fro.Zen.YoFuzzy PeachMarble SlabTCBYSub ZeroYogli MogliYogen FruzYogurtlandYoGo FactoryYumzYou Say WhenZoyo Neighborhood Yogurt


Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt

best frozen yogurt franchise

The success of Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt has been undeniable since it began franchising in 2009. Just two years after its first store opened, the self-serve frozen yogurt franchise grew its number of units in operation from 1 to 116, a 99 percent increase. Today, the franchise operates 170 units in the U.S. and two outside of the U.S. and Canada.


Franchises similar to Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt: Menchie’sFarr’s Fresh32 Degrees a Yogurt BarAll American Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt , Fro.Zen.YoFuzzy PeachMarble SlabTCBYSub ZeroYogli MogliYogen FruzYogurtlandYoGo FactoryYumzYou Say WhenZoyo Neighborhood Yogurt




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After two decades in the restaurant industry working for big name franchises like Pizza Hut, Quiznos, Long John Silver’s and McDonalds, Smashburger creator Tom Ryan struck out on his own. Named for the way its burgers are prepared (by smashing the burger meat onto the grill), restaurant franchise Smashburger offers its customers a variety of bun and topping choices, allowing each individual the chance to customize his or her burger experience. Hot dogs, shakes, sides, chicken and veggie burgers are also available at Smashburger franchises. Today, the burger franchise operates 91 units within the U.S. and is seeking franchisees in the U.S., Africa, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Central America, Europe, Middle East, Mexico and South America.


Franchises similar to Smashburger: Johnny RocketsBGR The Burger JointCheeseburger Bobby’sJake’s Wayback BurgersMooyah BurgersSteak and ShakeThumbs Up Diner

Franchise Clique Reviews The IFA Convention 2013


The buzz of Las Vegas was louder than normal last week as 3,500 people swarmed the MGM Grand to attend the International Franchise Association’s annual convention, making it a record-breaking show for the association.

Matthew Haller, a spokesman for the International Franchise Association said, “We always have higher attendance when we’re in Vegas.”

Those in attendance weren’t just franchise executives. New franchise concepts, franchisees, franchise suppliers (like Franchise Clique) and famous speakers also made the pilgrimage to Las Vegas for the IFA convention.

franchise opportunities condoleeza rice

During the convention a central theme emerged: growth. Dr. Condoleeza Rice, a keynote speaker, spoke of the importance of galvanizing the American dream through a strengthened economy and that an economic resurgence lied in the hands of the private sector, of which franchising is a major player.

CKE Restaurants CEO Andrew Puzder delivered a speech along the same notes, citing that at the core of his “unconventional” business strategy was a desire to keep his franchisees successful.

“When our franchisees make money, we make money,” he said. Puzder’s strategy has kept Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s growing for ten consecutive years.

In recent years the tumultuous economy and recession resulted in loss for the franchise community in 2008, 2009 and 2010. The tables turned in 2012; it was a year of recovery and most predict 2013 to follow suit. By the end of this year, 757,055 new franchise establishments are expected to be in operation, a 1.4 percent increase from 2012.

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Guy Norcott, COO of Franchise Clique, networks with franchisors at the IFA Convention 2013.

In addition to celebrating the return of growth to the industry, the IFA convention also shone a light on those who support the franchise industry through various products and services.  McDonald’s would be lost without fryers, frozen yogurt franchises would melt without freezers and franchise expansion would shudder to a much slower pace without the efforts of lead generation experts like Franchise Buy, who provide franchise concepts with a steady stream of entrepreneurs looking to become franchisees. IFA Suppliers showcased their businesses over the course of two days in the exhibitor hall, which included various law firms, accounting firms, telecommunications concepts, human resources software companies and Google.

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Franchise Clique’s accounting and sales team members pose at the IFA Convention 2013.

Franchise Clique Helps Entrepreneur Become Franchisee

Manny’s Mediterranean Café announced this week plans to open a new franchise location in Charlotte, N.C. The new location, which will open in the next 90 – 120 days, is owned by entrepreneur Stephanie Cripe, who discovered Manny’s thanks to Franchise Clique.


Rena and Thomas Cripe, both graduates of UNC-Charlotte, will handle the franchise’s daily operations while Stephanie serves as the owner.


Manny’s Mediterranean Café is a fast-casual restaurant franchise that serves mediterranean and American favorites. The franchise concept is currently expanding and looking for personable entrepreneurs who have a large network of personal contacts and established in their communities.


Franchise Clique Goes to Vegas For the IFA Convention 2013

franchise clique gives away laptop

We’re headed to Las Vegas this weekend to attend the International Franchise Association’s 53rd annual convention. It’s the first time Franchise Clique has attended the annual conference and all of the company members attending are excited to sight see in Las Vegas and meet our franchise clients, old friends and some new faces. If you’ll be attending the conference please stop by our booth, #139, and say hello!


franchise clique gives away ipod nano at ifa convention

If you do drop by, we’re giving away lots of fun prizes, including four HUGE gifts (that all of Franchise Clique’s employees desperately want to win): a Wii gaming system, an iPad mini, an iPod nano and a brand new laptop. All you have to do is enter your name into the twice daily drawings at our booth to be eligible.

franchise clique gives away ipad mini at ifa convention


franchise clique gives wii gaming system

Will Obamacare Benefit Healthcare Franchises?

The majority of the franchise industry disapproves of the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act. Many franchises have voiced their concerns that the healthcare reforms will cripple the franchising industry’s future growth and discourage franchisees from expanding.


But what about healthcare franchises and senior care franchises? Will they actually benefit from the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act?


In light of President Obama’s healthcare overhaul the growth of the healthcare industry as a whole is expected to slow. Many Americans live paycheck to paycheck and remain hesitant to spend– even on healthcare.


Despite the anticipated sluggish progress of the healthcare industry, those businesses and franchises associated with or that accept Medicaid or Medicare will benefit in some  way from the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act:

  • Primary care providers, physicians who serve as a patient’s main source of non-emergency healthcare, are expected to get a 73 percent raise if they are Medicaid doctors. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that Medicaid will gain 7 million new enrollees in 2014.
  • Employers already take 7.65 percent of workers’ wages to support the elderly and disabled, 1.45 percent of which will go toward Medicare hospital bills.
  • Two new Medicare tax increases will fund the senior healthcare program. Those making $200,000 as a single filer (or $250,000 joint filers) will each pay 0.9 percent more for the Medicare hospital tax.


Long term care insurance gives seniors control of their assets and a choice as to how and where they receive senior care services. This insurance covers hospice care, nursing facilities and adult care facilities. Some policies cover health care services, respite care and adult day care services.

Medicare does not pay for all senior care and usually only provides limited coverage for services provided in nursing facilities and home care settings. Assisted living is not covered by Medicare. Medicare will only pay for extended home health care services if a stringent set of conditions is met. The extent of Medicaid’s coverage is limited and similar to that of Medicare.

The ABC’s of Franchising

Do you know your franchise industry ABC’s? 


A is for Autonomous — Why did you want to become a franchisee in the first place? More than likely it was because you wanted to be your own boss. Who doesn’t crave more autonomy at work?

B is for Blue Mau Mau — If you’re looking for the best original and curated content, press releases and articles on franchising, business opportunities and small businesses, Blue Mau Mau is the place to go.


C is for Crowdfunding — Funding remains a challenge for all entrepreneurs, not just those who are hoping to open a franchise. New legislation is sure to help crowdfunding’s popularity as a way to raise capital.


D is for Discovery Day — One of the most important days for a potential franchisee is discovery day. While each concept’s discovery day is a bit different, it normally includes a visit to the franchise’s headquarters, a sit down with the development team and often a meeting with the franchisor. Often, the franchise discovery day is the last stop before you sign on the dotted line and become a franchisee.

E is for EntrepreneurEntrepreneur magazine has long celebrated franchising with its “Franchise 500”, their annual ranking of the industry’s top franchise concepts. The magazine also features a franchising section and often covers topics pertaining to the industry on its website.


F is for FDD — The franchise disclosure document (FDD) sounds just like what it is: a legal document that discloses the major facts and figures that make up each particular franchise concept to a prospective buyer. The FDD is intended to provide potential franchisees with enough detailed information to make educated decisions about a possible franchise investment.


G is for Growth — Growth despite economic challenges and uncertainty has become a hallmark of the franchise industry. Despite the woes experienced by many during the Great Recession, the franchise industry recovered well. The IFA expects the number of franchise establishments to grow by 1.4 percent in 2013.



H is for Healthcare — As the Affordable Care Act became law in 2012, the franchise industry took to the podium to speak out against the potential damages of the healthcare overhaul on small businesses. Many franchisors, including Papa John’s CEO, John Schnatter and Catherine Monson of FASTSIGNS have spoken out against President Obama’s healthcare reforms.


I is for IFA — The International Franchise Association (IFA) is the world’s largest and oldest organization representing franchising worldwide. It acts in the best interest of the franchising industry to promote, protect and enhance the franchise industry through policy, PR, and education.


J is for Jobs— No, not Steve Jobs, although we’re sure he’d appreciate the economic fortitude that is the franchising industry. According to the IFA, The franchising community provides nearly 18 million jobs!

K is for KingJoel Libava, aka “The Franchise King”, writes a phenomenal blog on all aspects of the franchising industry. His posts range from evaluations of franchising concepts, helping potential franchisees and issues the industry faces. Follow him on Twitter @franchiseking.


L is for Las Vegas — This year, the annual IFA Convention will be held in Las Vegas. The IFA’s annual convention allows for all members of the franchising community to congregate and connect. This year, Franchise Clique’s CEO David Schwarz will attend with his key managers as an “Entrepreneur of the Year” award nominee.


M is for Military — Military veterans have been welcomed profusely to franchising by franchisors and the IFA alike. The push to hire military veterans has been facilitated by websites like Veterans, VetFran and crowd funding platforms like Boost a Hero.

N is for Nation’s Restaurant News — This magazine delivers breaking news about the $600 billion food industry, including franchises. Since 1967, NRN has been covering trends, operators, suppliers and major figures in all areas of the food service industry.


O is for Operations — As a franchisee, a large part of your day deals with the day-to-day operations that make a franchise unit run smoothly. Luckily, those with varying degrees of business experience can count on their franchisor counterparts to lead the way. After all, one of the best parts about franchising is the proven track record and support provided to each franchisee by its franchisor.


P is for Portal — As the franchise industry picks up speed, leaving the Great Recession behind, portals have become an invaluable source of leads. Some, like Franchise Clique, Franchise Buy and Veterans Franchise, have begun call-verifying leads as franchise sales and development teams field an increasing number of inquiries.


Q is for Quick-Casual — If you didn’t catch our recent post on food costs and the franchising industry, you missed out on a short and sweet explanation of how food franchises continue to grow despite rising food, oil and transportation costs. The real winner in the food franchise category? Quick-casual restaurants, which are predicted to grow 1.7 percent in 2013, the third largest growth percentage according to the IFA. Also, quick-casual restaurant franchises make up two-thirds of all food related franchise establishments.


R is for Restaurants — When you think of franchising the golden arches and drive-thrus probably spring to mind first. It’s no wonder, considering food franchise establishments comprise 33 percent of all franchise establishments.

S is for Steve Caldeira — Stephen J. Caldeira is the President & CEO of the International Franchise Association. As the President and CEO, Caldeira works with the IFA’s board to set the course for the organization’s strategic priorities: policy, research, education, PR, and various development programs. Mr. Caldeira has 30 years of government relations, political communications, fundraising and professional development experience. Prior to his current position, Caldeira served as the Executive Vice President of Global Communications & Chief Public Affairs Officer for Dunkin’ Brands, Inc.


T is for Trillion — Yes, that’s trillion with a “T”! The franchise community represents $2.1 trillion of economic output just for the U.S. economy.


U is for Understanding — Let’s talk it out. No, really. When you’re deciding which franchise to buy, it’s important to do your research, ask questions and find out all you can about the concepts that interest you before taking the next steps. A franchise is a long-term business investment


V is for Vision — If the franchising industry were a word it would be “expansion.” Beyond the U.S. and Canada lies opportunity– and the franchise industry knows it. More and more brands are expanding their vision to Africa, Asia, Australia, South America, Europe and the Middle East.


W is for Work — Despite the autonomy inherent in becoming a franchisee, there’s also a lot of hard work. Ask any small business owner and they’ll tell you how much they wish there were more than 24 hours in a day.


X is for Xenophile — Now that’s an SAT word! As far as we’re concerned, one of the very best things about the franchise industry is its acceptance of other cultures. Whether it’s a franchisee expanding outside of the U.S. or the birth of a new food franchise celebrating a cuisine that’s not quite mainstream yet, the franchise industry makes a point to bring “new” and “different” to the masses.

Y is for Yogurt — How many frozen yogurt places can you count driving through your city or town? The frozen yogurt franchise craze, which hasn’t cooled yet, has been going strong for years. Though it’s not the oldest type of franchise concept in the industry, it’s certainly one that’s made other consider franchising as a viable means of making a living.


Z is for Zany— As of late,new franchise concepts have gotten creative and outright zany! Nail art vending machines, make your own sushi franchises and dog walkers have become incredibly popular. What could be next?