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




restaurant franchises for sale

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

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.

Questions to Ask Before Buying a Franchise – Location, Location, Location

There’s an old adage that in real estate there are three supremely important factors: location, location, location. The same holds true for franchises. A prime location will have high visibility, easy access, lots of customer traffic and minimal nearby competition.

One question it’s easy to overlook, though, is how many franchises the business already has in your area. In the Starbucks boom, the number of new franchises became so high so quickly that in some areas the market became oversaturated, forcing a company-wide strategic shift and the closure of many franchises.

The same thing can happen on a smaller level if you’re not careful about where you open your franchise. Check with your business’s corporate offices to find how many other franchises they have in your city and where they are located. Make sure you’re in compliance with any corporate restrictions on the minimum distance between franchises or on how many franchises can operate within a given area. Research the locations of your top competitors. Find an area that is relatively underserved in your industry so that you can carve a distinct niche in your city’s market share.

Once you’ve found the top few options for where to locate your franchise, investigate the visibility, accessibility and foot traffic of each site. The best locations are the ones where customers are already coming for a non-competing reason, such as in malls, near tourist attractions or convenient to heavily populated office space. Your signage should be easy to see from a distance, and the store should have convenient parking and easy access for customers on foot.

Franchising and Social Media

The goal of social media shouldn’t be just to increase profits. The goal of social media should be to further create brand awareness and draw attention to your product. In terms of a franchise, it should be used to further craft a particular brand, thereby creating further awareness to a particular brand while conveying a positive image. And with that we have one of the more recent trends in social media: franchising.

Specifically, franchise social media is using things like Facebook, Twitter and FourSquare within the means of a franchise’s goals. What does this mean? Well, unlike your personal Facebook or Twitter account, which you use to sound off on your rants, thoughts, feelings – whatever – franchising with social media requires a bit more structure. Determine what your company’s goal is, what message you want to convey in your social media posts and then craft a strategy where you execute these goals.

Just think, if you’re a potential franchise owner, do you want to wait for paperwork in the mail to come about the benefits of joining the franchise? Or would you rather just log online and see other franchise owners just like you, not to mention franchising and social media allows companies to be much more transparent. Interacting on social media allows potential franchise owners the chance to see how a certain company promotes itself, which is much more than a brochure or piece of pamphlet could do. And do you really think you wouldn’t be able to tell over a Facebook or Twitter account is someone was unhappy with the service or quality of a product that you’re interested in investing in?

Social media has allowed companies to become much more transparent, which could be the biggest selling tool above anything else.

Marijuana Vending Machine

There’s no end to all the crazy things people are sticking in vending machines these days. And this story is a testament to that. According to a TV station in New Zealand, a popular nightclub called the Daktory, is now selling 1 gram bags of cannibis out of a vending machine. Even though in America you can get live bait, a cupcake and maybe a pair of shoes, this is really raising the bar of oddities in vending. But this also seems to be quite lucrative of the vending business opportunities, says a local TV station.


However, we now understand that at least 4 patrons of the machine have been arrested and the machine has been confiscated off the site of the Daktory. Though the grams sold for only $16.20 each, there was said to be hundreds of dollars sold in a given night. Is this the oddest thing you’ve heard of being sold in a vending machine? Let us know!

What Will They Think of Next?

Did you think that cupcakes were the only weird thing found in vending machines? Well, think again. A British company has recently sold rights to two American women to own and operate a new vending machine in America according to the Washington Post. This vending machine distributes ballet flats for women who are fed up with their 6″ heels. You can find the vending machine, called Rollasole, outside of nightclubs in Vegas and L.A.

The two American girls found that they had been beaten to the punch with this shoe vending business opportunity, but found that they could buy the rights to operate Rollasoles in America. So that’s exactly what they did. Ashley Ross and Lindsay Klimitz are now making women’s feet happy out west. I hope they will be a great success, as the flats are not only cute, but affordable, at $20 a pop.

The New American Vending Machine

Vending machines have been a staple in the American landscape for years. But now it seems that they’re getting a little revamp from the country’s entrpreneurs. Taking cues from other parts of the world (in Japan, everything from soup to beer to iPads are in vending machines), business owners are looking to add unconventional things to vending machines. In this post from the Wall Street Journal, a man in Pennsylvania shops at a vending machine for his live bait. It saves him a lot of time and the bait is always in good condition.

Pennsylvania man with his live bait from a vending machine.

This kind of innovation may be just what the vending franchise industry needs. With dwindling numbers, it’s the perfect time to reinvent what goes in the machines and what customers expect from them.

Papa Murphy’s Gets Coveted #27 Ranking

Papa Murphy’s is used to getting accolades. For the last few years, the business has been booming and growing exponentially. This year, it has snagged its all-time high of #27 on Entrepreneur Magazine’s “500 Franchise” List. Just four years ago, this restaurant franchise hadn’t cracked the top 50! They’ve also managed to open over 200 new stores in the United States since 2008, which has been during the height of the Recession.

We’re happy to see the success of Papa Murphy’s franchise because we believe their business plan is the real deal. With decreased costs from other pizza chains, it is able to offer delicious and affordable food without all the overhead. It’s also great for the consumer because it’s the carry-out convenience that they’re looking for. Papa Murphy’s also stands out in other ways. Their franchise is committed to helping out franchisees during every phase of ownership–with week-long training, co-op advertising, meetings and a toll-free line available to their franchisees at all times.

Dante’s Pizza Vending Kiosk

This vending franchise has coined itself “recession-proof” and “gimmick-free,” but what does it do? Well, Dante’s is a low investment vending franchise provides low cost Italian food in a vending machine. That’s right, you can get pizza from a vending machine. All your customers need to do is slip their money in and choose their product. The machine will then simply grab the item and drop it down for them.

Products include pretzel bread sandwiches, mini pizzas and Blue Bunny ice cream.

For just a few hours a week (restocking), you can make some side income with your Dante’s Pizza Kiosk. And if it’s working well, there are always options to expand your vending franchise and put more Dante’s in more locations for a great revenue stream. Some places that Dante’s recommends for their machines are: skating rinks, parks, college, hotels, family fun centers, arenas, bowling alleys and large offices.

You can get started on your vending franchise business by requesting more information on

Starting a Vending Franchise Business

There is a lot to consider when looking for a franchise opportunity. What kind of industry would you like to go into? What kind of time commitment can you make? What does the initial investment look like? How long will it take you to be successful? Well, it’s easier than you think to start planning if you are planning on buying a vending franchise.

Here are five things to consider when looking for a vending franchise:

1. Location, location, location. This isn’t a clichéd saying for no reason! Location is of the utmost importance with many businesses, but with vending, it’s even more so. If you are planning on buying a DVD vending franchise, for instance, it’s probably best to go with high-traffic areas like gas stations or grocery stores. With healthy snacks, it might be best to go for gyms, schools and churches.

2. Initial investment is lower. With a restaurant franchise, you’ve got to worry about hiring cooks, learning the menu, training wait staff, marketing, and more. With vending machines, you can simply place it wherever you want and stock it with in-demand items. There’s no guessing about investment range.

3. Maintenance. Have a clear plan for who is in charge of maintenance and stocking your machines. You want to make sure they are always working properly so that people come back.

4. Time commitment. Luckily for you, owning a vending franchise isn’t as time consuming as most other franchise opportunities. You’ve got time to be with your family and you won’t be working late hours or holidays.

5. Make profit in less time. It doesn’t take a long time to start turning a profit for vending franchises. Even though the merchandise does not cost much money, neither does the machine and maintenance. Therefore, you’ve got a higher return on investment potential. This means, too, that you can open up more opportunities for yourself in new locations.

Fresh Healthy Vending Has New Leadership

Fresh Healthy Vending has appointed a new CEO and President, Dan Negroni. Negroni has over 20 years experience in growing businesses and should come in very handy to the franchise’s growth plan for the coming years. With over 1,100 locations in the United States and Canada, Fresh Healthy Vending has grown exponentially in the last two years.

“I am honored and excited to lead Fresh Healthy Vending at this time because I believe they matter as a company – it matters to both our children’s and adults health and to communities across North America,” said Negroni (vendingmarketwatch).

Fresh Healthy Vending offers healthier vending machine options like fresh fruit, yogurt, granola and baked chips. The dual cooling climate is perfect for holding healthier food and drinks, which makes it a perfect vending franchise opportunity.

Vending Machine Bakes Cupcakes?! It’s True!

Imagine being able to get a fresh cupcake whenever you wanted. Sprinkles Cupcakes Founder Candace Nelson made that dream a reality after enduring many late-night cravings while pregnant. Sprinkles has created the first-ever 24-hour vending machine to produce freshly-baked cupcakes. At the machine, they’ll cost you $4, whereas in the store they cost $3.25. A little mark-up is a small price to pay for customers’ convenience. Video above via IBTimes. Can you imagine if this amazing idea became the new standard in vending franchises? That would be amazing!