Who doesn’t love a good list, especially one about the ten most popular franchises. CNNMoney has done an admirable job with their selection of the most popular brands over the last decade. Granted, “popularity” is a squishy term that doesn’t necessarily jibe with quality or success. This list actually put a numerical value on popularity by measuring the number of SBA loans granted to franchisees. For instance, Subway tops the list because its franchisees received 2,292 SBA loans over the last ten years. Matco Tools took the number 10 spot, with 321 franchisees receiving SBA loans. Perhaps most interesting, the list includes the failure rate for each franchise. Matco tops the list with a 36 percent failure rating, which makes you wonder how it ever made it on the list in the first place. Subway, on the other hand, clearly earned its number 1 position with an impressively low 7 percent failure rate. Note that you won’t find perennial franchise leaders like McDonald’s, Burger King or Wendy’s on this list, mostly because these established brands are not expanding like crazy in the U.S. Most of their growth is coming from overseas market.
Brunch is the new breakfast. Breakfast is so five-minutes ago. The latest thing in fast-food franchising is brunch. In an effort to one-up the competition, Burger King is testing a high-class brunch menu. It features goodies like non-alcoholic mimosas – made from OJ and Sprite – and a Ciabatta Breakfast Sandwich consisting of scrambled eggs, cheese, tomato, ham and bacon. The brunch menu is debuting in test markets that include Massachusetts, Florida, and parts of Canada. But here, for us, is the real deal breaker. BK will stop serving brunch at 10:30 a.m. Don’t they know that people with real class don’t roll out of bed until 11?
The hard life of a franchisee. Economic downturns are usually a golden era for franchising. That’s because many qualified business people, cast out by corporate America, flock to franchising as a way to reinvent themselves. But the current downturn hasn’t been particularly kind to the franchising industry. The biggest problem is financing, or lack thereof. One of the largest providers of franchise loans, CIT, was cut down by the economic tsunami. To kick start the industry, many franchises are reducing their fees and providing financing and other incentives. But even that may not be enough to lure franchisees. “Franchising is not a ticket for riches,” franchise attorney Mario Herman told the Washington Post. “For most people, it is just buying them a job, and a low-paying job at that.”