Top 10 Franchises to Run in 2023: Best Bets for New Franchise Owners

Samir Sampat

There’s a franchise out there for everyone these days. With so many options to choose from, it can quickly seem overwhelming when trying to figure out where to start. Fast food, mailing and shipping services, hair salons, auto repair, and even health services brands are available for franchising, so even narrowing down an industry can be a bit of a challenge. 

Fortunately, you’re not alone. And, you don’t have to make the decision entirely on your own. One of the best options for new franchise owners is to choose one of the top franchises in the market so that there are fewer risks of loss or operational issues. After all, when you franchise with the best, you’ll create a solid business that people want to patronize. 

So, which franchises are leading the pack for 2023? Overall, fast-casual dining and cleaning and maintenance services are the most popular, but you’ll find something in just about every industry if you look hard enough. Here’s a glimpse at 10 franchises that are leading the market and worth your time. 

1. McDonald's

If you’re going to invest in a franchise, why not go big? For those who have the initial investment (which ranges between $1.2 and $2.2 million) and the liquid cash, McDonald’s is a brand that will never do you wrong. Despite the misinformation about the brand struggling, it’s actually been growing despite the struggle to keep many locations staffed, and you’ll quickly recoup your costs with a known franchise like this. 

2. Sonic

Sonic is another staple fast food brand that’s taking over the country, one location at a time. Again, you’ll have to have more money to invest in such a well-known brand, but if you do, you’ll earn it back in spades in no time. People like the unique drive-in nature of Sonic, but many franchises even include a drive-thru and dine-in eating. Plus, it’s got some great food to go with the name recognition, so you’re sure to find success. 

3. Dunkin’

Dunkin’ has had a resurgence in recent years and is now one of the best franchises to own. It requires a bit of a bigger initial investment but ongoing fees are relatively low and of all franchises, this is one that will definitely turn a profit quicker than you think. Plus, it comes with ad support, marketing support, and other resources including a solid business model that is known to produce results. 

4. Planet Fitness

Everyone’s heard about Planet Fitness and its ongoing $10 per month specials. They’re also open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which makes them popular with people who have alternative schedules and want to work out when it’s convenient for them. There are classes and trainers, as well as plenty of equipment for individual workouts, and although it’s a bit more costly to start, it’s a successful brand that will generally produce good results. 

5. Anytime Fitness

Another popular fitness brand, Anytime Fitness is a little more affordable than PF and other options. Members get keycard access for 24-hour access to the facility and the name is one of the most well-known in the industry. The costs are lower, and you’ll still get a great fitness brand, so it could be a good fit for several people. 

6. Primrose Schools

For those interested in education with more money to spend, Primrose Schools are a great franchise choice. Early childhood education is one of the hottest franchise markets right now. The schools are strong because they provide year-round educational programs, and they also offer continuing education for their teachers. It requires bit bigger pockets, but it’s worth it for those willing to make the investment. 

7. Orangetheory Fitness

The fitness industry is booming and group workout options like Orangetheory are taking the world by storm. People love the combination of training used by OT Fitness and the brand has taken off in the past few years. Plus, you don’t have to have a lot of money to get started, and you get a solid business structure and a brand name that has developed a strong following. 

8. Kumon Math and Reading Centers

Kumon has been growing for several years and now that many people are more familiar with remote learning, it’s gotten even more popular. Opening a Kumon center can be a great way to help children of all ages with their education. Plus, it’s relatively affordable to get one of these businesses running and you don’t have to be a millionaire to do it. 

9. Kiddie Academy

Kiddie Academy is another familiar name in education. These franchises are great for early childhood education. They have a hybrid childcare/education environment and there is plenty of room for more of these facilities throughout the U.S. There is an ad royalty fee for this franchise, but it’s only 2%, so it’s not terrible. 

10. Snap-On Tools

If you’re looking to own a franchise with a reputation that precedes itself, Snap-On Tools is definitely at the top of the list. The investment is lower than most and you can essentially build your own customer base as large as you’d like within your area, so it’s proving to be a popular choice as more people look for ways to start their own business. You can even talk to them about expanding your area over time provided that there’s room in the market for such expansion. 

In addition to the support from the franchisor, Smith.ai delivers additional solutions

While you’re building your franchise, you’re going to be busy focusing on starting a business, making sure the marketing is on point, getting paperwork filed, and a location setup—the list goes on. Who’s going to be there to answer the calls from all those new leads, though?

When you partner with the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai, you’ll enjoy 24/7 answering services along with support for lead intake, appointment scheduling, and even assistance with your outreach campaigns. To learn more, schedule a consultation or reach out to hello@smith.ai

Samir Sampat

Samir Sampat is a Marketing and Events Associate with Smith.ai. He has experience working with businesses of all sizes focusing on marketing, communications, and business development.

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