Business Pundit on franchising:
The primary plus, in my opinion, is that franchising takes care of the "minutia factor" - that is all the little stuff that you don't think about when starting a business. You need accounting software, payroll services, utilities, business quality phone systems, and all that kind of stuff. It isn't that you couldn't do it yourself, but it saves you a lot of time (and sometimes money too) to use the franchisor's vendors. They already have that set up. You also have a chance to be on your own but still have someone to turn to if you fail.
That said, the biggest problem with franchising is that you risk just buying yourself a job. Believe me, running a business is NOT something you want to do unless you love it. Don't think you want to "be your own boss" and then buy a franchise that nets 70K a year. Now you have the same salary and you are working more. You are also at the mercy of the franchisor for much of what you do, which can make you feel like you have a real job again.