Top Restaurant Franchises To Own

Instead of starting a business from scratch, invest your money into one of this year’s best restaurant franchises.

The advantages to owning a franchise are having a system in place to provide business support and a brand reputation that people have come to trust. But as trends change from year to year, it’s important to look at which chains are projected to be the top performers in 2015.


From the familiar to the up-and-coming, browse our listing of top restaurant franchises to help narrow your search. With the right match, you can end up with a long-term, successful and fulfilling business.


Min Investment: $350,000
The first Culver’s restaurant opened in Sauk City, Wis. in 1984, serving their signature ButterBurgers and Fresh Frozen Custard to friends and neighbors. Since then, Culver’s has grown to over 500 restaurants in 22 states. According to a survey by the Franchisee Business Review, Culver’s is rated No. 1 in franchisee satisfaction by more than 4,300 locations in the U.S. and Canada.

Quaker Steak & Lube

Min Investment: $500,000
Quaker Steak & Lube is one of the most brand-differentiated restaurants in casual-family dining. The unique motorsports-themed décor combined with crave-able food and high-octane events has created a cult-like following. Quaker Steak & Lube has grown to over 60 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada with an aggressive expansion plan under way.

Firehouse Subs

Min Investment: $130,000
As a leader in the fast, casual sandwich industry, the demand for the uniquely prepared Firehouse Subs is opening up opportunities in new and existing markets. With a strong brand identity, exceptional franchisee relationships and a passionate executive team, Firehouse Subs is perfectly poised for development with the right investor.


Jimmy John’s

Min Investment: $80,000
With a limited, focused inventory, what could be easier? Everything about Jimmy John’s – from the menu to the marketing to the franchise management – is about keeping it simple. All new franchisees participate in a 7-week training program. Once completed, franchisees receive regular updates to their training, including on-site reviews.

Topper’s Pizza

Min Investment: $100,000
With Toppers Pizza, whether you want to launch you next success from an endcap downtown or a freestanding site in the suburbs, you can do it on your own terms and do it quickly. Depending on where you build, you might also qualify for exclusive control of a territory. Supporting your reign is a team of seasoned pros from franchise backgrounds who have decades worth of pizza experience.


Min Investment: $200,000
With over 660 restaurants worldwide, Wing Stop has an average unit volume of $974,025 with some of the highest sales per square foot in the industry. It’s and easy-to-operate franchise with low initial investment. A 70 percent carryout allows for small restaurant footprint of 1,350 to 1,800 square feet. Once your operation opens, the Wing Stop operations and marketing teams will provide ongoing support.

Johnny Rockets

Min Investment: $2000,000
Johnny Rockets is an international restaurant chain that offers the food, fun and friendliness of classic, timeless, feel-good Americana. With annual sales in excess of $300 million, Johnny Rockets is a time-tested brand with an extraordinarily high awareness level, a loyal customer base and a broad demographic appeal.


Min Investment: $100,000
Aside from being a proven business with a low startup cost, by owning a Subway franchise, you’ll become part of the world’s largest restaurant chain and one of its most recognized brands. When you join the Subway family, you’ll get world-class support before you even make your first sandwich and well beyond. Offering a fresh, healthy alternative to fast-food, Subway has franchises throughout the U.S. and in 98 countries, with locations in traditional and nontraditional sites alike.

Dickey’s BBQ

Min Investment: $100,000
Since 1941, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit has been serving up the same quality barbecue recipes handed down for generations coupled with the same brand of southern hospitality, only on a much larger scale. Dickey’s offers low startup costs, multiple revenue streams and an expert support team for franchise owners. Nation’s Restaurant News named Dickey’s a Top Five Growth Chain in 2012, and Technomic named Dickey’s the nation’s fastest-growing restaurant chain in 2014.

Qdoba Franchise

Min Investment: $450,000
With Qdoba, you’re not buying a franchise from an investment company. You’re buying from a restaurant company with more corporate owned and managed restaurants than many fast, casual chains have in their whole systems. To Qdoba, the real key is food. It’s the wide variety of delicious flavors at Qdoba that bring new customers in and loyal customers back, and franchisees benefit from that single-minded focus.

Five Guys

Min Investment: $150,000
With a simple focus on quality, service and cleanliness, Five Guys has opened over 1,000 restaurants in less than five years. Their restaurants are fast, casual dining restaurants, which specialize in the sale of hamburgers, French fries and related accompaniments in accordance with their comprehensive and unique system. If you love their burgers, love that they have a simple menu and want to serve great burgers in a clean and friendly environment with very little fuss, consider a Five Guys franchise.

Moe’s Southwest Grill

Min Investment: $300,000
Moe’s Southwest Grill Franchise Partners love what they do – and it shows year after year as sales and locations continue to grow. The Moe’s family is full of enthusiastic, experienced professionals who are knowledgeable in brand building, marketing, development and operations. Moe’s is dedicated to Franchise Partner success in one of the fastest-growing segments of the restaurant industry ­– fast, casual Mexican.


Min Investment: $90,000
Chick-fil-A is a privately owned and family-operated fast-serve restaurant. The Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A has steadily grown its brand, expanding from the South, its base, to a nationwide chain with more than 1,500 locations in 39 states and annual sales of $3.9 billion. The company is planning to expand particularly across the Midwest and Mountain states, as well as in the Northeast, California, Texas and Florida.

Buffalo Wild Wings

Min Investment: $750,000
There are over 600 company-owned and franchised Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar restaurants in 41 states. Each Buffalo Wild Wings franchise boasts wall-to-wall HDTVs, Golden Tee, Buzztime Trivia, a full menu for dine-in or take-out and a full bar. All new Buffalo Wild Wings franchisees receive the support and training required to open restaurants quickly and efficiently. Once your Buffalo Wild Wings is open, you’ll have the continuing guidance, consultation and support of our BWW Franchise Consultant Staff.

Cowboy Chicken

Min Investment: $500,000
With over 30 years of brand success, Cowboy Chicken is one of the most beloved and popular brands in Dallas, Tex. Its ability to meet current customer trends has placed Cowboy Chicken among the top performing restaurant franchises in the fast, casual segment. For franchisees, Cowboy Chicken has developed easy-to-execute operational systems focused on uncompromising quality at every turn – from ingredients to customer service – ensuring that consumers have a spectacular experience each and every time.

UFood Grill

Min Investment: $400,000
UFood Grill offers healthy comfort food, using natural and organic ingredients whenever possible. Its wide variety of menu items includes vegetarian, reduced sodium and fat, gluten-free, low-calorie and low-carb options. UFood Grill offers its restaurant franchisees a comprehensive 5-week training program that includes classroom, test kitchen and live, hands-on store training for three people. Each UFood Grill restaurant franchise will have an exclusive territory, which will be negotiated prior to signing the Franchise Agreement.

Melting Pot

Min Investment: $325,000
For 40 years, The Melting Pot has been North America’s premier fondue restaurant. The Melting Pot is an easy-to-operate restaurant franchise with little to no competition within the fondue niche. It provides franchisees with the opportunity to provide exceptional food and atmosphere and be their own bosses in a unique market that continues to grow and thrive. For over 35 years, The Melting Pot has developed training, systems and support to assist in its franchisees’ success.

How Do You Roll

Min Investment: $150,000
When the How Do You Roll restaurant franchise first opened its doors in 2008, it sparked the sushi revolution. Since franchising in 2010, How Do You Roll has been conquering new territory and educating consumers about rethinking foods and making healthy choices. As pioneers of an untapped fast-casual market, How Do You Roll is aggressive in expansion and invests in franchisees to grow their businesses. Startup costs are low, and the franchise maintains a simple operating system and provides lasting training and support.


Min Investment: $200,000
There are many reasons to own a Quiznos restaurant franchise, including national brand recognition, chef-inspired food, low-investment entry point and great financial incentive programs. All Quiznos franchise owners complete corporate training to help equip them with skills and knowledge to run their business. With low investment costs and great incentive plans for qualified buyers, it’s possible to have your Quiznos restaurant franchise up and running within as little as six months.



Min Investment: $350,000
In 1963, Denny’s embarked on franchise growth from coast to coast. In its 60 years since, Denny’s developed an adaptable business model that evolves with customer preferences and the economy. Today, the brand is an icon with more than 1,700 restaurants and nearly 100 percent brand awareness, making Denny’s one of the world’s powerhouse family restaurant chains. With 90 percent of restaurants franchised, Denny’s dominance relies on franchisees. That’s why they launched their New & Emerging Markets Incentive Program, which encourages long-term franchise growth by saving qualified franchisees up to $1 million in expenses and royalties.



Min Investment: $750,000
There are many reasons to own a Quiznos restaurant franchise, including national brand recognition, chef-inspired food, low-investment entry point and great financial incentive programs. All Quiznos franchise owners complete corporate training to help equip them with skills and knowledge to run their business. With low investment costs and great incentive plans for qualified buyers, it’s possible to have your Quiznos restaurant franchise up and running within as little as six months.

Taco Bell-francshise

Taco Bell

Min Investment: $750,000
Taco Bell Corp., a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., is the nation’s leading Mexican-inspired quick serve restaurant. Taco Bell serves made-to-order and customizable tacos, burritos and specialties such as the exclusive Doritos Locos Tacos, gourmet inspired Cantina Bell Menu and lower calorie Fresco Menu. The company encourages customers to “Live Más,” both through its food and in ways such as its Feed the Beat music program and nonprofit organization, the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens. Taco Bell and its more than 350 restaurant franchise organizations have nearly 6,000 restaurants across the United States that proudly serve more than 36 million customers every week.


Sonic Drive-In

Min Investment: $1,000,000
As the nation’s largest drive-in chain, SONIC has successfully served up hot, fresh, delicious made-to-order food for more than 60 years, making it one of the top restaurant franchises. At a typical SONIC Drive-In, customers park in colorful canopy-covered spaces and push our iconic red button when they are ready to place their orders using our speaker system. Friendly Carhops deliver our delicious food and drinks to customers car-side, but at most SONIC locations, customers may also enjoy patio and indoor patio dining as well drive-thru service. Today, they franchise and operate more than 3500 SONIC Drive-ins in nearly every state.


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