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What’s Hot in Franchising? The Big Takeaways From Our Franchise 500 Ranking. #Franchise500


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This story appears in the
January 2016

issue of
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From year to year, the Franchise 500® has mirrored business and societal trends throughout the U.S., Canada and beyond. New franchise categories rise up — sometimes suddenly — while familiar brands sometimes lose a little luster. For example, take the dominant sector in our list, Food/Quick Service. Last year it represented 20.8 percent of our rankings. This year it has shrunk to 19.2 percent. Yes, that is a small drop, and yes, the category still accounts for 177,922 units worldwide. But it’s a slide that’s indicative of changing tastes among consumers.

Fast-casual concepts and the push for fresher ingredients — the “Chipotle” model, if you will — have garnered an outsized buzz and customer base in the last couple of years. But this tilt also represents an opportunity for established franchisors

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This Franchise Knows Just How Cool (and Hot) It Is for a Woman to Own and Operate an HVAC Business


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Franchise Players is Entrepreneur’s Q&A interview column that puts the spotlight on franchisees.

Growing up in Midland, Texas, Mandy Solis hardly dreamed about working one day with heating and air-conditioning systems and a compressor — much less working alongwide a crew of men. “I knew there was a thermostat and a system, and that was about it,” Solis says today.

But some time after starting as a part-time customer service representative at One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating, Solis realized she wanted a deeper role in the company. So, she worked her way up, learning about heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems and eventually becoming general manager, before purchasing the company last summer. Now 31, and the mother of three, Solis owns and operates this franchise, which serves Midland, Odessa and the Permian Basis and has grown to a dozen employees.

“I was luck

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