4 min read
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