A Look Into Our Methodology
How We Select The Top Franchises
Not all brands engage with an independent research firm like Franchise Business Review to reveal their strengths and areas for improvement. Those who do, however, offer potential investors a wealth of information on the system’s leadership, culture, training, support, marketing, financial outlook, and franchisee satisfaction.
In this video, FBR’s president, Michelle Rowan, discusses how we select the top franchises.
Franchise Business Review surveys thousands of franchisees from hundreds of leading franchise brands to gauge franchisee satisfaction and performance. Our research identifies the best of the best, award-winning franchise brands in several categories. From our Top 200 Franchise Brands, Top Low-Cost Franchises, and Top Recession-Proof Franchises, to Top Franchises for Women, Top Franchises for Veterans, Most Innovative, and more—FBR digs deep to provide the data and insights that enable better-informed investment decisions.
Eligibility for Participation
We work with franchise brands that opt in to participate in franchisee surveys and franchise reviews. Any franchise brand located in the U.S. or Canada with more than 10 units can participate in FBR’s research at no cost.
We contact all franchisees and invite them to take a 33-question survey. During this process we also acquire a brand’s Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) to verify the franchisee list provided.
We analyze the collected data for each brand. The collective scores from franchisees are used to determine a single, overall “FSI” (Franchisee Satisfaction Index) score to determine their ranking among the other participating brands. Other factors contributing to placement on the list are the size of the franchise system, the percent of franchisees that participated in the survey, and age of the survey.
Determining the Top Brands
From the collection of FSI scores, a benchmark is determined, and brands exceeding the benchmark are identified as “top franchises.” There is no fee to be named in our publications, nor can a brand pay for a listing or higher placement on a list.
What Is an FSI Score?
The Franchisee Satisfaction Index (FSI) is the industry standard by which the health of any franchise company can be measured and tracked over time. Established by Franchise Business Review in 2007, FSI is a collective assessment of the critical areas of franchisee satisfaction and engagement.
Franchise Business Review has surveyed over 1,100 franchise brands, representing tens of thousands of franchisees. This data makes our FSI benchmark an extremely powerful tool for evaluating systems, tracking operational performance, and predicting future success.
The FSI measures franchisee satisfaction and engagement in eight key areas:
Training & Support
Successful execution of a franchise business is all about the training, support, and ongoing development that franchisees receive from their franchisor.
When it comes to successful leadership of any franchise company, the perception of the franchisees is the reality under which the franchisor has to operate.
Systems & Operations
Proven systems and established operating procedures are part of the foundation of franchising. These are the things that make a franchise system run smoothly, maintain a competitive advantage, and achieve greater success over time.
Building a successful business and making money are important, but much of the long-term satisfaction and day-to-day enjoyment of operating a franchise business comes from the relationships formed within the franchisee community.
Part of our 360-degree evaluation of a franchise system includes an honest self-assessment of performance by franchisees.
Without a basic understanding of trust, honesty, and respect, all business initiatives will meet with significant challenges.
While the long-term financial goals of franchisees vary widely, making a living and earning a reasonable return on their investment are things that most share in common. Financial success is a primary driver of overall satisfaction.
General satisfaction is where the rubber meets the road. Has the everyday experience of owning a franchise lived up to the expectations of the franchisees? Would they recommend this franchise to others? And most importantly, would they do it again?
FSI can range from 0 to 100 and represents a weighted sum of positive responses to a specific question or a group of questions within one of the areas being measured for satisfaction. If you were to simply add up all the positive responses to a question, giving the same value to an “excellent” response that you give to a “good” or “very good” response, you would paint an overly optimistic picture. FSI provides a realistic view of favorable satisfaction ratings by weighting more positive responses and discounting lesser responses to any given question.
FSI ratings provide a reference point or benchmark to help gauge the overall level of franchisee satisfaction or satisfaction in a specific area. While an FSI of 66.2% on its own is not all that valuable, using it as a benchmark to measure against other areas, or to compare various franchise systems and industry sectors, is extremely useful.
Now that you have a better understanding as to how we research and rate franchise brands, you’re probably curious who made this year’s list! You can view this year’s top rated brands here.