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Top Rated, Innovative Franchise Brands, 2018

The Innovation List - Reviewed, Ranked, Recommended

Table of Contents

  1. The Data Behind the Ratings
  2. The List - The Top 100 Most Innovative Franchises
  3. FBR’s Research and Survey Methodology
  4. What is Innovation?
  5. Top Franchise Sectors by Median Pre-Tax Income

The Data Behind the Ratings

This year, we surveyed over 24,000 franchisees from many of today’s leading franchise brands to determine the most innovative franchises, based 100 percent on franchisee satisfaction. Each survey participant was asked 33 benchmark questions about their franchisor that focused on areas such as leadership, training, and core values as well 16 more personal questions concerning their business lifestyle and overall enjoyment of running their franchise. This year 100 brands made the FBR’s top-rated list! You can learn more about each top-rated franchise opportunity in the list below.

The List - The Top 100 Most Innovative Franchises

To learn more about each brand simply click on the “view” link. Once you are on a franchise brand’s page, you can opt to receive additional details directly from the franchise by entering your email into the contact form.

FBR’s Research and Survey Methodology

Every year, Franchise Business Review surveys thousands of franchisees from hundreds of leading franchise brands to gauge franchisee satisfaction and performance — and to compile our lists of the top-rated franchise brands. Our independent franchisee satisfaction reviews measure the health of franchise systems that participate in our research based exclusively on the feedback of franchise owners... the real franchise experts!

Not all brands willingly open their doors to an independent research firm like Franchise Business Review, but those who do can offer investors, like you, a wealth of information on the system’s leadership, culture, training and support, financial outlook and franchisee community.

Learn more about FBR’s survey and research methodology.

What is Innovation?

Innovation can be hard to define, moreover to understand. What qualifies as innovative? What makes one company more innovative than another? Technology often plays a role, but certainly many innovations have nothing to do with technology. “Innovation often creates a vision of technology, but innovation is also closely linked to systems, methodologies and new business relationships under a clear vision,” said Sean Manning, CEO and co-founder of Payroll Vault.

Innovation is often thought of as something new – a breakthrough product or simply a better way of doing something. “Innovation means finding new ways to do things that may have been done in a less effective way in the past,” said Dan Hansen, director of franchise development at College H.U.N.K.S.

The genesis of innovation starts with people, with ideas and with an unrelenting desire to question and improve. “Our research and experience suggest that inquiry is at the heart of it. Innovators have an inclination and a capacity to examine what others often leave unexamined,” wrote the Harvard Business Review.

Justin Bredeman, CEO of Soccer Shots remarked, “Innovation at Soccer Shots means ‘good enough’ isn’t good enough. This mindset orients us to constantly seek improvements in the experience we provide for children and their parents. It also drives us to be a franchisor pursuing incrementally better processes and service to our franchise community.”

The story of Ray Kroc and the McDonald’s brothers – made famous by the movie The Founder – is a classic example of franchise innovation. While Kroc got most of the credit for the success of the McDonald’s franchise, we now know that it was really brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald (aka “Dick” and “Mac”) who were the true innovators of operational efficiency in the blossoming fast food industry. Dick and Mac put the “fast” in fast food.

To be clear, “innovation takes a lot more than just having creative, great ideas, it also takes execution, said Eric Stites, CEO of Franchise Business Review. Take Kodak, for example. In its heyday, Kodak was one of the most powerful companies in the world. Today, the company has a market capitalization of less than $1 billion. As the company that invented digital photography, their decline seems all the more tragic — and surprising. “Spotting something and doing something about it are very different things,” wrote the Harvard Business Review. “Kodak created a digital camera, invested in the technology, and even understood that photos would be shared online. Where they failed was in realizing that online photo sharing was the new business, not just a way to expand the printing business.”

Top Franchise Sectors by Median Pre-Tax Income

  1. Business Services

The median pre-tax income is $87,500

The median investment is $112,000

  1. Home Services

The median pre-tax income is $87,500

The median investment is $118,000

  1. Real Estate

The median pre-tax income is $87,500

The median investment is $267,000

  1. Senior Services

The median pre-tax income is $81,250

The median investment is $108,000

  1. Food & Beverage

The median pre-tax income is $75,000

The median investment is $508,000