Developing Intelligence: Highlights from the 2011 AFDR

The 2011 Annual Franchise Development Report (AFDR) is a comprehensive research guide to sales and lead generation performance in franchise recruitment. The report drills down to industry categories, investment levels, and recruitment budgets; provides marketing costs information; reports the top-producing sales and lead sources; reveals performance evaluations of franchise websites and follow-up to prospect inquiries; and analyzes current and historical industry growth trends.

The data and analysis in this 150-page report can help you accelerate your system growth, increase selling performance, and make smarter, more cost-effective and marketing decisions.

Data-gathering for the 2012 AFDR has just begun. To participate in next year's AFDR, contact Therese Thilgen at All data is aggregated and kept confidential.

Significant Numbers

Survey Participants

126 franchisors representing 46,091 units:

  • 42,563 franchise units
  • 3,528 company-owned units

Growth Plans for 2011

  • 3,850 more franchise units (3,100 franchised)

Top Internet Sales Producers



Online ad portals









Social networking



Don't know



Franchise Lead Performance



Leads up: 39%

Leads up: 30%

Leads down: 39%

Leads down: 54%

Leads same: 22%

Leads same: 16%

Franchise Sales Performance



Exceeding goals: 19%

Exceeding goals: 9%

Below goals: 59%

Below goals: 59%

Meeting goals: 21%

Meeting goals: 33%

Franchisors Exceeding Goals

  • 21% food
  • 47% service
  • 11% food
  • 21% retail non-food
  • 89% plan the same or higher 2011 expenditures
  • 74% have $100,000+ investment requirements
  • 5% decreased sales staff in the past 12 months
    (27% of those below sales goals decreased sales staff)
  • 78% reported business conditions at the unit level as good
  • 0% reported business conditions at the unit level as poor

We continually seek ways to further raise franchisor awareness of development standards, and to create additional benchmarks that will continue the evolution of best practices in franchise recruitment. We welcome your comments--and participation--to help us better shape the 2012 report.

Note: The results of the 2011 Annual Franchise Development Report were collected and analyzed in late August and September 2010, using data gathered from 126 franchisor participants representing more than 42,000 units (38,563 franchised and 3,528 company-owned).

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