99 BIG Franchisees: 99 of America's Top Area Developers

Multi-unit, multi-brand franchising has achieved a milestone: More franchises are owned by multi-unit developers than by single-unit franchisees. So we thought you'd like to know how big some of these guys are. Area Developer magazine introduces this annual feature, profiling some of the industry's most successful multi-unit franchisees. Working with FRANdata to compile a list of the largest multi-unit franchisees, "The Big 99" (ranked by number of units), rest assured our editors also know that when it comes to franchising, size isn't everything.

That's why we also set out to find some of the industry's most interesting multi-unit operators. Recognizing that one hair-cutting salon is not equal to one casual restaurant, for example, nor a sandwich shop to a furniture rental store, we searched within brands to profile franchisees with the most units, per-store revenue, annual sales, employees, or largest territory; as well as the human side of franchising: mother-daughter teams, husband-wife teams, women franchisees, and family-run affairs.

In addition to receiving some new ideas for next year's nominations in our best in categories (former professional athlete, immigrant, most unusual location), we also received some that, frankly, we hadn't considered: biggest ego, most tattoos, best law school buddies, most kids (not in the business), biggest wine cellar, biggest antique car collection, heaviest (weight), thickest accent, and best sense of humor. We plan to do this again next year. Do you have any outstanding franchisees with unusual stories? Readers, start your engines!

99 BIG Franchisees:

Published: April 4th, 2006

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