Impact of the Pandemic on the Mega 99 Rankings
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Impact of the Pandemic on the Mega 99 Rankings

Impact of the Pandemic on the Mega 99 Rankings

Frandata has been running the Mega 99 list for Franchise Update for more than 10 years. Needless to say, we’ve seen many nationwide and worldwide events, most of which are being eclipsed by the current pandemic in terms of the significant rise in franchise activity. The following four factors are among those that have affected this year’s Mega 99 Rankings.

Bankruptcies and financial protection filings. These filings were initiated by large QSR franchise organizations like SD Holdings and NPC International. While this has resulted in a change in ownership patterns, it is important to note that many franchised businesses/locations continue to operate, but under different ownership.

Leadership consolidation. The pandemic also has allowed several large franchisee organizations to consolidate their leadership through acquisitions and resales. Franchisees in certain sectors such as QSR have been quick to take advantage of lower valuations to grow their existing portfolios. For example, Tasty Restaurant Group, a wholly owned affiliate of private equity firm Triton Pacific, acquired 37 Pizza Hut locations, while Sun Holdings, one of the largest franchisee organizations in the U.S., acquired 41 IHOP locations from bankrupt CFRA Holdings for its ever-expanding portfolio.

Franchisee diversification. Another growing trend affecting this year’s Mega 99 Rankings is related to franchisees’ diversification strategies, which took advantage of franchisors’ fee incentives and discounts during the pandemic. For example, several franchisees in the fitness and gym sector diversified into other beauty-related options that showed greater business resistance to pandemic-related closures and shelter-at-home orders.

Increased PE activity. The pandemic also saw emerging brands attracting private equity firms and getting them to sign large multi-unit deals in 2020. For example, Chunara Group of Companies, a private equity group based in Atlanta (which already owned franchises including Dunkin’, Checkers, Church’s Chicken, and Popeyes), signed a 9-unit development deal with My Eyelab. PE and asset management firms also signed large deals with Everbowl (20 units) and Coolgreens (50 units). Interestingly, PE and investment firms signed large deals with established brands that were quick to adapt their business model to the changes pushed forth by the pandemic. These include the 49-unit deal signed by Papa John’s with HB Restaurant Group, and the 50-unit development deal signed by Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers with R Solution Holdings.

RANK

COMPANY

UNITS

BRANDS

1

FLYNN RESTAURANT GROUP

1,239

APPLEBEE’S, ARBY’S, PANERA BREAD, TACO BELL

2

CARROLS GROUP

1,085

BURGER KING, POPEYES LOUISIANA KITCHEN

3

SUN HOLDINGS

1,045

BURGER KING, POPEYES LOUISIANA KITCHEN, ARBY’S, GNC, CICIS, GOLDEN CORRAL, KRISPY KREME, T-MOBILE, TACO BUENO, AIRPORT RESTAURANTS, IHOP

4

TARGET

900

PIZZA HUT

5

KBP FOODS

895

KFC, TACO BELL

6

DHANANI GROUP

824

BURGER KING, POPEYES LOUISIANA KITCHEN, LA MADELEINE FRENCH BAKERY & CAFÉ

7

PILOT TRAVEL CENTERS

790

SUBWAY, CINNABON, DUNKIN’, WENDY’S, ARBY’S, TACO BELL, DQ TREAT, PIZZA HUT, MOE’S SOUTHWEST GRILL, KFC, HOT STUFF PIZZA, IHOP, CARVEL, AUNTIE ANNE’S, BURGER KING, DENNY’S, CHESTER’S, MCDONALD’S 

8

MUY BRANDS

768

PIZZA HUT, WENDY’S, TACO BELL

9

ARAMARK

637

CHICK-FIL-A, EINSTEIN BROS. BAGELS, SUBWAY, PANDA EXPRESS, OATH PIZZA, WHICH WICH, PAPA JOHN’S, MOE’S SOUTHWEST GRILL, PIZZA HUT, DUNKIN’, STEAK ’N SHAKE, FRESHII, JAMBA, QDOBA MEXICAN EATS, TACO BELL, RAISING CANE’S, CHILI’S, TIM HORTONS, MOOYAH, QUAKER STEAK & LUBE, ERBERT & GERBERT’S SANDWICH SHOP, QUIZNOS, WENDY’S, MCALISTER’S DELI, PJ’S COFFEE OF NEW ORLEANS, CARIBOU COFFEE, KFC, BURGERFI, COSI, DUNN BROTHERS COFFEE, PANERA BREAD, VILLAGE JUICE CO., BEEF ’O’ BRADY’S, PINKBERRY, WAHOO’S FISH TACO, NATHAN’S FAMOUS, FIREHOUSE SUBS, EXTREME PITA, IHOP, LA MADELEINE FRENCH BAKERY & CAFÉ, DENNY’S

10

LOVE’S TRAVEL STOPS & COUNTRY STORES

534

SUBWAY, GODFATHER’S PIZZA, CHESTER’S, HARDEE’S, TACO JOHN’S, IHOP, DUNKIN’, ARBY’S, DQ TREAT

10

ARMY & AIR FORCE EXCHANGE SERVICES

534

SUBWAY, BURGER KING, CHARLEYS PHILLY STEAKS, POPEYES LOUISIANA KITCHEN, TACO BELL, ARBY’S, EINSTEIN BROS. BAGELS, QDOBA MEXICAN EATS, MANCHU WOK, DUNKIN’, WING ZONE, BASKIN-ROBBINS, BLIMPIE, PIZZA HUT, TACO JOHN’S, SLIM CHICKENS

12

TEAM CAR CARE (HEARTLAND AUTOMOTIVE SERVICE)

517

JIFFY LUBE

13

GPS HOSPITALITY

480

BURGER KING, POPEYES LOUISIANA KITCHEN, PIZZA HUT 

14

SPEEDWAY

477

DUNKIN’, SUBWAY, WENDY’S

15

SUMMIT RESTAURANT GROUP

390

IHOP, APPLEBEE’S

16

AMPEX BRANDS

382

KFC, PIZZA HUT, LONG JOHN SILVER’S, TACO BELL, A&W

17

HARMAN MANAGEMENT

374

KFC, A&W, LONG JOHN SILVER’S

18

SIZZLING PLATTER

368

LITTLE CAESARS, WING STOP, DUNKIN’, SIZZLER, RED ROBIN

18

JIB MANAGEMENT (YADAV ENTERPRISES)

368

JACK IN THE BOX, DENNY’S, TGI FRIDAYS, EL POLLO LOCO, CORNER BAKERY CAFE, SIZZLER

20

ROTTINGHAUS

367

SUBWAY

21

BODDIE-NOELL ENTERPRISES

342

HARDEE’S

22

MERITAGE HOSPITALITY GROUP

340

WENDY’S

22

CHARTER FOODS

340

TACO BELL, LONG JOHN SILVER’S, KFC, A&W, PIZZA HUT

24

COMPASS GROUP USA

323

EINSTEIN BROS. BAGELS, SUBWAY, BLIMPIE, DUNKIN’, PAPA JOHN’S, PANDA EXPRESS, PIZZA HUT, MOE’S SOUTHWEST GRILL, JAMBA, SALSARITA’S FRESH MEXICAN GRILL, STEAK ’N SHAKE, TACO BELL, SMASHBURGER, WENDY’S, PJ’S COFFEE OF NEW ORLEANS, CARIBOU COFFEE, TIM HORTONS, CHILI’S, QUIZNOS, WHICH WICH, FIREHOUSE SUBS, FREDDY’S FROZEN CUSTARD & STEAKBURGERS, MARCO’S PIZZA, SBARRO, FRESHII, ERBERT & GERBERT’S SANDWICH SHOP, BASKIN-ROBBINS, ILLY, JOHNNY ROCKETS, PLANET SMOOTHIE, POPEYES LOUISIANA KITCHEN, BEN & JERRY’S, PITA PIT, QDOBA MEXICAN EATS, BURGER KING, KFC, IHOP, SLIM CHICKENS, JASON’S DELI, NATHAN’S FAMOUS, CALIFORNIA TORTILLA, DENNY’S, BOJANGLES’ 

24

SODEXO

323

CHICK-FIL-A, EINSTEIN BROS. BAGELS, SUBWAY, PIZZA HUT, DUNKIN’, JAMBA, MOE’S SOUTHWEST GRILL, TACO BELL, QDOBA MEXICAN EATS, STEAK ’N SHAKE, PAPA JOHN’S, ERBERT & GERBERT’S SANDWICH SHOP, GARBANZO MEDITERRANEAN FRESH, BAJA FRESH, THE HABIT BURGER GRILL, BURGER KING, HOT STUFF PIZZA, MCALISTER’S DELI, CARIBOU COFFEE, BASKIN-ROBBINS, GODFATHER’S PIZZA, COSÌ, QUIZNOS, SBARRO, PANERA BREAD, BLAZE PIZZA, DQ TREAT, TIM HORTONS, MOOYAH, DENNY’S

26

WKS RESTAURANT GROUP

322

EL POLLO LOCO, WENDY’S, KRISPY KREME, DENNY’S, BLAZE PIZZA

27

TACALA/BOOM FOODS

319

TACO BELL, KFC

28

THE COVELLI FAMILY LIMITED PARTNERSHIP

316

PANERA BREAD, DQ GRILL & CHILL, DQ TREAT, O’CHARLEY’S

29

PACIFIC BELLS

307

TACO BELL, KFC, BUFFALO WILD WINGS

30

K-MAC ENTERPRISES

306

TACO BELL, KFC, GOLDEN CORRAL

31

DESERT DE ORO FOODS

297

TACO BELL, PIZZA HUT

32

G&M OIL CO.

296

CHEVRON, EXTRAMILE, TEXACO

33

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PIZZA

292

PIZZA HUT

33

AMERICAN WEST RESTAURANT GROUP

292

PIZZA HUT

35

MASON-HARRISON-RATLIFF ENTERPRISES

277

SONIC DRIVE-IN

36

HAZA FOODS

276

WENDY’S, TACO BELL

37

MANNA

267

WENDY’S, GOLDEN CORRAL, FAZOLI’S

38

TA OPERATING

265

POPEYES LOUISIANA KITCHEN, TACO BELL, SUBWAY, BURGER KING, PIZZA HUT, DUNKIN’, ARBY’S, FUDDRUCKERS, CHARLEYS PHILLY STEAKS, FAZOLI’S, A&W, WENDY’S, BLACK BEAR DINER, KFC, CARL’S JR., TACOTIME, HOT STUFF PIZZA, IHOP, BASKIN-ROBBINS, SUPER 8 BY WYNDHAM, NOBLE ROMAN’S

39

WENDPARTNERS FRANCHISE GROUP

257

WENDY’S

40

CIRCLE K STORES

253

SUBWAY, BLIMPIE, HOT STUFF PIZZA, CHURCH’S CHICKEN, HARDEE’S, DQ TREAT, DQ GRILL & CHILL, NOBLE ROMAN’S, HUDDLE HOUSE, CHEVRON, TEXACO

41

MITRA QSR

248

KFC, TACO BELL

42

HART RESTAURANT MANAGEMENT

244

WENDY’S

43

FUGATE ENTERPRISES

243

PIZZA HUT, TACO BELL

44

JAE RESTAURANT GROUP

239

WENDY’S

45

HMSHOST

237

BURGER KING, SBARRO, POPEYES LOUISIANA KITCHEN, QUIZNOS, CHILI’S, ROY ROGERS, CHICK-FIL-A, NATHAN’S FAMOUS, SMASHBURGER, GREAT STEAK, PANDA EXPRESS, KFC, MANCHU WOK, FIREHOUSE SUBS, LA MADELEINE FRENCH BAKERY & CAFÉ, JOHNNY ROCKETS, STEAK ’N SHAKE, PINKBERRY, CARL’S JR., BURGERFI, BLAZE PIZZA, BURGER 21, YEUNG’S LOTUS EXPRESS, KELLY’S CAJUN GRILL, BLIMPIE, THE COUNTER, COLD STONE CREAMERY, PACIUGO GELATO & CAFFÉ, UNA MAS MEXICAN GRILL, A&W, BAJA FRESH, COUSINS SUBS, WING STOP

46

APPLE HOSPITALITY REIT

235

HILTON GARDEN INN, COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT, HAMPTON INN BY HILTON, HOMEWOOD SUITES BY HILTON, RESIDENCE INN BY MARRIOTT, SPRINGHILL SUITES BY MARRIOTT, FAIRFIELD BY MARRIOTT, TOWNEPLACE SUITES BY MARRIOTT, HOME2 SUITES BY HILTON, EMBASSY SUITES BY HILTON, MARRIOTT HOTELS

47

ADF COMPANIES

233

PIZZA HUT, PANERA BREAD

48

PALO ALTO/ALVARADO CONCEPTS 

232

TACO BELL, KFC

49

D.L. ROGERS

231

SONIC DRIVE-IN

50

DIVERSIFIED RESTAURANT GROUP

230

TACO BELL, ARBY’S

51

QUALITY DINING

228

BURGER KING, CHILI’S

52

FOURTEEN FOODS

227

DQ GRILL & CHILL, DQ TREAT

53

MARLU INVESTMENT GROUP

224

ARBY’S, LITTLE CAESARS, CHURCH’S CHICKEN, JACK IN THE BOX

54

PREMIER KINGS

220

BURGER KING, POPEYES LOUISIANA KITCHEN

55

QUALITY HUTS MIDWEST

219

PIZZA HUT, ARBY’S

56

TASTY RESTAURANT GROUP (TASTY HUTS)

216

PIZZA HUT, BURGER KING

57

BORDER FOODS

204

TACO BELL, CHURCH’S CHICKEN

57

EYM GROUP

204

PIZZA HUT, BURGER KING

59

HENLEY ENTERPRISES

200

VALVOLINE INSTANT OIL CHANGE

60

COTTI FOODS

196

WENDY’S, TACO BELL, PIEOLOGY PIZZERIA

61

WENDY’S OF COLORADO SPRINGS

189

WENDY’S, GOLDEN CORRAL

62

FEAST ENTERPRISES (DMSD FOODS/BESHAY FOODS)

185

JACK IN THE BOX, DENNY’S, CORNER BAKERY CAFE

63

FRESH ALTERNATIVES

181

SUBWAY

64

RPM PIZZA

176

DOMINO’S PIZZA

65

MARWAHA GROUP

175

SUBWAY

65

TEAM LYDERS (SUNDANCE & OLD WEST PROPERTIES)

175

TACO BELL, KFC, PIZZA HUT, ARBY’S

67

HAMRA ENTERPRISES

170

WENDY’S, PANERA BREAD, NOODLES & COMPANY, HOLIDAY INN

68

CAVE ENTERPRISES OPERATIONS

169

BURGER KING

69

BRIAD RESTAURANT GROUP

168

WENDY’S, TGI FRIDAYS

70

NORTHWEST RESTAURANTS

165

TACO BELL, KFC, A&W, PIZZA HUT

71

PJ UNITED

162

PAPA JOHN’S

72

JRN

160

KFC, PIZZA HUT

73

PACPIZZA

155

PIZZA HUT

74

B & G FOOD ENTERPRISES

154

TACO BELL, KFC

75

BURGERBUSTERS

153

TACO BELL, PIZZA HUT, KFC, LONG JOHN SILVER’S

75

CARLISLE CORP

153

WENDY’S

77

VKC GROUP

150

SUBWAY, GREAT AMERICAN COOKIES, PRETZELMAKER, TCBY, TWISTERS BURGERS & BURRITOS

78

CELEBRATION RESTAURANT GROUP/CFL PIZZA/BRAVO FOODS

149

PIZZA HUT, TACO BELL, KFC

79

GRAND MERE CAPITAL

148

PIZZA HUT

79

GHAI MANAGEMENT SERVICES

148

BURGER KING, TACO BELL

81

METRO FRANCHISING COMMISSARY

145

DUNKIN’, BASKIN-ROBBINS, NATHAN’S FAMOUS

81

STARCORP

145

HARDEE’S, CARL’S JR.

83

CALIFORNIA FOOD MANAGEMENT

142

BURGER KING

83

WING FINANCIAL SERVICES

142

JACKSON HEWITT TAX SERVICE

83

BOBBY MERRITT

142

SONIC DRIVE-IN

83

HALLRICH

142

PIZZA HUT

87

WESTLAKE ACE HARDWARE (JOSEPH JEFFRIES)

140

ACE HARDWARE

88

DOHERTY ENTERPRISES

139

APPLEBEE’S, PANERA BREAD

88

INTERFOODS OF AMERICA (SAILORMEN)

139

POPEYES LOUISIANA KITCHEN, BURGER KING

90

TOMS KING

136

BURGER KING

90

BAJCO

136

PAPA JOHN’S, DAIRY QUEEN

92

SUMMIT RESTAURANT GROUP

135

PIZZA HUT, LONG JOHN SILVER’S

92

RESTAURANT MANAGEMENT CO.

135

PIZZA HUT, KFC

94

MANNA DEVELOPMENT GROUP

134

PANERA BREAD

94

MERIDIAN RESTAURANTS

134

BURGER KING, CHILI’S

96

REDBERRY RESTAURANTS

133

BURGER KING, PIZZA HUT

97

RMH FRANCHISE

132

APPLEBEE’S

98

AMERICAN PIZZA PARTNERS

131

PIZZA HUT

99

A3H FOODS

123

JACK IN THE BOX


Ritwik Donde is a senior research consultant at Frandata, an independent research and advisory company providing insight and analysis for the franchising sector since 1989.

About: The Mega 99 Rankings are a list of the largest franchisees/franchisee organizations in the U.S. based on their collective ownership of franchised businesses. Over the current year, FRANdata has used its institutional knowledge along with information gained directly from franchisees to rank franchisees in terms of the franchised businesses/locations they own.

Methodology: FRANdata has the most comprehensive franchisee database available. FRANdata’s database tracks close to 420,000 franchised business locations in 230 subsectors representing more than 240,000 franchisees. Using this information, complemented by the most extensively verified consumer database in the U.S., FRANdata identifies and consolidates franchisee ownership to formulate the Mega 99 Rankings.

Published: February 15th, 2021

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