Look Who's Topping the Franchise 500 Chart this Year

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Every year we check out Entrepreneur Magazine’s “Franchise 500” list to see which members of the oil and lube industry top the chart. The process for defining the 37th annual list of the top 500 franchise companies in the U.S. began in July of 2015, when Entrepreneur asked franchisors to participate in the survey. Each submission was vetted before being entered for data analysis; 951 companies made the first cut (24 more than last year). Of those, the top 500 made up the Franchise 500 ranking based on financial and statistical data from July 2013 through July 2015.

Only franchise companies that supplied a full Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) and whose information was verified by Entrepreneur received a listing. To be eligible, a franchisor must have a minimum of 10 units, with at least one franchise located in the U.S. The company must also be seeking new franchisees in the U.S.

All companies, regardless of size, are judged by the same objective and quantifiable measures of a franchise operation. The most important factors include financial strength and stability and growth rate and size of the system. Entrepreneur considers the number of years a company has been in business, the length of time it's been a franchise, startup costs, litigation, percentage of terminations and whether the company provides financing.

How many of these top 10 franchises do you have within 10 miles of your shop?

1.     Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches

2.     Hampton by Hilton

3.     Supercuts

4.     Servpro

5.     Subway

6.     McDonald’s

7.     7-Eleven

8.     Dunkin’ Donuts

9.     Denny’s

10.  Anytime Fitness

Automotive franchises compete against industries such as food and lodging for the top spots on the Franchise 500 list. Quite a few made the list and represented the industry well in the competitive waters.

Jiffy Lube led the quick lube industry despite a loss in overall units. Ranked at No. 23, Jiffy Lube jumped four spots from No. 27 last year. The Houston, Texas-based quick lube reported 1,929 locations in the U.S. and 156 outside of the states.

Meineke Car Care came in at No. 50, up three places from No. 53 in 2015. They are just shy of 1,000 total stores but have grown tremendously since Sam Meineke began with a single store in Houston, Texas, in 1972. Meineke’s initial vision of providing exhaust service expanded to include complete brake service, oil and lube service, front-end alignment, shock and strut service and catalytic converters.

Just behind Meineke is the Midas franchise. Midas represents the oil change-plus category of the quick lube industry and came in at No. 53. Nate Sherman opened up the first Midas store as a muffler repair shop. Since then, the company has expanded its services to range from brakes, batteries and radiators to oil changes. That muffler repair shop has grown by a whopping 1,206 stores in the U.S. and 1,026 stores outside of the U.S.

Valvoline Instant Oil Change (VIOC) remains a stiff competitor at No. 60. With a growth of 24 units up from last year, VIOC is fairly new to the Franchise 500 list. VIOC was listed for the first time three years ago.

Other industry related franchises that made their way onto the Franchise 500 list include:

·       AAMCO Transmissions and Total Car Care, which fell from No. 124 to No. 143.

·       Express Oil Change made an appearance at No. 240 and doubled their stores from last year.

·       Christian Brothers Automotive Corp. fell from No. 249 to No. 266.

·       Precision Tune Auto Care fell from No. 283 to No. 316.

·       Honest-1 Auto Care fell from No. 328 to No. 359.

·       Tuffy Associates Corp./Car-X fell from No. 248 to No. 468.


Who was the last franchise to make the list? An ATM franchise business, called ACFN.

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