Franchising is unlike any other type of investment. It has a strategy all its own, and it can be difficult to know how to proceed. What are the best franchises to own? That all depends on a multitude of factors.

What Factors Determine the Best Franchises to Own?

First, a lot depends on the franchisee. An “affordable franchise” for one potential owner may not be affordable to the next owner. The upfront outlay of expenses for a franchise can determine if it’s one of the best franchises to own. A franchisor should be very forthcoming about what it takes financially to get one of their locations off the ground.

Another factor is income potential. Is it better for a faster ROI or does playing the long game for a much higher ROI invest one of the best franchise opportunities? These are somewhat subjective measures and must be determined by the investor.

It is true that the sooner a franchise can begin bringing in revenue, the better its chances of becoming a prosperous business. As such, a speedier period between signing the franchise agreement and the grand opening is one of the factors that determines the best franchises to own.

Perhaps the most significant determining factor of all for the best franchises to own is what it does to help customers. Restaurants and bar establishments bring guests an opportunity to create memories and help them unwind, which cannot be underestimated. Weight loss and fitness center franchises can show their clients how to transform their lives, which can be pivotal to establishing loyalty. Or maybe it’s about showing customers how to give their furry family members the best life.

Many unique franchise concepts potentially turn it into one of the best franchises to own. That’s the beauty of franchising: for every passion, there’s a franchise that will fit.

The FranchiseWord Top 10 Best Franchises to Own

Just Love Coffee Cafe

A coffee shop ticks all the boxes as one of the best franchises to own, and Just Love Coffee Cafe is one of the best coffee franchises available. It’s got a fast turnaround time to opening day, low upfront financial requirements, and a proven business model. The waffle iron-inspired menu requires a small kitchen build-out while still providing a versatile revenue stream that keeps customers happy and returning.

  • Franchise Fee: $39,000
  • Initial Investment Estimate: $333,500 to $563,000
  • Liquidity Requirement: $135,000
  • Royalty Fee: 6%

Realty ONE Group

This dynamic reality franchise is close to becoming a lifestyle brand and has experienced rapid growth due to its inspiring culture of unparalleled support and winning. Entrepreneur Magazine ranked Realty ONE Group #4 on their list of Top Real Estate Franchises under $50,000. Why? Because Realty ONE Group doesn’t do things in real estate the same way they’ve always been done. They’re innovators, and people are taking notice.

  • Franchise Fee: Between $15,000 and $22,000
  • Initial Investment Estimate: Between $44,250 and $224,500
  • Royalty Fee: 2%

Freeway Franchise

Everyone needs insurance; more than ever, people want to trust their insurance company. Freeway Insurance is one of the largest privately hosted insurance distributors in the multi-billion-dollar insurance market in the United States. Backed by the largest privately held insurance distributor in the US, Confie, Freeway Insurance has the flexibility to offer customers a range of insurance products from straightforward to premium coverage. This robust business model also gives them the backing to give franchise owners all the support necessary in more than 500 locations nationwide—and counting.

  • Franchise Fee: $15,000
  • Initial Investment Estimate: $61,000 to $113,060
  • Liquidity Requirement: $50,000
  • Royalty Fee: 15%

Pet Evolution

You don’t have to be a veterinarian to work with animals every day. For many investors, one of the best franchises to own is a pet store, particularly one like Pet Evolution. The Pet Evolution mission is to help pet owners give their four-legged family members the best lives possible through top-notch nutrition, world-class grooming services, and enriching toys. They also offer self-service dog washing stations and a mobile nail trimming service. Pet Evolution customers are incredibly loyal to this new breed of pet store.

  • Franchise Fee: $49,000
  • Initial Investment Estimate: $424,500 to $598,550
  • Liquidity Requirement: $150,000
  • Royalty Fee: 7%

The Buffalo Spot Franchise

Franchisees cannot go wrong with opening a franchise like The Buffalo Spot, the originator of Buffalo Fries. In 2013, The Buffalo Spot opened in Long Beach, California with a simple concept: serve the best comfort foods—buffalo wings and buffalo fries—with energy, emotion, excitement, and enthusiasm. The Buffalo Fries took on a life of their own, and the restaurant’s commitment to keeping the same top quality for the rest of its menu has carried them along as one of the best franchises to own for the last decade.

  • Franchise Fee: $45,000
  • Initial Investment Estimate: $240,000 to $525,000
  • Liquidity Requirement: $500,000
  • Royalty Fee: 5%

HotShots Bar & Grill Franchise

For investors looking for longevity in a franchise, look no further than HotShots Bar & Grill. HotShots began in 1990 to fill a gap in the St. Louis sports bar and pub market and they’ve been going strong for more than 30 years. Sports fans have gravitated to HotShots for big games, the festive atmosphere, to unwind after work, and to create lasting memories. HotShots is expected to continue bringing that legacy across the Midwest and beyond for years to come.

  • Franchise Fee: $45,000
  • Initial Investment Estimate: $377,750 to $755,000
  • Liquidity Requirement: $150,000
  • Royalty Fee: 5%


Losing weight is considered one of the most difficult journeys a person can undertake. Medi-Weightloss has revolutionized this process for thousands of patients across the US with scientifically backed and clinically proven research that works. The Medi-Weightloss program is one of the most robust, well-rounded programs available in the weight loss market. It assists patients with nutrition, exercise, supplementation, medication, and behavior modification to reform habits. So many patients report successful weight loss, and they become advocates for the Medi-Weightloss brand, spreading the word and helping grow the brand. This loyalty makes them one of the best franchises to own.

  • Franchise Fee: $75,000
  • Initial Investment Estimate: $215,252 to $417,752
  • Liquidity Requirement: $150,000
  • Royalty Fee: $3.8K-$12.2K/mo

Yampa Sandwich Company

Yampa Sandwich Company was started more than 20 years ago in Steamboat Springs, Colorado when two friends who were big outdoor adventurers found the local restaurant fare lacking. They wanted healthy, delicious, portable food that wouldn’t cost them too much and could be filling enough to fuel their body and spirits for a full day hiking, skiing, or living life to its fullest. They’ve kept that philosophy throughout the years, providing harm-free whole foods to customers who crave good, wholesome foods that will fuel their minds, bodies, and souls through their day-to-day adventures, be they in a conference room, classroom, or in the great outdoors. Adventurous entrepreneurs can embrace this same spirit by investing in one of the best franchises to open: a Yampa Sandwich Company.

  • Franchise Fee: $25,000
  • Initial Investment Estimate: $295,750 to $527,900
  • Royalty Fee: 5%

Kumon Math and Reading Centers

Education franchises are on the rise, and improving math and reading comprehension is a big priority among them. The Kumon Method was developed in 1958 in Osaka, Japan to help students learn crucial math and reading comprehension skills that build a foundation for understanding complex concepts in students’ future education. Low-cost entry and high demand makes Kumon Math and Reading Centers a fantastic franchising opportunity.

  • Franchise Fee: $1,000
  • Initial Investment Estimate: $73,373 to $154,825
  • Liquidity Requirement: $70,000
  • Royalty Fee: $34 to $38 per student per month

Anytime Fitness

One of the biggest draws of Anytime Fitness as one of the best franchises to own is clear from the name: members can access the facility at any time thanks to membership providing them with a keycard to the building. Anytime Fitness is so well-known, there are over 4,000 locations worldwide, now. They offer group as well as solo workout sessions. Investors are seeing record numbers of people returning to gyms following years of social distancing and lockdowns.

  • Franchise Fee: $35,000
  • Initial Investment Estimate: $107,500 to $722,800
  • Liquidity Requirement: $100,000
  • Royalty Fee: $549/month

Franchise owners often consider the best franchises to own those that provide them with the support they need to run smooth daily operations and allow them to participate in a unique market segment that’s fulfilling and helpful to customers. Which franchises do you think are the best to own?