Fastest Growing Franchises: Why These Foodservice Categories Are Excelling

Some markets are performing better than others, especially since the pandemic. Learn about the fastest growing franchises and why these markets are doing so well.

The pandemic has taken its toll on the foodservice industry, but independent restaurants undoubtedly took the bigger hit. Franchise restaurants can exemplify the adage that there’s safety in numbers. The fastest-growing franchises were able to keep going not only because of deeper pockets but also because everyone worked together as a team to come up with solutions.

In foodservice, franchises that have not only survived but thrived have been able to take advantage of:

  • Economies of scale
  • Improving the speed of service for customers who want to get in and out quickly
  • Adopting third-party delivery to make it as easy as possible for people to dine with them

Here are some reasons why some franchise markets are continuing to experience rapid growth:

Blue-Ocean Territory

The biggest franchises are, ironically, no longer the fastest-growing franchises. That’s because they’ve already surpassed their rapid growth phase and now have limited territory, if not waitlists, when new franchisees want to buy into the system. The big boys, like Pizza Hut and McDonald’s, have built such large enterprises, with multiple franchisees who own hundreds of units, that it’s hard for new franchisees to break in.

Smaller foodservice brands and those that are still emerging have a better shot at becoming the fastest-growing franchises. It’s true that the fastest-growing franchises in foodservice are dominated by big chains — just not the biggest.

“It was easier to be bigger last year because such chains had strong delivery, drive-thru, and takeout strategies, well-known brand names, and strong marketing budgets,” Restaurant Business writes. “And with growth rates down for the industry overall, bigger chains stood out even more.”

Wayback Burgers, for instance, has been franchising for 13 years and has over 155 restaurants in the United States and internationally. Compare that to McDonald’s, which has almost 14,000 locations in the U.S., or Burger King, with over 7,000. Wayback, by far, has the most territory availability.

Scalability Can Mean Faster Growth

Owning a foodservice franchise often means you’ll have opportunities to scale much more quickly than if you were trying to grow an independent restaurant chain. Who wants to open a coffee shop or sandwich joint that is already part of the landscape, sometimes within a few blocks of one another?

That kind of market over-saturation can make it difficult to scale. Entrepreneurs seeking growth potential in their next franchise investment would do well to find a franchise that is at the beginning of its growth curve rather than at the peak or decline. The initial investment will be lower, and the discounts typically offered for subsequent units can make the scalability much more accessible.

Fastest-Growing Franchise Markets

When it comes to foodservice, certain categories are really big right now: chicken, pizza, and breakfast, specifically. Those market segments have dominated the rankings of fastest-growing franchises for a few years now. The chicken sandwich wars continue to rage on, and pizza is a perennial favorite. More and more breakfast eateries are opening because the morning daypart is much less expensive to operate.

It’s worth noting, however, that our segment — burgers — is also a perennial favorite. Burger franchises are almost always included in these rankings as well, and America’s love for the burger will seemingly never die: We eat 2.4 burgers per day per person, or 50 billion a year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Consider the Wayback Burgers Franchise Opportunity

Wayback Burgers has opportunities for growth and prime territory availability, and we offer comprehensive training and ongoing support throughout the life of your franchise agreement. Qualified candidates need a minimum net worth of $300,000, a minimum liquidity of $125,000, and a credit score of at least 680. To learn more about franchise restaurant costs and owning a Wayback Burgers location, get started here.