The 8 Franchise 500 Companies With More Than 10 Million Facebook Likes

One of the best aspects of investing in a franchise is the ability to tap into an established brand that people already know and trust. While this holds true across every industry, it’s perhaps more pronounced with restaurants and fast-food chains than any other type of business. Take a look at the eight companies from the Entrepreneur Franchise 500 with more than 10 million Facebook likes, and you’ll notice two things: All of the businesses have been around for decades, and they’re all within the food industry. (The top franchise on Facebook outside of the food industry is Planet Fitness, with 4.2 million likes.)

8. Taco Bell — 10.3 million

Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list rank: 2

Started franchising: 1964

Total units: 7,136

Initial franchise fee: $525,500 to $2.96 million

While Taco Bell only just made its way onto this list, it’s near the top of our Franchise 500, coming in second this year. Part of the company’s current branding efforts revolve around its cantinas and new POS system, which is integrated into the Grubhub app.

Related: 24 Top-Ranked, Affordable Franchises You Can Buy for $25,000 or Less

7. Dairy Queen — 11.7 million

Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list rank: 16

Started franchising: 1940

Total units: 7,037

Initial franchise fee: $1.1 million to $1.8 million

Dairy Queen has been ol’ reliable for the past 80 years and has earned a place on our Franchise 500 list in almost every year since 1979. But who says an old dog can’t learn new tricks? Dairy Queen continues to stay relevant by innovating with its pivot to the Grill and Chill and debut of Blizzard Treats.

Related: The Top 5 New Franchises to Keep Your Eye On

6. Buffalo Wild Wings — 12.3 million

Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list rank: 159

Started franchising: 1991

Total units: 1,274

Initial franchise fee: $1,91,200 to $3,750,700

Buffalo Wild Wings is the youngest entry on this list, but it’s already become a household name thanks to its role the best spot for watching big games on TV while eating chicken wings and signature sauces. 

5. Dunkin’ — 15.7 million

Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list rank: 1

Started franchising: 1955

Total units: 12,957

Initial franchise fee: $395,500 to $1.6 million

Want proof of Dunkin’s innovation? Well, consider the fact that the company was willing to change its name after 65 years of franchising — a move that forecast the company’s pivot toward a focus on beverages and that helped Dunkin’ top our Franchise 500 list in 2020. 

4. Subway — 24.3 million

Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list rank: 107

Started franchising: 1974

Total units: 41,600

Initial franchise fee: $140,050 to $342,400

Although Subway has fallen over the past decade on our franchise rankings, dropping from No. 1 in 2010 to No. 107 in 2020, the company’s brand presence is still undeniable. Think about this: Subway has more restaurants around the world (41,600) than most businesses have in Facebook likes.

3. Pizza Hut — 32 million

Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list rank: 10

Started franchising: 1959

Total units: 17,176

Initial franchise fee: $357,000 to $2.2 million

Pizza Hut, like Buffalo Wild Wings, has made an appeal for modernity by playing into professional sports and current events, partnering with the NFL and EA Sports (the makers of the Madden NFL franchise).

Related: 100 Franchises You Can Start For Less Than $50,000

2. KFC — 55.3 million

Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list rank: 24

Started franchising: 1952

Total units: 23,103

Initial franchise fee: $1,442,550 to $2,771,550

Though Harland Sanders first opened Sanders Court & Cafe in 1930, KFC has found a way to stay relevant. Just last week, CNN reported recently that KFC is testing a new chicken sandwich in a foray into the growing battle among brands like Popeyes and Chick-fil-A. 

1. McDonald’s — 80.5 million

Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list rank: 3

Started franchising: 1955

Total units: 38,108

Initial franchise fee: $1.3 million to $2.2 million

Be honest: Were you expecting anyone else at the top spot? You can’t exactly serve over 99 billion hamburgers, as the company’s signs often boast, and remain in obscurity.