Irv Robbins started Baskin-Robbins with his brother-in-law, Burt Baskin in 1945. Robbins had been the manager at an ice cream shop years earlier, and had since wanted to open his own. Eager to break out of the typical ice cream parlor flavor rut of chocolate and vanilla, Robbins created exciting new flavors to the delight of his customers. This evolved into the company’s signature “31 flavor” philosophy. Now, there are around 7,000 Baskin-Robbins ice cream parlors worldwide.
Start-up Cost: $45K - 377.6K
Batteries Plus originated in Green Bay, Wisconsin where the first of these specialized battery sales and service stores was opened in 1988. The company sells batteries for all manner of electronics and equipment to individual and commercial clients. With nearly 500 locations in the United States, Batteries Plus has made a distinctive name for itself in the franchise world.
Start-up Cost: $175.6K - 350.2K
Baymont Inns & Suites have been around since 1974, when the first one was opened by entrepreneur Steven Marcus in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. He called it Budgetel. Later changed to Baymont, the name still represents value in lodging and is part of the Wyndham Worldwide group of hotels, which also includes Days Inn, Microtel, and Ramada.
Start-up Cost: $195.87K - 5.49M
Already the owner of an area Italian restaurant, Jim Mellody purchased a small sandwich shop in Brandon, Florida in 1985. He based his menu on customer input, creating homemade sandwiches and using his own recipe for Buffalo wings. Mellody developed his concept, adding a sports theme and dubbing the establishment Beef ‘O’ Brady’s. He decided to take the idea to the franchising market and things really took off for the company, which now encompasses more than 200 franchised locations throughout the U.S.
Start-up Cost: $206.5K - 826.5K
Ben & Jerry’s first Scoop Shop opened in 1978 in Burlington, Vermont. Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield founded the company, and their names have since become synonymous with premium specialty ice cream. There are nearly 800 Ben & Jerry’s franchises open today, selling their company’s signature flavors like “Chubby Hubby” and “Cherry Garcia.”
Start-up Cost: $161.75K - 469.75K
Better Homes and Gardens is a collection of franchised real estate brokerages employing highly qualified agents to assist customers in commercial and residential real estate sales. Franchisees enjoy operating under a long-standing and familiar brand name, and the company offers marketing support and other services to its owners.
Start-up Cost: $190.97K - 511.55K
Bevintel provides inventory control services for bars, helping them to reduce losses. It was founded in 1987 and began franchising three years later. By using specialized software and auditing techniques, Bevintel helps proprietors of liquor, beer, and wine to more closely monitor their stock and prevent profit loss. There are almost 300 Bevintel franchises.
Start-up Cost: $36.9K - 50.6K
Paul Stolzer opened the first Big Apple Bagels in 1993. He created a franchise model and began to sell the idea to entrepreneurs almost immediately. The bakery/cafes serve their signature bagels along with coffee, muffins, smoothies, and sandwiches. The company carries its own trademarked line of coffee, bagels, and muffins.
Start-up Cost: $248.8K - 358.63K
Arnold Peterson and Bob Wian started the very first Big Boy Restaurant in 1936 in Glendale, California. The popular family diner has seen a number of buyouts and subsequent ownership changes through the years, and has remained a well-known name in the restaurant franchise industry. Currently, the chain operates under the name Big Boy International and is comprised of some 130 U.S. locations.
Start-up Cost: $1.15M - 3.1M
Bob Fish and Mary Roszel founded Biggby Coffee in 1995, opening their first shop in East Lansing, Michigan. The store, then called Beaner’s, was popular with students at nearby Michigan State University. Word spread quickly, and by 1999 Bob and Mary were ready to franchise their business. Over twelve years and one name change later, Biggby Coffee now has 132 U.S. locations.
Start-up Cost: $181.85K - 358.1K
Billboard Connection serves a specific niche in the marketing sector: outdoor media, like signage. Founded in 1997, the company helps create eye-catching ad campaigns tailored to fit each client’s objectives and target demographic. More than 100 of these franchised agencies are open today.
Start-up Cost: $42.73K - 66.23K
Entrepreneur Anthony Conze founded Blimpie restaurants, opening the first one in 1964 in Hoboken, New Jersey. Kahala brands now owns the Blimpie Subs & Salads name (along with others such as Cold Stone Creamery, Surf City Squeeze, and Taco Time) and there are over 700 Blimpie franchise locations in the United States.
Start-up Cost: $145.9K - 397.8K
The first Boardwalk Fresh Burgers & Fries was opened in White Marsh, Maryland in 1981 by brothers Fran and Dave DiFerdinando. The two wanted to emulate the fresh-cut fries they enjoyed on the Maryland boardwalk, and to bring that distinctive flavor to inland customers. The brothers served fresh burgers and those signature fries, and today franchised locations across the U.S. are cooking them up as well.
Start-up Cost: $152K - 594.5K
Since 1977 Bojangles has been serving up Southern style fare including chicken, buttermilk biscuits, dirty rice and other regional specialties. Started in Greenville, South Carolina by Richard Thomas and Jack Faulk, Bojangles’ restaurants have multiplied and now total over 500.
Start-up Cost: $357K - 553.75K
Bookkeeping Express (BKE) was founded in 1984 in California. The company offered virtual bookkeeping and payroll services to area businesses. The company’s success was almost immediate and it has grown exponentially over the years. In 2007, BKE was purchased by a group of entrepreneurs who brought the company into the franchising market.
Start-up Cost: $39.5K - 47.5K
Dan Sterling founded Breadsmith in 1993. A Harvard Business School graduate, Sterling knew he possessed the entrepreneurial know-how to launch a viable business. He decided to base his model on something he loved: fresh-baked bread. He had participated in a study-abroad program as a student, and had developed a fondness for the freshly made bread he found in Europe. After doing some accounting work for a bakery after graduation, Sterling was ready to launch his venture. It has been a success and Breadsmith now has 36 U.S. locations.
Start-up Cost: $238.5K - 317K
BrightStar Care started as a family business after after experiencing the frustrations that can arise when caring for a family member. Husband and wife founders J.D. and Shelly Sun used the insights they gained during this personal situation, combining them with their business know-how (the two already owned two hotel franchises) to build BrightStar into the successful company it is today. The BrightStar name developed into a franchise network of over 250 staffing centers.
Start-up Cost: $96K - 168.1K
Bruce Reed founded Bruster’s Real Ice Cream, opening the first shop in Bridgewater, Pennsylvania in 1989. Using his own recipe and making ice cream right in the store, Reed built a strong customer following. Within a few years, he was ready to start selling franchises and has since seen the Bruster’s name continue to rise in the franchise ranks. More than 230 of these homemade ice cream shops are open and operational in the United States.
Start-up Cost: $175K - 1.26M
Budget Blinds was started in 1992 by David Lewis, Brent Hallock, Chad Hallock, Tony Forbes and Todd Jackson. The five had all worked together at a window covering company prior to venturing out on their own to create Budget Blinds. They used their industry knowledge and experience to create a unique approach to retail window covering sales. Their technicians essentially bring the showroom to the customer by providing in-home consultations, sales, and installations. Budget Blinds now operates throughout the U.S. and Canada, with nearly 800 locations in all.
Start-up Cost: $89.24K - 174.07K
The idea behind this popular sports bar chain was first hatched in 1981 when co-founders and friends Scott Lowery and James Disbrow were looking for a place to eat in Kent, Ohio. Disbrow, who was from Buffalo, New York sought the Buffalo-style chicken wings he loved to eat back home. Finding none, he and Lowery decided to start their own wing restaurant. The first location was opened in Columbus the next year. The concept took off, and Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants began cropping up throughout the U.S. The company franchised in 1991, and Buffalo Wild Wings locations now total over 800.
Start-up Cost: $1.39M - 3.15M