Headquartered in Pasadena, California, Wetzel’s Pretzel stands sell freshly baked soft pretzels and other specialty foods from nearly 300 locations. The company was started by Bill Phelps and Rick Wetzel, both former marketing executives. The two used their business know-how to grow Wetzel’s Pretzels into the well-known chain it is today.
Start-up Cost: $156.3K - 369.95K
Jeff Sinelli started Which Wich in 2003 after having owned and operated another successful restaurant. Sinelli’s concept includes made-to-order sandwiches, and a unique atmosphere with non-traditional order-taking techniques (customers use markers to customize their sandwich order on paper bags printed with menus) Which Wich franchised in 2005 and now the number of locations has reached nearly 150.
Start-up Cost: $195K - 488.75K
Indianapolis was home to the very first Wild Birds Unlimited, started by Jim Carpenter in 1981. The franchise, now including some 300 locations in North America, caters to bird enthusiasts, selling mostly bird feeding products. The company works in partnership with organizations like The Audobon Society and The National Wildlife Federation in an effort to create and conserve bird friendly habitats.
Start-up Cost: $99.83K - 157.34K
WIN Home Inspection was founded in Seattle, Washington in 1993. WIN soon had offices throughout the Northwest United States, providing home inspection services. WIN locations continued to multiply, and have reached over 180 locations in 30 states. WIN performs standard home inspections, as well as radon testing, mold remediation, and other environmental services.
Start-up Cost: $42.5K - 66.55K
Window Gang evolved from the 1986 summer job of founder Tim McCullen. He turned his part-time venture in to a full scale business, providing services like window washing, vent and gutter cleaning, blind replacement, and more. In 1996, McCullen took his business to the next level and began selling franchises. There are now almost 200 Window Gang locations all along the east coast.
Start-up Cost: $34.35K - 81.1K
Window Genie is a residential service company offering professional high-pressure washing for windows, decks, concrete, siding, and more. The company was started by Richard Nonelle, who opened the first location in 1994 in Cincinnati, Ohio - where it is still headquartered. There are now 156 U.S. Window Genie franchises in operation.
Start-up Cost: $60.7K - 128.6K
This hotel chain started as Wingate Inn in 1996. In 2007, it became a part of the Wyndham family of hotels, alongside names like Ramada Worldwide, Microtel, and Knights Inn. Wingate specializes in accommodating leisure and business travelers alike, providing complimentary breakfast buffets at every location, available conference rooms, internet service, and more to each guest. The number of Wingate franchises is now at more than 150 locations and counting.
Start-up Cost: $5.84M - 7.67M
In 1994, inspired by the growing popularity of buffalo wing restaurants, Antonio Swad established the original Wingstop restaurant in Garland, Texas. Four years later, he was ready to start selling franchises and soon this made-to-order chicken was a favorite of customers all over the United States and elsewhere. More than 600 Wingstops are now in existence.
Start-up Cost: $263.55K - 616.95K
Founded in 1988 and franchised in 1989, Wireless Zone was opened by Russ Weldon. A visionary of sorts, Weldon saw great potential in the fledgling mobile phone industry. Initially called “The Car Phone Store,” the first incarnation of what would one day be Wireless Zone was located in Wethersfield, Connecticut. Franchising started the next year. After over a decade of success, The Car Phone Store became Wireless Zone.
Start-up Cost: $80.25K - 268.5K
Worldwide Express works with small and medium-sized businesses, providing them with air and ground shipping solutions. The Worldwide Express model holds that smaller companies should be able to enjoy the attention and service that had once been reserved for big corporations. The Dallas, Texas based company works through 150 individual franchises operating around the United States.
Start-up Cost: $46K - 364.85K
Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada WSI Internet is an internet service provider operating in almost 90 different countries from nearly 1200 offices. Founded in 1995, when the internet service industry was still a fairly new concept in the business world, WSI provides internet service and solutions to fit residential and commercial clients’ needs.
Start-up Cost: $54.7K - 84.7K
Trammell Crow founded Wyndham Hotel Corporation in 1981 in Dallas, Texas. Since then, the company has acquired several hotel chains and rebranded them under the Wyndham name. Wyndham Hotels and Resorts now operate under the Wyndham Group (formerly Cendant) which includes many major hotel franchise brands including Travelodge, Super 8, and Ramada.
Start-up Cost: $602.5K - 58.78M
Yogen Fruz was started in 1986 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Brothers and founders Aaron and Michael Serruya founded the company, and began selling franchises under its name in 1987. Yogen Fruz has since acquired other ice cream and frozen yogurt franchises and continued to open its own new locations. Today there are over 950 locations around the world.
Start-up Cost: $135.68K - 472.18K
After immigrating from Korea to the United States, Philip Chang founded Yogurtland. Chang’s model is one of using real, fresh ingredients in all of his products. Part of the Yogurtland concept includes keeping the menu full of unique flavors, like Blue Lychee Bliss, Birthday Cupcake Batter, and Madagascar Vanilla Bean.
Start-up Cost: $329.8K - 615.6K
Young Rembrandts offers art classes and camps for kids. Founder Bette Fetter started the company in 1988 after seeing the need for art programs geared toward young children. Fetter developed a model for her program and began selling franchises in 1997. More than 80 Young Rembrandts franchises are open today.
Start-up Cost: $40.25K - 48.6K
German mechanic Kurt Ziebart opened the original Ziebart’s store in Detroit in 1954 after creating a method to prevent automobile body rust. In 1963, Ziebart began franchising and by 1989 had acquired a company called Tidy Car, adding its locations to his growing network. Today more than 250 Ziebart auto body shops serve customers around the world.
Start-up Cost: $167K - 326K
Zips is a franchised group of dry cleaning stores in the United States. The company got its start in 1996 as a collection of small dry cleaning businesses in the Baltimore-Washington area. The idea was to provide quick dry cleaning while keeping prices low. Since then, Zips has grown into 30 locations operating on the same principles as the early cooperative.
Start-up Cost: $616.15K - 778.5K
In 1997, Zoup’s founders opened what would eventually become the popular lunch restaurant chain. They sold soup and spice products on the wholesale market, eventually joining forces with a chef friend who helped them to devise the homestyle recipes for which Zoup! is known. The company opened up to franchising in 2003 and there are currently over 40 locations in the United States.
Start-up Cost: $327.5K - 563K