Jim Lunceford started Express Oil Change in 1979. He began franchising in 1984 after having seen his first four stores become quite successful providing quick oil changes to customers. Now, there are almost 175 Express Oil Change service centers providing those same speedy oil changes, along with brake, tire, and transmission services.
Start-up Cost: $250K - 400K
In 1974, Sam Ross founded Fantastic Sams to provide quick, affordable haircuts and styling to people on a walk-in basis. Branching out into the franchise market by 1976, the chain has grown exponentially and has become one of the largest salon chains in the United States. There are more than 1,200 Fantastic Sams locations.
Start-up Cost: $115K - 228.6K
Prior to becoming a franchise under current owners Kenneth A. Marks and Marvin Biltis, Fast-Fix was a network comprised of dozens of successful watch and jewelry repair stores. The first location was opened in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1984. Today more than 150 owner operated Fast-Fix franchises are open today in the United States and internationally.
Start-up Cost: $188.75K - 381.75K
Gary Salomon, then a print broker, got the idea to open FastSigns in 1985 when he stopped in to a print shop in Austin, Texas. The shop was utilizing the latest computer technology to produce signs, documents, and other printed items very quickly. Salomon was intrigued and asked the store’s owner to train him - along with business partner Robert Schanbaum - to use the design and printing software. The owner agreed, and Salomon opened his own store in Dallas and began franchising shortly after. FastSigns still provides quick graphics and printing services from out of more than 500 stores.
Start-up Cost: $169.67K - 276.42K
Chris and Robert Sorenson started Firehouse Subs in 1994 after trying their hands at several other ventures. Coming from a long line of both firefighters and entrepreneurs, the two felt that they had finally found the niche they were destined to fill. It seems they were right, and their firehouse-themed sub shops were well received by customers. They began franchising the restaurant in 1995 and have since overseen the opening of more than 500 locations around the United States.
Start-up Cost: $200.3K - 385.68K
First Choice is a subsidiary of the Rgis Group of hair salons. Other salons in the network include Supercuts and CostCutters. The over 400 location franchise was started by A. Bud Cowan in London, Ontario Canada. The First Choice model is one that focuses on quick, no-appointment-necessary hair-cutting and styling for the whole family.
Start-up Cost: $145K - 210.5K
Fleet Feet Sports was founded by Elizabeth Jansen and Sally Edwards in Sacramento, California in 1976. The two led the company to notable success, and franchised the Fleet Feet name in 1980. The company continued to flourish, and in 1993 Fleet Feet was purchased by businessman Tom Raynor. As of now, there are nearly 90 locations throughout the United States.
Start-up Cost: $170K - 317K
Todd Giatrelis opened the first Flip Flop Shops location in Boston in 2004. The concept was borne of an experience during a night out in Las Vegas with a friend and co-worker. The friend had worn uncomfortable shoes and was unable to find a place to buy a pair of flip flops for her aching feet. The Boston location wasn’t a huge success, so Giatrelis opened locations in sunnier climates and the idea began to take off. Three years later, Flip Flop Shops franchises were opening up, and there are now 45 of them in the U.S.
Start-up Cost: $169.3K - 274.5K
Floor Coverings International was founded in 1988 and franchised the following year. The company’s concept is unique in that it delivers the showroom directly to customers. Vans stocked with products come to customers’ homes, providing samples, estimates, and expertise. There are currently more than 100 Floor Coverings International franchises dealing in flooring, rugs, and window coverings in the U.S. and Canada.
Start-up Cost: $133K - 305.5K
Raymond J. Margiano, a doctor of pedorthics, founded Foot Solutions after having successfully created another large foot-care based franchise. Dr. Margiano wanted to provide high quality footwear and accessories, carrying only brands engineered for health and comfort. Customers can undergo a full assessment of their feet at one of 240 worldwide franchise locations, enabling them to find the best possible products for optimal foot health.
Start-up Cost: $197.8K
Jim Fox started Fox’s Pizza Den in 1971 in Pitcairn, Pennsylvania. With minimal supplies, Fox used his experience in the business to build his customer base through repeat business and word-of-mouth advertising. By 1974, he was ready to franchise and since then more than 250 Fox’s Pizza Dens have been opened in the United States.
Start-up Cost: $100.5K - 157.55K
Fuzziwig’s started in 1995, founded by a group of business people who were experienced in the retail candy business. The shops used creative marketing, merchandising, and other tricks of the trade to propel Fuzziwigs into immediate success. Now over 50 Fuzziwig’s locations offer a dazzling array of bulk candy to customers.
Start-up Cost: $179K - 348.35K
Gigi’s was founded in Nashville by Gigi Butler. Butler had been given the idea by her brother who suggested she open a shop selling her cupcakes, which he believed to be better than the ones he waited in long lines to get in New York. She took him seriously, and after some bold risk-taking along with careful planning and hard work, she opened her first Gigi’s Cupcakes. Success happened rather quickly and she formed a franchise model in 2008. Already, there are about 45 Gigi’s locations serving Butler’s own family cupcake recipe.
Start-up Cost: $178K - 268K
Now operating as part of the Dwyer Group, Glass Doctor was first founded in 1962 in Seattle, Washington. The company, which began selling franchises in 1977, has been providing glass repair and replacement for automotive, residential, and commercial customers ever since. With nearly 200 locations and counting, Glass Doctor is a top performer in the franchise world.
Start-up Cost: $114.2K - 295.2K
In 1935, David Shakarian was a Pittsburgh retailer operating a small shop, called Lackzoom, that sold mostly yogurt and a few other health-conscious foods. Shakarian saw a demand for healthy food products as the general public became more concerned with health and longevity. He expanded his initial operation to six area stores, eventually spreading to several states and changing his company’s name to General Nutrition Centers (GNC). The brand’s main focus is now vitamins and supplements. Franchised since 1988, GNC has its own line of products and are a leading name in sports nutrition.
Start-up Cost: $160.15K - 274.35K
Golden Krust was started by Lowell Hawthorne in 1989 in the Bronx, New York. By 1996, Hawthorne was running 10 very successful restaurants serving Caribbean-style cuisine around New York and New Jersey. At that point, he took the Golden Krust name to the next level. A franchise model was crafted and before long, Golden Krust locations were popping up in surrounding areas. Today, the dining chain has grown to include over 114 restaurants.
Start-up Cost: $173.4K - 564K
Mike Clinton and Joe Assell started GolfTEC in 1995. They saw a rise in the number of amateur golfers, and little to no professional training available to them. The two entrepreneurs set out to create an effective, consistent training system to help golfers achieve their highest potential and get maximum enjoyment out of the game. The company started selling franchises in 2003 and now operate out of around 150 stores in the United States, and have begun to expand into markets beyond U.S. borders.
Start-up Cost: $118.18K - 461.83K
Granite Transformations was founded in 1996 in Perth, Australia. The company restores and resurfaces cabinet and countertops, specializing in stone surfaces. Countertops are manufactured at Granite Transformations’ own factory, custom-made to fit customers specifications. Granite Transformations is an international company with 160 locations and continued expansion is in the works.
Start-up Cost: $131.5K - 346K
Grease Monkey franchises provide quick lube service and basic automotive maintenance for their customers. The company also offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to buy a Monkey Shine car wash to be run literally alongside their Grease Monkey shop. The company’s secondary franchise adds convenience for customers, along with additional income potential for franchisees.
Start-up Cost: $193.3K - 347K