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The best restaurant franchises of 2024

August 31st, 2023 By Emily Norwood

For a variety of reasons, restaurant franchises are among the most recognizable and desirable of all franchise opportunities. In choosing the right restaurant franchise brand, investors take advantage of the brand’s strength, turnkey systems, and exemplary customer experience a franchise partner has to offer. 

How do you choose the right restaurant franchise, and what are the top franchise brands in the restaurant space? In this article, we’ll tackle:

  • Why restaurants make a great franchise opportunity
  • What to look for in a restaurant franchise
  • The best restaurant franchises of 2024 

Read on to learn more about restaurant franchises and see which ones we choose for the top picks of the year. 

Why restaurants make a great franchise opportunity

The restaurant industry is notoriously tough. Independent restaurant owners report long hours, staffing troubles, and slim margins as a reward for their hard work. So naturally you might wonder, “Why in the world would I open a restaurant?” 

The struggles many stand-alone restaurants face are directly related to economic factors: commodities prices, difficulties with staffing, and economies of scale. The great news is that the turnkey nature of a restaurant franchise makes them far more successful – and often more profitable – than launching an independent restaurant business. 

The truth is, Americans love to dine out – and carry out. In the wake of pandemic restrictions, more people are returning to their favorite spots, while the demand for takeout remains strong. And many diners frequent the same places weekly for a guaranteed easy and enjoyable meal. Franchise locations that offer streamlined systems and high levels of quality control offer a sure bet for diners who want fast service and guaranteed experience. That’s great news for entrepreneurs looking to open a restaurant business. 

The key to a successful restaurant franchise is choosing the best franchise brand. You just have to know the components of a successful business.

What to look for in a restaurant franchise

Franchises solve many problems that keep independent restaurants from getting off the ground. To invest in the right franchise opportunities, look for franchisors that offer a mix of expertise, healthy revenue, and room to grow: 

Mature, turnkey systems: When you launch an independent restaurant location, you’ll spend much of the first few years figuring out the logistics: vendor relationships, POS and back-end systems, and employee management, to name a few. With a franchise, these systems are already well-established and tested through the franchise partner’s proof of concept and existing stores. Look for a franchise with streamlined systems, supply relationships, and onboarding for new franchisors. These features reduce the time to profitability and eliminate the frustrations associated with establishing a new business.

Strong financials: All the information you’ll need to make decisions about your franchise business can be found in the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). This document outlines every aspect of the franchise, including the financial position of its locations. Look for a franchise partner with strong store revenues and profitability, low franchisee turnover, and healthy time to profitability. 

Room to expand: While some owner-operators enjoy running one or two stores well, many expand their holding into large networks within a territory. Some franchisors are specifically interested in partnering with owners who will take over larger networks or possibly sub-franchise. Look for a franchise partner with room for expansion within territories and low saturation. This ensures your business is ready to grow when you are. 

Best restaurant franchises of 2024

There are many great restaurant franchises, and here we present our top five for investors in 2024. Each of these offers a unique opportunity with a delicious and desirable product model, healthy returns, and plenty of room for growth in their market territories. 


The popularity of food trucks has exploded in the United States, with these mobile businesses offering everything from international fare to well-crafted favorites and comfort foods. DonutNV – formerly known as Cinnamini Donuts – embraces the food truck concept with a fast-growing, scalable approach to a favorite snack. DonutNV mobile food trucks offer hot mini donuts, fresh lemonade, bagels, and other special treats in a fast-service, accessible format. The company features low startup costs, training, in-house food truck manufacturing, and flexibility, which makes it an attractive option for part-time and full-time franchisees.

Fast facts

  • Locations: 17
  • Founded: 2014
  • Franchised: 2018
  • Initial investment: $185K–254K
  • Franchise fee: $60,000
  • Net worth required: $250,000

Sweet Paris Creperie

The philosophy behind Sweet Paris is to “revive the art of eating crepes.” To that end, the Texas-bred franchise developed a product and service model that delivers a high-end Parisienne experience to every visitor. The franchise offers a range of carefully crafted, internationally themed crepes, waffles, panini, coffee, and alcoholic beverages. The brand focuses on excellent customer service, quality, and “Insta-worthy” presentation in building its brand voice and marketing. Franchisees enjoy well-structured sales systems, build-out design help, and wide territory availability in a relatively young network. Sweet Paris made Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 list for up-and-coming franchise brands.

Fast facts

  • Locations: 11
  • Founded: 2012
  • Franchised: 2017
  • Initial investment: $820K–$1.2M
  • Franchise fee: $45,000
  • Net worth required: $600,000

Clean Eatz

Capitalizing on the rising interest in healthy and intentional eating, Clean Eatz pairs a love for health-conscious, delicious food options with a quick-service business model. The cafe menu offers healthy versions of burgers, sandwich wraps, flatbreads, kids’ options, high-protein selections, and sides. Franchisees benefit from several positive features of the network model, such as a small physical footprint, streamlined menu, lower initial costs, and room to grow within the network.

Fast facts

  • Locations: 87
  • Founded: 2012
  • Franchised: 2015
  • Initial investment: $358K–$762K
  • Franchise fee: $50,000
  • Net worth required: $500,000


Interest in specialty and niche foods has taken off. One such niche food, gourmet toast, has gained a cult following in large cities like New York and San Francisco. As the desire for this trend rises, Toastique delivers the “toast” experience with a simple philosophy of fresh, seasonal, high-quality ingredients for health-conscious guests. Franchisees like the network for its lower entry point to restaurant franchising, simple product model, high potential profit margins, and on-trend marketing and appeal.

Fast facts

  • Locations: 13
  • Founded: 2012
  • Franchised: 2015
  • Initial investment: $368K–$695K
  • Franchise fee: $55,000
  • Net worth required: $300,000

Bubbakoo’s Burritos

Burritos are another perennial favorite among consumers looking for a flavorful, portable, and fast meal. Bubbakoo’s Burritos tapped into the success of this lunch and dinner staple with a streamlined and customer-focused business concept based on these desires. The brand differentiates itself through customizable Tex-Mex menu options and its signature dish, The Chiwowa – a panko-fried rice ball covered in nacho toppings. Franchisees come to Bubbakoo’s for its fast payback (reported as five years), well-established systems, and unique business concept.

Fast facts

  • Locations: 86
  • Founded: 2008
  • Franchised: 2015
  • Initial investment: $331K–$700K
  • Franchise fee: $35,000
  • Net worth required: $500,000

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Explore More Profitable Franchise Opportunities

If you’re considering expanding your business horizons, read on to learn about the most profitable franchise opportunities in each industry. Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or a seasoned veteran in the franchise world, our curated selection will guide you toward making an informed decision. 

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