🍟 2/13/2023 – The Biggest Franchisees In The World


The Biggest Franchisees Worldwide

A few weeks back I wrote about Ray Kroc, and mentioned how his name has been used as a verb in the franchise industry. 

Well, below are 5 people/companies that have certainly kroc’d their way to success, as they’ve all grown from 1 to thousands of locations.

Guillermo Perales – Sun Holdings

Founded by Guillermo Perales in 1997, he first acquired a Golden Corral via an SBA loan in the Dallas area.

Fast forward to today, and his company Sun Holdings owns & operates 1,740 locations across 12 states, creating 22,000+ jobs.

Their portfolio includes:

  • 55 GNC’s
  • 36 IHOPs
  • 212 Arby’s
  • 169 Popeyes
  • 131 Applebee’s
  • 6 Golden Corrals
  • 167 Papa John’s
  • 141 Burger Kings
  • 67 McAlister’s Deli
  • 500 T-Mobile stores


Yup, that’s right, Target is a massive multi-unit franchisee thanks to the franchises they operate inside their stores.

Historically, this meant a lot of Pizza Hut express locations – as of 2017, Target was operating 1,170 total franchises. Today it’s unclear how many total units they operate, as many Target stores now sell their own pizza.

Regardless, they also operate Cold Stone Creamery, and at times have been the 2nd largest franchisee in America. 

Jack Cowin

Jack Cowin is an entrepreneur who brought Burger King (called Hungry Jack’s down under) to Australia. 

Today the country has 440+ Burger King’s under operation. Cowin has also used his dominance in fast-food to expand to Domino’s (700 stores), which has listed publicly on the Australian stock exchange.

All in all, Cowin’s company, Competitive Foods, does ~$1.4 billion in annual revenue.

Archos Dorados

Founded in 2017, Archos Dorados owns the right to McDonald’s in Mexico, Brazil, Chile, and 17 other countries in Latin America.

With 4,500 locations operating and ~$2.6B in annual revenue, they are the world’s largest McDonald’s operator. 

Greg Flynn – Flynn Restaurant Group

Despite graduating from Stanford in 1994, Greg Flynn never sought a career in venture capital or tech.

Instead, he acquired 7 Applebee’s via a loan in 1999. Today, his company owns ~2,350 restaurants, has 73,000 employees, and did over $4 billion in revenue in 2022.

His portfolio includes:

  • 369 Arby’s
  • 192 Wendy’s
  • 130 Panera’s
  • 441 Applebee’s
  • 283 Taco Bell‘s
  • 941 Pizza Hut’s


Unleashed Brands Acquire After Lawsuit

Unleashed Brands is a Dallas based umbrella company with 6 brands, 800+ locations open, and 630 more in development. It started with Urban Air Adventure Park, and has expanded to include Snapology, The Little Gym, Premier Martial Arts, & two more. However after lawsuits from franchisees of multiple brands, including 54 from Premier Martial Arts, the company has been passed on to a new private equity firm.

Franchisors: if your business model is bogus and you make false claims, this is what happens!

Ellie Mental Health Locations are Opening

The mental health franchise began offering opportunities in 2021, and now has over 250 locations in development across 26 states. The first corporate location opened in 2015 and expanded to 20 across Minnesota before franchising began.

The corporate stores for this brand looked promising, which is why they’ve exploded with new franchise agreements. It will be interesting to see how these new franchised stores do!

Disclaimer: This Content is for informational purposes only, you should not construe any such information or other material as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice. Nothing contained on this site constitutes a solicitation, recommendation, endorsement, or offer to buy or sell any franchises, securities, or other financial instruments in this or in any other jurisdiction in which such solicitation or offer would be unlawful under the franchise and/or securities laws of such jurisdiction.

All Content in this email is information of a general nature and does not address the detailed circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Nothing in the email constitutes professional and/or financial advice, nor does any information in the email constitute a comprehensive or complete statement of the matters discussed or the law relating thereto. You alone assume the sole responsibility of evaluating the merits and risks associated with the use of any information or other Content in this email before making any decisions based on such information or other Content.