Technomic Inc. has just released its 2010 Technomic/Restaurant Finance Monitor Top 400 Restaurant Franchise Company Report. The list examines the top franchise companies in an era of bootstrapped and savvy franchise financing.

The "Top 400" restaurant franchisors' sales were relatively flat, according to a company statement on the report. They generated roughly $31.8 billion in sales in 2009, up 1.6 percent from the previous year. They represented about 8.8 percent of the total commercial restaurant industry’s sales of $359.7 billion. Units rose about 4.5 percent to 25,889 stores.

Limited service restaurants did better with franchising than did casual, due to higher investment costs associated with the latter segment: Among the Top 100 LSRs, franchisees operated 79 of units and accounted for almost 72 percent of sales in 2009, according to the executive summary. Top 100 FSR franchisees were in charge of just under 41 percent of units and brought in not quite 31 percent of sales.

Other key findings:

  • NPC International, a major franchisee of Pizza Hut, was once again the top franchise company with sales of $845 million, up 22.5 percent nominally over 2008.
  • Chains with the greatest sales from franchisees were McDonald’s, Subway and Burger King, with franchise sales of $26 billion, $10 billion, and $7.7 billion respectively.

The report's appendices sort the Top 400 companies alphabetically and offer concept breakdowns by franchise company and brand, regions of company operations and selected franchise cost-structure analysis for leading restaurant brands. A complete listing of franchise company contacts is also included.   

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