Forbes magazine recently named Domino's Pizza as the No. 1 "Best Franchise for the Money." The list included the top 20 brand-name franchises in the United States.

Forbes said of Domino's: "The cheesy stalwart boasts low overhead and an expanded menu, including pasta and sandwiches. Over 4,500 locations provide instant credibility; Domino's also offers new franchisees a whopping 1,308 hours of training. Average initial investment per store: $253,950."

The Ann Arbor, Mich.-based pizza chain topped companies in a variety of industries, including McDonald's, 7-Eleven, Meineke Car Care Centers, Liberty Tax Service, Sylvan Learning and Sport Clips.

Forbes' list was derived from a partnership between Forbes and Robert Bond, publisher of Bond's Franchising Guides and CEO of the World Franchising Network. The 100 most recognized franchise operators were researched and the 20 pulled for the list delivered "the best bang for a franchisee's investment buck."

The research considered four variables, including:

  • Estimated minimum initial investment;
  • Total locations;
  • Survival rates; and
  • The number of training hours offered to new franchisees measured against the start-up cost.

Domino's responded to the ranking with the following statement:

"We strive to generate a good return on our franchisees' investments by providing low overhead costs along with an expanded menu that appeals to a broad consumer base. This will attract more franchisees to the brand, building our store count and leading to long-term sales growth for our company. All the work we've done for our brand over the last few years has created an even greater opportunity to grow our franchise base:

  • Reinventing our core product from the crust up in late 2009
  • Reconnecting and resonating with consumers old and new through our Pizza Turnaround campaign
  • Expanding our menu — over 80 percent of our menu consists of new, permanent items introduced since 2008."

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