Restaurant Franchises to Watch

March 10, 2013

Restaurant Franchises

If you’re thinking of investing in a restaurant franchise, the sheer amount of choices can be overwhelming. Aged brands can be appealing for their name recognition, but they can also cause problems of saturation, and many are behind the times when it comes to modern dietary preferences and trends. So what’s a potential franchisee to do? Well, for starters you can check out some of the franchises below. You’ll find a number of great choices that offer something a little bit different from the usual restaurant franchise fare.

  • Tropical Smoothie Cafe – Why Tropical Smoothie Cafe? The big reason is that they offer quite a few healthy sandwiches and wraps. As consumers increasingly express a preference for quick but healthy options, healthy fast food franchises like Tropical Smoothie Cafe are going to be perfectly positioned to grab that extra business.
  • Oink a Doodle Moo – Although this might not be the top franchise of choice in a vegetarian mecca like Berkeley, California, Oink a Doodle Moo’s down-home barbecue and cutesy image is going over very well in Midwestern markets.
  • Moe’s Mexican Restaurant Franchise – Moe’s is a hot choice because it’s in that class of restaurant franchises that are a step above “fast food”, but still quick and relatively affordable. Pair that with the stylish, upbeat decor and the immense popularity of burritos and Mexican food, and you’ve got a winner.
  • UFood Grill – Jumping on the healthy fast food bandwagon, UFood is a great opportunity for someone looking for a modern, hip restaurant for health conscious guests. The only big downside here is that they’re looking specifically for multi-unit developers, which may exclude some otherwise passionate potential franchisees.
  • TCBY – Normally, I’d be hesitant to recommend a brand like TCBY. After all, they were the 80s. With companies like Pinkberry and Red Mango out there, who’d want to partner with a stale old brand like TCBY?¬† The answer? Pretty much anyone¬† – TCBY did a huge brand update back in 2010 and their new stores look nothing like the TCBYs of mall days gone by. They’ve also added self-serve options for franchisees, which shows that they’ve been paying attention. Now TCBY has the look, the experience, AND the huge financial resources (they’re affiliated with Mrs. Fields).
  • Schlotzky’s Deli Franchise – Allow me to quote a news release printed in QSR Magazine: “All future units of the sandwich chain will sport a new design and be cobranded with Cinnabon.” Solid niche (sandwich franchises are always hot), redesigned stores, AND Cinnabon. What more do you need to know?

Know of any other hot franchises? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments!

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