While there are several tens of thousands of brands developing in franchising, some mastodons occupy the international scene. Here are the 5 largest franchises in the world in terms of the number of points of sale.
With more than 4,000 networks, China is the leading provider of franchises in the world, ahead of the United States – about 3,900 networks – and Brazil – 2,500 franchises. France is the European champion with more than 1,800 networks*, a figure that has been constantly increasing in recent years.
Among these many brands that have chosen franchising to develop on a national or even international scale, some of them are leading the way with impressive networks in terms of size and have several tens of thousands of sales outlets. Discover the ranking of the largest franchise networks.
- 7Eleven, 60 000 stores
Little known in France, the chain of stores 7Eleven is impossible to circumvent in the 18 countries of the world where it is established, and for good reason: it counts 60 000 points of sale opened in the world. This sign of food distribution and various products has made proximity its specialty since its origins in the 1920s in the United States. Taken over by its Japanese subsidiary – Seven & I Holdings – in the 1990s, the brand is continuing to expand internationally, even though it already has a solid network. In addition to betting on proximity, 7Eleven chose to open its mini-markets 24 hours a day in the 1970s. A bet which seems to bear fruit, especially in Asia, where 7Eleven outperforms. The brand indeed dominates the market in countries like Japan and Thailand. In Europe, this franchise has not yet made a breakthrough and has only opened a few stores in the North, Sweden, and Norway, countries that each have 189 stores.
- Subway, 44,500 restaurants
Arriving in France in the early 2000s, this American brand specializing in custom-made sandwiches prepared in front of customers, has more restaurants in the world than the emblematic McDonald’s. Since all of its establishments are operated under franchise, Subway is even the world’s leading restaurant franchise in terms of the number of points of sale. Recently, the brand, which was born in 1965, crossed the threshold of 44,500 restaurants, 27,000 of which are located in the United States. The European market is more recent and the brand currently has just over 5,000 restaurants in this area, including 500 in France.
- McDonald’s, 36,000 establishments
It’s hard to escape this red and yellow sign – except in France, where the logo has been green and yellow since 2010 – present in 120 countries. The latest destination won is Kazakhstan, where the first restaurant opened in February 2016. For a long time the only master on board in the global fast-food landscape, this group now faces new challenges, such as the strengthening of major competitors such as Burger King and Five Guys, and new customer demands. McDonald’s is preparing to test a new concept in the United States, with a service entirely at the table.
- Starbucks, 21,500 coffees
Born in 1971 in Seattle, USA, Starbucks was not originally intended to become the world’s largest coffee lounge chain. Yet in less than forty years, the brand has established itself in most of the world’s major cities and now has 21,500 points of sale internationally. In 2016, Starbucks opened stores in South Africa, taking its first steps on the untapped African continent.
- KFC, 20,100 restaurants
Another heavyweight in the world’s fast food industry, KFC has just surpassed the symbolic threshold of 20,000 points of sale. Particularly popular in the United States, its country of origin, and in Asia, where chicken consumption is high, the brand has solid ambitions around the world, including in France, where a 200th restaurant was inaugurated in the La Défense district at the end of November. On this occasion, Roger Eaton, KFC’s global CEO, told “Les Echos” that KFC is aiming for 60,000 restaurants around the world in the long term, without announcing a deadline. In France, KFC’s ambition is to reach 500 units within ten years, i.e. around 30 openings per year.