Franchise Outlook

The Biggest Franchises in the World in 2023

biggest franchises in the world

Franchising has become an increasingly popular way for businesses (of all types) to expand their reach and increase their brand awareness. It also provides entrepreneurs with the opportunity to own their own businesses … all with the support backing of a well-established brand.

In 2023, the biggest franchises will continue to dominate the market. Many of these brands are household names that people know across the globe.

What are some of the biggest franchises in the world in 2023? If you’re at all interested in becoming a franchise owner, getting familiar with these popular brands will be essential for your future career. The more you can understand their growth, success, and dominance, the better off you’ll be.

Which big franchises do you need to be aware of? Read on and we’ll walk you through the biggest and the best. 


McDonald’s has been the world’s largest franchise for decades. That trend continues in 2023.

With over 38,000 locations worldwide, McDonald’s has a significant presence in more than 100 countries.

The company’s focus on innovation and its ability to adapt to changing consumer tastes has helped it maintain its dominant position in the industry.

In recent years, McDonald’s has continued to innovate and expand. They provide new menu offerings and technology investments to improve the customer experience.

Embracing Tech

One example of this is the brand’s investment in mobile ordering and delivery services. McDonald’s has rolled out a mobile app that allows customers to order and pay for their food in advance. They can have it ready for pickup or delivered to their door.

This has helped the brand stay competitive in an industry that is increasingly focused on convenience and speed.

Expanding the Menu

In addition to its focus on technology, McDonald’s has also made efforts to improve the quality of its food offerings.

In recent years, the brand has introduced new menu items. These have included premium burgers and chicken sandwiches, as well as healthier options like salads and fruit cups. This has helped McDonald’s appeal to a wider range of customers.

It was helpful and enticing to those who are health-conscious or have dietary restrictions.

Challenges & Obstacles

Despite its success, McDonald’s has faced challenges in recent years as well.

The brand has come under fire from critics who argue that its business model and menu offerings contribute to health problems like obesity and heart disease.

Additionally, McDonald’s has faced increased competition from newer fast-casual chains. These chains offer higher-quality food options and a more personalized customer experience.

Despite these challenges, McDonald’s remains one of the most successful and dominant franchises in the world. With its focus on innovation and customer service, the brand is poised to continue thriving in the many years to come.


Following closely behind McDonald’s is Subway, with over 40,000 locations in 100 countries.

The sandwich franchise has been successful in part due to its focus on healthier menu options and customizable offerings.

Subway’s success is largely due to these customizable menu offerings. They allow customers to choose their own bread, meat, vegetables, and sauces. This has helped the brand appeal to a wide range of customers with different tastes and dietary restrictions.

In recent years, Subway has also introduced healthier menu items, such as sandwiches made with whole grain bread and salads with fresh vegetables. 

Much like its competitors, Subway has also made efforts to innovate and improve the customer experience.

Just last year, the brand introduced a mobile app that allows customers to order and pay for their food in advance. They can then arrive at the store and have it ready for pickup (or delivery).

Subway has also launched a loyalty program, Subway MyWay Rewards, which allows customers to earn points for every purchase and redeem them for free food.

There’s no sign that Subway’s dominance in the franchise business will slow anytime soon. 


KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) is a fast-food franchise that specializes in fried chicken. The brand was founded in 1930 in Kentucky, USA. It has since grown into a global franchise with over 24,000 locations in more than 145 countries.

KFC’s success is largely due to its signature menu item, Original Recipe fried chicken, which is made with a blend of 11 herbs and spices.

The brand has also introduced a range of other menu items, including sandwiches, wraps, and salads, to appeal to a wider range of customers. In recent years, KFC has also made efforts to introduce healthier menu items, such as grilled chicken and vegetable sides.

Much like McDonald’s, KFC has embraced modern tech innovations. They also have robust mobile ordering and delivery, making it easier than ever for customers to connect with their products. 

Iconic Marketing Campaign

In addition to its focus on technology, KFC has also invested in marketing campaigns to strengthen its brand recognition.

The brand has used its iconic logo and Colonel Sanders mascot in its advertising, which has always captured the attention of customers. It has also launched viral marketing campaigns like “The Bucket List” to engage with customers on social media.

These campaigns have been a huge success, and help to support KFC’s position as one of the most popular franchises in the world. 


The next most popular franchise is actually a bit different, coming in the form of a convenience store instead of a fast food restaurant. That’s right: it’s 7-Eleven. 

7-Eleven is a franchise that has expanded rapidly in recent years, with over 70,000 locations in 17 countries.

7-Eleven’s success is largely due to its focus on convenience and accessibility.

The brand is known for its 24-hour operating hours, which allow customers to purchase items at any time of day or night. Additionally, 7-Eleven has made efforts to introduce a wide range of products to cater to the diverse needs of its customers.

These stores offer a wide variety of products, including snacks, drinks, food, and even gas. This makes them a one-stop shop for customers, and it helps to ensure that they always have what they need.

The brand has introduced mobile payment options, as well as self-service kiosks in some locations. These innovations have helped 7-Eleven stay competitive. In an industry that prioritizes ease and simplicity, these changes can mean a lot.

7-Eleven stores are located in high-traffic areas, making them easy for customers to find. They are also located in a variety of neighborhoods, which makes them accessible to a wide range of people.

These are just a few of the reasons why 7-Eleven is one of the biggest franchises in the world. The company has a strong business model and a commitment to customer service that has helped it to succeed for nearly 100 years.

Burger King

This popular franchise you probably saw coming, but Burger King has more than earned its spot on this list. 

If you somehow haven’t heard Burger King is a fast-food franchise that specializes in flame-grilled burgers. They also offer chicken sandwiches and other menu items. The brand came about in 1954 in Florida. It has since grown into a global franchise with over 18,000 locations in more than 100 countries.

Burger King’s success is largely due to its focus on flame-grilling. This method gives its burgers and sandwiches a unique flavor that sets them apart from competitors.

Additionally, Burger King was one of the first chains that made efforts to introduce innovative menu items. These were intended to cater to changing consumer tastes and included plant-based burgers like the Beyond Burger.

The first franchise fee for a Burger King restaurant is $50,000. This is relatively affordable compared to other fast-food franchises. Burger King provides its franchisees with a comprehensive support system, including training, marketing aid, and site selection help.

This makes it easier for franchisees to succeed.

If you’re looking to become a franchise owner, all these advantages make Burger King a particularly promising choice. 

Ace Hardware

There are many types of franchises out there, and you don’t have to look any further than Ace Hardware as a helpful reminder. 

Ace Hardware is a hardware store franchise that specializes in selling a wide range of products, including tools, hardware, paint, and outdoor living items.

The brand was founded in 1924 in Illinois, USA, and has since grown into a global franchise with over 5,300 locations in more than 70 countries.

Ace Hardware’s success is largely due to its focus on customer service and community involvement. The brand is known for its “helpful hardware folks” who are trained to give expert advice to customers. It is also known for its involvement in local charitable and community events.

Like other retail franchises, Ace Hardware has faced challenges from the rise of e-commerce and changing consumer habits.

To combat this? The brand has adapted by introducing online ordering and delivery options. They’ve also put a focus on customer service and community involvement.


Dunkin’, formerly known as Dunkin’ Donuts, is a coffee and baked goods franchise that has expanded rapidly in recent years, with over 12,000 locations in more than 40 countries.

The brand has been successful due to its focus on convenience and its diverse menu offerings, which include not only coffee and donuts but also breakfast sandwiches and other snacks. Almost all Dunkin’ locations have a drive-thru, which allows quick and easy pick-up by customers. 

Much like their other fast food brethren, Dunkin’ has embraced online and mobile ordering. They have a robust loyalty program and mobile app, and it’s easy for Dunkin’ customers to regularly get their fix on the go. 

Dunkin’ prices are competitive, making them affordable for a wide range of customers. Even at the airport, where customers can expect sky-high prices for coffee and breakfast foods, Dunkin’ remains reasonably priced. 

There’s a lot here that other coffee chain franchises can learn from. 

Marriott International

Marriott International, Inc. is an American multinational hospitality company that operates, franchises, and licenses hotels, vacation ownership resorts, and timeshare properties.

The popular hotel franchise operates more than 7,600 properties in more than 130 countries. Talk about reach! 

The brand has been successful due to its commitment to quality and consistency, as well as its loyalty program, which incentivizes repeat business. In the past year, Marriott has also introduced new technology to improve the customer experience, including mobile check-in and digital room keys.

Marriott International has a strong commitment to customer service and sustainability. The company was named the world’s most admired hotel company by Fortune magazine in 2022.

Marriott International is also a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact. They maintain a commitment to operating in an environmentally responsible manner.

Marriott also stands out from the crowd by offering more than one brand to its diverse consumer base. For example, Marriott Hotels is a luxury brand, while Fairfield Inn & Suites is a mid-range brand. This helps them capture a much wider market share.

Marriott International also has a strong commitment to customer service. The company’s employees are friendly and helpful, and they are always willing to go the extra mile to make sure that customers are satisfied.

The Biggest Franchises in the World 2023

If you’re curious about becoming a franchise owner yourself, it makes sense you’d want to get up to date on what the biggest franchises in the world in 2023 are. 

The above are indisputably the ones you’ll need to be aware of – the franchises that are really dominating the global market as we know it. Studying the success and inner workings of these popular franchises can be a business school all on its own. 

Need more help starting your own franchise? Looking for more business advice, tips, and information? Contact us anytime for more assistance, or check out the many franchise listings currently available.

Pending Request