Earnings Claims of Top Franchises Revealed

Earnings Claims of Top Franchises Revealed

  • Anytime Fitness
  • CruiseOne
  • Firehouse Subs
  • Jimmy John's
  • Massage Envy
  • Menchie's
  • Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt
  • Planet Fitness
  • The UPS Store
  • Yogurt Land
  • And Hundreds More...

No, thanks. I'm not interested in uncovering the actual earnings of hundreds of franchises at this time.

Franchise Chatter’s 10 Franchises with the Best Business Models (and 1 with Possibly THE Worst)

by Franchise Chatter on June 26, 2011

in Franchise Chatter Exclusive, Franchise Reviews, Top 10 Franchises

Franchise Chatter Membership Information

Don't Invest in a Franchise Until You Check Out This List

A business model has been defined as a plan implemented by a company to generate revenue and make a profit from operations.  A good business model greatly improves the odds that a franchisee will be successful.  However, if demand for the product or service in a given territory is weak, the location chosen is poor, or the franchisee is under-capitalized or lacks passion for the business, even a good business model can’t prevent an enterprise from failing.  Think of a good business model as a solid foundation on which a profitable business can be built.  The following is Franchise Chatter’s list of 10 franchises with the best business models, and 1 franchise with possibly THE worst business model of them all.

10 Franchises with the Best Business Models:

Anytime Fitness New Club Interior(1) Anytime Fitness franchise and Snap Fitness franchise (tie)

Anytime Fitness and Snap Fitness have nearly identical business models.  They franchise compact, neighborhood-style, less frills fitness clubs where members have 24/7/365 access to all of the clubs in the chain worldwide, even when the clubs are unstaffed.  With proprietary software, security, and surveillance technologyspecifically, remote monitoring of the club via a closed circuit television system, coupled with personal security devices — members can work out anytime that’s convenient for them, while the owners can operate the clubs without additional staffing.

Another very attractive feature of the business model is the recurring revenue stream through ongoing membership fees.   With health and fitness becoming an essential part of most people’s lifestyles, it is very common for satisfied members to remain with the same club for years.

Finally, both Anytime Fitness and Snap Fitness charge their franchisees a low fixed royalty fee ($499 a month for Anytime Fitness and $449 a month for Snap Fitness), as opposed to a percentage of gross sales, which is the standard for most franchises.  This way, as the club matures and attracts more members, the owner gets to keep a greater share of the revenues.

Curious about the average member numbers, projected revenues and projected earnings for Anytime Fitness clubs?  Please click here.

Let’s Take a Closer Look at the Average Member Numbers, Projected Revenues and Projected Earnings for Snap Fitness Clubs. Click here.

(3) Matco Tools franchise

(4) Snap-On Tools franchise

Matco Tools and Snap-On Tools sell a huge selection of tools and equipment to professional users, especially those in the automotive industry.  Franchisees make regular sales and service calls to customers in their territory in a custom designed truck, which is a mobile showroom, warehouse, and office all rolled into one.  This unique distribution system helps franchise owners reduce business costs and establish personal relationships with each of their customers, who are pre-identified and qualified by Matco and Snap-On respectively.

Each franchisee has an exclusive territory and a protected “List of Calls,”  giving the franchisee a built-in customer base that only he (or she) has the right to sell to.  (Of course, Snap-On and Matco compete in the same category, so their respective franchisees will be in direct competition.)

Between Matco and Snap-On, the edge goes to Matco because they charge their franchisees no initial franchise fee, no monthly royalty fees, and no monthly advertising fees.  Matco makes money solely on the sale of their products.  Snap-On Tools charges a low initial franchise fee ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 (depending on the size of the territory) and a token monthly franchise fee of $102 per month.

(5) Massage Envy franchise and Elements Therapeutic Massage franchise (tie)Elements Therapeutic Massage Exterior

Massage Envy and Elements Therapeutic Massage are niche players in the fast growing spa and wellness industry.  They specialize in massages — Elements focuses on therapeutic massage, while Massage Envy offers a wider menu of styles (and has even begun offering facials in certain locations).

The beauty of this business model is the consistent, recurring revenue from the sale of memberships.    For a low monthly fee ($59 to $69 a month for Massage Envy; $55 to $59 a month for Elements, depending on the location), members can enjoy one massage a month (with the option to purchase additional sessions at a discounted rate).

Since Massage Envy and Elements Therapeutic Massage are in the service business, the only major expenses are rent, payroll, and marketing.

Curious About the Average Monthly Revenue and Gross Profit Percentage for Elements Therapeutic Massage Studios in 2010? Please click here.

(7) MyDestination franchise

MyDestination is an online travel brand that competes with Lonely Planet and Trip Advisor, through local travel experts (franchisees) in major travel destinations around the world.  Franchisees operate local online travel guides for their cities or countries, but they only need to focus on 2 major areas:  producing great content (text and videos) for their site and getting local advertisers to purchase ads or business listings.  MyDestination’s corporate staff in London, UK and Marbella, Spain take care of the website templates, design the ads for the local clients, and promote the sites through search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising (all of which are included in the initial franchise fee and monthly royalty fees).

As more and more franchisees join the system, the brand gets better known and traffic to the site increases exponentially.

Another very attractive feature of the business model is the revenue sharing (50% to franchisees, 50% to MyDestination.com) from hotel bookings through the site’s new hotel price comparison booking engine.  This feature is now available on the Marbella site and will soon be rolled out to all the destinations.

(8) Subway franchise

The Subway business model is attractive because of the streamlined operations.   Almost all of the ingredients used are fresh and require no cooking in the store, aside from the baking of the bread and cookies.  Of course, there is nothing proprietary in the business model of a sandwich shop.  But Subway has so many franchisees around the world contributing to a pooled marketing and advertising fund, that it would be difficult for a smaller chain, much less a mom-and-pop operation, to compete with the brand equity of Subway.

(9) Papa Murphy’s franchise

Papa Murphy’s business model is unique because it is just a take-out business, with no baking done in the store.  Customers take home a freshly prepared — but uncooked — pizza and they bake the pizza at home. This pizza franchise is easier to run and requires less investment because there’s no pizza delivery, no ovens, and no dine-in component.

Rasoee Interior Photo(10) Rasoee franchise (Canada)

Rasoee’s business model is unique because it is an Indian fast casual restaurant, but no cooking is done on the premises.   All the food is prepared in a central kitchen and delivered to the various restaurants, all of which are located in Vancouver currently.  The business model not only saves the franchisee a significant sum on payroll expenses for the kitchen staff,  it also allows Rasoee to operate in various locations not intended for restaurants (for lack of venting) and enables them to keep build out costs low.

Chutney Joe’s, a US-based franchise featured on FranchiseHelp, has a very similar business model.

Franchise with Possibly THE Worst Business Model:

The UPS Store franchise

The UPS Store business model is inherently flawed because there is a very clear case of channel conflict between the franchisor (UPS) and the franchisees.  Franchisees get discounted rates on UPS shipping and then charge their customers The UPS Store retail rates, profiting from the difference.   The only problem is that customers of UPS can easily print out their own shipping labels online and drop the packages off at their local UPS Store.  Instead of earning a decent profit by charging The UPS Store retail rates, franchisees are compensated just a dollar or two for each of these drop offs.

There is widespread frustration among customers of UPS — who demand to be treated like regular paying customers of the store (asking for free UPS shipping boxes, for their boxes to be taped up, etc.) — and among franchisees, who are understandably irritated at having to serve the customers of UPS who have all but bypassed their store in the transaction.  The customers lose, the franchisees lose.  The only real winner is UPS, which has gained thousands of staffed drop off locations nationwide — earning UPS the business of  customers who print shipping labels online before dropping off at a retail store right in their neighborhood.

I was a former franchisee of The UPS Store and my experience running my franchise was positive overall.  I met so many amazing franchise owners — many of whom were fabulously successful despite the flawed business model (because they built their businesses on mailboxes, notary services, and document services).  And The UPS Store corporate staff genuinely tried to find ways to help franchisees become more profitable.  But still, there is something seriously wrong with a business model where the franchisor and franchisees are direct competitors.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura Law August 5, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Hey, this is a great website. I am very interested in opening a yogurt store, and just happened to go to Yogurtland today, came home and saw your article! How do you find out typical revenue? Their website and franchise law say they can’t state how much you will make, but can’t they give examples? Is it 40k? Or is it 100K? The store that I visited is in a pretty high end strip center, where there is a very fancy linen and lingerie store, fine furniture store, Starbucks, a couple of restaurants, and a nice grocery store, so the rent is not low.


Ambrosio August 5, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Hi Laura,

Thanks so much for dropping by. Average revenues vary greatly from store to store, depending on the location and demographics of the area. What you can do is request for the company’s Franchise Disclosure Document (it’s a public document) and it will include more detailed information on average unit volumes in Item 19. The FDD will also have a directory of all current (and past) franchisees. You can call a few of them to get a better idea of the range of typical store profits (try calling franchisees in your local area or in areas similar to yours). It’s a tedious process, but it’s a very important part of your due diligence.

Thanks again for visiting, and I’ll be posting more articles (and interviews) on frozen yogurt franchises in the weeks to come!


Mike Lawrence October 14, 2011 at 2:31 pm


Love the site. Really enjoy your FDD talks regarding breakdown the income potential. I’m interested in opening a sports or senior care related business. I’ve looked at i9 and am starting my research on the elder care options.

Really enjoying the articles and will certainly tell my friends.



Ambrosio October 14, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Hi Mike,

Thank you so much for supporting my blog! I really appreciate it. Senior home care franchises will be a strong focus of mine in the months to come, as I’m very impressed with what I’ve learned so far. I’m in the process of reaching out to a few key players in the space to get exclusive content. I’ll also look into I9 to see if I can pass along any new information. If there’s anything you wish to read more about, please let me know. Good luck with your research!

Best regards,



Larry Ball October 24, 2011 at 4:52 pm

I cannot accept your testimony again! Matco and Snap-On failure rates are in the double digits. That is info from the SBA!!! How do you not submit?


Jennifer Lock January 26, 2012 at 2:40 pm

What a great list of franchises! I hadn’t heard about Papa Murphy’s before, and I look forward to learning more about this franchise opportunity, especially since there are none like this in my home town. Thanks for list.


Francis Pryor April 4, 2012 at 6:39 am

Thanks for providing such great franchise opportunities. I am personally interested for Snap Fitness franchise and i found that this is an ideal franchise opportunity for me.


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