Revised and updated November 16, 2019.
Most people hesitate at the idea of making their own art. They don’t think they’re artistic enough, and certainly don’t think they could produce a painting. But when surrounded by friends and loosened up with a little alcohol, great things can happen. That’s the idea behind “paint and sip” businesses. Entrepreneurs who want to paint-by-the-numbers with a proven concept can choose any one of these 4 best paint and sip franchises of 2020.
It does seem that the paint and sip movement, after showing strong growth for more than a decade, may be experiencing its first real slowdown in growth as the industry matures. All the companies on this list have either experienced a decline in the number of locations or no increase from the previous year. But this can also be viewed as a natural cycle where a period of growth is followed by a plateau or slowdown as the industry takes stock of how to keep its core offerings fresh and innovative.
The socializing aspect of a paint and sip event is every bit as important as producing the art. This is why the average session length is anywhere from 2-4 hours. Here are the 4 best paint and sip franchises of 2020:
1. Painting with a Twist
Painting with a Twist aims to maintain its leadership status in the paint and sip market with the adoption of SiteZeus, a cloud-based “location intelligence” software application that helps businesses make better decisions by understanding things like “cannibalization” as more locations spring up within a franchise as well as competitor locations, both of which can siphon away customers from an existing location.
This company is the clear leader of the paint and sip concept. Customers bring their own alcohol to drink and can select from more than 8,500 different pieces of artist-produced works to jumpstart their creativity. For those who are not interested in drinking alcohol, any beverage will do, such as coffee or tea.
Founded in 2007 by Cathy Deano and Renee Maloney in Mandeville, Louisiana and franchising since 2009, the number of locations has taken its first dip to the current total of 301 (down 2 from the previous year’s total of 303), three of which are company-owned and all of which are located in the US.
2. Pinot’s Palette
Pinot’s Palette has come up with all kinds of creative offerings in its approach to paint and sip depending on what’s available around each location. For example, a Chicago location has an animal art night that features experts from the Lincoln Park Zoo to share amazing facts about the animals people are painting. Other locations have branched out beyond painting to include “sip and stitch” with a Chunky Knit Blanket class. Paint your pet nights are also quite popular with this chain.
This company was also the first to roll out a very innovative and robust loyalty rewards program called Pino Perks where patrons accumulate virtual corks that act as a currency to pay for classes, attending special events, merchandise, and more.
Founded in 2009 by Craig Ceccanti, Charles Willis, and Beth Willis in the Montrose area of Houston, Texas and franchising since 2010, the number of locations has expanded in recent years to the current total of 134 (down by five from the previous year’s total of 139), of which three are company-owned and two are located outside the US.
3. Wine & Design
Wine & Design offers a variety of different programs to serve a wide range of customers. These include Art Buzz for kids, Paint it Forward fundraising events, Team Building for corporate clients, and DIY crafting for those interested in something creative that doesn’t involve producing a standard kind of painting (home décor, drinkware, flower crowns, etc.).
It also offers a full range of private parties such as birthdays, bridal showers, baby showers, romantic date nights, and more. It can also bring the party to any location with its On Wheels program.
Wine & Design made a splash on ABC’s Shark Tank, which garnered the company an investment from Kevin O’Leary. Founded in 2010 by Harriet Mills and Emmy Preiss in Raleigh, North Carolina and franchising since then, the number of locations currently stands at 75 (same as the previous year), of which one is company-owned and all are located in the US.
4. Bottle & Bottega
Bottle & Bottega creates an upscale cocktail party atmosphere with its approach to paint and sip. Each location has a unique, eclectic hipster vibe. “Bottega” is the Italian word for an artist’s studio. Customers who want to branch out from the traditional canvas can paint on other items, such as glassware, holiday ornaments, black canvas, wooden signs and pallets, mosaics on canvas, Illumin-Art (attaching lights to your painting), Art Masking to produce stylish geometric designs, and mixed media creations.
This company’s approach is positioned as art parties rather than art classes, and it definitely emphasizes the social, fun aspect of its gatherings. As with the other companies on this list, paint-your-pet events are one of its popular offerings.
Founded in 2009 by Stephanie King-Myers and Nancy Bigley in Chicago, Illinois and franchising since 2011, the number of locations currently stands at 21 (a loss of 5 units from the previous year’s total of 26), of which two are company-owned and all are located in the US.
An Important Note About Our Methodology
The franchises on this list were ranked according to the number of units in the franchise system. If you are a prospective franchisee searching for franchise opportunities that meet or exceed certain performance benchmarks for sales, profits, and return on investment, please check out this list of America’s Most Lucrative Franchises.