Franchised Store Ownership Trends & List of Ten Largest Operators by Brand
Corporate store ownership as a percent of total system stores has increased for the last 3 years and is back to 2015 levels – this primarily reflects less refranchising.
A 2021 spike in the franchise transfer rate reflects the need for scale in a high-cost environment facilitated by an abundance of underperforming units post-covid and the predilection of some franchisees to exit the business because of post-covid operational challenges.
While the development rate has rebounded from its 2020 low, it remains significantly lower than the 2014 high which reflects concerns about committing capital post-covid aggravated by high construction costs.
The average number of units owned by a franchisee group in the $1B+ Chains increased from 5.5 in 2019 to 5.8 in 2021. Smaller operators (like in the sub-sandwich segment) are ripe for further consolidation.