Given how tumultuous the retail industry can be, investing in a franchise opportunity is risky.
Earlier this year, Entrepreneur.com compiled a list of the top franchises in the world.
We identified the top 26 retail franchises that made the list, ranging from fast casual eateries to convenience stores.
Check out the top-ranking chains.
Hayley Fitzpatrick contributed to this story.
26. Edible Arrangements International
- Flickr/Emily Dafferner
Number of franchises: 1,182
Cost to open a franchise: $156,990-$276,980
Why it’s hot:Edible Arrangements is a staple in the gift department. The global company is trendy, easy to order online, and has numerous personalization options to customize gifts. Before opening an Edible Arrangements franchise, owners are trained and offered instructional guides on all sectors of the business.
Number of franchises: 478
Cost to open a franchise: $218,300-$385,200
Why it’s hot: Menchie’s philosophy is built around customer satisfaction. The frozen yogurt company prides itself on focusing on making the customer experience great.
24. Yogen Fruz
- Facebook/Yogen Fruz
Number of franchises: 1,121
Cost to open a franchise: $135,700-$472,200
Why it’s hot: Yogen Fruz has a large global presence with more than 1400 locations in over 46 countries. The healthy frozen yogurt is growing fast because of the company’s respected reputation.
23. Church’s Chicken
- Church’s Chicken Facebook
Number of franchises: 1,396
Cost to open a franchise: $413,300-$1.3 million
Why it’s hot: Church’s is one of the largest chicken chains recognized around the world. The company is aiming for widespread, rapid growth, so they really support their franchisees. Church’s encourages those with an entrepreneurial spirit to join.
22. Carl’s Jr. Restaurants
- Google Images
Number of franchises: 998
Cost to open a franchise: $1.3 million-$1.9 million
Why it’s hot: Carl’s Jr. is known for its provocative advertising campaigns. These ads attract a lot of attention to the company and bring in franchisees. The chain can also be dual-branded with Green Burrito, a Mexican restaurant chain run by CKE Restaurants.
21. Pita Pit
- Pita Pit Fan Page Facebook
Number of franchises: 489
Cost to open a franchise: $187,500-$314,980
Why it’s hot: Pita Pit is a healthier spin on fast-casual. The company has experienced tremendous growth in recent years due to its abundance of nutritious options. The investment required to open a Pita Pita is inexpensive when compared to other fast food restaurants, which draws franchisees in, according to Franchise Chatter.
20. Dairy Queen
Number of franchises: 6,385
Cost to open a franchise: $362,400-$1.8 million
Why it’s hot: Franchises with a recognizable name tend to do well when constructed in profitable areas. Dairy Queen has strong global brand recognition, which is what makes the restaurant such an enticing franchise opportunity.
19. Cold Stone Creamery
- Flickr/shankar s.
Number of franchises: 1,401
Cost to open a franchise: $277,400-$464,300
Why it’s hot: Cold Stone Creamery also has strong brand recognition. Customers of the chain tend to be very loyal to the eatery, and the company offers its franchisees plenty of training and support in constructing and running their individual stores.
18. Taco Bell
- Flickr/Joe Raedle
Number of franchises: 5,157
Cost to open a franchise: $1.2 million-$2.6 million
Why it’s hot: Like many of the other top franchises, Taco Bell has incredible brand awareness that attracts customers nationally. The Mexican chain also has a large peer network of 350 franchisees, and 35% of them have more than 25 years of experience. This support system is helpful when building a business.
Number of franchises/co.: 4,802
Cost to open a franchise: $750,000-$1.3 million
Why it’s hot: With stores in seven countries, Ace is one of the leading forces in the home improvement market. Along with the chance to be a part of a recognized, respected company, investors are also drawn to some of the franchisee perks, like no royalty fees.
16. UPS Store
- Flickr/Mike Mozart
Number of franchises/co.: 4,793
Cost to open a franchise: $150,200-$420,300
Why it’s hot: The UPS Store has a variety of different franchise options for entrepreneurs. Franchisees recommend the company for its forward thinking, ethical code of business, and increase in popularity in recent years, according to UPS.
- Flickr/Mike Mozart
Number of franchises/co.: 1,536
Cost to open a franchise: $1.3 million-$2.6 million
Why it’s hot: Denny’s is a company that focuses on growth, so it puts a lot of its efforts into building strong relationships with its franchisees. Around 90% of Denny’s are franchise-operated, and the company offers its franchises support across all levels of the business.
- Flickr/Nicholas Eckhart
Number of franchises/co.: 1,538
Cost to open a franchise: $1.3 million-$1.6 million
Why it’s hot:Like Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s is owned by CKE. It also can be dual-branded with Mexican chain Red Burrito, which is a unique feature that attracts franchisees.
Number of franchises/co.: 1,245
Cost to open a franchise: $180,100-$385,500
Why it’s hot: Many believe that Cinnabon has the world’s best cinnamon rolls. The company markets its product as an ‘escape’ from reality, and it really focuses on the customer experience, which encourages brand loyalty and growth.
12. Krispy Kreme Doghnut
- Flickr/Rick Cogley
Number of franchises/co.: 890
Cost to open a franchise: $275,000-$1.9 million
Why it’s hot: Krispy Kreme offers people the opportunity to franchise within the United States or internationally. The brand is identifiable worldwide, and the company provides its franchisees with extensive training before opening up shop.
11. Dunkin’ Donuts
- Getty Images/Spencer Platt
Number of franchises/co.: 11,310
Cost to open a franchise: $216,100-$1.5 million
Why it’s hot: Dunkin’ Donuts is another company that’s distinguishable worldwide. With coffee being such a large commodity in the world, these franchises succeed in most cases. Brand loyalty is at its peak with the chain’s customers as well.
Number of franchises/co.:7,546
Cost to open a franchise: $102,900-$388,600
Why it’s hot: Baskin-Robbins has around 7,300 locations worldwide. It places its efforts into fostering stable relationships with its franchisees. “Baskin-Robbins wants their franchisees to succeed and provides strong training and operational support which has positively impacted my profitability,” writes Chassidy Peters, a franchisee owner of 2 stores, on the company’swebsite.
9. Papa John’s International Pizza
Number of franchises/co.:3,924
Cost to open a franchise: $129,900-$844,200
Why it’s hot:Papa John’s is planning major international expansion, which is attracting entrepreneurs. The business has been reporting strong sales lately, which brings in people looking to invest in the company and become a part of the Papa John’s family.
8. Circle K
Number of franchises/co.: 5,093
Cost to open a franchise: $211,500-$1.6 million
Why it’s hot: Circle K is an international convenience store chain that allows its franchisee owners to customize their individual quick service restaurants. The company stocks many popular brands and offers its franchisees support in business and marketing systems among other services.
7. GNC Franchising
- Flickr/Mike Mozart
Number of franchises/co.: 3,188
Cost to open a franchise: $167,900-$294,500
Why it’s hot: The health and nutrition industry is booming, and GNC is one of its leaders. The vitamin and supplement chain has outlets worldwide, and franchisees are attracted to the company for its name, solid service reputation, and support system for individual stores.
Number of franchises/co.: 29,544
Cost to open a franchise: $1 million-$2.3 million
Why it’s hot: McDonald’s is one of the most popular fast-food chains in the world. The extensive training and support from the company brings in many franchisees looking to be a part of the dynasty.
- Google Streetview
Number of franchises/co.: 13,846
Cost to open a franchise: $1.3 million-$2.5 million
Why it’s hot: Like McDonald’s, KFC is a world-renowned company. Recently the chain been shaking up its menu and expanding, helping it to gain plenty of media attention. This brings in entrepreneurs looking to take part in the innovative time for the company.
4. Auntie Anne’s Hand-Rolled Soft Pretzels
Number of franchises/co.: 1,598
Cost to open a franchise: $194,900-$367,600
Why it’s hot: Auntie Anne’s is so well-liked that even stars like Shaquille O’Neal have franchised with the company. The global pretzel chain is unique in that no other chains produce product like it at such a large volume.
3. Pizza Hut
- Flickr/Joe Monin
Number of franchises/co.: 12,956
Cost to open a franchise: $297,000-$2.1 million
Why it’s hot:The pizza industry is lucrative, and investors can trust respected companies like Pizza Hut to succeed. The recognizable chain has a trusted reputation and a strong support structure for franchises to help its owners successfully run their stores.
- Getty Images/Scott Olson
Number of franchises/co.: 42,227
Cost to open a franchise: $116,600-$263,200
Why it’s hot: Despite the recent controversy surrounding the brand, the chain remains one of the leading global sandwich chains. The company started making its menu healthier in recent years, which is also helping to attract customers. It’s expanding globally, and many look to be a part of this expansion.
- Flickr/Mike Mozart
Number of franchises/co.:53,027
Cost to open a franchise: $37,200-$1.6 million
Why it’s hot: The international convenience store chain is well known and simple. Customers know what to expect when shopping at 7-Eleven, and that business model has always worked for the store. It also has a unique sales method that attracts investors. “Most franchise systems require royalty payments based on a percentage of sales. With the 7‑Eleven system, you pay royalties based upon the store’s gross profit, that is, net sales receipts less the wholesale cost of the merchandise you sell,” according to 7-Eleven.