Convenience store giant 7-Eleven Inc. has won the coveted No. 1 position among the franchise elite in Entrepreneur magazine’s 38th annual Franchise 500. Billed as the most comprehensive franchise ranking in the world, the Franchise 500 presents the top franchise opportunities based on an in-depth evaluation that measures financial strength, stability, growth rate, and brand power.
“As a franchisor, being recognized as the No. 1 business opportunity by Entrepreneur Magazine is a tremendous honor,” said 7-Eleven President and CEO Joe DePinto. “In turn, we recognize that our franchise owners are the key to this iconic brand’s success and share this award with them. Together, we have created a winning franchise system and work every day to provide new opportunities to entrepreneurs.”
Entrepreneur evaluates companies on several key factors: costs and fees, size and growth, support, brand strength, and financial strength and stability. All franchises are given a cumulative score based on more than 150 data points, and the 500 franchises with the highest cumulative scores become the Franchise 500 in ranking order.
Since its inception, Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 has come to be recognized as a competitive measure for franchisors and an important research tool for entrepreneurs looking for business opportunities.
“We spend months gathering and crunching data to produce the Franchise 500 ranking,” said Jason Feifer, editor-in-chief of Entrepreneur, “and have developed new ways to measure and analyze franchisors as new critical data points come into play. Franchising is ever-evolving, and factors such as social media presence and financing availability have become increasingly important.”
7-Eleven created the convenience store concept 90 years ago when a Dallas ice-dock operator decided to offer milk, eggs and bread in response to his customers’ needs. The company’s first expansion outside of Texas was in Florida. The retailer entered the franchising arena in 1964 with the acquisition of Speedee Mart, a chain of franchised convenience stores in California.
Today, 7-Eleven is the largest convenience store in the world. 7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses more than 61,000 stores in 18 countries. Almost 11,000 of those are in North America, and 7-Eleven plans to increase its U.S. presence significantly in the coming years. Currently, 90% of 7-Eleven stores in the U.S. are franchised.
7-Eleven’s growth strategy attracts a high-quality, diverse mix of individuals to franchise new and existing stores, and encourages current Franchisees to acquire additional stores. The convenience retailer features attractive franchising programs for military veterans along with opportunities for independent convenience store owners to convert and operate their stores under the 7-Eleven Brand.
“We have aggressive growth goals.” DePinto said, “This is an exciting time for entrepreneurial business owners to join an iconic brand and franchise network.”
To streamline the franchising process, 7-Eleven has developed an online application, and franchise candidates can be approved, trained to operate their stores in as little as three to six months. Candidates can visit Franchise.7-Eleven.com to apply.
“7-Eleven is always looking for new Franchisees to serve their communities, including diverse candidates and retired veterans looking for a second career,” said Larry Hughes, 7-Eleven vice president of Franchise Systems. “As we have expanded our fresh and hot food program, entrepreneurs with restaurant and food service experience have begun to seek us out. We welcome enthusiastic entrepreneurs who meet our qualifications to see for themselves why 7-Eleven is the best franchise opportunity.”