What’s the Best Restaurant Franchise Category?

Congratulations! Out of 780,000+ franchises, you narrowed it down to restaurants. If you’re looking for a new business opportunity, this is a great industry to invest in. Unfortunately, that still leaves you with over 180,000 quick-service restaurant (QSR) franchises to choose from. After considering your goals, portfolio and market, however, you’ll be able to find the best restaurant franchise for you in no time.

1. Define your goal

Step one to finding the best restaurant franchise is to define what you want out of the investment. Be specific. Of course, you want to make money. But what else matters to you? Are you interested in growing with a brand? Do you want to be proud of the product you’re selling? Consider these and the following questions to help you decide:  

  • How involved do you want to be in the operation?  
  • What kind of support do you want?  
  • What kind of ROI are you looking for? 
  • What values are important to you? 
  • What’s the competition like in your market?  

2. Consider your portfolio 

If you already have multiple franchise units or concepts, it’s important to consider how a new franchise will impact your portfolio. For example, if you already have a burger, chicken or pizza franchise, you may want to expand. That way, if there are supply chain issues with your key ingredients or the brand loses popularity, you’ll have other franchise concepts to rely on. Plus, many QSRs do better in certain seasons. A balanced portfolio can keep your overall earnings consistent throughout the year. 

Another thing to consider is whether your portfolio includes a mix of both large and emerging brands. With large franchises, you can benefit from greater brand recognition, but you may also have to pay for it with bigger franchise fees. There may also be limited market availability, forcing you to choose less-than-ideal locations. With emerging brands, you may have to leverage more local advertising in new markets but benefit from securing prime locations as the brand grows. Either way, consider mixing up your portfolio with brands across the spectrum.

3. Research your market

Finally, consider where you’d like to expand. Talk to your friends and family in the area. What are they missing? What options do they wish they had? According to a recent report, it may be something they don’t even know is an option. Especially after the pandemic, a greater emphasis on health and wellness has impacted everything from corporate offices to social media and even the QSR industry. It’s challenging to find fast, healthy food without compromising on taste or cost. Across the country, there’s a gap in the market for something that allows people to eat well without sacrificing convenience.  

Jerry Bajwa, WaBa Grill Franchise Owner, speaks about his experience opening the healthy rice-bowl concept:  

“Our WaBa Grill location in Tempe has experienced tremendous success, which makes us extremely eager to introduce this healthy rice bowl chain to new markets in the state including Arizona communities with limitless growth potential that also embrace a health-conscious lifestyle.” 

Why you should consider the WaBa Grill franchise 

WaBa Grill was founded in 2006 on the principle that healthy food made with quality ingredients should be accessible to all. They fill a gap in the market for good, fast and affordable food.  

Right now, WaBa Grill is primarily located on the West Coast and is primed for growth across the country. With unique rice bowls, fresh vegetables, plant-based protein options and signature sauces, they’re positioned well to capitalize on the growing popularity of Asian cuisine. Their consistent menu innovation is balanced with simple operations, helping franchise owners stay ahead of the market without loosing scalability.  

Over the past few years, they’ve experienced tremendous franchise growth and have climbed industry rankings, including: 

  • Fast Casual’s 2023 Top 100 Movers & Shakers 
  • Nation’s Restaurant News (NRN) 2022 Top 200 

Javier Martinez, another WaBa Grill Franchise Owner, speaks to how scalable the concept is:  

“A system was in place; how to prepare the rice, how to prepare the chicken, everything was in place. It makes it easier for your staff and makes it easier for you to train your staff. That adds to the scalability of this business. What you’ve learned and taught in one, you can repeat in the next location and on and on.” 

If you’re looking for a scalable concept in a unique category with limited competition, then WaBa Grill should be at the top of your list.  

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