Are you searching for a list of the best drive-thru franchises to own from this year?
At Jack in the Box, roughly 90% of our 500M annual guests choose drive-thru or take-out because of the speed and convenience it offers.
In this article, we will take a look at twelve of the best drive-thru franchises to own in no particular order.
Jack in the Box
We simply had to put ourselves on this list because of our innovative menu, flexible restaurant designs, and franchise opportunities in prime U.S. markets.
Jack in the Box offers a large and distinctive 24/7 menu with five dayparts to our customers. This means you can get anything on our menu at any time – day or night.
The drive-thru has become such an important part of our business model that our new prototype doesn’t even have an inside dining room.
Our latest prototype (known as the MK12) is designed to maximize efficiency, lower build-out costs, and streamline operations.
It includes a double Y-lane drive-thru with two order stations, covered walk-up window, and reserved parking spots for delivery drivers.
In-demand features like these increase the efficiency of online, pickup, and third-party delivery orders by prioritizing speed and convenience.
McDonald’s is certainly one of the most popular drive-thru franchises in the world. It’s hard to find anyone who isn’t familiar with their “I’m Lovin’ It” advertising campaign.
They currently have more than 38,000 locations in over 100 countries. Approximately 93% of McDonald’s restaurants are owned and operated by independent local business owners.
The availability of restaurants in specific areas is uncertain until you’ve completed your franchisee training. You may be required to relocate to your nearest restaurant opportunity.
Taco Bell is another one of the most famous drive-thru franchises in the world. In 1962, their first location opened in Downey, California.
In the United States, Taco Bell and their franchisees operate over 7,200 restaurants that serve more than 40 million customers each week.
This makes Taco Bell the largest Mexican QSR concept in the world when it comes to their total number of restaurants.
Their brand is growing domestically and internationally with more than 1,000 restaurants located in 30 countries across the globe.
Burger King currently has more than 7,000 restaurants across the U.S. with opportunities for growth across the U.S. and international markets.
This drive-thru franchise is known for creating signature recipes and providing family-friending dining experiences. Every day, more than 11 million guests visit Burger King restaurants around the world.
They empower franchisees with built-in support for ongoing operations along with training to gain access and know-how across all aspects of the business.
For more than 70 years, Dunkin’ has been one of the top coffee and baked goods franchises in the United States.
It only took five years after Bill Rosenburg opened their first location in Quincy, MA for Dunkin’ to begin expanding their footprint with franchising.
Today, they have more than 11,000 locations worldwide with over 8,500 of those restaurants located in the USA.
KFC, formerly known as Kentucky Fried Chicken, was founded by Harlan “Colonel” Sanders in 1930. They began franchising a few years later in 1952.
Since then, they’ve grown their drive-thru franchise to more than 25,000 locations across the world with most of their growth coming from outside the USA.
Close to 99% of their chicken restaurants are franchised and they bring in roughly $4.6 billion in U.S. sales each year.
Freddy’s is a nostalgic fast-casual restaurant with cooked-to-order steakburgers, hot dogs, shoestring fries, and frozen custard.
They are one of the fastest-growing franchises in the United States with 400 locations around the world.
Currently, they offer exclusive territories that are available across the U.S. along with international opportunities.
Del Taco is known for their authentic Tex-Mex ingredients, freshly prepared menu, and franchise opportunities in existing and untapped markets.
In 2022, Del Taco was purchased by Jack in the Box and has grown to +590 locations in +15 states thanks to their incredibly loyal fan base.
Their menu includes tacos, burritos, nachos, and other Tex-Mex favorites along with 100% beef burgers and crinkle cut fries.
Del Taco has a distinctive Fresh Flex Prototype built around providing the ultimate in speed and convenience for guests and restaurant operators.
The sleek design has plenty of curb appeal to attract visitors. Plus, they added a double drive-thru with dedicated lanes for mobile orders and delivery pickups.
To get started, submit this form and a member of their team will be in-touch.
In 1969, Dave Thomas opened the first Wendy’s restaurant in Columbus, Ohio. It didn’t take long for their quick-service chain restaurant to become famous for square beef patties and Frosty desserts.
Today, they operate 7,000 restaurants worldwide and are looking for new and diverse franchisees to join their team.
They have a variety of limited and available markets throughout the U.S. with a focus on California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Alabama, Tennessee, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Massachusetts.
Zaxby’s has seen a large amount of growth due to the success of their chicken fingers, chicken wings, chicken sandwiches, and chicken salads.
They have more than 900 locations in 18 different states with the majority of them located in the Southeastern United States.
Their headquarters is located in Athens, GA and they are currently looking for franchisees to expand their chicken restaurant into new territories.
The story of Whataburger began at a 24-hour burger stand in Corpus Christi, Texas. 70 years later, they have grown to more than 890 locations throughout the United States.
Their original idea was to serve a burger so big it took two hands to hold, and so good it caused customers to exclaim, “What a burger!” after their first bite.
Whataburger was family-owned until their recent acquisition by an investment company. This has allowed for more franchises to open in new markets.
Culver’s is a drive-thru burger franchise known for their frozen custard, butterburgers, and cheese curds.
Since 1984, they have grown from their first location in Sauk City, Wisconsin to more than 800 restaurant locations in 25 different states.
They are looking for owner-operators with the skills to take a team of people and operate a Culver’s according to their high standards.
Check Out These Additional Resources
We hope this list of the best drive-thru franchises to own helped you narrow down your search.
At Jack in the Box, we’re looking for multi-unit franchisees who are excited to bring our craveable 24/7 menu to new markets across the country.
Here are some additional online resources you may like to check out:
If you have any questions, please contact our franchise sales and support team.