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Which Food Franchise Makes the Most Money?

Which Food Franchise Makes the Most Money?

Are you trying to figure out which food franchise makes the most money? If so, you’re not alone.

At Jack in the Box, some of the most popular questions we receive are associated with costs to get started and how much you can make.

In this article, we’ll look at which food franchise makes the most money by comparing the average unit volume (AUV) for each brand from the QSR 50 Report.

McDonald’s

McDonald’s is one of the most well-known fast-food 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 operating by independent local business owners.

McDonald’s AUV: $3.4MM

The number above represents 2021 average sales per unit of franchised and company-owned stores.

Source: 2022 QSR 50 Report

Jack in the Box

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.

Our new prototype features dual drive-thru lanes for higher order volume and a walk-up window for mobile orders to serve today’s on-the-go consumer.

Jack in the Box AUV: $1.8MM

This number comes from Item 19 of our latest franchise disclosure document (FDD). To receive a copy of our most recent FDD, please contact our sales & support team.

Taco Bell

Taco Bell is one of the most well-known taco franchises in the world. In 1962, their first location was opened in Downey, California by Glen Bell.

In the United States, Taco Bell and their franchisees operate over 7,200 restaurants that serve more than 40 million customers each week.

Taco Bell AUV: $1.8MM

The number above represents 2021 average sales per unit of franchised and company-owned stores.

Source: 2022 QSR 50 Report

Wendy’s

Wendy’s is a quick-service burger franchise that has become famous for their square beef patties and Frosty desserts.

They operate more than 7,000 restaurants worldwide and are continuing to look for new and diverse franchisees to join their team.

Wendy’s AUV: $1.8MM

The number above represents 2021 average sales per unit of franchised and company-owned stores.

Source: 2022 QSR 50 Report

Del Taco

Del Taco serves freshly prepared, craveable food at an unbeatable value. This is one of the reasons they’re the second largest brand in the Mexican Quick-Service Restaurant (QSR) Industry.

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.

Del Taco AUV: $1.6MM

This number comes from Item 19 of the latest Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). To receive a copy of these most recent FDD, please contact their sales and support team.

Burger King

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 fast food 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.

Burger King AUV: $1.4MM

The number above represents 2021 average sales per unit of franchised and company-owned stores.

Source: 2022 QSR 50 Report

Qdoba

Qdoba is a fast-casual Mexican restaurant franchise that was founded in 1995 as “Zuma Fresh Mexican Grill” in Denver, CO.

Today, they have grown their taco franchise to over 700 locations across 47 different states along with Canada and Puerto Rico.

Qdoba AUV: $1.0MM

The number above represents 2021 average sales per unit of franchised and company-owned stores.

Source: 2022 QSR 50 Report

Sonic

Sonic has been one of America’s favorite drive-in burger franchises for more than 65 years.

Since 1959, they have grown their number of drive-in restaurants to 32,000 locations across the world.

Sonic AUV: $1.6MM

The number above represents 2021 average sales per unit of franchised and company-owned stores.

Source: 2022 QSR 50 Report

Moe’s

Moe’s Southwest Grill is a fast-casual Mexican restaurant franchise that was founded in Atlanta, GA by Raving Brands on December 9th, 2000.

The Moe’s menu is known for burritos, bowls, tacos, quesadillas, nachos, and salads. They even offer taco meal kits able to feed 4 to 6 people.

Moe’s AUV: $1.0MM

The number above represents 2021 average sales per unit of franchised and company-owned stores.

Source: 2022 QSR 50 Report

Whataburger

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.

Whataburger was family-owned until their recent acquisition by an investment company. This has allowed for more franchise locations to open in new markets.

Whataburger AUV: $2.6MM

The number above represents 2021 average sales per unit of franchised and company-owned stores.

Source: 2022 QSR 50 Report

Chipotle

Chipotle is a chain of Mexican restaurants that has become popular due to their specialty menu with a focus on natural ingredients.

In 1993, The first Chipotle opened their doors in Denver, CO. Fans of this Mexican grill love their burritos, bowls, quesadillas, tacos, and salads.

Chipotle AUV: $2.6MM

The number above represents 2021 average sales per unit of franchised and company-owned stores.

Source: 2022 QSR 50 Report

Carl’s Jr & Hardee’s

Since 1997, Carl’s Jr and Hardee’s have been sister companies of, CKE Restaurants, their parent company.

Hardee’s is known as the east coast equivalent of Carl’s Jr. However, both of these fast food franchises can be found around the world.

Carl’s Jr AUV: $1.4MM

Hardee’s AUV: $1.1MM

The numbers above represent 2021 average sales per unit of franchised and company-owned stores.

Source: 2022 QSR 50 Report

Five Guys

Five Guys is a fast casual restaurant focused on burgers, hot dogs, fries, and complimentary peanuts.

In 1986, the first Five Guys restaurant opened in Arlington County, VA. Since they began franchising in 2002, they’ve grown to more than 1,500 locations in 16 countries.

Five Guys AUV: $3.1MM

The number above represents 2021 average sales per unit of franchised and company-owned stores.

Source: 2022 QSR 50 Report

Freddy’s

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.

Freddy’s AUV: $1.8MM

The number above represents 2021 average sales per unit of franchised and company-owned stores.

Source: 2022 QSR 50 Report

Checkers & Rally’s

In 1999, Checkers acquired Rally’s and joined the two brands to create one unique franchise opportunity.

They are headquartered in Tampa, FL and have a combined 878 locations throughout the United States.

Checkers/Rally’s AUV: $1.1MM

The number above represents 2021 average sales per unit of franchised and company-owned stores.

Source: 2022 QSR 50 Report

Check Out These Additional Resources

We hope this list gave you a better understanding of which food franchise makes the most money.

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.

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