conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, there are more than 760,000 franchised businesses in the nation, generating more than $1.53 trillion annually. That’s almost double the number of franchises recorded just one year earlier by the IFA, to help prospective franchisees identify the right business, each year BLACK ENTERPRISE compiles a list of top franchises for African Americans. This year’s list represents our editors’ choice of the cream of the crop -the best prospects across a range of the hottest industries. The results are based on a national survey of more than 450 franchisors that are members of the IFA and included such criteria as the current number of African American franchise units, startup costs, and revenue growth projections. Our survey was conducted by the BE research division. We have identified companies that completed our survey, responded to our research arm, or actively tracked their black franchisees. These companies also have significant numbers of black franchisees or substantial minority franchise outreach programs.
These days, what makes the hot sectors attractive to would-be entrepreneurs is America’s insatiable appetite for looking good and eating right, and this means big bucks for franchises offering health and beauty products and services. “We’re seeing a lot of impact in companies that are related to personal care, anti-aging, wellness, and laser technology for permanent hair removal,” says DeBolt.
Franchises such as Comfort Keepers, Home Instead, and other units that provide home care for seniors are hotbeds of activity. “The business-to-business sector is also growing because there are just a lot of new businesses, and these new businesses need various types of services such as Internet Website hosting and Web design, advertising and marketing, payroll, and accounting services,” says DeBolt.
Although hard hit by the events of September 11, DeBolt says the hotel industry is making a strong comeback as travel has increased. Restaurants, despite typically hefty franchise fees, are just as promising as other franchise operations. In fact, according to the National Restaurant Association, there are 878,000 individual restaurant locations nationwide, many of them franchised. What makes them so popular is the consumers’ increasing demand for convenience plus a shift in how people spend their food allowance.
“If you look at consumers’ allocation of how they spend their food dollar in America today, over 46% of it is allocated to the restaurant community, [but] if you go back to 1955, at that point, it was just 25%,” says Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research for the National Restaurant Association. “So what has happened in less than half of a century is that how consumers spend on food in America has changed dramatically. Consequently, when you have that shift continuing to persist, it means that there are more and more opportunities for restaurant operators and specifically those that run branded restaurant operations.”
Before Maurice Slaughter put up $1 million to launch the first of his three Harley-Davidson dealerships, he reviewed the company’s Uniform Franchise Offering Circular, a disclosure document that spells out all aspects of the franchisor. He also spoke with