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IRVINE, Calif. -- Three convenience store retailers—Circle K, 7-Eleven Inc. and BP’s ampm—claimed spots in Entrepreneur's newly released 2009 Franchise 500 ranking. 7-Eleven, which was ranked the magazine’s top franchise in 2008, lost the coveted No. 1 spot this year to Subway, and dropped down to No. 30 on the list.
The Top 10 franchises for 2009 are:
3. Liberty Tax Service
4. Sonic Drive In Restaurants
5. InterContinental Hotels Group
6. Ace Hardware Corp.
7. Pizza Hut
8. UPS Store, The -- Mail Boxes Etc.
9. Circle K
10. Papa John's Int'l. Inc.
In spite of recent economic troubles, Subway CEO Fred DeLuca said 2008 is the chain’s "best year ever." The company surpassed the 30,000-restaurant mark and has 1,600 stores scheduled to open in 2009, with another 2,400 franchisees approved and waiting.
According to Entrepreneur, the rankings for all 500 companies are determined using an exclusive formula that takes into account objective and quantifiable factors for each company. The most important factors include financial strength and stability, growth rate and size of the system. All franchises are given a cumulative score, and the franchises with the highest cumulative scores become the Franchise 500 in ranking order.