Post-Pandemic Migration of Prospect Interest Northward and and Eastward for Franchise Development

By: Michael Alston for Franchise Insights

October 25, 2023 – The migration of interest in franchises continues to shift northward and eastward according to new data from By comparing quarterly shares by state for the first quarter of 2022 to the third quarter of 2023, there was a continuation of the shift in the mix of where aspiring franchisees were expecting to locate franchises – from south to north, and west to east.  In the color-scaled map above, increasing state share in that period is shown in green, and decreasing share is in red, ranging from just under one percent in either direction (-0.7% to 0.7%).

This is almost a mirror image of the shifts in franchise interest from 2020 to 2022 that we showed earlier, and somewhat of a continuation of the northward and eastward trends spotted in an April 2023 article.

Note that the state locations shown are where the prospect was searching to buy franchises, which in most cases is the prospect’s current state of residency.

 North Carolina, gaining 0.68%, and California, losing 0.72%, had the two largest absolute changes in percentage share of franchise prospects among all 50 states over the recent 16-18 month span. Among the states with the largest increases in share, joining NC and Florida were Mid-Atlantic states (NY, NJ, PA) and Georgia rounding out the top five gainers. Indiana and Mid-Atlantic PA, DE and CT and neighboring WV rounded out the top ten. 

The chart below shows the percentage change for the states with the largest 2023 overall franchise interest, where among the top three, only Florida showed growth. Texas and Illinois showed only slight decreases compared to California.

The overall trends in location of interest support the theory that having experienced remote work and more flexible working conditions brought about by the pandemic, workers moved to warmer and less-populous states. But in the most recent twelve months ending March 2023, those trends reversed, with some of the largest growers in the prior period now showing a lower share of interest.

In this analysis we did not look at in-state migration – from larger to smaller cities with more affordable homes and less traffic, for example.

This proprietary data is drawn from the FranchiseVentures lead generation platform of franchise-investment inquiries in the United States.

FranchiseVentures is the leading franchise lead-generation platform for potential franchisees to thousands of growing franchise systems in the United States and Canada. Its franchise lead generation brands include, Franchise Solutions, Franchise Gator, Franchise Opportunities, Franchise For Sale, and, and together they provide the largest aggregation of prospective franchise buyers in the U.S.

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Published on Wednesday, October 25th, 2023.

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