Top Franchise Categories Retain Relative Ranking in Q1

Food and Restaurants Maintain Most Popular Rank, as Automotive Leads Quarterly Growth

April 28, 2020 – Despite coranavirus-driven volatility in key business sectors in March, the relative ranking of top franchise categories remained the same in Q1 of 2020, compared with Q4 of 2019. Food and Restaurant franchises continue as the most popular category drawing interest from potential franchisees, and Automotive franchises logged the greatest growth in investment inquiries from one quarter to the next.

 The Franchise Insights rankings are proprietary data drawn from the FranchiseVentures’ demand-generation platform, which provides the largest flow of franchise-investment inquiries from potential franchise buyers in the United States. 

  • Food and Restaurant franchises held onto its No. 1 ranking in Q1 2020, with 17.9% of the investment inquiries. The category retained the top spot despite an 10.7% decline in share of quarterly inquiries, no doubt driven in part by social-distancing guidelines that affected several key franchise categories in February and March. 
  • Home Services maintained a No. 2 rank with 16% of inquiries, and Business Services held on to No. 3 with 10.5%. Both saw quarterly growth in inquiries,  with Home Services growing its share 2.1% in Q1 and Business Services gaining 4.2% in share. 
  • Automotive franchises saw the most growth in franchise interest among the top 10, with its share of inquiries gaining 25.5% from Q4 to Q1. Its overall share of investment inquiries was 4.3%, ranked No. 8.
  • Health and Fitness and Education franchises were other growth leaders among the top 10, logging 14.9% and 12.1% gains, respectively. Health and Fitness was ranked No. 6 overall for the quarter, with 6.5% of inquiries, and Education was ranked No. 7 with 6.4% of inquiries.

Top Franchise Categories by Share of Interest Q1 2020

Category Q4 2019 share Q1 2020 share Change in share
Food & Restaurant 20.1% 17.9% -10.7%
Home Services 15.7% 16.0% 2.1%
Business Services 10.1% 10.5% 4.2%
Cleaning & Maintenance 10.0% 10.0% 0.4%
Senior & Health Care 9.2% 9.5% 2.8%
Health & Fitness 5.8% 6.5% 12.1%
Child-related 5.6% 6.4% 14.9%
Automotive 3.4% 4.3% 25.5%
Financial Services 3.9% 3.3% -16.3%
Education 2.9% 3.1% 6.8%
Retail 2.5% 2.2% -11.4%
Travel & Lodging 3.2% 2.1% -34%
Personal Services 2.1% 2.1% -1.8%
Pet Services 2.0% 2.1% 2.8%

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 Tuesday, April 28th, 2020.

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