McDonald's, the No. 1 ranked franchisor in the world, was founded in 1955 and is headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois. The chain boasts 36,290 restaurants around the world.
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Top global franchise businesses

Based upon the number of locations, revenues, growth and stability, the top five franchisors in the world are all restaurant chains. Hotel chains comprise four of the other top 10 franchise businesses.

1. McDonald’s

Founded in 1955 and headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois, McDonald’s has 36,290 restaurants

2. Subway

Founded in 1965 and headquartered in Miami Springs, Florida, Subway has 42,3230 restaurants

3. KFC

Founded in 1939 and headquartered in Louisville, KFC has 18,875 restaurants

4. Burger King

Founded in 1956 and headquartered in Miami, Burger King has 14,000 restaurants

5. Pizza Hut

Founded in 1958 and headquartered in Plano, Texas, Pizza Hut has 15,605 restaurants

6. 7 Eleven

Founded in 1927 and headquartered in Dallas, 7 Eleven has 56,450 convenience stores

7. Wyndham Hotel Group

Founded in 1990 and headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey, Windham has 7,760 hotels under the Wyndham, Ramada Inn, Days Inn, Super 8 and other brands.

8. InterContinental Hotel Group

Founded in 1946 and headquartered in Atlanta, InterContinental has 5,000 hotels

9. Hilton Worldwide

Founded in 1962 and headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Hilton has 4,440 hotels under the Hilton, Homewood, Hampton Inn & Suites and other brands

10. Marriott International

Founded in 1967 and headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Marriott has 4,200 hotels under the Marriott, Fairfield Inn, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites and other brands

Source: The 2016 Franchise Direct’s Top 100 Global Franchises list is compiled by taking a host of criteria, including system size based on numbers of units, overall revenues, growth, number of years in operation and market expansion.