Earning money and enjoying what you do don’t have to be mutually exclusive, especially if you’re considering opening a franchise. Franchising spans a variety of different industries and market values, so you’re bound to find an opportunity that aligns with your interests and business goals. Not to mention, there are certain brands and industries within franchising that have proven to be wildly profitable, time and time again. 

As 2020 has pushed many aspiring business owners to seek the security, freedom and promise of franchising, you’ve probably wondered: what are the most profitable franchises out there today?

If you’ve stopped for a burger or a coffee and donut recently, then you may already know the answer. JustBusiness reports that McDonald’s and Dunkin’ claimed the top two spots, respectively, on the list of the 10 most profitable franchises in 2020. Clearly, there’s something to be said about the strength and resilience of food franchises – and the power of exceptional brand recognition. Just like McDonald’s and Dunkin’, there are many food and restaurant franchises out there that can guarantee a loyal customer base, which is key for generating a profit. Not to mention, the operations and profitability of food franchises are particularly attractive to multi-unit investors, especially QSRs and fast casuals that can allow them to ramp up growth fairly quickly. 

In 2019, Franchise Direct noted travel-related services as the second category of the most profitable franchises. Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, this ranking has remained fairly relevant. Dream Vacations claimed the fourth spot on the list of top profitable franchises in 2020. Generally speaking, many different travel planning franchise opportunities are low-cost and home-based, which means little to no overhead and more flexibility for you to earn more profit on your terms. The travel industry is resilient, and as COVID-19 restrictions ease, there will certainly be a pent-up demand for travel. 

COVID-19 didn’t just impact the travel industry. The same 2019 article from Franchise Direct also listed home and business services as a top franchise category, a category that continued on and persevered in 2020. Franchises including The Maids and JAN-PRO reigned supreme, and for good reason. While home- and commercial-based cleaning have remained steadily in demand, the pandemic certainly accelerated the need – and value – of these types of franchises. Some of the most valuable franchises aren’t necessarily in the restaurant industry!

Franchising isn’t for everyone, but if you’re genuinely interested in pursuing these profitable sectors of the franchising industry, the value can extend far beyond the profits themselves. You can create value for your community by providing jobs and needed products or services, all while creating a legacy for you and your family. Ultimately, any industry can be profitable if you’re passionate about the business and there’s a genuine need in your community.