In terms of revenue, the leading franchise in the United States is McDonalds, who generated over 96 billion U.S. dollars in sales worldwide in 2018. They are followed by other such iconic names as 7-Eleven, with 86 billion dollars in sales, KFC with 26.24 billion, and Burger King with 21.62 billion. However, the largest franchise in terms of the number of establishments is Subway, with almost 26,000 as of 2017. This compares to around 14,000 McDonalds establishments, and just over 7,000 each for Pizza Hut and Burger King. The largest non-retail franchises in terms of revenue are the real estate company RE/MAX, and the international hotel chains Marriot, Hilton and Hyatt.
The costs of opening a franchise in the United States are substantial. The initial investment for a McDonalds franchise in 2018 stood at around 2.23 million dollars, of which the majority (around 1.5 million) is for signs, seating, equipment and décor. Similarly, costs for a KFC franchise at that time were around 2.7 million dollars, and over 3.2 million dollars for Burger King. Establishing a Subway franchise however is much cheaper than the other major fast food chains, at around 342,400 dollars. Conversely, and not surprisingly, costs for a Marriot Hotel franchise are significantly higher, totaling over 105 billion dollars.