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Franchise Direct Releases Top 100 Franchises 2023 Report for the UK

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Franchise Direct are delighted to announce that they have released the fifth annual Top 100 Franchises ranking for the UK. The report offers an essential look at the top franchises operating across the United Kingdom.

Following an in-depth analysis of data from hundreds of franchise brands, Franchise Direct has awarded the top spot to Costa Coffee.

With over 2,000 franchised units across the UK alone, Costa Coffee is one of the most recognisable and second-largest coffee franchises in the world. Such is the strength of the brand; the company was able to beat off other food franchises like McDonalds (who have previously held the top spot for the past fours years) KFC, Burger King, and Subway to the top spot of the list.

Just ranking below Costa Coffee, at No.2 and No.3, respectively were Subway and McDonald's.

The Top 20 UK Franchises:

1Costa CoffeeUnited KingdomCoffee Franchises
2SubwayUnited States of AmericaSandwich Franchises
3McDonald’sUnited States of AmericaFast Food Franchises
4Domino'sUnited States of AmericaPizza Franchises
5One Stop StoresUnited KingdomStore Front Retail
6KFCUnited States of AmericaFast Food Franchises
7KumonJapanEducation Franchises
8Burger KingUnited States of AmericaFast Food Franchises
9Papa John'sUnited States of AmericaPizza Franchises
10The Travel FranchiseUnited KingdomTravel & Leisure
11SkechersUnited States of AmericaFashion Franchises
12VodafoneUnited KingdomInternet Franchises
13TaxAssist AccountantsUnited KingdomAccountancy & Financial
14Snap-on ToolsUnited States of AmericaHomewares and DIY
15Platinum Property PartnersUnited KingdomProperty Investment Franchises
16CeXUnited KingdomRetail Franchises
17Red Driving SchoolUnited KingdomDriving Franchises
18Fantastic ServicesUnited KingdomHome Services Franchises
19Clarks ShoesUnited KingdomFashion Franchises
20First Class LearningUnited KingdomEducation Franchises


The make-up of the Top 20 franchises indicate that food & drink franchises still dominate the sector, with nearly all the first 10 franchises being made up of fast-food franchises and coffee/sandwich franchises. Once again, brand name recognition is still an influencing factor in industry success with big names such Domino’s, KFC, Subway, Papa John's, McDonald's and Burger King ranking highly on the list. This further proves that a loyal customer base and an established business identity are big factors that lead to success and longevity in the market. Outside the Top 20, franchises like Baskin Robbin’s and Pizza Hut also feature.

Most Featured Countries in the Top 100:

UK Franchises
US Franchises
AU Franchises

Some of the Newcomers to the Top 100 List

One Stop StoresNo. 5
The Travel FranchiseNo. 10
ClarksNo. 19
First Class LearningNo. 20
Snappy SnapsNo. 43
Upper CrustNo. 53
West Cornwall Pastry CoNo. 55
Kaspa's DessertsNo. 69
ItsuNo. 91
Esquires CoffeeNo. 94


To compile this report, Franchise Direct extensively analyses data and research that is collected by company submitted information. Using a simpler methodology than the previous years, the Top 100 ranking is compiled by taking into account the number of units that are open in the UK and the number of units abroad – if any.

Learn more about the Methodology here


Franchises Direct has been publishing rankings for more than 10 years. This UK report was a new addition to the site in 2019, along with the launch of the French Top 100 Franchises. Both reports take inspiration from the US Top 100 ranking, which is regularly cited by industry professionals in North America. The purpose of these rankings is to provide those in the industry an opportunity to compare the franchise market and system.

*Please Note:

The Franchise Top 100 List ranking is not intended to endorse, advertise, or recommend any particular franchise system, nor is it a definitive list.

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