Inspire Brands was well represented in Entrepreneur’s 2019 Franchise 500 rankings, with Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings and SONIC Drive-In all making significant leaps on this year’s list. The 2019 ranking of America’s strongest franchises included three brands from Inspire due to their respective standing across five areas — brand strength, size and growth, support, cost and fees, and financial strength and stability.
SONIC landed at No. 3 overall in the 2019 ranking. Over the last year, SONIC surpassed 3,600 restaurants — its largest unit count in brand history. SONIC also rolled out its Mobile Order Ahead feature systemwide in 2018, allowing guests to customize and order their meal, pay, and select which location and time to pick up their meal.
Arby’s continued its upward trajectory as well, breaking into the top 50. The large leap was backed by the brand achieving its best year of sales and unit growth in Arby’s history.
Additionally, the creation of a Restaurant Excellence team helped Arby’s focus on improving its back-of-house operation across its system. From equipment and preparation, to production and packaging, Arby’s Restaurant Excellence team is focused on continuing to deliver a better guest and team member experience.
Buffalo Wild Wings made its first appearance on the list in recent years. In 2018, the brand partnered with DraftKings to create a custom fantasy football mobile game exclusively available to guests at Buffalo Wild Wings during the football season.
Buffalo Wild Wings also unveiled a new restaurant design, providing guests with a unique and immersive experience that includes features that have never before existed at the sports bar.
More than 1,000 companies applied for this year’s ranking, according to Entrepreneur. To see the full list of the Franchise 500, click here.