Jersey Mike’s takes No. 2 spot on Entrepreneur’s annual Franchise 500 list

Entrepreneur recently unveiled its 45th annual Franchise 500 list, and Jersey Mike’s, the Manasquan-based sandwich chain that grew from hometown hero to national powerhouse, ranked No. 2 on the 2024 listing. The brand is still poised to grow more going forward, as it plans to go international and open its neighborhood deli-feel to the world.

Jersey Mike’s started franchising in 1987. The franchise is big, but it draws strength from thinking small. The sub shop has pursued measured growth with a community-first approach for nearly 40 years. That strategy has drawn the right franchisees in the most receptive locales, and propelled Jersey Mike’s to its highest Franchise 500 ranking ever. (Last year, it was No. 3.) This year marks its 13th consecutive year in the ranking.

With 2,557 locations across the country, Jersey Mike’s plans to open 1,000 additional stores in the U.S. over the next three years.

Entrepreneur’s ranking shines a light on the unique challenges and changes that have shaped the franchise industry over the last year — and how franchisors have adapted and evolved to meet them.

Entrepreneur said the 500 companies that made the ranking this year had a total of 618,331 units open as of July 31, 2023 — a 2.85% increase over the previous year’s total. In fact, the number of units has increased steadily each year since the pandemic — 8.39% overall from 2020 to 2023 — indicating the vitality of the franchise industry as a road to entrepreneurship.

Some of the other New Jersey-based franchises on the list include Paris Baguette, Moonachie (No. 61); Wyndham, Parsippany (161); Bubbakoo’s Burritos, Wall (232); the Vitamin Shoppe, Secaucus (308); Weichert, Chatham (364); Duck Donuts, Marlton (445); Playa Bowls, Asbury Park (461).

“Every brand on the Franchise 500 has its own unique story, but they all collectively make the same statement: Franchising is strong and resilient, is full of innovation and opportunity, and provides a powerful entrepreneurial path for many people,” Jason Feifer, editor in chief of Entrepreneur magazine, said. “Our 45th annual ranking is full of companies with fresh ideas, exciting business models, cultural sway and the kind of business sophistication that will define the next 45 years and beyond.”

To view the entire 2024 Franchise 500 list, click here.

The 2024’s Top 10 franchises:

  1. Taco Bell
  2. Jersey Mike’s Subs
  3. Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen
  4. The UPS Store
  5. Ace Hardware
  6. Dunkin’
  7. Culver’s
  8. Hampton by Hilton
  9. Arby’s
  10. Kumon