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Starting a business

24 of the Best Franchises in Canada

When determining future career paths, many people think there are only two options available: you either work for yourself or for someone else.

For some, the idea of self-employment or owning and operating a small business can seem overwhelming. However, working for someone else also comes with challenges.

Operating a franchise location can provide the perfect balance between running your own business and working with a team. The franchise market allows business-oriented individuals to build a location and operate a business with an existing infrastructure and a large customer base.

Best franchises to own in Canada

If you’re looking for a list of some of the most profitable franchises in Canada, keep reading.

1. Tim Hortons

One of the most well-known Canadian brands in the world, Tim Hortons is also the biggest Canadian franchise in the country. Founded in 1964 by Canadian hockey player Tim Horton, the franchise boasts over 5,500 locations across 13 countries. For this reason, the coffee shop giant has become one of the most profitable franchises in Canada.

This industry-leading company offers business enthusiasts franchising opportunities for the future. To achieve the minimum financial requirements to become a franchisee, you must have a net worth of $500,000 and unencumbered funds of $100,000. You should also have experience running or managing a business. 

2. Canada Bread

As far as food franchises go, Canada Bread runs the largest commercial bakery operations in the country. Founded in 1911, the Canada Bread franchise has over 1,000 locations to its name. In 2014 it was acquired by the commercial bakery giant Grupo Bimbo, which operates in 33 countries worldwide.

To franchise with this brand, you'll need to go through the Canadian branch of operations, known as Bimbo Canada. This franchising opportunity requires 25% of the total investment in unencumbered cash. The total investment cost ranges between $20,000 and $450,000. 

3. Pizza Pizza

Pizza Pizza has been making delicious pizzas in Canada since its establishment in 1967. Now, this popular pizza company possesses over 730 locations across the country. As one of the best food franchises in Canada, Pizza Pizza has some great business opportunities for those interested in the pizza industry.

Pizza Pizza franchising requires a minimum initial investment of $150,000 from the franchisee to open a new location. You also need a minimum net worth of $250,000. 

4. Petro-Canada

The fuel company Petro-Canada was established in 1975 and merged with Suncor in 2009. It now has more than 1,5000 retail locations, 300 Petro-Pass locations, and 50 wholesale distributors across the country.

If you want to own a Petro Canada gas station, you will need to make a sizable investment. The initial franchise costs range from $1.5 million to $6 million and up, depending on factors such as land value and lot size. A cheaper option is to become a retailer, where the initial investment is $30,000 per site. 

5. Mr. Lube Canada

Because it's one of the best franchises in Canada operating within the automotive industry, owning a Mr. Lube franchise can be a lucrative endeavour. Established in 1976, this Canadian business now has over 170 locations across the country.

To gain business ownership of this automotive service franchise, prospective franchisees must possess cash equity in the range of $600,000 to $800,000. Many current franchise opportunities are available throughout Ontario and Alberta. However, the company has a presence in almost all provinces throughout the country.

6. Booster Juice

Since 1999, Booster Juice has been making delicious and healthy smoothies for its Canadian consumers. Even though this company is one of the younger establishments on the list, it has grown to over 400 locations across the country.

As far as Canadian franchisors go, the company has a relatively good buy-in for franchisees. To open a Booster Juice franchise, this franchise opportunity requires a minimum net worth of $500,000. Total costs, including an initial franchise fee of $30,000, range from $375,000 to $390,000. 

7. Boston Pizza

The first Boston Pizza opened in 1964, and since then, this Canadian franchise has established over 372 locations throughout the country. This popular restaurant and bar is the number one casual dining brand in the country.

Boston Pizza offers one of the most profitable franchises in Canada, illustrated by the fact that its franchise locations make, on average, gross sales of over $2.86 million. This franchisor has even extended 0% royalties on alcohol sales to its new business partners. To own a Boston Pizza franchise, you will need a net worth of $1.5 million to $2 million. 

8. Canadian Tire Gas+

Gas + falls under the Canadian Tire brand but offers separate franchising opportunities from the company’s leading depot stores. This auto industry franchisor possesses over 270 locations across the country.

The Gas+ franchise offers buy-in opportunities that are lower than other franchises, with an initial investment requirement of between $50,000 and $90,000. However, depending on market and site conditions, you might have to put up more money. If you are selected as a franchisee, contracts last for one year. 

9. Pet Valu

Pet Valu is one of the most profitable franchises in Canada when it comes to the pet industry. Founded in 1976, this Canadian franchise operates in over 400 stores and aims to have a presence in every province.

Franchising with Pet Valu can cost anywhere from $538,000 to $724,000. For that reason, eligible franchisees are expected to have a minimum net worth of $500,000 and liquid assets of at least $200,000 before they can be considered for partnership.

10. CARSTAR Canada

Another leading Canadian franchise in the collision repair industry is CARSTAR. This company was founded in 1994 and has grown to 300 locations across Canada. In 2015, CARSTAR was acquired by Driven Brands, the parent company of many automotive service businesses.

The initial franchise fee for CARSTAR is $14,995, plus a minimum branding budget of $5,000. You might need additional upgrades depending on your location, which would require more capital. 

11. Country Style Food

Country Style Food first opened its doors in Toronto, Ontario, in 1963. This coffee and doughnut company mainly operates in Ontario and possesses over 250 locations across Canada.

The franchise fee is $35,000, along with a required cash investment of approximately 35% to 40% of the total cost of opening operations, which varies depending on the location. The initial period of the franchise agreement is 10 years, with two available 5-year options. Royalty fees are a standard percent of business franchises, sitting at 4.5% of gross sales.

12. Thai Express

Thai Express is the leading Thai quick-service restaurant in the world, and one of the top franchise opportunities in the country. The food company works with MTY Group to help with its franchising needs. Founded in 2004 and opening with five stores, this franchise has grown to include hundreds of stores across Canada.

Prospective franchisees of a Thai Express location can choose between a mall unit or street location. In either instance, a franchise fee of $30,000 is required, as well as a 10-year term agreement and royalties amounting to 6% of gross sales. Overall initial investments can amount to anywhere between $454,050 and $876,700.

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13. Yogen Früz Canada

Yogen Früz Canada was first established in 1986, and has grown into an international operation boasting over 1,300 locations spanning over 40 countries.

Franchising opportunities with Yogen Früz start with a non-refundable franchise fee of $25,000. From there, prospective franchisees must have an available $150,000 to $500,000 of capital. They will claim a royalty fee of 6% of the location’s gross sales, with a national marketing fee in Canada of 3% of gross sales.

14. Harvey’s

Opening its doors in 1959, Harvey’s now has over 280 locations across Canada and has grown into one of the country’s top burger restaurants. This makes it one of the most popular and best food franchises in Canada. However, the buy-in is steeper than for other franchises that operate within the food industry.

If you’re interested in opening a Harvey’s franchise location, the total investment cost is $750,000 to $1 million, including $300,000 to $400,000 in cash. 

15. M&M Meat Shop

M&M Food Market offers franchising opportunities from the West Coast to the East Coast, with locations in every province. Founded in 1980, this popular food retailer now has over 2,000 locations to its name. Future franchise candidates can choose to invest in a new store or a re-franchised store, depending on their price point.

Opening a new store location will require $450,000 to $550,000+ to cover construction costs, and a further minimum of 50% of the total unencumbered funds. For a re-franchised location, you can expect to invest anywhere between $100,000 and $500,000, depending on the location’s performance, and you must possess the 50% minimum of total unencumbered funds.

16. Freshii

Founded in 2005, Freshii is one of the youngest franchising businesses on this list. Today, the Freshii brand has grown to almost 500 locations across 17 countries.

Freshii franchising requires a total investment of anywhere between $200,000 and $470,500, including a franchise fee of $30,000. You'll also need a net worth of $300,000, and $150,000 in liquid cash. The franchising terms of agreement span 10 years, with an option to renew for an additional 10 years afterward. Freshii is also entitled to royalty fees of 6% of the location’s gross sales.

17. Fix Auto

What started as a Canadian auto service business has grown into an international brand that provides essential services for the automotive repair industry. Fix Auto was founded in 1992 and has since become a leading collision repair brand.

With over 285 locations in Canada, Fix Auto's franchising standards are high. To discover the financial requirements and franchising fees associated with becoming a business owner of this brand, you will need to contact the company directly: opportunities@fixauto.com.

18. Mr. Sub

Mr. Sub is one of the most popular sandwich shops in Canada. It was founded in 1968 in Toronto, Ontario, and in 1972, the first franchise was sold. Today, the brand has grown to include hundreds of restaurants throughout the country.

Prospective Mr. Sub franchisees must contact the director of franchise development through Mr. Sub's parent company, MTY Group, at kkassam@mtygroup.com. You can also call 905-764-7066 ext. 8741.

19. Sutton Group Realty

The first Sutton Group Realty location opened its doors in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1983. This locally owned and operated real estate franchisor has expanded its reach to over 200 locations and offices.

Prospective franchisees of this business service franchise must contact Sutton to learn more about the current business planning opportunities and financial requirements.

20. Pita Pit

Pita Pit is a great Canadian opportunity for those looking to get into a healthy food franchise. Established in 1995, Pita Pit now operates over 450 stores in North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific. In 2021, Pita Pit was bought by the Foodtastic family of brands.

To franchise a Pita Pit location in Canada, you must pay a $30,000 franchise fee, and you'll need approximately $150,000 to $175,000 in unencumbered cash. The total projected cost comes in at $350,000 to $550,000. Pita Pit is also entitled to a royalty rate of 5% on gross sales. 

21. Liberty Tax Service

Liberty Tax is a financial company founded in 2017 that now serves both the Canadian and American markets. With over 250 locations in Canada and a further 2,500 in the United States, this company has become a tax market leader.

Liberty Tax offers low-cost franchise opportunities, starting with a capital investment of $43,000 to $60,000 and a franchise fee of $15,000. However, royalty fees are much higher than those of other franchises, claiming a whopping 14% of gross sales. 

22. Swiss Chalet

Home to Canada’s favourite rotisserie chicken, Swiss Chalet has become a staple in the Canadian food franchising industry. This popular chicken restaurant began in 1954 and has since opened over 190 locations across the country.

The total cost of opening a Swiss Chalet ranges from $1.3 million to $1.6 million, with a $550,000 to $650,000 cash requirement. At this price point, it is one of the more expensive franchise options available. 

23. Coffee News

With over 400 franchise locations in 6 countries around the world, Coffee News is a leading advertising and marketing publication in Canada. Since 2002, Coffee News has been recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine as the No. 1 weekly publication in advertising services, making it a great franchising opportunity. On top of this accolade, the company has also been voted one of the top low-cost franchises since 2017.

24. Mary Brown’s Chicken

With over 250 locations to its name, Mary Brown's Chicken calls itself one of the fastest-growing restaurant franchises in Canada. Franchising with Mary Brown's is an excellent opportunity to connect yourself to a company that has won a Franchisees’ Choice Designation 13 years in a row.

This franchise opportunity requires liquid capital of at least $300,000, as the total average start-up costs are over $840,000. This popular chicken franchise claims 5% of gross sales as its royalty fee, and 4% of gross sales for marketing costs.

Do you want to own a Canadian franchise?

From this list of the 24 most profitable franchises in Canada, what's your preference? Are you interested in a restaurant, auto repair, or accounting franchise? Ultimately, the best franchise to own in Canada is the one that aligns with your interest, experience, and budget.

If you’re considering one of these Canadian franchises, why not use QuickBooks Online to help you manage your branch's finances?

New business owners managing one or multiple franchise units can benefit from the use of these accounting solutions. QuickBooks Online can help you hit the ground running with expense tracking, financial reporting, and more.


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