Top Ten Fast Food Franchises

1. McDonald's 
McDonald's restaurants are found in 119 countries around the world and serve nearly 47 million customers each day. McDonald's operates over 31,000 restaurants worldwide, employing more than 1.5 million people. The business began in 1940, with a restaurant opened by siblings Dick and Mac McDonald in San Bernardino, California. Their introduction of the "Speedee Service System" in 1948 established the principles of the modern fast-food restaurant. The present corporation dates its founding to the opening of a franchised restaurant by Ray Kroc, in Des Plaines, Illinois on April 15, 1955, the ninth McDonald's restaurant overall. Kroc later purchased the McDonald brothers' equity in the company and led its worldwide expansion and the company became listed on the public stock markets in 1965. 
 
2. Burger King
The first restaurant was opened in Miami, Florida in 1954 by James McLamore and David Edgerton, and has since used several variations of franchising to expand its operations. Burger King reported that there are more than 11,300 outlets in 69 countries; 66% are in the United States and 90% are privately owned and operated. The company has more than 37,000 employees serving approximately 11.4 million customers daily. 

 
3. Wendy's
Wendy's is an international chain of fast food restaurants founded by Dave Thomas in 1969 in Columbus, Ohio. As of December 2006 Wendy's was the third largest hamburger fast food chain with approximately 6,700 locations. Wendy's was founded by Dave Thomas on November 15, 1969 and was named after Dave's second daughter, Melinda Lou Thomas, then eight years old, whom her older siblings nicknamed "Wendy". The corporate headquarters is located in Dublin, Ohio. The first Wendy's restaurant was opened in 1969 and the chain grew rapidly to more than 3,000 restaurants by 1985. However, in the mid-1980s some under-performing Wendy's restaurants were closed. In 1986 Dave Thomas came out of retirement and started doing commercials for Wendy's and helped rebuild the restaurant until his death on January 8, 2002.

4. Subway
Subway is a franchise fast food restaurant that primarily sells sandwiches and salads. It is owned by Doctor's Associates, and has over 29,546 franchised units in 87 countries as of July 2008 and is the fastest growing franchise in the world. Currently, Subway is the third largest fast food chain globally after Yum! Brands (34,000 locations) and McDonald's (31,000 locations).
 
5. Taco Bell
Taco Bell is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., It is a Mexican-style fast food restaurant chain based in Irvine, California, United States. The restaurant has locations primarily in the United States and Canada, but also operates outlets in several other markets.
  
6. Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut is a restaurant chain and international franchise based in Addison, Texas, specializing in American-style pizza along with side dishes including pasta, buffalo wings, breadsticks, and garlic bread. Pizza Hut is the world's largest pizza restaurant chain and is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., whose restaurants total approximately 34,000 restaurants, delivery-carry out units, and kiosks in 100 countries.
 
7. KFC
Kentucky Fried Chicken, or KFC, is a chain of fast food restaurants based in Louisville, Kentucky. KFC has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Yum! Brands since 2002. The company was founded as Kentucky Fried Chicken by Colonel Harland Sanders in 1952.
 
8. Applebee's
Applebee’s is a United States company which develops, franchises, and operates the Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar restaurant chain.In 2007, there were 1,965 restaurants operating system-wide in 49 states, 17 international countries, and one U.S. territory. The Applebee's chain was started by Bill and T.J. Palmer who opened their first restaurant, T.J. Applebee’s Rx for Edibles & Elixirs, in Atlanta, Georgia in 1980.
 
9. Starbucks
Starbucks is an international coffee and coffeehouse chain based in Seattle, Washington. Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse company in the world, with 15,012 stores in 44 countries. Starbucks sells drip brewed coffee, espresso-based hot drinks, other hot and cold drinks, snacks, and items such as mugs and coffee beans. Through the Starbucks Entertainment division and Hear Music brand, the company also markets books, music, and film. Many of the company's products are seasonal or specific to the locality of the store. Starbucks-brand ice cream and coffee are also sold at grocery stores.
   
10. Domino's
Domino's Pizza is an international fast food pizza delivery corporation headquartered just outside Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States. It was founded by Tom Monaghan. As of 2006, it had 8,000 corporate and franchised stores in more than 54 countries. Domino’s Pizza began in 1960 when Tom Monaghan and his brother James bought "Dominick's Pizza", a small pizzeria in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The deal was secured by a $75 down payment and the brothers borrowed $500 to pay for the store. Eight months later, James quit the partnership and traded his half of the business to Tom for a used Volkswagen Beetle. With Tom as the sole owner of the company, Dominick's Pizza became Domino's Pizza.