The Franchise King®

The Top Franchise Trends And Predictions For 2021

franchise trends 2021

Before I share the top franchise trends for 2021, along with my Royal predictions (including a number of predictions from extremely smart franchise industry and small business owners/experts who ‘know things’), there’s something you need to know about my process this time around.

First off, I’m going at it alone. I’ll explain.

In past few years, I’ve consulted with my psychic to get a feel for up-and-coming franchise trends to write about. Broadly speaking, the franchising trends I’ve predicted have (for the most part) been right on target. Then came 2020. Blech! The year all of us want to forget.

pandemic 2020-2021 and small business

Regardless, if you read my 2020 franchise industry trends article in January of last year and have kept up with COVID-19-related business news, you probably know about one prediction I made that came true-in a big way. And that’s the current trend I’ll begin with.


Franchise Trends 2021: This One’s Here To Stay

phone ringing at busy fast food franchise business

(Cue the sound of a telephone ringing at a busy food franchise business.)

Hi…do you offer free delivery?”

“Yes we do.”

Great. How soon can a couple of pizzas be delivered?”

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy).

“Figure 35-45 minutes depending on the day and time.”

Ok. Will my food still be hot when it gets delivered?”

“No guarantees, but it should be. We use heavily insulated boxes.”

Okay. Can I use a coupon I have for a delivery today?”




Franchise Trends For 2021: Delivery

Now that you’ve figured out that delivery is one of the top franchise trends for 2021, you’d probably like to know if there are ways for you to capitalize on it as the owner of a franchise. There are.

But before I share a few of my ideas on the franchise opportunities you may want to look into, I need to put one of your possible concerns to rest. This one:

Isn’t the popularity of having things delivered going to wane?”

In other words, once the pandemic is finally over, are consumers and small business owners still going to want things delivered?

Keep reading to find out if delivery has a future in franchising.


The Latest Franchise Trends: Is High Delivery Volume Here To Stay?

One school of thought (as it pertains to the food-service industry), is that there’s so much pent-up demand to dine at sit-down restaurants, there’s no possible way that the volume of deliveries will stay at present levels. But that’s not my school of thought.

In reality, consumers (and businesses) have gotten used to getting their food delivered and eating it at home or work. In a way, it’s similar to how Amazon has turned us into online shoppers over the years. We’re used to it. What does this mean?

In the final analysis (mine), it means delivery is here to stay. Maybe not at the crazy-high level it’s at now, but at a higher level than it was pre-pandemic. And it’s definitely one of the major trends in franchising to keep your eye on.

The bottom line?

If you want to be your own boss in 2021, one area you need to focus on are franchise businesses that offer delivery in a big way.

With that in mind, here are a few franchise opportunities that provide delivery and should be looked at in 2021.



I was just interviewed on The Small Business Advocate Radio Show. Take a listen, as I talked about this year’s franchise trends.


Food Franchises To Buy In 2021

Let’s see what the latest franchising trends are in fast casual food and delivery, so you can begin searching for a franchise you can own. Ready?

Regardless of the fact that there’s extremely limited availability, let me show you why the franchise I’m going to talk about first is still worth discussing.

Domino’s Pizza

Although this is the 3rd time I’ve written about Domino’s Pizza in the past two years, please know that it’s not because Domino’s is compensating me* as part of franchise marketing program. Heck, I can’t even remember the last time I ate a Domino’s Pizza.

*It’s always been my policy to tell you if a franchise I’m writing about is compensating me, either as part of a franchise marketing program or on a one-time basis.  


Why Am I Highlighting Domino’s Again?

I’m highlighting Domino’s because of what they’ve been able to accomplish, especially during the last 12 months or so. But should you buy one?  

From the Domino’s Franchise Opportunity Website:

Follow the path of more than 95 percent of our franchise owners and learn to run and operate a store or supervise multiple stores, before investing in your own stores. Prepare and learn to successfully operate our business before buying our business.” More

Without question, based on that information alone, becoming the owner of a Domino’s franchise may be challenging. That is unless you can find an existing Domino’s franchise for sale. To do that, use this directory to contact a local business broker.


How Much Revenue Do Domino’s Stores Bring In?

Before the pandemic, on average, revenue per store was $1.1 million annually, according to this 2018 article on the always-reliable Restaurant Business Online website. And during the pandemic?

According to the most recent Domino’s news release for investors, same (franchise) store sales growth was up 11.4% for the 4th quarter of 2020, while up 3.3% compared to the 4th quarter of 2019.

Regardless, unless you have Domino’s FDD, and access to Domino’s franchisees so you can ask them about how much they make, specific store numbers will be difficult to come by.

But considering the fact that publications in almost every city in the United States were running “Wanted: Domino’s Delivery Drivers” ads on an almost monthly basis, I reckon that the store numbers are staying above average. And that means their pizza franchisees are making money. Part of the reason? Their incredible technology.


Trends In Food Delivery Technology For 2021

new tech developers

A meaningful discussion about fast food franchise opportunities in 2021 needs to include the latest trends in delivery technology. Why?

Because some of the technology being developed can really change the game for food-service businesses who need all the help they can get. Here’s more information on the technology that’s shaping the future of the restaurant industry.

top retail and restaurant reporter

According to Kate Taylor, Senior correspondent covering restaurants, retail, and other business news for Business Insider, “The rise of drive thru is huge, as well as the new techniques, such as having workers head to cars with iPads and new designs with updated technology!”

Question: Are you open to having your food delivered by a robot? Watch this:



Heck…I’m ready!

Now, let’s continue looking at more food-service delivery technology trends for 2021.

From New Food Magazine (UK):

Tech startups such as Deliverect, which creates a central hub between food delivery service providers and restaurants, is just one of many start-ups that are helping the food industry to become more efficient and to grow and adapt.”

According to Bring, ”Digitizing and connecting is the basic platform or foundation on which successful restaurant delivery rests. With orders coming in from multiple locations and going out ASAP, having a single place to manage your restaurant delivery operations will help your restaurant teams give your customers what they’re looking for: quick and delicious restaurant delivery.”

Finally, fast casual food businesses are starting to use technology that consumers already have. One example; the Echo Show. This Amazon product enables customers to order their food via video. Are any dining establishments in your area using it yet?  Do you have an Echo Show?


More Fast-Food Franchises That Deliver

franchise food delivery trends 2021

Here are a few other franchises in the food-service sector of franchising that offer delivery as part of their business model, and are worth a look in 2021.

*I just (1-7-2021) congratulated the folks over at Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop on their recent acquisition of Wingzone.


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2021 Franchise Trends: Curbside

I don’t know about you, but if I can avoid going inside a food-service establishment these days, I will. Enter curbside. It’s something our family did a lot of in 2020, and will continue doing so for most of 2021. Yours?

Clearly, the reason curbside has become more popular in our current pandemic economy is because, in most cases, curbside food pickup involves no in-person interaction or exchange* of money.

* When you order your food online, via phone or now potentially with your Echo Show, you’re almost always asked to pay for it right then and there.

Franchise Opportunity Tip: if you like the idea of getting into the food-service business, you need to focus on franchises that have a strong curbside pickup program. Then, once you choose a few food franchise opportunities, you need to ask the franchisees* how well it’s being implemented.

*Speaking of questions you need to ask franchisees, if you’d like to have a huge list of powerful questions to ask franchisees about their businesses (including profitability), along with when to ask them and how to reach them, grab my incredibly affordable franchise research guide. Included are questions you’ve never thought to ask, as well as free worksheets that will help you stay organized.


Franchise Industry Trends 2021: Focusing On Consumer Needs

It’s important to know is that some franchises provide things people and other businesses want, while others provide things that people and businesses need.

eyelash trends

For example, The Lash Lounge enables women to have long, beautiful eyelashes through the use of extensions. But do the women in our lives need to have eyelash extensions?

Attention Women: I’m not looking for trouble! So my answer is yes.

As a matter of fact, I created an entire section showcasing franchise opportunities focused on things women (and men) need. You’ll find it towards the end of this article on the latest franchise trends. Let’s continue.


I Believe This Is A Need

When a disaster happens in your home or business, like flooding from a heavy raid or a kitchen fire, do you need the services provided by a company like this to do a cleanup and help you get things back to normal? You bet.



To return to the subject at hand, investing in franchises that provide things that consumers and businesses need has always been a smart play. But it may be even smarter in 2021. Why?

Because of how Covid-19 has changed our world.


Another Current Trend In Franchising You “Need” To Know About

I want to tell you about a possible shift taking place. It’s one that could impact (in a good way) several franchise categories. And it’s related to what I wrote about above.

The shift I’m referring to is a shift from what consumers always considered to be “wants” to what they’re thinking are now needs. But why is this shift taking place?

Chiefly because of the pandemic. A once in a century (so far) event that’s going to continue to impact pretty much small business for most-if not all of 2021.

Google Says…

According to the data-rich Think With Google website, “One of the top things people are focusing on now is their personal well-being.” But why is that? Why now? I think you know the answer.

Because of the almost complete blending of work and personal time.

With that said, is it any wonder that more and more people are trying to figure out how to take better care of themselves?

Now, as to personal well-being and franchising…I’ll talk about that more in a bit. But first, let’s take a look at what’s happening at homes across America.


A Work-Life Trend: The Nearly Complete Blending Of Work And Home

I’ve had a home-office for years, so in my case, I didn’t need to create a home-office space.

cleveland office of the franchise king, joel libava

(That’s my desk in my home-office)

As a result, I’m used to answering my phone at 8:30 at night-during whatever Original Series on Netflix my wife and I are watching. It’s no big deal. And why is it not a big deal to take phone calls “whenever?”

Because I’m grateful that I’m my own boss.

In fact, answering phone calls from people interested in taking more control of their lives through franchising during non-office hour times is my pleasure. It’s actually quite energizing. But that’s me. What about you?

Are you okay with the blending of work and life?

Or, are you finding it difficult and maybe even unpleasant to have to deal with?

Finally, do you miss going to your office?


Take A Break

coffee break time

On the condition you’ll come back to finish what will in all likelihood be an award-winning article on the 2021 trends in franchising (cough), I’d like you to do something for yourself.

Specifically, I’d like you to step away from whatever device you’re using to read this, so you can stretch for a moment. Maybe you can get some fresh air?

Then, if you would, grab your favorite beverage and pop back. There are a few more trends I want you to learn about, plus several interesting predictions from franchise industry professionals and small business experts.


2021 Commercial Real Estate Trends: The Impact Of More Home-Offices Than Ever Before

Since last Spring, I’ve had numerous conversations about the future of Commercial Real Estate and leasing.

Generally, the feeling is that office space and retail space availability will be on the increase. In addition (and this is huge), Commercial Leasing prices will head down in 2021. Why?

Because lots of small businesses have had to shut down. That sucks.

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2021 Home Office Trends

home office trends in 2021

As of this writing, hundreds of thousands of people (at least) who had normally commuted to their offices are suddenly not. Daily routines have completely changed. It can be stressful. Especially for those who’ve never worked from home.

Note: The entrepreneur pictured above must have the working from home thing down to a science, because she does not look stressed-out!

That said, even with the increased stress, according to a well-researched article from Clever, 63% of employees continue to prefer working from home as opposed to the office, and nearly 30% plan to continue working remotely even after the pandemic. Hence, the trend of more available office space in 2021 and beyond.


Parents Who Are Working Out Of The House Are Wearing A Lot Of Different Hats

a lot of hats

Why are a large number of parents wearing a lot of hats?

For one, in some areas of the country, school-aged children are…well…not in school. They’re home.

Now in truth, some of the kids are fine with online classes.

But some of them need additional help, and the real little ones not only need help-they need supervision. And somehow this supervision needs to come from parents who are working from home trying to make ends meet. Talk about stress. Here comes the good part.

For parents who have found themselves in that situation, there’s a franchise business that has come up with a solution. This one. Great timing, I’d say.


Home Offices, Stress Levels And Your Well-Being

When it’s all said and done, working from home may not be the ideal situation. But some of us have no choice.

To that end, if you’ve found yourself in that situation, you know all too well how stressful it is to work and supervise your children who are home because their schools have discontinued* in-person classes. Heck-you’re only one person!

*A temporary situation…unless your company is telling you they want you to continue working out of your home.

That said, if you’re in that situation, or you know someone who is, hang on. I’m going to share a few franchise business ideas that can help you have some peace. Specifically, franchise businesses that focus on your well-being.

But before I get into that, I predict that there will be an upward trend in home-based franchises. Makes sense right? Especially since more and more people will be starting to ask themselves if a home-based business is the way to go-since they’re home anyway.

Tip: Check out this low-investment, fun, home-based Business Opportunity.

With that in mind, I’d like to share a few home-based franchise ideas to add to your list.


6 Home-Based Franchises To Explore In 2021

Click the links below. If any of the franchise opportunities for sale look promising to you, request information. That’s how it starts.

Now let’s talk about your personal well-being.


Your Personal Well-Being And The Franchises That Can Help Provide It

When you’re busy taking care of others (see above), it’s too easy to forget that you need to care of yourself.

That’s why franchise businesses in the “feel good” space are going to see an uptick in business in 2021. Heck, maybe you are already a customer of one or more feel-good businesses! If so, good for you! But have you thought of owning a small business that provides feel-good services and products?

If so, I would imagine that you’d feel pretty darn good about the profit you would make if you chose a good franchise opportunity in this space.

With this in mind, would you like to learn about some franchise businesses that specialize in making people feel good?


5 Franchises To Look At In The Feel-Good Space

The Woodhouse Day Spa®

How does a “tranquil, transformational environment that’s both memorable and healthful” sound? That’s what I thought.



Then there’s Spavia.

According to their franchise opportunity website, it’s a place where clients pay money for a “a peaceful refuge from your complicated and high stress lifestyle. Leave feeling refreshed, beautiful, and more relaxed than ever.”

Switching gears, if the idea of having less body hair makes you feel good, and you don’t mind owning and operating a franchise business with a weird name, take a look at this beauty-related franchise opportunity. Again. A weird. name.

Next on the hit parade is MY SALON Suite®, where franchisees give stylists the opportunity to run their own businesses. I’ll explain.

As a franchisee, you’ll secure a space in a high-visibility area, so stylists who don’t want to be employees anymore can set-up shop in their own individual areas and pay you rent. Learn more about this fast-growing niche here.


We Can See It In Your Eyes

Another trend? Eyelash extensions. And it’s big business.

One major player in this interesting niche is Amazing Lash Studio®, a company that offers their clients 4 proprietary eyelash extensions. They are:

  • Natural
  • Sexy
  • Cute
  • Gorgeous

As of this writing, Amazing Lash Studio has 260 franchise locations with more in the hopper.

The next feel-good franchise business is one that offers its customers Spray Tans, Red Light Therapy, Full-Body Hydration, and more. And it’s a pretty well recognized brand.

Planet Beach is the name, and it’s currently a 200+ unit franchise system.

Their claim to fame? Automated spa services. Again…automated. What?  



Finally, if you like the idea of providing products and services to a population of people who “feel the need to feel good,” Franchise Direct has a big list of franchise opportunities in the health and beauty segment.


My Royal Franchising Predictions For 2021

I predict buyer interest in franchising will increase in 2021. The reasons?

First off, psychologically, job-security may be at an all-time low. Why is that?

Because thanks to the poor shitty response from the Trump administration along with the constant lying that took place as to the danger of this pandemic, a large segment of the work population are in limbo.

Will I ever go back to my job at the office?”

Is my company going to have to shut down some of its locations because they can’t afford to pay the rent?”

If my boss tells me I need to continue working at home, how am I going to manage my kids and my job for much longer?“


That’s why more people are looking to be their own boss. You?

That said, I predict that at least 15% of the folks who were told to work from home will continue doing just that. In other words, their days of physically going to their offices will be gone (except for monthly, quarterly, or semi-annual in-person staff meetings).


Reason #2: There’s More Money In The Bank!

Personal economics are going to play a big part in franchising this year.

For one, more people working from home can usually translate into lower monthly expenses.

That combined with a stock market that’s been on quite the run during the past few years, and you have the perfect (exciting, positive) storm.

My point?

More people than ever have both the desire AND the money to go into business. And a lot of them like the franchise model. Although it’s not 100% proven, a lot of people interested in buying franchises feel that franchising lowers their risk.

That said, as long as the stock market doesn’t take a 20% hit, and people are smart with their money, a lot of new franchise businesses are going to open in 2021.

Important! Before you apply for a small business loan, your lender will need to see your formal business plan. Use LivePlan, so you can see your dream through!



Good News For Franchise Buyers!

If you’re thinking of becoming your own boss this year, and the franchise you’re looking to buy needs a commercial space, you may be able to take advantage of lower rent payments. Why is that?

Do I need to remind you of all the empty space in your area?

mayfield heights ohio empty commercial space

(An example: an Anytime Fitness franchise used to occupy that commercial space in Mayfield Heights, Ohio)

That makes this the perfect time to find a prime location at a reasonable price.  


More Franchising And Small Business Predictions For 2021

And speaking of predictions, my friend, Barry Moltz, has a few interesting 2021 small business predictions of his own.

The powerful woman who wrote the foreword for my hardcover book is predicting these things for 2021.

Another powerful woman and friend, Carol Roth, New York Times bestselling author and small business expert, shared her thoughts and predictions on doing business in 2021:

On the back of having to deal creatively with the government restrictions imposed during the pandemic, many small businesses, particularly restaurants, are leveraging technology and rethinking how to get their products to customers without having to use third party delivery services that impose high fees and cut into their operating margins.

Whether it is proprietary delivery for a fee, curbside pickups or other creative endeavors, small businesses with physical locations will continue to find ways to service customers without incurring the substantial expenses of these middlemen.”

Global Franchise Magazine has a few predictions of their own.


2021 Predictions From A Few Outstanding Franchise Industry Friends

Here’s what my friend, Greg George, who specializes in helping emerging food franchises grow their franchise units, predicts for 2021:

Food franchises with limited seating, take-out and delivery programs are the future. In addition, I believe it’s going to be a year or more before people want to dine out with their families in places with a lot of other customers.”

Another industry expert and friend, Mark Siebert, thinks 2021 will be a strong year for the franchise industry.

According to my franchise friend, Jane Stein, “It’s wellness, Joel! So many models now in not only the Vitamin Infusion space but medical as well. Non-surgical regeneration, platelet rich plasma, Infrared Light Therapy. We boomers are not going down without a fight!” 

Amit Nahar, President of Sparkleminds, says that “Franchising in 2021 is about Hybrid Models marrying Brick and Mortar with E-commerce and leading your competition not only offline but online as well.”

Finally, our friends in Canada are predicting good things for Canadian franchising in 2021.


Intelligent Office

It’s crucial to hear from the people in the trenches. In this case, the Commercial Leasing trenches. That’s the reason I contacted a gentlemen I worked with a few years ago.

Otto Beatty is the owner of the Intelligent Office franchise in Columbus, Ohio.

columbus oh office leasing

He’s in the business of leasing office space to entrepreneurs, as well as providing a plethora of services all small businesses need. Here are just a few of his thoughts and observations of what he’s seeing now.

The pandemic has caused businesses of all sizes to reevaluate where and how work is done. Vacancies in commercial office space both in downtowns and suburbs have increased.

That said, in my case, most our clients are small businesses and professional practices who are solo or have less than 5 employees, and many have found that a traditional office or physical space is not a necessity and can actually be a drag on profits or even existence.

Furthermore, the stigma of working from home or remotely has been eliminated and the clients of these businesses do not seem to care all that much. On the other hand, many businesses still want some presence or identity outside of their home or a third place to get work done or meet clients.

I’m finding that some larger businesses are looking for drop-in and team rooms for their remote or work from home teams to have the option to drop into.

Furthermore, the demand for business addresses, business mailboxes and flex/on demand space has continued to trend upward even through the pandemic. Some businesses have even rented space to conduct their Zoom meetings.


More Good News!

Note: Otto also told me that new business startups have been on the increase in the state of Ohio!

city in ohio

To that end, I’m curious. Are new business openings trending up in your state?

Tell me in the comments.


A Quick Summary On The Franchising Trends For 2021

All the signs are pointing to a good year for franchising in 2021.

As shown above, if you’re going to become your own boss this year, pick a niche that makes it easy for consumers to get what they need when they need it-regardless of market conditions.

The Bottom Line?

As long as the economy (including the stock market) remains good, and we kick this nasty virus out of our lives with vaccines* and treatments, life will get back to near-normal by the end of the summer.

*Please get vaccinated. This is not time to fall for non-scientific conspiracy theories. Enough is enough.

What do you think?

Do you have any business predictions for 2021?

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franchise article written by joel libava
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joel libava

I'm The Franchise King®, Joel Libava. I help prospective franchise owners avoid bank account emptying mistakes.
For 23 years, I’ve been showing people how to make smart, informed decisions on franchises to buy, and I can help you, too!
P.S. I'm not a franchise consultant/broker.

Joel is Highly Principled
There are many people in the franchise business who claim to to be experts in the field. Unfortunately many of them lack both knowledge and integrity. Joel, however, is without question one of the most qualified and principled people I know, in or out of his industry."
- Greg Reynolds, Retired Outplacement Counselor
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