35 Most Profitable Franchises In Canada (2024)

Why go through the hassle of creating a new brand if you can just piggyback off an already-proven formula?

A franchise is a business model where an individual is granted the right to operate a business using an established company’s name, branding, and operational methods.

Tim Hortons, Starbucks, and McDonald’s are great examples of successful franchise businesses.

For those curious, I’ve compiled a list of some of the largest and most profitable franchises in Canada.

Let’s dive in!

Canada’s Largest And Most Profitable Franchises: Food

Restaurants and food-based businesses are, by far, some of the most popular franchises because of the simple fact that everybody needs food.

A 2019 survey by Statistics Canada revealed that at least 54% of Canadians eat out at least once per week, and many eat out more often than this.

1. Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons
  • What it is: A coffee and fast-food giant
  • Locations in Canada: 4,800+

Tim Horton’s is one of my favourite spots to grab a breakfast sandwich and a hot coffee in the morning. The chain was founded by Canadian hockey legend Tim Horton, and is one of the largest fast-food restaurants in the country.

2. McDonald’s

McDonald's Stock
  • What it is: The world-renowned fast-food chain
  • Locations in Canada: 1,400+

McDonald’s french fries are known around the world. McDonald’s was the original fast-food restaurant, creating a business model that would change the world forever.

3. Subway

  • What it is: Sandwich and salad franchise
  • Locations in Canada: 3,100+

When it comes to fast food, there aren’t a lot of “healthy” options on the market. However, Subway prides itself on offering healthy, high-protein subs and salads made with less-processed ingredients.

4. Starbucks

  • What it is: Global coffeehouse chain
  • Locations in Canada: 1,400+

Founded in 1971, Starbucks has grown into one of the world’s largest coffee chains. In addition to its stores, Starbucks owns its own supply chain, from the farms that grow its coffee to the factories that make its cups, straws, napkins, and many other ingredients.

5. Boston Pizza

Boston Pizza
  • What it is: Canadian-based pizzeria
  • Locations in Canada: 380+

While the name implies that it comes from Boston, this pizza franchise is actually native to Canada. It’s a reliable spot to grab a hot, delicious slice when you’re in a rush.

6. Dairy Queen

  • What it is: Soft serve ice cream and fast food
  • Locations in Canada: 600+

A popular fast-food chain that’s known for its soft-serve ice cream, Blizzard treats, and a variety of savoury meals like burgers and chicken strips.

7. A&W

  • What it is: Fast-food chain known for its root beer
  • Locations in Canada: 900+

Burgers, fries, and root beer… It may not be a healthy meal, but it sure does taste good on a Canadian road trip.

8. Booster Juice

Booster Juice
  • What it is: Smoothie and juice bar
  • Locations in Canada: 400+

Trying to feel healthier after your A&W meal? Stop by Booster Juice to get a cup packed full of fruits, veggies, and supplemental add-ons. In addition to smoothies, Booster Juice also offers raw juice cups.

9. Second Cup

Second Cup
  • What it is: Canadian coffee retailer
  • Locations in Canada: 300+

While Second Cup is nowhere near as large as Starbucks, it’s a Canadian original. I especially like the Caramel Carretto it offers.

10. Harvey’s

Harvey's logo
  • What it is: Canadian fast-food chain
  • Locations in Canada: 240+

If you’re looking for something that will fill you up more than McDonald’s and offers real beef burgers, it’s hard to go wrong with Harvey’s.

11. Baskin-Robbins

Baskin Robbins Logo
  • What it is: Ice cream and cake specialty shop
  • Locations in Canada: 100+

Baskin-Robbins has a huge selection of premium ice cream flavours. However, it’s probably best known for its signature ice cream cakes. These are a great option for a friend or family member’s upcoming birthday!

12. Pita Pit

  • What it is: Quick-service restaurant offering pitas
  • Locations in Canada: 225+

Looking for Mediterranean food on the fly? Pita Pit offers a number of Greek and Mediterranean-inspired dishes like salads and pita wraps. The ingredients are healthy and the food is good. What’s not to like?

13. Pizza Pizza

Pizza Pizza logo
  • What it is: Pizza delivery and takeout
  • Locations in Canada: 700+

In case it wasn’t clear, Pizza Pizza is all about… pizza. Its pizza is far from the best I’ve ever had, but it’s a great spot if you’re looking for an affordable pizza to split with your friends after a night out.

14. Cora

  • What it is: Breakfast and lunch restaurant
  • Locations in Canada: 130+

Cora’s got you covered if you’re looking for a casual spot to grab a hearty breakfast. They’ve got it all: Bacon, eggs, toast, oatmeal, grits, hot coffee! The chain also offers lunch menu items like sandwiches, burgers, and patty melts.

15. Taco Bell

Taco Bell logo
  • What it is: Tex-Mex food chain specializing in tacos
  • Locations in Canada: 170+

Nachos Bell Grande, Doritos Locos Tacos, Baja Blast… Taco Bell has made a huge impact on the industry with its legendary fast-food meals. Interestingly, Taco Bell is also one of the healthiest fast-food restaurants and uses notably less sodium than places like McDonald’s.

16. M&M Food Market

  • What it is: Frozen food retailer
  • Locations in Canada: 200+

Need a quick, quality meal fix? M&M Food Market offers a range of frozen gourmet meals and appetizers. Think lasagna, stir-fry, or delectable desserts – all ready in a jiffy.

17. Edo Japan

  • What it is: Quick-service Japanese food
  • Locations in Canada: 130+

Craving a taste from the East? Edo Japan brings the sizzle with their Teppanyaki-style cooking. Dive into their teriyaki chicken or savour some succulent sushi rolls.

18. Panago Pizza

  • What it is: Pizza delivery and takeout
  • Locations in Canada: 190+

If artisanal pizzas and fresh salads are your jam, then Panago Pizza won’t disappoint. With unique toppings and creative combinations, every slice delivers a delightful surprise.

19. COBS Bread

  • What it is: Bakery franchise
  • Locations in Canada: 120+

Nothing beats the smell of fresh bread. COBS Bread is your local bakery haven, churning out warm loaves, scones, and pastries daily. Perfect for that morning toast or evening sandwich.

20. Little Caesars

  • What it is: Pizza chain
  • Locations in Canada: 100+

In a hurry for some cheesy goodness? Little Caesars promises hot and ready pizzas, ensuring you get that crispy crust and melty cheese in record time. Just don’t expect too much in the realm of quality.

21. Burger King

Burger King logo
  • What it is: Fast food chain specializing in burgers
  • Locations in Canada: 350+

Got a hankering for a flame-grilled burger? Burger King reigns supreme. From the iconic Whopper to crispy fries, they’ve nailed the classic fast-food experience. Its onion rings and barbecue sauce are one of my go-to favourites.

22. Wendy’s

  • What it is: Fast food chain specializing in burgers, frosty’s, and baked potatoes
  • Locations in Canada: 400+

Square burgers and frosty desserts? Wendy’s got you. With fresh beef patties and rich milkshakes, Wendy’s is one of the more hearty fast-food competitors.

23. Pizza Hut

  • What it is: Delivery and takeout pizzeria
  • Locations in Canada: 500+

Although Pizza Hut is a bit salty for my taste, I used to love eating its iconic cheese-stuffed crust pizzas. I also like how it’s one of the few pizza franchises that still sells pizza by the slice.

24. Quiznos

Quiznos logo
  • What it is: Sandwich and sub restaurant
  • Locations in Canada: 150+

Sub lovers, rejoice! Quiznos serves up toasted sandwiches filled with quality ingredients. Whether it’s turkey ranch or classic Italian, there’s a flavour-packed sub waiting for you. Personally, I prefer Quiznos to Subway any day (maybe that’s just me, though).

Canada’s Largest And Most Profitable Franchises: Services

Service businesses are those that provide a service to consumers. This could be repairs, maintenance, packaging, cleaning, and others.

25. The UPS Store

  • What it is: Shipping and business services
  • Locations in Canada: 360+

UPS is one of North America’s largest packaging and shipping companies. Whether you need to pack and ship something, need boxes for your business, or need somewhere reliable you can ship and receive goods from, UPS has got you covered.

26. Mr. Lube

  • What it is: Automotive service and oil change
  • Locations in Canada: 170+

Mr. Lube is an industry staple for those looking for a fast, quick, reliable oil change. The chain also offers some other quick maintenance services.

27. Midas

Midas logo
  • What it is: Automotive service specializing in brakes and tires
  • Locations in Canada: 120+

Midas has locations throughout the US and Canada. This automotive repair chain specializes in brakes, suspension components, and tires. However, it can handle just about any other major repair that you have.

One of its standout features is that Midas partners with buy-now-pay-later programs to help make expensive repairs more affordable.

28. Molly Maid

  • What it is: Home cleaning service
  • Locations in Canada: 70+

Whether you need to get your Airbnb cleaned after a guest or want to get your home professionally cleaned, Molly Maid cleaners can handle everything from a simple touch-up to a full-scale deep clean.

29. Sport Clips

  • What it is: Haircuts for men and boys
  • Locations in Canada: 40+

If you’re looking for an all-inclusive haircut where you can watch sports and get a great cut, a hot towel, a shave, and a scalp massage, Sports Clips is a dream come true. It’s a bit expensive, but worth every penny if you want to treat yourself.

30. Enterprise Rent-A-Car

  • What it is: Automotive rental service
  • Locations in Canada: 450+

Whether you need to rent an economy car to run around town in, a luxury car to impress your date, or a commercial vehicle to haul equipment in, Enterprise is one of North America’s largest automotive rental companies.

Canada’s Largest And Most Profitable Franchises: Retail + Other

From convenience stores to gyms, these are some other well-known franchises in Canada.

31. 7-Eleven

7-Eleven logo
  • What it is: Convenience store chain
  • Locations in Canada: 600+

7-Eleven is one of the most “trendy” convenience stores in the world. Aside from its line of snacks, drinks, and custom accessories, it’s a prime example of how even a convenience store can benefit from modern marketing techniques.

32. Kumon

  • What it is: After-school math and reading programs
  • Locations in Canada: 300+

Often, students aren’t able to learn everything they need in a traditional school environment. Kumon provides after-school learning programs to help students get the help they need to succeed inside school.

33. Petro-Canada

Petro-Canada logo
  • What it is: Gas station and convenience store
  • Locations in Canada: 1,500+

Petro-Canada is one of the largest gas stations in the country. It’s also known for having some of the highest-quality gasoline in the country, thanks to its premium synthetic additives. On top of this, the company also offers its own prepaid phone plan – Good2Go Mobile.

34. GNC

GNC logo
  • What it is: Health and nutrition products
  • Locations in Canada: 200+

Whether you’re an athlete looking for high-quality nutritional supplements or you just need a reliable source for daily vitamins and minerals, GNC has you covered. While the prices are a bit high, the quality is great.

35. Anytime Fitness

  • What it is: 24-hour health and fitness club
  • Locations in Canada: 100+

As the saying goes, “health is wealth.” If you’re looking for an affordable gym with all of the basics you need to stay in shape, Anytime Fitness is a great way to go. The gym franchise offers both monthly and annual plans. With 100+ locations, it’s a great choice for frequent travellers.

How To Start A Franchise In Canada

If you’re looking for a simple, straightforward business model that doesn’t require a lot of creativity, opening a franchise can be a good solution.

Unlike most businesses that require you to come up with a brand-new idea, a franchise allows you to open a business selling the same products or offering the same services as a global or nationwide chain.

All you have to do is run the business properly, and you should see profits.

You’ll benefit from having your location advertised by the franchise and already have a reputable brand name instead of having to build your reputation from scratch. You’ll also receive a full business plan.

The main downside of opening a franchise is that you’ll have to pay additional franchising fees.

Here are the basic steps to starting a franchise in Canada:

Step 1: Market Research

Step 2: Initial Discussions With Franchise Business

Step 3: Legal Review

  • Before signing anything, have a lawyer check the FDD
  • This ensures you understand fees, terms, and any potential issues

Step 4: Obtain Financing

  • Determine how you’ll fund your franchise, be it savings, loans, or government programs

Step 5: Training and Initiation Program

  • Most franchisors offer training programs to get you started on the right foot

Step 6: Decide On Location

  • Pick a spot that suits your business, considering foot traffic and competition
  • You may be required to construct a building for your business, which can incur additional expenses

Step 7: Obtain Licenses and Permits

  • Make sure you have all the necessary paperwork to operate legally

Step 8: Launch Your Business

  • Hire and train employees
  • Open your doors for business
  • Market and advertise to your demographic

Conclusion – What’s The Largest Franchise In Canada?

The largest franchise in Canada, by a long shot, is Tim Hortons. With over 4,800 locations across the country, this coffee and breakfast spot can be found on virtually every other corner. It just goes to show that a successful business doesn’t have to be complicated.

Looking for more business ideas?

Keep reading to see my list of the top business ideas to start in Canada!

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Author Bio - Christopher Liew is a CFA Charterholder with 11 years of finance experience and the creator of Wealthawesome.com. Read about how he quit his 6-figure salary career to travel the world here.

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