Intriguing Publicly Traded Franchising Opportunities

publicly traded franchise company

Purchasing Stock in a Franchise Allows for Ownership on a Smaller Scale

What if you’re enamored of the franchising business model but not ready – or maybe not financially able – to go all in? Perhaps you might consider buying stock in a publicly traded franchise company. Many have proved themselves to be excellent investments over the years. 

To find a promising performer, you should plan to do your due diligence, of course. Some ways to take a company’s temperature include checking recent news about your potential target stock or stocks, looking up annual rankings of franchises in publications such as Entrepreneur magazine, following a candidate’s performance in stock tables, and discussing stock positions with your financial adviser. Listed in alphabetical order below are a few publicly traded franchise companies to consider. 

European Wax Center Inc.

European Wax Center Inc. has announced aggressive growth plans, made its initial public offering (IPO) trading at $17 per share in early August 2021. It raised $180 million to fund an expansion from just over 800 locations this summer to 3,000 by the year 2036. Expect to spend about $28 per share if the recent price holds. The company was established in 2004 and began franchising in 2008.

First Watch

The breakfast, brunch and lunch restaurant is expected to launch its IPO next week, according to media reports. The IPO could raise up to $218 million in two phases. It reportedly will offer 9.5 million shares at about $17 to $20 apiece, raising about $190 million for First Watch Restaurant Group Inc. It also would separately give underwriters an option to buy 1.4 million more shares, perhaps fetching $28 million. The company has been serving omelets, pancakes, sandwiches and more since 1983.  

First Watch franchise
First Watch is expected to launch its IPO next week.


A granddaddy among publicly traded franchise companies, McDonald’s has been a solid performer over the decades. Since going public in April 1965, the fast-food titan has executed 13 stock splits – an investor’s best friend. Shares currently cost about $245 per share. If you had bought in during the IPO, the offering price was $22.50 per share. 

Planet Fitness

Founded in 1992, Planet Fitness took some knocks during the pandemic but has rebounded nicely. You should plan to spend approximately $80 to purchase a share. The company went public in August 2015 with a price of $16 per share. Planet Fitness began franchising in 2003.

Snap-on Tools

If you’re looking for a company with a long, long track record, Snap-on Tools might be your baby. It was founded in 1920. Snap-on Tools’ common stock was first traded on the New York Stock Exchange in February 1978. (Before that, the stock was sold over the counter.) In 1990, the same year Snap-on Tools began franchising, the stock price averaged around $17.60 per share. But those days are long gone. You’ll have to pony up around $215 now.


Like most restaurants, Wingstop has faced adversity during the pandemic, but lately its stock price has been holding steady. Expect to spend around $180 for a share. When the company went public in 2015, a share would have set you back $19. The company was founded in 1994 and has been franchising since 1997.

Xponential Fitness

The franchise umbrella became a publicly traded franchise company this summer. The franchise operates nine boutique fitness brands, including Club Pilates, Row House, StretchLab and CycleBar, with more than 1,750 specialized fitness studios. A share will cost you about $11.50. When it debuted on the New York Stock Exchange in July of this year, a share was $12.

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Mary Vinnedge is an award-winning journalist who has served as editor in chief, managing editor and senior editor at national and regional publications, including SUCCESS and Design NJ magazines. She also held reporting and editing roles at The Dallas Morning News and Charlotte Observer newspapers.

Before Mary began covering franchise news and trends as a staff writer for FranchiseWire and Franchise Consultant Magazine, she developed articles on topics ranging from lifestyle, education, health and science to home projects, horticulture, gardening, interior design and architecture. These articles included her reporting on academic news at her alma mater, Texas A&M University, when Mary worked in the marketing department of the Texas A&M Foundation. She continues to be a news junkie and subscribes to several publications.

Today Mary and her husband are empty nesters living on Galveston Island near Houston. The couple’s blended family – scattered around the United States – includes five children, four grandchildren and two very spoiled, very barky miniature schnauzer rescues.
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