New Research from Franchise Business Review Reveals Key Insights into Job Satisfaction, Employee Well-Being, and Workforce Trends

 June 27, 2023 – Portsmouth, NHFranchise Business Review has released the results of the fourth annual Franchising at Work Employee Engagement Study, an independent industry-wide survey of employee satisfaction among franchise employees. 

Franchise Business Review (FBR) is a market research firm that specializes in benchmarking satisfaction and engagement in the franchise sector across North America.  

Franchising at Work ReportFBR conducted the Franchising at Work Employee Engagement Benchmarking Study to help franchise companies understand how their employee satisfaction, well-being, and culture compare to others. 

FBR collected data from 6,000 employees, representing 40% corporate staff and 60% unit-level employees, across nearly 180 franchise organizations. Participants were asked 32 core benchmark questions related to job satisfaction, engagement, skills and experience, management, brand leadership, and culture, as well as questions about their position and demographics. 

“Employee engagement in the franchise sector consistently outperforms other sectors, and 2023 is no different,” said Eric Stites, founder & CEO of Franchise Business Review. “This year’s Franchising at Work research showed that engagement among corporate franchise employees is higher than ever, up 4% over last year, with 86% of employees reporting their job is rewarding and satisfying, in contrast to overall data in the U.S. that puts employee engagement under 40%. That’s not to say there aren’t still challenges when it comes to staffing. Franchise executives list hybrid work, talent shortages, and employee stress/burnout as the three most significant challenges impacting engagement and retention.”

Key findings from the Franchising at Work study:

  • Employee engagement: Overall employee engagement in the franchise sector remains extremely high. 86 percent of corporate franchise survey participants find their work rewarding and satisfying, and four out of five employees would recommend a job at their company to a friend. This is a four percent jump from last year’s already high engagement levels. While employee satisfaction among unit-level employees is typically five percent lower on average, it still far exceeds employee engagement studies from other organizations that report general engagement at under 40 percent across many industries.


  • Employee well-being: The pandemic took a major toll on employee well-being across all sectors, and employers are recognizing that stress, anxiety, and burnout are having an impact on performance, recruitment, and retention. New questions on the Franchising at Work survey this year were used to benchmark employee well-being. 88 percent of franchise employees rated their well-being as good or great, and 40 percent reported feeling somewhat or much better than a few months ago. 


  • Retention: Fifty-nine percent of franchise leaders report that recruitment at the corporate level has gotten better compared to a year ago. However, talent shortages remain a top challenge at the unit level. Regardless of location, however, the quality of managers makes a significant impact on retention. Survey respondents who agreed that their manager cared about their success were three times more likely to refer job candidates, and four times more likely not to quit.


  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion: Overall feedback related to DEI initiatives was very positive, with 84 percent of employees saying their company values diversity. However, nearly one third of employees thought their company training programs could do more to promote inclusivity.

“Franchising is a vast segment of the economy that touches every industry, which makes this research incredibly valuable to understand how employee engagement impacts overall growth and profitability at the individual brand level, within specific industries, and within the franchise sector.”
—Michelle Rowan, president & COO, Franchise Business Review


“Franchising is a vast segment of the economy that touches every industry, which makes this research incredibly valuable to understand how employee engagement impacts overall growth and profitability at the individual brand level, within specific industries, and within the franchise sector,” said Michelle Rowan, president & COO of Franchise Business Review. “We are excited to have had the highest participation ever in this year’s survey, and our hope is to continually increase the number of organizations measuring employee satisfaction in order to attract more employees to franchising, especially given the current talent shortages, and to support the continued growth of franchising in the economy.”

2023 Franchising at Work Award Winners

Franchise companies and suppliers that participated in Franchise Business Review’s employee engagement research were eligible for the Franchising at Work Awards. FBR analyzed data from over 6,000 franchise employees to identify the award-winners based on responses from their employees in eight key areas. 

The following companies were recognized: 

Franchisors: Large class (100+ employees)

  • Jason’s Deli – GOLD
  • Kona Ice – SILVER
  • Realty ONE Group – BRONZE 

Franchisors: Medium class ( 25 to 99 employees)

  • School of Rock – GOLD
  • Safari Kid – SILVER
  • Wetzel’s Pretzels – BRONZE

Franchisors: Small class (Under 25 employees)

  • Oasis Senior Advisors – GOLD
  • Mobility Plus – SILVER
  • JPAR Real Estate – BRONZE


  • Curious Jane Marketing – GOLD
  • serviceminder – SILVER
  • Franchise Marketing Systems – BRONZE


  • Jason’s Deli, Columbia, MD – GOLD
  • Mathnasium of San Diego, Dallas, and Phoenix – SILVER
  • Poolwerx, Greenville, SC – BRONZE

Additionally, the following companies were named as finalists:

  • Bloomin’ Blinds
  • British Swim School
  • Buzz Franchise Brands
  • Clean Franchise Brands
  • DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen 
  • Epcon Communities 
  • FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers 
  • Launch Trampoline Park 
  • Lightbridge Academy 
  • LIME Painting 
  • Painting with a Twist 
  • Payroll Vault 
  • Right at Home 
  • Supporting Strategies 
  • TransBlue 
  • Weichert Real Estate 
  • Wireless Zone 
  • 919 Marketing 
  • All Points Public Relations
  • Big Sky Franchise 
  • Citrin Cooperman & Company, LLP 
  • IFPG

“The Franchising at Work Awards are the only awards that recognize the companies that have fostered a positive, inclusive culture and prioritize employee engagement and well-being within the franchise sector,“ said Michelle Rowan, president & COO of Franchise Business Review.” At a time when recruiting and retaining quality employees is everything, these companies have set themselves apart as top employers in franchising through their commitment to employee satisfaction, asking for feedback, and involving their teams in driving the success of their culture.” 

The full results of the study are available at:


About Franchise Business Review

 Franchise Business Review (FBR) is a leading independent market research firm that specializes in benchmarking franchisee and employee satisfaction. FBR provides franchise companies with benchmarks and best practices to improve satisfaction, employee engagement and retention. FBR has partnered with over 1,200 top-performing franchise companies to drive franchise growth and achieve greater success through data-driven insights. Learn more about FBR’s research at


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