Group of happy employees
Published January 21, 2023

Uncovering the Best Franchises to Work For

Why the Franchising@WORK Awards Mean So Much More in 2023

In 2018, Franchise Business Review (FBR) launched the Franchising@WORK study—a survey of corporate franchise employees designed to measure employee engagement and compensation within the franchise sector. We were able to gather meaningful data that, for the first time ever, created a benchmark for franchise companies. With the data collected, we were also able to identify and recognize the companies that were differentiating themselves through employee engagement and culture with the  Franchising@WORK Awards.

FBR conducted the second study in 2021 and again in 2022 during a time when the “workplace” was being completely redefined and reimagined due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We recognized the franchise companies and suppliers that stepped up to embrace change, foster employee well-being, and create a fun and engaging workplace culture.

Fast forward to 2023, and recognition as an “Employer of Choice” in the franchise sector means more than ever. From labor shortages to return-to-office dilemmas to burnout and “quiet quitting”, workplace culture has never been more important.  

Soooo Many Awards Lists… Why Franchising@WORK Is Different

There are tons of “best places to work” lists out there. They all have different criteria and different methodologies, and most of them include companies that operate in diverse sectors. For example, Indeed’s annual list has companies ranging from technology to healthcare to airlines to window manufacturers. 

Many of the lists require companies to apply (and often pay a hefty fee) and give the company an opportunity to present itself in the best light through carefully crafted applications and/or hand-picked employee interviews. 

Franchising@WORK is specifically focused on employees in the franchising sector so the awards and data are an apples to apples comparison. Additionally, the awards list is based exclusively on survey feedback from employees. Anyone who works in franchising can take the survey, whether their company chooses to participate or not, so it’s not just a snapshot of a small number of our clients; the data is a truly objective, broad representation of the industry as a whole.

Franchising@WORK Award Graphic no yearEnter your company today to qualify for a Franchising@WORK award recognizing the best franchise companies to work for.

Register Now!


There is a nominal fee to enter ($595) for companies that would like to receive their company benchmark report; however, it is not required and employees can access an open survey link if they want their feedback to be included in the Franchising@WORK research—even if their company is not entered.

But the awards are not just another list. The data we collect from the participating employees is aggregated into an industry research report that we make publicly available to support the continued growth of franchising in our economy.

How the List Is Compiled – Our Approach

The Franchising@WORK survey is open to any corporate employee of a franchise brand based in North America, employees of multi-unit franchise owners, and employees of vendors/suppliers serving the franchise industry. To be considered for a Franchising@WORK award, the company must have at least 10 or more full-time employees and gross annual revenue of 1M+.

The survey asks 24 benchmark questions across eight key areas: satisfaction, self-assessment, alignment, team, manager, leadership, culture and core values. Employees are asked to answer each question on a scale ranging from Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree. Additional demographic questions are also asked. 


Infographic portraying franchising@work engagement benchmark data


Scores for each benchmark question are determined using a weighted scale – the most positive response option (strongly agree) having the most positive effect, and the most negative option having the most negative effect. From there, a score for each key area is calculated, resulting in a benchmark score from 0-100.

The companies with the top overall scores are named as finalists and the companies with the top scores will be named as Gold, Silver or Bronze winners in their size category. Finalists and winners will also be named in the Supplier category.

Beyond the Awards: Why the Data Is Even More Valuable Than the Recognition

If you are named a finalist or award winner, you’ll be recognizing your team for their teamwork and contributions to making your company a great place to work. Plus, you’ll have opportunities for broad exposure in FBR’s Franchising@WORK industry report, through our media partners’ features, on FBR’s website and social channels, and of course, your own PR efforts.

Publicizing your award can also bolster your employee recruitment efforts and position you as an employer of choice—something vitally important in today’s “employee’s job market”.

But even more important than the award recognition is the data from the Franchising@WORK research. Ultimately, our goal is to produce aggregate research data so that franchise leaders have the information and insights needed to hire and retain top talent, create a positive workplace culture in franchising, and support the growth of franchising overall.

As part of that, we can provide data to individual franchise companies to help them understand the risks and opportunities within their organizations and benchmark their employee engagement and compensation against other franchise companies.

All companies that participate receive a benchmark report, but you also have the opportunity to purchase the detailed data (and add your own questions) in order to quantify employee engagement levels and obtain business intelligence on where to make system improvements and measure success. 

With that data in hand you’ll know exactly where to make changes in order to:

  • Integrate employee engagement metrics into an organization-wide strategy for improvement
  • Measure corporate culture 
  • Align your engagement priorities with your corporate priorities
  • Implement effective employee recruitment and retention initiatives

The detailed data also gives you access to: 

  • Custom reporting with full company data and industry benchmarks
  • Department/location scorecards
  • Employee insights report w/ full verbatim text
  • Online data
  • Review of your results with the FBR management team

How Your Company Can Get On the Awards List

It’s easy to qualify. All you have to do is fill out a simple registration form and pay the $595 registration fee. You send us your employee contact list and FBR does the rest!

Franchising@WORK Award Graphic no yearEnter your company today to qualify for a Franchising@WORK award recognizing the best franchise companies to work for.

Register Now!


If you still have questions, the FBR team will take you through a 10-minute demo of our employee engagement benchmarking research. Click here to schedule a time.


Related Content:

Franchising@WORK Official Awards Entry KitFranchising@WORK Official Awards Entry Kit

Ready to show the world why you’re an award-winning franchise employer of choice? Download the Franchising@WORK Official Awards Entry Kit to find out how to qualify.

  • Eligibility
  • Award categories
  • Deadlines
  • Perks of winning

Download Now

About the Author: Michelle Rowan

Michelle is the president of FBR, the former Chair of the International Franchise Association’s Women’s Franchise Committee. and a Certified Franchise Executive. She is the recipient of the 2022 Crystal Compass Award, has facilitated CEO Performance Groups and Executive Networking Groups and is also a mentor of UNH college students. When she is not at work she is usually reading, playing outside, or hanging out with her husband and daughter.
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