The Diverse World of Franchising

Thousands of businesses have pursued franchising as a growth strategy over the past 50 years.  Many are household names with tens of thousands of locations around the world (e.g., McDonald’s, Subway, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Marriott) while others fizzled out without much fanfare.  Seemingly every conceivable industry and business model has been franchised at some point.  Here are a few of the more unique franchise systems in existence today:

  1. Steri-Clean:  The tagline for this franchise system is “Restoring Homes and Lives.”  This franchise—which has approximately three dozen franchisees across the country—specializes in offering essential services that help families in a crisis, such as crime and trauma scene cleanup, hoarding cleanup, and biohazard remediation.  Website:
  2. Razzle Dazzle Barbershop:  This franchise offers customers a trip back in time to a 1940’s era New York-themed barbershop. These shops feature gold-trimmed walls, classy chandeliers and vintage photos on the walls. Guests receive a complimentary shot of ‘sugar’ (whiskey or vodka) while a ‘Dazzler’ (costumed female employee) gives the customer a hand and neck massage during his RazzleDazzle haircut.  According to the company’s website says. “You’ll leave feeling like a gentleman and a scholar.” Website:
  3. Geese Police: This franchise relies on well-trained border collies that can quickly scare away any geese that may be inconveniencing people in public spaces. Website:
  4. Naked Cowboy/Cowgirl: The Naked Cowboy, aka Robert Burck, a mainstay in Times Square since he started strumming his guitar in the (near) buff in 1997. Believe it or not, walking around in your underwear strumming a guitar is an actual franchise opportunity offered by Naked Cowboy Enterprises. Website:
  5. Rage RVA: Rage RVA arms customers with baseball bats and allows them to destroy rooms that have been mocked up to look like offices, kitchens, basically any room where garden-variety frustration gives way to runaway rage. Website:
  6. Cuddle Party: Not specifically structured as a franchise (but is it legally a franchise?) but Cuddle Party is quite a unique concept.  Now in its 13th year, Cuddle Party is a nonprofit organization that oversees a network of workshops in which a group of adults gather, lie on the floor together and snuggle. “Facilitators,” who must complete 10 weeks of training at a cost of $1,490 in order to be certified, lead the Cuddle Parties. They are also required to complete the Foundations of Facilitation course, a workshop that teaches general skills to anyone wishing to create workshops of any kind. Website:
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