Entrepreneur Franchise 500 Rank: 16
Initial investment: $1,431,500 to $1,949,000
Initial franchise fee: $25,000 to $35,000
New units in 2016: 60 units (+2.9 percent)
Hardee’s is owned by CKE Restaurants, which has split its burger companies across the country. Hardee’s operates in the midwest and eastern U.S., while Carl’s Jr. takes the west. So, if you want to start a burger joint in California, Hardee’s might not be your best choice. But, Hardee’s is looking to expand in states like Pennsylvania, New York and Michigan. You can see the full map here.