The U.S. Business Report is pleased to announce The Top 25 Franchise Founders of 2022. This year’s awardees have all achieved tremendous success founding businesses that grew into national and often global franchises. Although they come from a wide variety of industries, from restaurants to real estate to fitness, they all found a way to take what began as just an idea and turn it into a business so desirable that others did not just want to own stock in it, they wanted to own their own stores.
Steve Ells founded Chipotle Mexican Grill, leaving the company in 2020 after leading its expansion to 2,900 locations and over $7 billion in revenue. Jimmy John Liautaud, Founder and longtime Chairman of Jimmy John’s, took a $25,000 loan from his father and turned it into a sandwich chain with more than 2,800 locations and yearly revenues north of $3 billion. And at the age of 17, Peter Cancro, with the help of his high school football coach, pulled together $125,000 and founded Jersey Mike’s, which now boasts 2,200 locations and revenues over $2.3 billion.
The founders on this year’s list represent some of the most successful businesspeople in the world of franchising. From a single store or office, they were able to expand their companies not through mergers and acquisitions or stock offerings, but through the sheer fact that their business concepts were so attractive and promising that other businessowners and potential businessowners felt they had to be a part of it. Please join us in celebrating The Top 25 Franchise Founders of 2022.
1. Steve Ells
Steve Ells is the Founder and former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Chipotle Mexican Grill. Ells founded the chain of fast casual restaurants in 1992 serving “naturally raised meat” and promoting sustainable agriculture. In 2021, it had revenues of $7.55 billion across more than 2,900 locations. Ells left the company in March 2020.
Prior to founding Chipotle, Ells served for two years as a sous chef at Stars restaurant in San Francisco. In 2003, he opened a Chipotle themed taco store in Denver, Colorado near the University of Denver campus with $85,000 borrowed from family and friends. He served as CEO from 1993 until 2009, then split CEO duties with Monty Moran until Moran’s retirement in December 2016. Ells stepped down as CEO two years later, but remained Chairman for another two after that before leaving the company altogether. In 2007, Ells received the CEO of the Year Award from ColoradoBiz magazine and formerly sat on the board of directors of the Land Institute.
He attended Boulder High School and the University of Colorado at Boulder where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History and became a member of the Delta Chi fraternity. Ells later enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, graduating in 1990.
2. Tom Monaghan
Tom Monaghan founded Domino's Pizza Inc. in 1960 and owned the Detroit Tigers from 1983 to 1992. Monaghan announced his retirement in 1998 after 38 years with Domino's. Monaghan sold 93% of the company to Bain Capital, Inc. for about $1 billion, and ceased being involved in day-to-day operations of the company. He has since dedicated his time and considerable fortune to Catholic causes. Domino’s had revenues of $4.4 billion for the year ending March 31, 2022.
Prior to founding Domino’s, Monaghan had hoped to become a priest. However, he was expelled from the seminary for discipline infractions and enlisted in the Marines in 1956, receiving an honorable discharge three years later. In 1959, after enrolling at the University of Michigan to study architecture, Monaghan and his brother James borrowed $900 to purchase a small pizza store.
Tom later traded his brother a Volkswagen Beetle for his half of the company, becoming sole owner. He then focused on delivering to college campuses and invented a stronger, insulated pizza box that kept pizzas warm until they arrived and enabled more boxes to be stacked on top of each other, allowing for more pizzas per delivery. By the mid-1980s, there were nearly three new franchises being opened every day.
3. Jimmy John Liautaud
Jimmy John Liautaud is the Founder and former Chairman of Jimmy John's sandwich chain. Liautaud founded the chain in 1983 in Charleston, Illinois. It now has more than 2,800 locations across 43 states, and its 2019 revenues were $3.1 billion.
In 1982, after Liautaud graduated high school, his father agreed to loan him $25,000 to start a restaurant, on the condition that if it failed, Jimmy John would enlist in the Army. He bought premium meats from a neighborhood market, baked his own bread, and used his family as tasters. Due to the poor location of his store, to boost sales he provided delivery and gave out door-to-door samples at nearby Eastern Illinois University dorms.
Liautaud attended Eastern Illinois University, but left after one semester to focus on his up-and-coming restaurant business. He is a devoted philanthropist and gives widely to education and youth-oriented charities. In October 2018, Liautaud was included in the Forbes list of the world's wealthiest people with an estimated documented wealth of $1.7 billion.
4. Tony Tan Caktiong
Tony Tan Caktiong is the Founder and Chairman of Jollibee Foods Corporation, one of the world's fastest-growing Asian restaurant chains with nearly $3 billion in revenue in 2021 and, as of December 2021, about 1,500 outlets worldwide.
Before Jollibee, Caktiong started two ice cream parlors in the Philippines in 1975 named Cubao Ice Cream House and Quiapo Ice Cream House. He decided to serve hamburgers, fried chicken, and spaghetti when customers told him they didn’t want to eat ice cream all the time. In 1978, Tan decided to rebrand and changed the name to Jollibee.
Tan has a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Santo Tomas and management certificates from Harvard University, the Asian Institute of Management, and the University of Michigan Business School. As of November 2015, Forbes estimated his net worth to be $4.1 billion.
5. Peter Cancro
Peter Cancro, founded Jersey Mike’s Subs, which serves authentic East Coast-style subs on fresh baked bread, in Point Pleasant, New Jersey in 1956. Its 2021 revenue was over $2.3 billion and, as of May 10, 2022, it has 2,200 locations in the U.S.
Before starting Jersey Mike's, Cancro began working for a neighborhood sandwich shop called Mike's Submarines at the age of 14. During his senior year in high school, he overheard the owner of Mike's discussing selling the business. He loved the place and food so much that he thought of buying it. At the age of 17 and with the help of his football coach, who also happened to be a banker, Cancro pulled together $125,000 and purchased the restaurant. In 1987, he began franchising and renamed the business Jersey Mike’s in order to let people know the company’s origin.
Today, Cancro is the owner and CEO of Jersey Mike’s and remains very hands-on, often traveling to meet one-on-one with franchisees and work out any issues they are having.
6. John H. Schnatter
John H. Schnatter is the Founder and former Chief Executive Officer of the American pizza restaurant franchise Papa John's, which currently boasts more than 3,300 locations in the U.S. and another 1,700 abroad that brought in revenues of just over $2 billion in 2021.
Schnatter founded Papa John's Pizza in 1984. He used the $1,600 he made selling his 1971 Z28 Camaro to purchase used pizza equipment and converted a broom closet in the back of his father's tavern, Mick’s Lounge in Jeffersonville, Illinois, where he made pizzas before selling them to the customers of the tavern. His pizzas were popular enough that the business expanded rapidly and, in 1993, he took the company public. By 1997, there were 1,500 Papa John’s restaurants across the country.
Schnatter earned a business degree from Ball State University and was named the National Ernst & Young Retail/Consumer Entrepreneur of The Year in 1998.
7. Zach McLeroy and Tony Townley
Zaxby’s was founded in August 1990 by Zach McLeroy and Tony Townley. It now has more than 900 stores across 17 states and is the 4th largest chicken restaurant chain in the U.S. Revenues for the chain topped $2 billion for the first time in 2020.
McLeroy stepped down as CEO in 2021, but he remains Chairman. Meanwhile, Townley has been the Executive Vice President of Zaxby’s Franchising, Inc. since 2011. He was CFO of the company from 1994 to 2011. Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division bought Zaxby’s for $2 billion in November 2020 with plans to execute an aggressive growth strategy.
McLeroy earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Georgia, while Townley earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management Information Systems from Parker College of Business - Georgia Southern University.
8. Jerry Murrell and Janie Murrell
Janie and Jerry Murrell founded Five Guys in 1986. Jerry, alongside the couple's four sons, Jim, Matt, Chad, and Ben, were the original "Five Guys.” The couple had a fifth son, Tyler, two years later, and they all remain involved in the business. Today, the company has more than 1,700 locations across the U.S., Canada, U.K., Europe, Asia, and the Middle East and had revenues of over $1.7 billion in 2021.
The first Five Guys restaurant opened in 1986 in Arlington County, Virginia. By 2001, over the course of 15 years, the chain had expanded to just five locations throughout the Washington, D.C. metro area. However, in early 2003, the chain began franchising, which kicked off a period of rapid expansion. In a year and a half, permits had been sold for more than 300 franchised locations.
In 2011, Five Guys was ranked first in "Fast Food - Large Chains" and "Best Burger" in Zagat's annual Fast Food Survey, and in 2016, it was ranked first in the burger, steak, chicken, and grill category of a Market Force UK survey. It currently has an additional 1,500 units in development.
9. W. James Hindman
Edwin H. Washburn established the first Jiffy Lube, an automotive oil change specialty shop, in Ogden, Utah in 1971. Today, the franchise’s revenues are estimated to be roughly $1.7 billion.
In 1979, W. James Hindman, a football coach at Western Maryland College, bought out Washburn's seven franchises and established Jiffy Lube International, relocating the headquarters to Baltimore, Maryland. It is this year which Jiffy Lube generally states as its founding date with Hindman as its Founder.
Before Jiffy Lube, Hindman was Founder and President of W. J. Hindman & Associates, a real-estate development, health care, and consulting company. He then served as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Jiffy Lube International Inc. from 1980 to 1989. Today, Jiffy Lube has more than 2,000 franchisee-owned service centers nationwide.
10. Chuck Runyon, Dave Mortensen, and Jeff Klinger
Anytime Fitness was founded in 2002 in Woodbury, Minnesota by Chuck Runyon, Dave Mortensen, and Jeff Klinger. Today, the company operates more than 4,000 franchised locations in 50 countries, and its facilities are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It currently has revenues of over $1.4 billion.
Runyon, Mortensen, and Klinger met in the early 1990s while working for a fitness club in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1995, they purchased and ran a gym called Southview Athletic Club. During their ownership of the club, its membership rose from 500 to 4000. They sold the gym in 2001 and founded Anytime Fitness in 2002 – their first franchise opened that same year.
In 2005, the company opened its first club in Canada. By 2010, it had already expanded into Mexico and India, and further expanded into four more countries that year. Anytime Fitness has received numerous awards, including being ranked first on Entrepreneur Magazine’s global franchise list.
11. Robin Sorensen and Chris Sorensen
Firehouse Subs was founded in 1994 by former firefighter brothers Chris Sorensen and Robin Sorensen. The chain of fire station-inspired restaurants is based in Jacksonville, Florida and currently has more than 1,200 locations across the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada with estimated sales of $1.1 billion in 2021.
The Sorensens followed in the footsteps of their father, who had been a firefighter for 43 years and, with his wife, ran an RCA TV business on the side. In 2000, the founders decided to take a different approach to franchising and used consultants to plan franchise growth. With the consultants’ help, they were able to set up financing for potential franchisees. By 2012, the company had 500 locations and ended the year with nearly 600. In July 2016, Firehouse Subs opened its 1,000th location.
In 2015, Firehouse Subs opened its first locations in Canada and now has plans to open a total of 90 restaurants in Ontario alone. On December 15, 2021, Restaurant Brands International – which also owns Burger King, Tim Hortons, and Popeyes – acquired Firehouse Subs for $1 billion.
12. Pasquale “Pat” Giammarco
Marco's Pizza is a chain of restaurants specializing in Italian-American cuisine. It was founded by Italian immigrant Pasquale "Pat" Giammarco in 1978 and is based in Toledo, Ohio. The chain currently has more than 1,200 locations across 33 states, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and India and projected sales of over $1 billion in 2022.
Marco's credits its franchisees as well as its dough, three-cheese blend, and pizza sauce for its strong growth. Giammarco takes inspiration from the ways of his home town of Sulmona, Italy, where meat, cheese, milk, herbs, and vegetables are bought fresh from the market. The founder was just nine years old when his family moved from Italy to Michigan, where he worked in his dad's pizzeria.
Marco’s has been the recipient of numerous awards. In 2017, it was ranked #8 on the Pizza Today list of the Top 100 Pizza Chains in the United States. It was also America’s #1 Favorite Pizza Company in a 2017 Market Force study and was ranked #8 by Franchising World on the magazine's list of “Fast and Serious Growth Franchises.”
13. Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield
Ben & Jerry’s
Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield founded Ben & Jerry’s in 1978. As of 2019, the company had 615 locations worldwide and estimated sales of $936 million in 2021.
In 1977, childhood friends Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield completed a correspondence course on ice cream making from Pennsylvania State University's creamery. On May 5, 1978, with a $12,000 investment (equivalent to $50,000 in 2021), they opened an ice cream parlor in a renovated gas station in downtown Burlington, Vermont. In 1979, they marked their first anniversary by holding their inaugural "free cone day", now an annual event at every Ben & Jerry's store. The first Ben & Jerry's franchise opened in 1981 on Route 7 in Shelburne, Vermont.
Greenfield graduated pre-med from Oberlin College in 1973 but failed to get into medical school. Cohen, meanwhile, attended Colgate University but dropped out during his sophomore year. In 1985, they started The Ben & Jerry’s Foundation, and the Board of Directors committed to giving 7.5% of pre-tax profits to the foundation. Now, the annual allocation is adjusted upward based on volume of ice cream sold. In 1988, President Reagan named the two men U.S. Small Businesspersons of the Year.
14. H. Martin Sprock III
Moe’s Southwest Grill
Moe’s Southwest Grill was founded in 2000 in Garden Hills, Georgia by H. Martin Sprock III, a serial entrepreneur. Today, Moe’s has more than 700 locations in the United States and abroad and had revenues of $901 million in 2021.
Sprock graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a major in Political Science, then took a year to ski in Aspen, Colorado, which he funded by working in a series of restaurants. He worked all kinds of positions: busboy, dishwasher, filled up the salad, whatever the restaurant needed. But he never lasted. He was fired from 17 different jobs within a year. After five years in real estate, he decided to open a bar with a guy who had been in the business for 25 years. He went on to open another dozen bars, then went on to open his first franchise, Planet Smoothie.
Sprock bought or founded several other franchises, including PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans, Mama Fu’s Asian House, and Shane’s Rib Shack, all of which, along with Moe’s, he has since sold. Currently, he is focused on reopening two downtown eateries this year in Charlestown, SC – Chameleon Club and Clarence Foster’s Cookery & Saloon.
15. Sam Meineke
Meineke Car Care Centers
Sam Meineke founded Meineke Discount Mufflers 50 years ago in Houston, Texas. In 2003, the company changed its name to Meineke Car Care Centers when it expanded to offer full-service auto repairs. The company currently has more than 800 locations across the U.S. and internationally in Canada, Mexico, China, and the Caribbean with estimated yearly revenues of over $775 million.
Meineke grew up picking cotton in Oklahoma. In 1951, before he turned 21, he bought a service station for $2,400. The next year he partnered with Edward Bass, who had been a year ahead of him in school. After a few failed investments and failed businesses, they focused on auto parts stores, and by 1970 they had a chain of a dozen. The pair parted on a positive note and remained friends, and later Meineke opened a muffler shop – he began to franchise the name in 1972. In 1983, GKN, a multinational British company, bought out Meineke Discount Mufflers. In 2006, Meineke Car Care Centers’ parent company, Meineke Holding Company, became Driven Brands, Inc. and acquired the quick oil change company Econo Lube 'N Tune Inc. In 2008, it also acquired MAACO, Auto Qual, and Drive N Style.
In January of 2021 the current parent company of Meineke, Driven Brands, went public on the Nasdaq with the ticker symbol DRVN. Entrepreneur Magazine has named Meineke to its Franchise 500 list several times, including ranking it #52 in 2014. The Magazine also ranked Meineke #54 on its list of Top Global Franchises in 2013. Although Meineke sold his business, he continues to work and manage his investments.
16. Michael Grondahl and Marc Grondahl
Planet Fitness was founded by brothers Michael and Marc Grondahl in 1992. Today, it is headquartered in Hampton, New Hampshire and has more than 2,200 locations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Panama, and Australia and reported revenues of $587 million in 2021.
The Grondahls got started in the fitness business when they purchased a Gold’s Gym franchise in Dover, New Hampshire. Meanwhile, in 1993, Richard Berks started his own Planet Fitness gym in Sunrise, Florida. Eventually, the Grondahls closed their original location in New Hampshire, brought on a third partner (current CEO Chris Rondeau), and in 2002 purchased the rights to the Planet Fitness name from Berks. Since then, Planet Fitness has targeted a more average gym user rather than the bodybuilder type of fitness enthusiast, which has earned it both praise and condemnation.
The company has received numerous recognitions, including being ranked #1 on Franchise Times’ 2016 list of “Fast and Serious” franchises. Forbes also ranked Planet Fitness #4 on its 2016 list of top franchises. It is ranked #7 on Entrepreneurs’ 2022 Franchise 500 list.
17. Charlie Chase
Charlie Chase, became the founding President and CEO of CertaPro Painters in 1992. The company began with the simple vision of making residential and commercial painting services easier and more convenient for homeowners and business owners. CertaPro now has revenues of $571 million.
Before CertaPro Painters, Chase started in 1982 as a franchise owner at College Pro Painters. However, he believed that there was an opportunity to create a successful full time painting company, which led him to create CertaPro Painters. Today, he is the President and CEO of FirstService Brands, Inc., which owns CertaPro Painters and five other franchise networks.
Chase is a member of the IFA FranPAC Advisory Committee and Membership Committee and earned a Bachelor's with honors in Economics from Queen's University, Ontario, Canada.
18. Anne F. Beiler and Jonas Z. Beiler
Auntie Anne's was founded in 1988 by Anne F. Beiler and her husband, Jonas. Auntie Anne's serves products such as pretzels, dips, and beverages, and the chain currently has more than 1,200 locations with estimated revenues of over $500 million.
The Beilers began their company as a market stand in the Downingtown, Pennsylvania, Farmer's Market in 1988. Auntie Anne's celebrated its 100th store opening in 1992. In 1995, the first international Auntie Anne's store opened in Jakarta, Indonesia. The chain now has more than 600 international locations in Europe, Asia, Central and South America, and Africa. In November 2010, Focus Brands, a portfolio company of private equity firm Roark Capital, acquired Auntie Anne's. Focus also owns Carvel Ice Cream, Cinnabon, Seattle’s Best Coffee, and Moe’s Southwest Grill.
Auntie Anne’s has a culture of giving back, particularly to children’s charities. Between 1999 and 2009, it donated more than $4.5 million to local children’s hospitals, and since 2011 it has donated more than $3.7 million to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which raises money and awareness of childhood cancer causes and cures.
19. Gary W. Keller and Joe Williams
Gary W. Keller and Joe Williams founded Keller Williams in Austin, Texas in 1983. Over the years, the company has grown tremendously, and it is now on five continents, in more than 50 regions, and has locations in more than 285 market centers around the world. It is the largest real estate company by agent count globally with a network of more than 150,000 agents.
In the early 1990s, Keller Williams expanded outside of the state of Texas, opening up its business model to franchising beginning in 1991. Gary Keller later collaborated with Dave Jenks and Jay Papasan to publish the best-selling book The Millionaire Real Estate Agent.
In 2020, Keller Williams formed KWx, a holding company to oversee its portfolio of companies. It named Carl Liebert as the new CEO of the group, with Gary Keller becoming the Executive Chairman. Today, Gary Keller continues to share his passion and has since been featured in popular outlets such as Ted Talks, Forbes magazine, and Apple Podcasts.
20. Antonio Swad and Bernadette Fiaschetti
Wingstop Inc., founded in Garland, Texas in 1994 by formerly married couple Antonio Swad and Bernadette Fiaschetti, is a chain of aviation-themed restaurants specializing in chicken wings. The chain has more than 1,500 locations around the world with estimated revenues of $282.5 million in 2021.
Swad and Fiaschetti also founded Pizza Patron in 1986. They sold both Pizza Patron and Wingstop as they neared 100 locations each. Today, Swad continues his serial entrepreneur ways, opening a new restaurant, Porch Swing, in Texas in 2019. Fiaschetti, meanwhile, founded and hosts One Life Radio, which educations listeners on holistic and alternative health topics.
Wingstop began offering franchises in 1997 and went public in 2015. It now has locations in Central and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Australia, and Asia. In 2003, it was acquired by Gemini Investors, which sold it to Roark Capital Group in 2010. The chain has received several awards, including the 2022 Excellence in Food Safety award from Fast Casual.
21. David Lavalle
Davide Lavalle founded Mr. Handyman – a network-based contracting company that provides handyman and remodeling services for homeowners and commercial locations – in Chelmsford, Massachusetts in 1996. Later, the company’s offerings grew to include property consultation. Today, Mr. Handyman has more than 250 franchises across America, operates in Canada, China, Ireland, and the United Kingdom, and has an estimated revenue of $258 million.
In 2004, Lavalle also founded Dryer Vent Wizard, which specializes in dryer fire prevention and energy savings through vent cleaning, inspection, repair, and maintenance for residential and commercial properties. The company now has more than 100 locations across the United States and Canada.
The Mr. Handyman business concept was purchased by Service Brands International, a Michigan-based franchiser, in 2000, and franchising efforts began that year. The Dwyer Group acquired Service Brands International and their affiliated franchise brands in 2015.
22. Lawrence Martinek
Lawrence “Larry” Martinek founded Mathnasium with David Ullendorff and Peter Markovitz in Los Angeles, California in 2002. Mathnasium is a supplemental math learning franchise with over 1,000 learning centers in North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Australia, and Asia that provides instruction to students in pre-kindergarten through high school. The company has an impressive network of teachers and revenues of about $200 million.
Before Mathnasium, Martinek first taught junior high school starting in 1974 in a Los Angeles suburb. His passion for teaching was challenged when he saw retention rates in his district drop drastically year after year. Turning discouragement into determination, he proactively sought the most efficient way to instruct students. Focusing on what is often considered the hardest topic to teach, Mathnasium has revolutionized the way mathematics is taught to its students.
The curriculum employs the Mathnasium Method, a proprietary system that was developed by a team of education experts along with Martinek. Martinek graduated from California State University, Northridge with a degree in Mathematics and a minor in Physics.
23. Ellen Latham
Ellen Latham founded OrangeTheory Fitness in Boca Raton, Florida in 2010 with Jerome Kern and David Long. The company specializes in modern fitness methods (classes are one hour long and involve two groups – one on the treadmills and the other group working with weights or on rowers) and currently has revenues north of $150 million.
Before OrangeTheory, Ellen worked at Bonaventure Spa when it was a main fitness location for the stars. She also spent some time as a Manager at The Eden Roc Spa and Williams Island Spa. Kern has owned and operated multiple successful Massage Envy franchises. The "orange" in Orangetheory refers to the "orange zone” – a period of time in which a person's heart beats at optimal efficiency.
Orangetheory Fitness now has over 1,300 studios across 50 states and 23 countries. The chain surpassed $1 billion in systemwide sales in 2018, and as of 2020, it has over one million members. Ellen Latham earned her Bachelor’s in Physical Education from the University of Buffalo and a Master’s in Exercise Physiology.
24. Omar Soliman and Nick Friedman
College Hunks Hauling Junk
Omar Soliman and Nick Friedman co-founded College Hunks Hauling Junk, a junk removal and moving company, in 2004 in Washington, D.C. The two founders began franchising in 2007 and have led the company to staggering heights as an industry leader.
Before College Hunks, Friedman was an Economic Research Analyst for Marsh McLennan and Soliman was a member of the advisory board at the firm. They both decided to leave Marsh McLennan, however, to bring their ideas to life and started College Hunks Hauling Junk. In essence, it was a professional services company that offered cleanup and discarding services for as low as $50. The business did so well that the company saw earnings of more than $5,000 in the first few months of operations.
The dynamic duo has honed their knowledge and skills to further develop the company. Nick finished his degree at Pomona College while Soliman graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Miami. As of October 2021, College Hunks Hauling Junk and Moving had three company-owned locations and 162 franchised locations in the United States and Canada.
25. Hur Young-in
Hur Young-in is known as the “Bakery King,” He is the Chairman of SPC Group, a holding company with interests in bakeries and fast-service restaurants like Paris Baguette. With its wide portfolio of subsidiaries, SPC Group had revenues of $5.7 billion in 2020, while Paris Baguette locations in the U.S. generated over $23 million in revenue.
Before starting Paris Baguette, Hur Young-in studied pastry and baking to the United States. After returning to Korea, he opened up a European-style bakery in Seoul named Paris Croissant. He introduced freshly baked bread and expanded his business by launching franchise stores under the brand name Paris Baguette.
As of 2018, the chain had over 3,316 retail stores in Korea, 57 stores in the United States, and almost 185 retail stores in China, Vietnam, Singapore, and France. Hur Young-in received his Bachelor's in Economics from Kyung Hee University in Seoul and also learned the art of bread-making at the American Institute of Baking in Kansas.