When you are on the road, there are franchises you will see over and over at airports, at train stations, at bus depots in cities across the country and globe. So the CNN Travel staff decided to review these chains and wound up a list of the 20 best franchises for travelers. The top five, in some detail, are:
1. 7-Eleven: This American staple landed in the top spot. Slurpees are the star here. Here’s a little history: 7-Eleven was founded in 1927 as an ice house in Dallas. The are 7,700 location in the U.S., but 15,831 more upscale Japan locations that include 2,075 stores in Tokyo alone, reports CNN. Ever wonder about the name? It comes from the original hours for the stores, which are now 24 hours.
2. Din Tai Fung: If you travel in Asia, then you’ve probably heard of Din Tai Fung, known for its Asian fare like dumplings and steamed buns. “With more than 70 restaurants in 11 countries and customers complaining about hour-long waits at most of them, Din Tai Fung has taken something simple and turned it sublime,” raves CNN. There are two locations in Hong Kong, each of which have received one Michelin star, meaning that they’re pretty darn good.
3. McDonald’s: Yep, the old fast food standby, McDonald’s is on the list. “With 34,000 locations in 118 countries, McDonald’s is the poster clown for globalization,” reports CNN. The thing with McDonald’s is that you know what to always expect, though the All-American burger chain does cater to the tastes of certain regions. You can get a Bulgogi burger in South Korea or a Kiwiburger in New Zealand that includes egg and beetroot or even a meatless McSpicy Paneer burger in India.
4. Starbucks: It wouldn’t be a list of franchise chains without Starbucks. There are 20,891 stores in 62 countries, meaning you can get your Caramel Macchiato almost anywhere you travel.
5. Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts: Considered one of the top hotel luxury chains, it celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2010. Did you know, however, that Bill Gates owns the chain with billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia. There are 89 properties worldwide.
Also on the list are: Dunkin’ Donuts, ranked 9; Subway, coming in at 13; Outback Steakhouse at number 18; and Cinnabon at number 20. Note: Not all of this is the healthiest stuff in the world. But hey, when you’re traveling, you get a pass for one treat.