I can just taste the opportunities as I scan the list of Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500.
While many of the companies on the list can be found in western Union County, there are some fast food and fast casual franchises that haven’t ventured into our community just yet.
Unfortunately, I chose the starving artist path in life, depriving me of the capital to launch such a venture. That doesn’t mean I can’t inform entrepreneurs of these delicious opportunities.
Even if none of these franchises interest you, I recommend you check out the Franchise 500 to find one that fits your budget and tastes.
Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers
Ranking: 51 of 500
Closest location: 9612 Redstone Drive, Indian Land, SC.
Brothers co-founded the fast-casual concept in 2002, naming it after their father, a World War II veteran. The decor pays homage to the 1940s and 1950s. The menu includes cooked-to-order steakburgers, shoestring fries and a special fry sauce.
Potbelly Sandwich Shop
Ranking: 71 of 500
Closest location: 11611 N. Community House Road, Charlotte
The concept dates back to 1977 when an antique store began serving sandwiches. Antique potbelly ovens can be found in its restaurants. The menu includes deli-style subs, soups, salads and shakes.
Fuzzy’s Taco Shop
Ranking: 77 of 500
Closest locations: 2225 Mathews Township Pkwy., Matthews or 9805 Sandy Rock Place, Charlotte
You can find plenty of options when it comes to tacos, burritos, nachos and quesadillas. The fast casual restaurant also offers plates that come with choice of sides, like beans, rice and fried potatoes.
Ben & Jerry’s
Ranking: 80 of 500
Closest location: 7800 Fairview Road, Charlotte
Not only can you buy tubs of the socially conscious, super premium ice cream brand in grocery stores, but you can also devour spoonfuls of fun flavors at scoop shops. Chunky Monkey and Cherry Garcia are among the most popular.
Ranking: 88 of 500
Closest location: 938 Grove St., Shelby
Here’s another drive-in concept that’s not as widespread in North Carolina. The menu consists of low-priced burgers, hot dogs and sandwiches.
Ranking: 105 of 500
Closest location: 601 Broad St., Elizabethton, Tennessee
The Fresh Taste of West Mex first opened 50 years ago in Wyoming, but has yet to enter the Carolinas. Tacos, burritos and potato oles are the backbone of the menu.
Restaurants serve breakfast burritos, too.
Ranking: 135 of 500
Closest location: 3605 Davis Drive, Morrisville
Rosati’s roots can be traced back to 1890s New York; however, the restaurant as we know it was founded in 1964 in Chicago. The Chicago Deep Dish is the main attraction.
Ranking: 146 of 500
Closest locations: 9831 Rea Road, Charlotte and 930 Park Center Drive, Matthews
Customers are empowered to build superior sandwiches by grabbing a bag, marking options with a sharpie and absorbing the positive vibes.
Penn Station East Coast Subs
Ranking: 150 of 500
Closest locations: 9805 Sandy Rock Place, Charlotte
A Philly cheesesteak is what catapulted this restaurant concept into success, but there’s plenty more grilled and cold subs available on the menu.
Ranking: 159 of 500
Closest locations: Boiling Springs, S.C.
This pizza joint doesn’t skimp on toppings, promising they appear from edge to edge and over the cheese. The sausage comes from a family recipe.