About the Book

Franchising has been a powerful wealth creation and entrepreneurial engine for more than a century. It came of age and spread across the globe before private equity as an industry even existed. But now, private equity dominates modern franchising. Nearly all of the top franchise brands have had PE investment at the franchisor level, franchisee level, or both. Despite all this activity, many franchises will never have what it takes to attract PE investment. Yet these brands are competing in a vastly different competitive landscape forever changed by PE.

Charting the evolution of private capital's role in franchising, from its nascent origins to the operational intricacies of today's high-growth franchises, Big Money in Franchising offers a deep-dive into the mechanics and strategies that drive this complex, fascinating sector.

Key Learnings:

  • Why private equity (PE) likes franchising
  • The breadth of PE players & strategies
  • What PE looks for in acquisition targets
  • How PE came to dominate franchising
  • How PE-to-PE trading impacts brands
  • Why PE is also investing in franchisees
  • PE’s growth playbook to accelerate brands
  • Why most franchises will never attract a private capital partner
  • PE’s top contributions and biggest mistakes in franchising
  • How to engage with PE & what to expect
  • The future of PE investment in the franchise sector


"It took me 15 years of working with Private Equity to learn the things in this book - and I learned some of my lessons the hard way! Instead, you could just buy this book and read it. Do that. Today."

David Humphrey

Vice Chair, Ignite Fitness Holdings and former Chair of the International Franchise Association

An essential guide for any franchise entrepreneur. Private equity's impact on franchising is tremendous and growing.

Walker Deibel

WSJ Bestselling Author of Buy Then Build & Creator, Acquisition Lab Walker@BuyThenBuild.com

There are so many books on franchising that are more fiction than literary works; this is not one of them. Miller provides a well-researched and evidence-based overview of how financial firms are fundamentally changing the landscape of the franchise sector. Her illumination of how financial firms are fundamentally changing the landscape of the franchise sector is critical for anyone working in franchising to know and understand. It may be impossible to properly lead in the franchise sector with the clear and in-depth knowledge she provides. This is a masterfully organized account. I'll be recommending it to my students, clients, and franchising associates.

Dr. Ben C. Litalien

Faculty at The Liniger Center on Franchising at the Daniels College of Business, University of Denver; Program Advisor Georgetown University Certificate in Franchise Management; Founder & CEO of FranchiseWell LLC

Miller is a master analyst of franchising and strategist specializing in M&A and business advisory. She has given us a book detailing how the multi-billion-dollar private equity (PE) sector is motivated and performs in franchising. This is a first.

It is an essential read to understanding the ups and downs, cycles, motivations, and powerful ways private equity functions within the franchise sector.

John A. Gordon, MAFF,

founding partner, Pacific Management Consulting Group

There is a reason that Big Money in Franchising is now the #1 new release Business Franchises - it fills a huge gap in knowledge regarding private equity and the impact on the franchise model.

This best-selling book discusses all elements of how private equity is fueling growth and includes a thoughtful discourse on the positives as well as some concerns. She also provides some helpful resources at the end.

This is a must-read for anyone in franchising and especially for those interested in growth. I highly recommend it!

Kathleen Gosser, Ph.D.

Yum! Assistant Professor of Franchise Management, Director of the Yum! Center for Global Franchise Excellence at University of Louisville, and Podcast Host of FranchiseU

Any franchisor interested in working with private equity must read this book.

Scott Greenberg,

author, The Wealthy Franchisee

This book is a comprehensive look at the franchise business model and the various investment models that support it. Anyone who wants to own a franchise, invest in franchise companies, or supply to franchises is highly encouraged to read it in order to understand what really drives modern franchising - which is a significant part of the US economy.

Aziz Hashim

Managing Partner, NRD Capital

A ground-breaking and definitive roadmap to finding success through the dynamic partnership of private equity and franchising.

Justin Nihiser,

Operating Partner, Garnett Station Partners

How Franchise Whales Play The Game

If you are in franchising and buy one book this year, make sure it is this one.

If you are a savvy investor that isn't in franchising, then this book will give you a reason to be.

By a country mile, the most interesting book I have seen on the franchise business in my 30 years advising, selling, operating and owning franchises and companies.

Empire builders will love it! This is a book we will all refer to for years to come. 

George Knauf

Senior Franchise Advisor, FranGuide

After years of partnering with private equity I cannot say enough about this great book.

If you are thinking about partnering with PE or just curious about the PE world this is a must read!


Chris Dull

President & CEO, Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers

“This is required reading for anyone serious about scaling their franchise business and maximizing their multiple at exit.”

Gary Occhiogrosso

Managing Partner, Franchise Growth Solutions

This book is a must-read for anyone involved in franchising or private equity! The author's observations provide critical information to educate and inform franchise stakeholders. The insights are spot on, and having personally been through the PE acquisition process several times, I can attest to the book's accuracy. As someone who has partnered with PE to accelerate the growth of my company, I am impressed by the level of detail and knowledge contained within this seminal work. Bravo to the author for this tremendous contribution!

Charles Watson

Chief Executive Officer, Tropical Smoothie Cafe

Alicia Miller has written an important, thorough, and highly readable volume on the role of private equity in the business of franchising. Big Money in Franchising will appeal to investment professionals working in the field, those considering becoming a franchisee of any type of service business, as well as the general business reader. 

As someone who has led several PE investments in franchising, I found her work to be accurate, informative, and valuable.  I highly recommend it.

James J. Goodman

President, Gemini Investors

A highly readable deep dive into the rapidly changing franchising landscape. 

“Big Money” is indispensable for those who want or need to understand the evolution of franchising and the far-reaching impact of private equity’s massive investment. 

This is an essential read to prospective owners who want to reduce risk and make informed decisions to increase their likelihood of success.

Ted Fireman

Franchise Advisor, FranNet

Miller brings her professional experience to bear on the material and does so in a way that makes a potentially overwhelming topic seem far more approachable.

A comprehensive and clear-eyed look at private equity in franchising.

Kirkus Reviews

This is the book I never knew I needed! 19 years in franchising. The author has done an amazing job of educating readers on the impact of Private Equity in franchising.

In addition to understanding PE's place in franchise support and growth, she gives examples and advice on how to use this information if you are looking for PE investment or are part of a system that has PE investment.

An important topic for ALL in franchising - franchisors, franchisees, suppliers & candidates.

Michelle Rowan

President, Franchise Business Review

I have been greatly anticipating this book for a long time as, “Big Money in Franchising” fills an information gap that so many of us in the franchise world have been craving.

Private Equity has changed the franchising space in a dramatic way, and they are here to stay. If you are involved or looking to become involved with franchising at any level, this book is a must read. The author uses real world examples to tell the much-needed story of franchising past, present and future and the role that Private Equity plays.

I’ve been in the franchising space for 33 years and never knew I had so much yet to learn until I read “Big Money in Franchising!

JT Thiessen

Chief Development Officer, Home Franchise Concepts

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