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Medford coffee chain ranks 88th in national franchise listing

Entrepreneur magazine ranks Human Bean’s performance ahead of franchised businesses such as Supercuts, Carl’s Jr. and Buffalo Wild Wings

For the second year in a row, a Medford-based coffee chain cracked the top 100 in Entrepreneur magazine’s ranking of 500 national franchises.

Human Bean ranked 88 in the 43rd annual Franchise 500 listing, announced earlier this week ahead of the magazine’s January/February 2022 issue hitting newsstands Jan. 11.

The magazine’s staff drew data from franchise disclosure documents to rank companies based on factors such as costs and fees involved, the brand’s strength and the company’s financial strength and stability.

Entrepreneur staff determined the rankings after looking into 1,117 companies seeking new franchisees in the U.S. and Canada who submitted information to Entrepreneur for consideration, according to the listing at entrepreneur.com/franchise500.

The fast-growing coffee stand chain from Southern Oregon was ahead of hundreds of businesses that include Anytime Fitness, Carl’s Jr., Sport Clips and Supercuts. It’s up from the coffee stand’s rankings of 97 in 2021, 185 in 2020 and 217 in 2019.

The company was founded in 1998 and has been franchising since 2002. As of Friday, it had 129 locations across the country, according to Human Bean spokeswoman Jackie McGrath.

That’s an increase of roughly 63% over the past three years, according to the magazine, which showed 79 locations in the summer of 2018.

“That will change again next week,” McGrath said in an email.

The chain attributes its growth to the business’ “impressive average unit volume" and the company charging “no royalties to its franchise owners.”

Opening a Human Bean franchise requires an initial investment of between roughly $380,000 and $905,000, including a $30,000 initial franchise fee, according to the Franchise 500 ranking.

In contrast, opening a Taco Bell, No. 1 on the Franchise 500 list, requires initial investments of between $575,000 and $3.3 million, including a franchise fee between $25,000 and $45,000.

Human Bean was named by the trade magazine Nation’s Restaurant News as one of the 25 fastest-growing restaurant chains, joining other well known franchises such as Papa John’s and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen.

Human Bean’s key competitor in drive-thru coffee, Dutch Bros., is not in these rankings because the Grants Pass coffee chain stopped seeking outside franchisees in 2008, according to an October report from Nation’s Restaurant News. Dutch Bros. now offers franchises only to its own employees under a managed system.

Reach web editor Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTwebeditor.