8 Successful Businesses & Restaurant Chains

In-N-Out Burger 

Founded in 1948 in Baldwin Park, California, In-N-Out Burger is a fast food chain with restaurants located in the Southwest part of the United States. This chain chooses to not franchise or go public so as to maintain quality and customer consistency through slower growth. Customers consistently rate In-N-Out Burger as one of the country’s best fast food chains. This chain not only serves customers at its stores, but it brings the chain to customer outdoor events in a “cookout truck” in specific cities.

>>Bakers check out these startup guides for your State:
How to Start a Profitable Baking Business in California
Texas Bakery Startup Guide

Chuze Fitness 

So far, Chuze Fitness has gyms in San Diego, Orange County, Tucson, Albuquerque, and Denver. This fitness chain offers everything you could want in a large, state of the art fitness center, yet it charges a super low monthly membership fee. In addition to traditional equipment for adults, Chuze Fitness has a kids club, a cinema where you can watch a movie while working out, a pool and hot tub, hydromassage, a turf area, group classes, Chuze Blends (healthy drinks), and many other amenities.

Academy Sports + Outdoors 

Academy Sport + Outdoors is a sporting goods discount store chain that is headquartered just west of Houston in Katy, Texas. The chain has 259 stores in the East, the Deep South, and in the Midwest, plus an online presence. Having been founded by two partners in 1938, Academy remained privately held for 74 years until it was purchased by an investment company. It is now one of the largest sporting goods and outdoor stores in the U.S. Sales exceed $4.8 billion yearly.


Target was established in 1962 as the discount division of Dayton’s Company of Minneapolis, Minnesota. It became part of the Dayton-Hudson Corporation in the 1980s when the retailer expanded nationwide under the Target brand. Finding success by selling cheap-chic things, this corporation is now the eighth largest retailer in the U.S. The company website features a weekly ad for things customers can get at an even deeper discount. Target offers customers RedCard credit cards and gift cards. Target also has a registry service plus pickup, same-day delivery, and drive-up services.

Cost Plus World Market 

This specialty/import retail chain sells furniture, home décor items, international food products, coffee, wine, craft beer, nifty kitchen gadgets, and apparel. While the retailer no longer sells items for “cost plus 10%,” it has held onto the “Cost Plus” part of the name. Cost Plus opened in 1958 in San Francisco, California. It has been a subsidiary of Bed Bath & Beyond since its 2012 acquisition. At least 276 stores were opened across the Bay Area and in a total of 35 states.


Denny’s, which is sometimes called Denny’s Diner on signage, is a diner-style restaurant chain that began to franchise in 1963. Most of the stores are now franchise-owned. Today, Denny’s restaurants are located in the United States and its territories, the United Kingdom, and in 15 other countries. Stores are often located close to freeway exits, in-service areas, and bars. They stay open 24 hours per day and stay open on holidays. Denny’s is also known for serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner around the clock.

REI Co-op 

Before Recreational Equipment, Inc. was founded, U.S. outdoorsmen could only find overpriced, cheap imitations of Austrian axes. That all changed in 1938 when a couple got irritated enough at the situation to order quality axes directly from Austria. Fellow outdoor lovers pooled money with the couple to get the axes at a cheaper price. This led to the formation of an official, legal co-op. Today, the co-op sells car camping, backpacking, climbing, cycling, paddling, running, yoga, skiing, and snowboarding gear. They also sell outdoor apparel.


San Francisco line cook Steve Ellis opened the first Chipotle Mexican Grill store in Denver, Colorado in 1993. The specialty was tacos and Mission burritos. Chipotle Mexican Grill was one of the first fast casual dining chains. Chipotle restaurants are now located in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, and France. The chain moved their headquarters from Denver, Colorado to Newport Beach, California in 2018. Chipotle Mexican Grill stock is traded under ticker symbol CMG on the New York Stock Exchange.

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