Most accounts of the recent IFA convention in Orlando indicate that franchisors and franchisees are optimistic for 2012. Especially the restaurant owners, who are expecting a 2 % increase in the number of franchises and 2% increase in unit volume. That also includes over 2% increase in employees in the restaurant business
Franchisors indicated that there emphasis this coming year would not be necessarily new franchisees as much as increased unit volume for existing units. Most involved, however were concerned about the presidential election and the uncertainty that exists in Washington.
Another tidbit is that some franchises are attempting to find ways for new franchise owners to get in at minimum cost. Doc Popcorn and Maui Wowi are two that come to mind.
In conclusion it is generally considered that 2012 will be a good year for franchises