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9 Oddballs of the Franchising World

We mean “oddballs” in the most endearing possible way, of course.

Fibrenew, like the folks on this list, is all about breaking the mold and stirring things up—cause that’s what rock ‘n’ roll is all about. Read on!

a zombie hunter with dollar-sign eyes

Unusual franchises for the future

The franchise system stands out as a beacon of opportunity to business owners wanting to take control of their lives, offering a proven business model to aspiring entrepreneurs eager to make their mark. Traditionally dominated by fast food and retail giants, the franchise industry is no stranger to innovation and diversity.

However, nestled within this broad spectrum are some truly unique ventures that defy conventional norms, catering to the most eclectic tastes and interests. These aren’t your everyday business opportunities; they are for those who dare to be different, appealing to niche markets with a promise of something out of the ordinary.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the world’s strangest franchise opportunities, where uniqueness is the main selling point.

Zombie Hunt

Zombie Hunt is an exhilarating franchise that offers a unique live-action experience where participants can engage in simulated zombie survival scenarios. This interactive entertainment business caters to thrill-seekers and adventure enthusiasts, providing them with realistic, adrenaline-pumping zombie hunts using special effects and trained actors.

Zombie Hunt has quickly become a popular choice for those looking to experience a new kind of immersive group activity.

Startup Costs: Launching a Zombie Hunt franchise involves a considerable investment, generally starting around $50,000. This covers the cost of creating detailed, immersive environments—abandoned malls, old warehouses, forests—which are safe but provide a convincingly apocalyptic backdrop. Additionally, funds are allocated to professional actors, makeup artists, and safety equipment to deliver a thrilling yet secure experience.

Unique Selling Points: The Zombie Survival Experience offers an adrenaline-pumping adventure, plunging participants into a carefully crafted scenario where they must survive a zombie outbreak. This franchise appeals to thrill-seekers and fans of horror and science fiction by providing a highly interactive and physically engaging experience. It combines elements of live-action role-playing, escape rooms, and haunted houses to create a compelling narrative that participants can immerse themselves in.

Regions Operating: This franchise has taken root primarily in the UK and the US but has the potential to expand to any region with a robust entertainment industry and a culture that appreciates immersive experiences.

Number of Current Franchises: There are currently a handful of franchises, each with its unique twist on the zombie apocalypse theme, tapping into local folklore and settings to enhance the immersive experience.

Cuddle Party, Inc.

Cuddle Party is a pioneering franchise business that hosts events centered around the benefits of physical touch, promoting wellness through non-sexual, guided social cuddling sessions. These gatherings aim to create a safe space for participants to explore communication, boundaries, and affectionate touch.

The Cuddle Party franchise offers a unique therapeutic experience that fosters connection and emotional well-being in a structured and professional environment.

Startup Costs: Starting a Cuddle Party new franchise is relatively accessible, with initial costs typically ranging from $2,000 to $10,000. This covers training programs for professional cuddlers, branding materials, and marketing to promote the unique service. The low overhead and minimal physical infrastructure needed make this a particularly attractive option for entrepreneurs looking for a modest entry point into a niche market.

Unique Selling Points: Cuddle Party capitalizes on the human need for physical touch and connection, offering structured, safe, and consent-oriented cuddling sessions led by trained professionals. These gatherings not only provide warmth and comfort but also aim to teach boundaries and communication skills in a non-judgmental environment. The services cater to a wide range of clients, from those lacking physical interaction to individuals seeking to improve their interpersonal skills.

Regions Operating: While the concept began in the U.S., it has found a receptive audience in Canada and is poised for expansion into any region where social isolation is recognized as an issue—potentially everywhere. The universal appeal of human connection positions this franchise for potential global outreach.

Number of Current Franchises: Currently, there are several dozen active Cuddle Party franchises, primarily in North America. Each franchisee is carefully vetted to ensure they align with the organization’s values of respect, consent, and clear communication.

Holes to Go

Holes to Go brings the fun of mini-golf to any location with its mobile mini-golf course franchise concept. This innovative business provides portable, customizable courses suitable for events, parties, and corporate functions. With a focus on convenience and entertainment, Holes to Go offers a unique recreational experience that appeals to customers of all ages.

Startup Costs: Investment requirements for starting a Portable Mini-Golf franchise are moderate, ranging from $20,000 to $50,000. This includes the cost of purchasing or leasing portable golf courses that can be set up in various settings, from corporate events to family reunions.

Unique Selling Points: Portable Mini-Golf brings the fun of mini-golf to any location, offering customizable courses that can fit in a variety of spaces, both indoor and outdoor. This franchise stands out by providing entertainment that can be tailored to different themes, demographics, and event types, making it a versatile choice for business and leisure events.

Regions Operating: Predominantly operating in the United States, this concept has broad appeal and is suitable for expansion in any region with an active event and party-planning industry.

Number of Current Franchises: The number of franchises is growing, as the demand for unique and engaging event attractions continues to rise.

iSmash Rage Room

The iSmash Rage Room franchise presents a unique opportunity in the entertainment and stress relief industry, providing customers a space to safely express anger and frustration by destroying objects in a controlled environment.

Startup Costs: The initial investment to start an iSmash Rage Room franchise ranges approximately from $150,000 to $250,000. This cost covers the leasing of a suitable venue, purchasing safety equipment and destructible inventory, insurance, and initial marketing efforts. Recurrent expenses include inventory replacement, facility maintenance, and marketing to sustain customer interest.

Unique Selling Points: iSmash Rage Room sets itself apart with several distinctive features:

  • Themed Destruction Sessions: Customers can engage in uniquely themed sessions, such as office stress or relationship breakups, enhancing the emotional relief experience.
  • High-Quality Safety Equipment: The franchise prioritizes customer safety with top-of-the-line protective gear and robust safety protocols.
  • Eco-Friendly Practices: Emphasizing sustainability, iSmash recycles debris and sources destructible materials responsibly.

Regions Operating: Currently, iSmash Rage Room franchises are mainly operational in the United States, with a significant presence in urban areas such as Chicago, Miami, and San Francisco. The brand is exploring expansion opportunities in the UK and Canada, reflecting a growing international interest in rage room experiences.

Number of Current Franchises: There are about 15 iSmash Rage Room franchises operating across its established markets. With the rising trend of alternative stress relief solutions and the brand’s strong market positioning, more entrepreneurs are expected to join the franchise, potentially doubling the number in the next few years.


Bio-One is a leading franchise in the biohazard cleaning and remediation industry, specializing in the professional cleanup of crime scenes, hoarding situations, and biohazard contamination. This franchise offers a unique service that is both necessary and in demand across various regions.

Startup Costs: The cost to start a Bio-One franchise ranges from $80,000 to $100,000. This investment covers training, equipment, the initial set of cleaning supplies, vehicle outfitting, marketing, and other startup expenses. Franchisees benefit from a business model that includes relatively low overhead and recurring revenue potential from commercial and residential services.

Unique Selling Points: Bio-One stands out in the cleanup industry with several key advantages:

  • Comprehensive Training and Support: Bio-One offers extensive training in handling hazardous materials safely and effectively, ensuring that franchisees are well-prepared to meet industry standards.
  • Community Service Approach: The franchise prioritizes helping people in distressing situations, often working closely with law enforcement and public service agencies.
  • Diverse Services: Beyond crime scene cleaning, services include mold remediation, odor removal, and infectious disease decontamination, providing multiple revenue streams to franchise owners.

Regions Operating: Bio-One franchises are primarily located in the United States, with over 100 active locations spread across most states. The brand has solidified a strong presence in both rural and urban settings, adapting easily to the varied needs of different communities.

Number of Current Franchises: Currently, there are approximately 120 Bio-One franchises in operation. The number continues to grow as awareness of the need for professional biohazard cleaning increases, and as more entrepreneurs recognize the fulfilling and financially rewarding opportunity that Bio-One offers.

RazzleDazzle Barber Shop

RazzleDazzle Barbershop is a distinctive franchise that revives the glamorous barbershop experience, offering grooming services with a touch of old-school flair and theatrical ambiance. This concept is designed to cater primarily to men seeking luxury in their grooming routine.

Startup Costs: To open a RazzleDazzle Barbershop, franchisees can expect startup costs ranging from $100,000 to $250,000. This investment includes the lease and renovation of a suitable space to match the barbershop’s unique and lavish décor, training, initial inventory, equipment, and marketing. The wide range reflects differences in real estate costs and the size of the location.

Unique Selling Points: RazzleDazzle Barbershop differentiates itself in the competitive grooming industry with several compelling features:

  • Themed Decor and Experience: Each shop offers a 1940s-themed ambiance, complete with vintage decor and barbers dressed in period attire, providing a nostalgic experience.
  • Performance Art Element: Barbers are not only skilled in grooming but also perform during services, adding entertainment to the luxury grooming experience.
  • Comprehensive Service Offering: Beyond standard haircuts and shaves, services include massages, shoe shines, and complimentary beverages, making each visit a pampering retreat.

Regions Operating: The franchise primarily operates in the United States, with locations in major cities like Miami and New York City. The brand has expressed intentions to expand into other urban centers in the U.S. and internationally, targeting markets that value unique, upscale grooming experiences.

Number of Current Franchises: There are currently around 15 RazzleDazzle Barbershop franchises. As the demand for high-end, experiential grooming services grows, the number of franchises is expected to increase, reflecting the brand’s strong appeal and proven business model in the luxury market segment.

Wild Birds Unlimited

Wild Birds Unlimited is a specialized retail franchise focused on bird feeding and nature products, enriching the experience of birdwatching enthusiasts and nature lovers. The franchise combines retail with environmental education, offering a unique market niche.

Startup Costs: The initial investment to open a Wild Birds Unlimited franchise ranges from $170,000 to $280,000. This range includes costs such as the franchise fee, inventory, fixtures, retail space leasing, and marketing. Ongoing support and royalties are calculated based on sales, ensuring alignment with franchisee success.

Unique Selling Points: Wild Birds Unlimited distinguishes itself in the market with several compelling features:

  • Expertise and Education: Each store offers expert advice and educational events about local bird species and their habitats, enhancing customer engagement and loyalty.
  • High-Quality Products: The franchise prides itself on supplying premium bird feeding products and nature-related items that are eco-friendly and sustainably sourced.
  • Community Involvement: Stores frequently participate in local conservation efforts and educational outreach, positioning them as community-focused leaders in wildlife preservation.

Regions Operating: Wild Birds Unlimited primarily operates in the United States and Canada, with over 300 franchise locations. The stores are often located in areas with active birdwatching communities and a strong interest in outdoor recreational activities.

Number of Current Franchises: There are currently more than 340 Wild Birds Unlimited franchises across North America. The consistent growth of the franchise reflects a robust interest in birdwatching and nature activities, coupled with the brand’s strong support system and proven retail model.


Cereality is a unique franchise that operates cafes where customers can enjoy a vast selection of cereals from around the world, anytime day or night. This innovative concept taps into the nostalgia and comfort associated with breakfast cereals, presenting it in a modern, café-style environment.

Startup Costs: Starting a Cereality franchise requires an initial investment ranging from $180,000 to $250,000. This investment covers the cost of leasing space, renovations to meet the brand’s playful and inviting cafe design, initial stock of a diverse range of cereals, milks, and toppings, as well as marketing and staff training. Ongoing costs include inventory replenishment, staffing, and franchise royalties.

Unique Selling Points: Cereality sets itself apart with several unique selling points:

  • Customizable Cereal Bowls: Customers can mix and match from dozens of cereal brands and varieties, along with choices of milk and toppings, creating personalized bowls.
  • All-Day Availability: Emphasizing cereal as not just for breakfast, Cereality cafes serve all day, catering to those who enjoy cereal as a snack or dinner option.
  • Comforting Atmosphere: The cafes are designed to feel like a home kitchen, enhancing the comfort food aspect of cereal.

Regions Operating: Originally launched in the United States, Cereality has expanded to several key urban markets across the country, including cities like Chicago and New York. The concept has also begun exploring international franchise opportunities, aiming to tap into global markets with a similar affinity for Western breakfast culture.

Number of Current Franchises: There are currently around 20 Cereality franchises operating within the United States. As the brand continues to grow and leverage the increasing trend of casual dining and nostalgic eating, more franchises are anticipated to open both nationally and internationally.

Nutty Scientists

Nutty Scientists is an innovative franchise that specializes in interactive science education for children. Through engaging workshops, shows, and hands-on activities, Nutty Scientists aims to inspire a lifelong interest in science and learning in a fun and memorable way.

Startup Costs: The initial investment to start a Nutty Scientists franchise ranges from $40,000 to $90,000. This cost includes the franchise fee, equipment for experiments and demonstrations, initial marketing to launch the franchise locally, and training fees. This lower barrier to entry compared to other educational franchises makes it an attractive option for entrepreneurs passionate about education and science.

Unique Selling Points: Nutty Scientists stands out in the children’s education market with several unique selling points:

  • Engaging Educational Methods: Utilizes interactive and theatrical methods to teach scientific concepts, making learning enjoyable and memorable.
  • Wide Range of Programs: Offers a variety of programs including after-school classes, workshops, summer camps, birthday parties, and community events, which diversifies income sources.
  • Global Recognition: Recognized internationally for its innovative approach, Nutty Scientists helps franchisees benefit from a well-established brand in the educational sector.

Regions Operating: Nutty Scientists has a strong international presence, operating in over 40 countries including the United States, Canada, Spain, and many countries in the Middle East and Africa. This widespread operation reflects the universal appeal of its educational programs.

Number of Current Franchises: Currently, there are more than 200 Nutty Scientists franchises worldwide. The franchise’s success is driven by the growing emphasis on STEM education globally, combined with the company’s proven business model and extensive support system, positioning it for continued growth in new and existing markets.

Fibrenew embraces what’s unique—”Odd” or not

While each of these franchises may cater to distinctly different interests, they all share a common thread of innovation and non-conformity. And just as these businesses break the mold with their unique approaches, Fibrenew stands out in the franchise world.

Like the pathfinders in this list, we thrive on being different, offering franchisees a chance to be part of a business that values creativity and integrity.

Get in touch with your local Fibrenew professional for all your leather, plastic, and vinyl repair needs.

Want to run a business that gives you incredible earning potential and the flexibility to take control of your time and life? Join the Fibrenew Family!

Check out our free Franchise Information Report for everything you need to know.

Also, enjoy these valuable resources on all things leather, plastic, and vinyl repair, franchising, sustainability, and more:

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Meet the author

Alex Whyte

Marketing & Technology Specialist

As a Marketing & Technology Specialist, I’m the go-to person for our head office and franchise partners when it comes to any marketing or tech needs – you name it, I do it!

See other posts by Alex Whyte