Finding a Franchise

This Recession-Resistant Franchise May Surprise You


Drug, Alcohol, and DNA Testing - oh my! If medical testing franchise concepts typically send you running for the hills, hang out a sec. This industry-disrupting, emerging franchise brand might have you thinking twice, with one of the LOWEST breakeven points we've ever seen for a brick-and-mortar. Oh, and it's non-medical!

Fastest Labs came onto the franchising scene in 2010 and is now the fastest growing drug testing franchise in the industry, with 70+ locations and thousands of drug tests conducted each year. 

So what sets Fastest Labs apart from other franchise brands? The obvious answer is that they are the FIRST and ONLY non-medical drug, alcohol, and DNA testing franchise that operates as a brick-and-mortar. This means no specialized medical staff required, no HIPPA requirements, and no medical liability, which equates to lower risk, lower payroll costs, and lower insurance costs.

The first thing that caught our eye here at Franchise Sidekick though is the ridiculously low breakeven point with very simple real estate. Franchisees can open a Fastest Labs business for under $100,000 in just 2-4 months. With low operating costs, franchisees have been breaking even doing about 5 tests per day (Zees are currently averaging 207 weekly tests).

When it comes to finding a retail location, most clients are sent to a specific Fastest Labs by their employers, so there isn't a need to find the best building in a popular area. Franchisees can work with cheaper Class B real estate and get their business opened faster than most brick-and-mortar concepts.

We also don't want to gloss over the fact that this is a need-based concept with strong recurring revenue opportunities. About 70% of business is B2B with the federal government requiring many industries to drug test 50% of employees annually.

Another differentiator for Fastest Labs is their service. We've nicknamed this the Jimmy John's of lab testing because they are freaky fast in both client wait times and sending the results back to employers. When clients walk into Fastest Labs they are seen within 5 minutes, as opposed to the typical 1-hour wait at a medical facility. They then use their proprietary drug testing technology (100% non-medical) to read and immediately report their drug test results in a confidential portal to employers, rather than waiting the typical 1-3 days for results.

In summary, we've awarded Fastest Labs the following superpowers: 

Brand Superpowers

  • Low Breakeven Point 
  • Industry Disruptor - Faster, Simpler, Smoother Than Competition 
  • Simple Class B Real Estate - Small Square Footage, Open in 2-4 Months
  • Proprietary Testing Technology 

Many of our franchise advisors are former or current franchisees themselves, like Curt Anthony. He is currently a multi-unit franchisee for a brick-and-mortar concept, so he was the perfect advisor to provide his two cents on Fastest Labs. After reviewing their franchise model, Curt immediately knew the type of client fit for a retail brand like this. 


This is definitely a brand that requires hustle given the sales-heavy nature. Clients will need to have that fire to go knock on doors and build their business. That being said, this is a need-based concept with a very simple model. I own a few specialty massage spa franchises, and what I love about Fastest Labs is it’s a brick-and-mortar without the need for specialized employees and can be run out of small and affordable real estate. It's a pretty unique opportunity that also provides a recession-resistant business for those looking to invest during an economic slump. 


This is one of the lowest investments for a brick-and-mortar concept that I've seen in a while. Pair that with the simple Class B real estate and recurring revenue model, and you have a really solid brand for a first-time business owner.


I think this is perfect for someone looking to escape their corporate sales job and start their first business. I’d say this is best suited for an owner-operator model, someone who is hungry for success and excited to build their business. 

Fastest Labs isn't going to be for everyone. As Curt mentioned, this is a brand for someone ready to put in the work and flex their sales ability. With pros and cons to every franchise brand, we're sure you have some additional questions and concerns. Here are some common hang-ups we've heard with Fastest Labs and their answers to each: 

Q: I have zero experience in this industry. Does that make it more challenging?
A: The brilliant part of franchising is that most brands don't require any prior industry experience. Why? Because their training and support systems are so dialed-in, anyone can learn even when starting from scratch. Fastest Labs has successfully trained, coached, and mentored 100+ franchisees, most having zero industry knowledge or experience.

Q: Surely there has to be a catch. Drug testing with ZERO medical licensing requirements?
A: The Fastest Labs model was specifically set up with this in mind. They didn't want to deal with medical licensing, HIPPA, or hiring trained medical staff. The reason they are completely non-medical is that they don't deal with bloodborne pathogens, needles, or biohazardous waste. So no, there isn't a catch, which makes this a super simple concept for those looking for a first-time business.

Q: What kind of supply chain issues do Fastest Labs franchisees encounter?
A: Fastest Labs offers franchisees bulk purchasing power and manufacturing partnerships with select vendors. Their drug testing kits and collection materials are also produced overseas, so Zees can really take control of their supply chain inventory needs. 

After learning a bit more about Fastest Labs, the Sidekick team has agreed that it's definitely a unique concept with some industry-disrupting superpowers. If you've been looking for a retail concept with low investment and operating costs, and Fastest Labs piques your interest, book some time on our calendar to dive deeper. 

If drug testing isn't your jam, or brick-and-mortar concepts aren't for you, our Sidekick Advisors work with an entire portfolio of top-tier franchise brands. Schedule a free 10-minute call to explore more brand options and find your perfect franchise fit



Posted by Paige McNaney
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