The 7-Eleven corporation owns the company that sells the stores to the franchisees who actually run the stores. Potential franchisees are required to meet certain qualifications and are trained to meet corporate standards. The 7-Eleven corporation still owns the actual buildings and can revoke franchises that violate their standards.
The 7-Eleven corporation claims that their franchises are different than those offered by other companies. Instead of requiring the franchise owner to pay royalties, they share the gross profits. They advertise that they offer fully-stocked, ready-to-go stores instead of requiring the franchise owner to build his own store from the ground up.