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How Much Does It Cost to Own a Chain Franchise?

How Much Does It Cost to Own a Chain Franchise?


We found franchise costs for 15 chains

The first step toward opening a Taco Bell of your own is accumulating a net worth of $1 million, and $360,000 in liquid assets.

So, you want to run a restaurant of your own. How about a chain franchise? Think about it: You pay some money and delivered into your lap is a fully built-out restaurant with a built-in devoted following, a tried-and-true concept, a set menu, and a supply chain. All you have to do is staff it, keep it running smoothly, and maintain relations with corporate. Not a bad deal, right? Should you happen to find yourself in the market, we’ve done the research for you, and have found the franchising prices for 15 of the nation’s top chains.

How Much Does It Cost to Own a Chain Franchise? (Slideshow)

So what is a franchise, exactly? When a restaurant opens multiple locations, it becomes increasingly difficult to run them all via a corporate headquarters. So what the company will do is sell the rights to open an outpost to highly qualified individuals after they’ve been put through a thorough vetting process. McDonald’s, for example, only owns and operates about 20 percent of their locations; the rest are franchised out.

One notable exception from the franchise pack is In-N-Out Burger, which refuses to franchise operations and keeps all of their locations company-owned-and-operated in an effort to control quality across the board. A brand is only as strong as its weakest franchise, which is another good reason to vet everyone who could potentially become a franchise owner.

So yes, it’s true that if you want to open a franchise you can’t just walk into the corporate office with a pile of cash and buy one. It’s a lengthy vetting process, but if you pass the test you can be well on your way to become quite wealthy as an owner, especially if you’re able to purchase multiple franchises over time.

But exactly how much does it cost to buy a franchise at the top chains? While many chains don’t have set franchise costs, there are very strict rules about what your personal finances need to be before they’ll even consider granting you a franchise license. Click here to learn all about them.


Just How Much Does It Cost to Own a Fast-Food Franchise?

If you're tired of working for others but like the idea of working within an established culture of success, becoming a franchisee might be a good option.

To help you decide which franchise makes sense for you, we've been breaking down some expenses on our Franchise 500 List -- highlighting low-cost franchises you can start for less than $4,000 and tech franchises you can start for as little as $25,000.

Most of these stories have been about relatively affordable, accessible options.

This story is not one of them. While you might be able to buy a decent meal from fast-food restaurants for the change in your pocket, these chains don't come cheap: You need to be ready to pony up six or seven figures if you want to invest in a McDonald's or Taco Bell.

Check out the slideshow to see how much these fast food franchises really cost -- and why they're worth it.


Here&rsquos Exactly What It Costs To Open A Franchise Of 14 Of Your Favorite Fast Food Spots

When you&rsquore obsessed with a particular fast food chain, it&rsquos usually crossed your mind at least once that you should just buy one of the stores. After all, if you own the joint, you can eat there for free all the time. It&rsquos a win-win.

Here&rsquos the thing: While fast food is cheap, owning a store that sells it can cost a lot. Most franchises require that you have a minimum net worth of at least $1 million, and there are plenty of upfront costs on top of that.

Still, it would be really, really cool&mdashright?! Here&rsquos what you need to know about opening your own franchise, plus which fast food chains are totally off-limits. (Coffee lovers. number three is a major blow.)

Initial down payment: 40 percent of the total cost for a new restaurant and 25 percent of the total cost with an existing restaurant

Net worth requirement: At least $500,000

You need to have some solid cash on-hand when you buy a Mickey D's. &ldquoThe down payment must come from non-borrowed personal resources, which include cash on hand securities, bonds, and debentures vested profit sharing (net of taxes) and business or real estate equity, exclusive of your personal residence,&rdquo McDonald&rsquos says on its website. The total cost varies, depending on what you&rsquore buying and where, but McDonald&rsquos requires that you have a minimum of $500,000 in &ldquonon-borrowed personal resources&rdquo to even be considered. However, they add this caveat: &ldquoThere are limited opportunities to enter the program with less cash available (primarily in rural or urban areas), and, in some situations, the financial requirements may be substantially higher depending on the specifics of the transaction.&rdquo

Initial down payment: $10,000

Net worth requirement: None specified

Once you pay $10,000, you&rsquoll be given the rights you need to operate a franchised Chick-fil-A, the company&rsquos website says. The company requires that you be free of any other &ldquoactive business ventures&rdquo and that you&rsquoll operate the restaurant on a full-time, hands-on basis, so this really isn&rsquot for you if you want to kick back and enjoy free nuggets with an initial cash investment. Once you&rsquore in, you have to go through an &ldquoextensive, multi-week training program,&rdquo as well as development courses. Just a heads up: Chick-fil-A is super selective about franchises. "We do not offer franchise opportunities to all qualified candidates," the website says. "Rather, we select the best candidates for a limited number of franchise opportunities."

Sorry to dash your dreams of having free lattes for life&mdashStarbucks doesn&rsquot franchise in the U.S. or Canada. &ldquoWe believed very early on that people's interaction with the Starbucks experience was going to determine the success of the brand,&rdquo Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz told Entrepreneur. &ldquoThe culture and values of how we related to our customers, which is reflected in how the company relates to our [employees], would determine our success. And we thought the best way to have those kinds of universal values was to build around company-owned stores and then to provide stock options to every employee, to give them a financial and psychological stake in the company.&rdquo

Initial down payment: $45,000

Net worth requirement: $1.5 million, with $750,000 personal liquidity

It&rsquos not cheap to become a Taco Bell owner. A publicist for the company tells Delish that the total investment to get things moving ranges from about $1.2 million to $2.85 million. If you want to take over an existing restaurant, you could shell out anywhere from $175,000 to $1,800,000 or more&mdashand that doesn&rsquot include the cost of the actual real estate. Like Chick-fil-A, franchisees need to devote themselves to overseeing the day-to-day operations of the restaurant.

Initial down payment: It varies by store, but the national average is $190,000

Net worth requirement: none specified

Once you pay the initial fee, you&rsquoll also be on the hook for the opening inventory (which is about $20,000, per 7-Eleven&rsquos website), about $1,000 in supplies, business licenses, permits, bonds, your cash register fund (about $2,500), and insurance costs. You&rsquore also expected to pay a Grand Opening fee.

In-N-Out has a rabid fanbase, but In-N-Out president Lynsi Snyder told CBS that the company will "never" franchise its restaurants. "The only reason we would do that is for the money, and I wouldn&rsquot do it," she said. "My heart is totally connected to this company because of my family, and the fact that they are not here&mdashI have a strong tie to keep this the way they would want it."

Initial down payment: $20,000

Net worth requirement: $1.5 million, with $750,000 in liquid assets

While you &ldquojust&rdquo pay $20,000 up front, there are a lot more costs when it comes to building the restaurant, permits, insurance, inventory, and more. In fact, Franchise Direct says you&rsquoll end up paying anywhere from $1.4 to $2.7 million to open your doors. Like many other companies, KFC also says on its website that they expect you&rsquoll be overseeing the day-to-day operations.

Initial down payment: $15,000 to $50,000

Net worth requirement: $3 million, with $1 million in liquid assets

There are six major steps to becoming a BK operator, and the whole thing's quite a process. You start with a pre-qualification questionnaire, before moving on to due diligence and background checks. After that, you undergo an initial franchise interview, followed by franchising and operations interviews. Then, there&rsquos a final approval and deposit and in-restaurant training.

Initial down payment: $45,000

Net worth requirement: $1 million

While you&rsquore expected to pay $45,000 early on, Sonic says on its website that you can plan on putting down a total investment of anywhere from $1.22 to $3.53 million, not including the cost of the land. The franchise itself ranges from 10 to 20 years, with a 10-year renewal option. Sonic also says they like applicants with &ldquomulti-unit franchise or business experience.&rdquo

Initial down payment: $109,700 to $1.6 million, not including real estate

Net worth requirement: $500,000 minimum net worth and at least $250,000 in liquid assets

There&rsquos a huge range in how much you&rsquore expected to put down initially on a Dunkin&rsquo restaurant, and the chain says on its website that it depends on how many restaurants you want to franchise, how big they are, how they&rsquore configured, and where they&rsquore located. Another factor in cost: whether there&rsquos already another Dunkin&rsquo in your marketplace.

Initial down payment: $139,500 to $341,000

Net worth requirement: none

The franchise fee for Subway is $15,000, a company spokesperson tells Delish. Once you get off the ground, you&rsquoll pay 12.5 percent of your sales every week toward royalties and advertising, according to the company website. Subway offers an equipment leasing program and also works with other companies that can help you get financing, if you need it. It can take time to get off the ground, though. Subway says it can take anywhere from two months to a year to open after you sign your franchise agreement.

Initial down payment: $2 to $3.5 million

Net worth requirement: $5 million, with at least $2 million in liquid assets

It&rsquos not cheap to own your own Wendy&rsquos. The company says on its website that they&rsquore particularly interested in people who want to own several restaurants, and that they also like it if you have &ldquoextensive&rdquo restaurant experience. The company also prefers applicants who &ldquohave access to adequate capital for reinvestment in Wendy&rsquos Image Activation program and new restaurant development.&rdquo Basically, this is not your budget franchise opportunity.

Initial down payment: $1.1 to $1.8 million

Net worth requirement: $750,000

DQ has a franchise fee of $35,000 and a liquid capital requirement of $400,000, according to their website. They also prefer that applicants have prior restaurant management experience, but if you have the cash and don&rsquot have the experience, you can partner with or hire someone who does to help you run things.

Initial down payment: $314,550 to $1.8 million

Net worth requirement: $1 million, with at least $500,000 in liquid assets

Arby&rsquos says on their website that they really want candidates with &ldquoextensive&rdquo experience operating chain restaurants. And, if you want to open several Arby&rsquos restaurants, even better. Once you fill out an initial application, you&rsquoll meet with franchising and operations leaders, look at building sites, sign a development agreement, and build the Arby&rsquos of your dreams.


Awards

Franchise Times: Fast and Serious List - 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016

Franchise Times: Top 200 - 2020

Entrepreneur: Franchise 500 - 2021, 2020

Entrepreneur: Fastest-Growing Franchises - 2021, 2020

Entrepreneur: Best Franchise Brands - 2021, 2020

Entrepreneur: Top Food Franchises - 2020

Franchise Business Review: Hall of Fame - Franchise Satisfaction Award Winner for 10 Years - 2021

Franchise Business Review: Top 200 Franchises - 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016

Franchise Business Review: Top 40 Food Franchise - 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016

Franchise Business Review: Top 50 Franchises for Women - 2021, 2020

Franchise Business Review: Top 100 Best Recession-Proof Franchises - 2021

Franchise Business Review: Top 50 Franchises for Brand Culture - 2020

Franchise Business Review: Best 2nd Career - 2020

Franchise Business Review: Most Profitable Franchises - 2020

Franchise Business Review: Top Franchises for Veterans - 2020

Inc. 5000: List of America's Fastest-Growing Companies - 2018, 2017, 2016


11 Popular Franchises You Can Own—And What It Costs To Open Them

Ever wonder what it takes to run your favorite restaurant chain? If being a franchise owner is your dream, we’ve got a crucial fact for you: Before you open up shop, you’ll have to pay a franchise fee. The cost varies from company to company, and many businesses also require that potential franchisees meet a minimum net worth. So, whether you’re an aspiring business owner, or just interested in learning some behind-the-scenes facts about your favorite chain store, we’ve got the details here:

1. SUBWAY: $15,000

Subway has one of the lowest franchise fees, at just $15,000. It also requires a minimum net worth of $80,000 and minimum liquid assets of $30,000. The company has approximately 35,000 franchises around the world, and franchisees have managed to set up shop in some pretty interesting locations. For example, in Buffalo, New York, there’s a Subway restaurant inside the city’s True Bethel Baptist Church.

2. KRISPY KREME DOUGHNUT CORP: $12,500—$25,000

The franchise fee for a Krispy Kreme location ranges from $12,500 to $25,000. But shelling out the dough for your very own Krispy Kreme store won't give you access to their donut recipe—that’s a heavily guarded secret. The recipe is kept in a vault in the Winston-Salem N.C. plant that manufactures its dry doughnut mix.

3. PIZZA HUT: $25,000

One of the lower fees on this list, with just a $25,000 franchise fee, but a required net worth of $700,000, and liquid assets of $350,000. Plus, the company has delivered its pizza pretty much everywhere: in 1989 the restaurant delivered pizzas to the White House, for First Lady Barbara Bush’s pizza party. Then, in 2001, Pizza Hut became the first pizza delivered to the International Space Station.

4. COLD STONE CREAMERY: $27,000

Cold Stone claims to offer the “Ultimate Ice Cream Experience.” The company opened its doors in 1988, and has been awarding franchises since 1994. The franchise fee is $27,000, with a required net worth of $250,000 the company estimates that, on average, the process of purchasing and opening a Cold Stone franchise takes four to twelve months.

5. BEN & JERRY'S: $37,000

A “socially conscious” ice cream option, Ben & Jerry’s requires a minimum net worth of $350,00 and minimum liquid assets of $100,000. The company, founded by two childhood best friends in 1978, is specifically looking for franchisees who “are socially conscious” and “active in [their] community.” Their whimsical headquarters in South Burlington, Vermont features a slide that connects the building’s main level and second floor, plus a scoop shop called “Scoop U” that’s used for franchisee training.

6. WENDY’S: $40,000

The going rate to open a Wendy’s franchise is $40,000, plus a minimum net worth of $5 million, and minimum liquid assets of $2 million. The restaurant, which first opened in 1969, was also the first fast food chain to open a salad bar.

7. TACO BELL: $45,000

Opening up a Taco Bell will initially set you back $45,000. The company also requires potential franchisees have a net worth of at least $1.5 million and $750,000 in liquid assets. But the investment might be worth it: there are Taco Bell locations all over the world—except in Mexico. The company has twice attempted to open locations in Mexico, once in 1992, then again in 2010. Both times, the restaurant was forced to close due to low patronage.

8. MCDONALD’S: $45,000

McDonald’s is one of the few franchises that doesn’t list a minimum net worth—though you’ll still need at least $750,000 in liquid assets plus the $45,000 franchise fee before you can open one of their locations. But it might just be worth it: McDonald’s restaurants serve over 68 million people every day—that’s greater than the population of the U.K.

9. KFC: $45,000

Opening a KFC is on the pricier end of the spectrum, though potentially lucrative, proposition: on top of the $45,000 franchise fee, the company requires franchisees meet a minimum net worth of $1.5 million, and liquid assets of $750,000.

10. SONIC DRIVE-IN RESTAURANTS: $45,000

In their original franchise agreement, Sonic didn’t charge a franchise fee—instead, the company’s owners received a penny for every logo-stamped hamburger bag used. But today, Sonic follows a more traditional franchise model, charging a $45,000 franchise fee, and requiring both minimum net worth and liquid assets be at least $1,000,000.

11. DUNKIN' DONUTS: $40,000—$90,000

The popular donut and coffee spot first opened in 1950, and has been franchising for nearly 60 years. The franchise fee ranges from $40,000 to $90,000, and requires a minimum net worth of $250,000 with liquid assets of at least $125,000. If you’re interested in purchasing a Dunkin Donuts, consider opening one in an airport—in 2012, the company was voted #1 airport franchisor in Airport News.


Crumbl Franchise Review

Crumbl has a franchise fee of up to $25,000, with a total initial investment range of $227,666 to $567,833.

  • Initial Franchise Fee: $25,000
  • Total Investment: $227,666 to $567,833
  • Working Capital: $10,000
  • Royalty Fee: 8.0%

How much does a Crumbl franchise make?

Franchise profits depend on a number of variables, including local demand for your product, labor costs, commercial lease rates and several other factors. Typically, franchise profits are proportionate to the size of investment. We can help you figure out how much money you can make by reviewing your personal situation. Please unlock this franchise for more information.

How many franchise locations do they have?

As of the 2020 Franchise Disclosure Document, there are 54 franchised Crumbl locations in the USA.

Are there any Crumbl franchise opportunities near me?

Based on 2020 FDD data, Crumbl has franchise locations in 11 states. The largest region is the West with 47 franchise locations.


Top Franchises for Sale

Hommati

The sky is the limit! Provide innovative services to real estate agents such as 3D Tours, Aerial Videos and Virtual Staging.

Regus

For more than 30 years, we’ve helped businesses find and create the perfect workspace for their people.

American Business Systems

American Business Systems has been America's Leader in Medical Billing with Unparalleled Training, and Support for over 20 years!

Training Overview: The franchisor requires that personnel at a franchisee’s hotel complete the required training within a designated time period. All training must be completed to the franchisor’s satisfaction and verification of successful completion must be presented upon the franchisor’s request. “Web-based” training is self-paced training that trainees can access at any time on the Internet. “Market-based” training is conducted at various locations throughout the country depending on the need and availability of trainees. Course schedules are communicated in advance allowing sufficient time for training to be completed within the required timeframe. The franchisor may provide other training to franchisees at no charge, and not as a part of the pre-opening team, if the franchisor decides that it is necessary. During years in which the franchisor holds an educational General Managers Conference, the general manager of the hotel will be required to attend. The franchisor also has numerous leadership training programs that are held at different locations throughout the year and are available to franchisees on an optional basis.

Territory Granted: The Franchise Agreement will permit franchisees to operate one hotel of a specific size at a specific site selected by the franchisee and approved by the franchisor. Franchisees may not be granted a territory, but if they are, it will be non-exclusive. Franchisees may face competition from other franchisees, from outlets that the franchisor owns, leases, manages, licenses, or franchises, or from other channels of distribution or competitive brands that the franchisor controls.

Obligations and Restrictions: The franchisor requires franchisees to operate the hotel or to hire a management company consented to by the franchisor. A general manager who has successfully completed the training program must directly supervise the business on the premises. The franchisor requires the general manager and other managers to devote full time to the management and operation of the hotel. If the franchisee is an entity and not an individual, the franchisor generally requires the principals of the entity to sign a guaranty of the franchisee’s obligations. Franchisees must offer all of the goods and services that the franchisor designates. Furthermore, franchisees may offer only those goods and services that the franchisor requires or specifically allows.

Term of Agreement and Renewal: The length of the initial franchise term is 20 years (term typically ends on the 20th anniversary of the opening date). The Franchise Agreement is not renewable.

Financial Assistance: Generally the franchisor does not offer direct or indirect financing for franchised Marriott hotels or guarantee any financing, loans, or other obligations. However, from time to time, under very limited circumstances and at its sole discretion, the franchisor may offer for certain hotels credit support in the form of a contingent guaranty of a portion of a loan provided by a third-party lender, or it may make a mezzanine loan.


6. CPR-Cell Phone Repair

CPR-Cell Phone Repair was edged out by uBreakiFix on the list of overall and tech franchises. It came in No. 26 on our list, but its franchise fee is a little less than its competitor&rsquos ($37,500 to $40,000). While uBreakiFix requires franchisees to have a net worth of at least $200,000, CPR-Cell Phone Repair accepts applicants with $150,000 or more.

  • CEO: Josh Sevick
  • Business headquarters: Independence, Ohio
  • Franchising since: 2007
  • Initial investment: $58,150 to $176,000
  • Initial franchise fee: $37,500
  • New units in 2017: 111 units (43.0 percent)
  • Training: 40 hours on the job, 40 hours in the classroom
  • Marketing support: Co-op advertising, ad templates, regional advertising, social media, SEO, website development, email marketing

How do you go about choosing a franchise?

Buying a franchise is a big investment. Before committing you need to do your research. Just briefly, let’s take a look at the steps to start your own small business with a franchise.

Franchising is like a marriage. And franchisees come from all walks of life. Do your research and look for companies that are a good match and align with your values.

After the application process, you’ll get the chance to meet with the franchisors either over the phone or in person. You’ll need to show you’re committed, capable and have capital.

Franchisors have a strong vetting process and will assess your business acumen and passion the willingness to work with a team to drive performance, create success and ensure customer difference.

You won’t know if your desired franchise is truly right for you until you’ve had the chance to work in one of the stores for a day. We offer our franchisees a 10-week induction training to give them all the skills they need to run their business – from strategy and management skills to marketing, hands-on food preparation and customer service. It’s a mix of classroom and in-store training with a heavy focus on the in-store side of things. If training isn’t included as part of the agreement with your franchisor, you’ll need to get support to skill up in running your business.

Once you’ve made your decision, it’s time to get busy with creating your business plan, starting to work with your franchisor team and putting the wheels in motion to finance your business.


Easiest and Cheapest Food Franchises to Open

Baskin-Robbins

Baskin-Robbins franchise was founded in 1945 as an ice cream shop. Shortly after, it began expanding its operations and started franchising three years later. This franchise opportunity currently has a presence in over 50 countries. Its products include over 30 ice cream flavors, cakes, assorted drinks as well as frozen yogurt.

To own its franchise, the financial requirements include an initial franchise fee payment of $25,000. Other details include an initial investment with a low of $93,550 and a high of $401,800. There are also liquid cash and net-worth requirements amounting to $125,000 and $250,000 respectively.

Baskin-Robbins also has financing and support provisions. Under its financing options, there’s a third-party financing arrangement. This covers the payroll, accounts receivable, and startup costs. Others include the franchise fee, equipment, and inventory.

As a veteran, you get a franchise fee waiver for our first store. There’s also a discount on royalty fees for 5 years. For detailed information on these and more, you only need to visit its website.

Firehouse Subs

Founded in 1995, Firehouse Subs began franchising the following year. This is an easy and cheap food franchise to open. Its specialty includes salads as well as cold and hot subs. Started by 2 former firefighter brothers, every of its franchise locations is decorated with firefighting memorabilia. So, how much will it cost you to own a Firehouse Subs franchise? Not so expensive!

To qualify as its potential franchisee, you are expected to have an initial investment of nothing less than $92,255. This is the minimum. There’s also a net-worth requirement of $300,000. Prospective franchisees are also required to have minimum liquid cash of the amount of $80,000. Its initial franchise fee starts at $20,000.

Financing provisions include a third-party financing arrangement. This covers the inventory, franchise fee, equipment, and startup costs. Veterans get a 10% discount off of the franchise fee. However, this is limited to the first store only. What more? You’d find every other information you need here.

Chesters

Headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, This franchise opportunity was founded in 1954. It only started franchising in 2005. Chester has a mainly chicken menu with locations or units at airports, convenience stores, truck stops, college campuses, and supermarkets.

To become its franchisor, part of its financial requirements includes an initial franchise fee of $3,500. There are other financial requirements such as a minimum investment sum of $12,385. If your application is approved, you get to benefit from its financing provisions. This involves a third party arrangement that covers equipment, franchise fee, and startup costs.

There are still other benefits. Such include its support services. Areas covered by its support include training, ongoing, and marketing support. These consist of finer details that will be disclosed during the signing of the contract.

Checkers and Rally’s

Checkers and Rally’s is the parent company of the Rally’s Hamburger. This is one of the cheapest and easiest food franchise opportunities you’d find. Products include its signature fries, yummy hot dogs, burgers, chicken sandwiches, chicken wings, and more.

This franchise has widespread across the United States. But the company is still offering franchise opportunities.

So, what does it take to own a franchise? First of all, you must be able to meet its financial requirements. These consist of a franchise fee of $30,000. Others are a minimum investment of $165,000, a liquid capital of $250,000, and a net worth of $750,000.

Qualified franchisees also get a range of benefits. These include comprehensive training and support. Checkers and Rally’s has a range of powerful marketing strategies. These have proven to be highly effective. Hence, you get the opportunity to adapt its marketing strategy to grow your business.

Champs Chicken

Champ Chicken is a well-known food franchise brand. It specializes in fried chicken, fish, and sides. Founded in 1998, it commenced its franchising operations in 2013. Since then, this franchise has witnesses wide acceptance among investors. This has resulted in huge growth. You too can become a part of its success story by taking advantage of its franchising opportunities.

What are the financial requirements for owning a Champs Chicken franchise? Three things are required liquid cash, initial investment, and your net-worth. These fall within the $35,000 to $65,000, $9,000 to $349,000 and $35,000 to $65,000 range respectively.

Champs Chicken franchisees benefit from its financing options. This is in the form of a third-party arrangement. As such, this financing arrangement covers equipment purchases. Both new and existing franchisees benefit from its training programs. This also includes ongoing training.

Other areas of support include marketing and ongoing support. With such provisions, you are assured of a beneficial working relationship. You also get the advantage of working with a reputable food brand.

These are some of the easiest and cheapest food franchises to invest in. While some of these have an international reach, others are successful domestic franchises.

To start, you only need to visit any of the links provided above. By filling and submitting an online form, you get a response in no time.