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How one can Purchase a Franchise Restaurant 

Franchise eateries are one of the ubiquitous kinds of companies in the US. Go to virtually any city within the nation and also you’re prone to discover a McDonald’s, Dunkin’, Domino’s, or another acquainted institution. Of the practically 661,000 eating places in the US, roughly 308,000 of them are thought-about franchises (46%), based on analysis by Statista.

In different phrases, shopping for a franchise restaurant is without doubt one of the hottest paths to enterprise possession.

Nevertheless, the method of shopping for a franchise restaurant is something however straightforward. That’s why we created this information—to point out you all of the steps you’ll must take to purchase a franchise restaurant. We’ll clarify the professionals and cons, how a lot it may price you, and the steps you’ll must take to grow to be a franchise restaurant proprietor.

However first, let’s begin with an evidence of how franchise eating places work.

How does a franchise restaurant work?

Franchises are extremely replicable companies which have a confirmed enterprise mannequin and widespread model recognition and recognition. To purchase right into a restaurant franchise means you (the franchisee) buy the rights from a franchisor (the corporate) to open your personal department of the restaurant utilizing the franchisor’s emblems and model supplies. The franchisor will share all the pieces from their menu to operations guide in return for royalties out of your franchise’s revenues, in addition to different franchise charges.

The franchisor will help you with designing your restaurant house, coaching workers, advertising the enterprise, and creating protocols and procedures wanted to run your restaurant. Because the franchisee, you should comply with adjust to the entire franchisor’s protocols.

Whereas some franchisors will probably be extra versatile and permit their franchisees to train their very own artistic freedom, the entire level of a franchise is to duplicate an already present enterprise. To make sure the model’s success, every location ought to kind of feel and appear the identical, in addition to supply the identical merchandise.

Execs and cons of shopping for a franchise restaurant


Listed here are the explanations you need to think about shopping for a franchise restaurant.

  • Established buyer base: In comparison with impartial eating places, which might open and shut with out anybody ever figuring out they have been there, shoppers already know and belief franchise eating places, so that you don’t must spend practically as a lot time or cash attempting to draw new purchasers—relying on the franchise you select and the placement you’re in, you might have a line out the door on opening day.

  • Simpler to get financing: Since franchise eating places have already got tried-and-true enterprise fashions, a lender will possible be extra open to offering you with the financing you want to buy a franchise restaurant.

  • No want to fret about logistics: Setting the menu? Writing an worker handbook? Advertising your restaurant? These are issues your franchisor does for you, supplying you with extra time to deal with big-picture endeavors.

  • Confirmed monitor document of success: You don’t must look far to search out restaurant franchises with endurance and constant enterprise. For the risk-averse restaurateur, a franchise can present the peace of mind you want to get into the restaurant enterprise.


Shopping for a restaurant franchise does include some important hurdles. Listed here are the disadvantages you want to perceive earlier than leaping into this endeavor:

  • Excessive up-front price: Whereas buying funding to purchase a franchise is usually simpler than buying funding for an impartial restaurant, the preliminary funding is usually increased. That’s as a result of you want to put money into a location, gear, and meet costly zoning and code compliance requirements. Whereas that is true of any restaurant, with a franchise, you’ll additionally must pay hefty franchise charges—usually tens of hundreds of {dollars}.

  • Much less autonomy: Consistency is vital with franchise eating places, so don’t anticipate alternatives to tinker with the menu or give the eating room a makeover. If you grow to be a franchisee, you comply with characterize the model, which suggests complying together with your franchisor’s necessities. In case you benefit from the freedom to make your personal calls, a restaurant franchise may not be for you.

  • Excessive turnover: Restaurant franchises, significantly fast-food institutions, usually have excessive turnover charges, making it more difficult to recruit and retain a workforce that can perform at a excessive degree.

  • Danger of shedding your franchise: Most franchisors require a sure degree of efficiency from their franchisees to proceed working. In case your franchise is struggling, you’re late together with your royalty funds, otherwise you breach protocol, your franchisor may terminate your contract. What’s extra, on the finish of your franchise settlement, your franchisor will evaluate your efficiency and determine whether or not or to not give you a brand new contract.

How a lot does it price to purchase a restaurant franchise?

The subsequent massive query most potential restaurant franchisees have is how a lot it’s going to price. As beforehand talked about, the upfront funding is kind of steep. For context, the preliminary funding wanted to begin a McDonald’s franchise begins at $1 million and might go all the way in which as much as $2.2 million. Thankfully, not all franchises are so expensive to purchase into. Listed here are the prices you’re taking a look at to get began:

Preliminary franchise charge

That is the charge you’ll pay on to the franchisor for the rights to function a franchise below their trademark. This price varies from franchise to franchise. The preliminary franchise charge for a Kentucky Fried Rooster franchise is $45,000, whereas the franchise charge to open a Dunkin’ location (previously Dunkin’ Donuts) begins at $40,000 however can go all the way in which as much as $90,000 relying on the state you use in.

Take into account that franchise charges are usually non-refundable.

Startup charges

Together with the fee you pay to the franchisor is the fee you’ll must pay to easily get your restaurant up and operating. This contains leasing or shopping for a location that complies together with your franchisor’s necessities, shopping for gear to outfit your restaurant, and buying licenses and permits required by your municipality. There’s no telling how costly this could get, however we advocate setting apart at the very least just a few hundred thousand.

Royalty charges

Royalty charges are the continued charges you’ll pay to your franchisor out of your revenues to stay affiliated with the model and proceed to obtain providers and assist. The traditional royalty charge is someplace between 4% and 6% of your month-to-month revenues.

Extra prices

There are some further prices you’ll must pay to maintain your franchise up and operating. This contains payroll and subscriptions to enterprise instruments like level of sale and scheduling software program. Some franchisors additionally ask franchisees to contribute to an promoting fund that’s used to advertise nationwide campaigns and appeal to new buyers.

Private funds

Lastly, franchisors have some fairly strict necessities for who they’ll go into enterprise with. There are usually necessities for a way a lot the franchisee has in liquid belongings, and the way a lot their web price is. For instance, Panera Bread requires buyers to have a web price of at the very least $7.5 million and $3 million in liquid belongings. Pizza Hut desires to see $700,000 in web price and $300,000 in liquid belongings. Perceive your franchisor’s monetary necessities earlier than making use of. There are many meals franchise alternatives on the market, however you will have to perform a little digging to search out those that work finest to your monetary state of affairs.

How one can purchase a restaurant franchise: A step-by-step information

In case you’ve learn this far and nonetheless need to begin a restaurant franchise, now it’s time to get into the steps you’ll must take.

Step 1: Consider your market

Earlier than selecting a franchise to use to, consider your market to see what sort of franchise restaurant would finest match. This implies wanting on the competitors in your space in addition to the native economic system. For instance, if the market is saturated with Mexican eating places, perhaps a Taco Bell isn’t one of the best franchise to your space. If different franchises have gone out of enterprise in your market, you must also discover out why. Do your due diligence to higher perceive your market, who your goal clients are, and what they honestly need.

One other consideration is location. You’re going to need to place your franchise in an space that will get a whole lot of site visitors so folks realize it’s there. Take a while to judge potential areas, make observe of rental costs, and extra.

Step 2: Consider and choose a franchise 

As you understand by now, shopping for a franchise restaurant isn’t low-cost. That’s why it’s vital to discover a franchise that falls inside your price range and meets a necessity in your market. When evaluating franchises to think about working with, there are a number of concerns you need to weigh, together with:

  • Does this franchise align with my expertise and pursuits?

  • Does this franchise have a confirmed monitor document of success?

  • Does this franchise supply alternatives in my market?

  • How are franchisee candidates screened?

  • Can I meet the franchisor’s phrases and circumstances?

  • What charges does the franchisor cost?

  • In what capability will the franchisor help in organising my enterprise?

  • What do different franchisees must say about this franchisor?

That will help you in your analysis, we advocate reaching out to the franchisor instantly and asking for extra data.

Step 3: Evaluate and signal the franchise disclosure doc

If you discover a franchise you’re able to proceed with, request a franchise disclosure doc (FDD). The FDD accommodates important data a possible franchisee will need to know earlier than investing. The franchisor additionally must give you the FDD at the very least 14 days earlier than it must be signed or the franchisee wants at hand over any cash.

Info included within the FDD contains an overview of the charges the franchisor costs; how a lot the franchisee might have to speculate to get began; the franchisee’s obligations to the franchisor; franchisor help relating to coaching, promoting, and enterprise instruments; data on patents and copyrights; the monetary statements you’ll want to supply; and a duplicate of the franchise settlement that you just’ll must signal.

We advocate taking the whole franchise settlement, together with the FDD, to a enterprise legal professional for evaluate earlier than signing.

Step 4: Attend a discovery day 

Together with receiving an FDD, you may additionally be invited to attend a “Discovery Day,” throughout which you’ll spend time on the franchise’s company headquarters or at a franchise location. The day is designed to offer you a way of day-to-day operations, the company tradition, and the necessities you’ll must adjust to.

This course of is as a lot for you and is it’s for the franchisor. You each must see if this partnership is the suitable match. Be ready to ask numerous questions and communicate to as many staff as doable.

Step 5: Draft a marketing strategy

The marketing strategy isn’t required to your franchisor—it’s required for lenders. Likelihood is you’re going to wish to acquire some financing to pay that franchise charge and get your restaurant off the bottom. Meaning jotting down an govt abstract, firm overview, market evaluation, group construction, your services and products, your advertising and gross sales plan, and your monetary projections. Take into account that a few of this data may be pulled instantly from the FDD.

Step 6: Receive financing

The final main hurdle is to amass the financing you want to get your enterprise up and operating. Whereas some franchisors supply financing, it’s extra widespread for a potential franchisee to undergo an impartial lender. As we talked about beforehand, it’s usually simpler for franchisees to amass financing as a result of they’re working with a recognized commodity.

When you perceive simply how a lot cash you’ll must get began, listed below are some franchise mortgage choices to think about:

  • Gear financing: You’ll must buy a whole lot of kitchen gear when opening a franchise restaurant, and gear financing helps you get the financing you want to try this. What’s extra, gear financing loans are self-securing, that means the gear itself serves as collateral for the mortgage.

  • Time period mortgage: A time period mortgage is a conventional mortgage that you just repay over the course of a number of years, plus curiosity. This can be a higher choice for receiving a bigger amount of money to begin your restaurant with.

  • Enterprise line of credit score: A enterprise line of credit score is a bit like a bank card with a better credit score restrict. You may draw from it as wanted, and so long as you pay again what you owe, you’ll have entry to the total quantity of capital once more as soon as it’s repaid. Enterprise strains of credit score can function additional capital you need to use to cowl unexpected bills as you construct out your franchise restaurant.

  • SBA mortgage: The holy grail of enterprise loans is the SBA mortgage. One of these mortgage provides you with the best mortgage quantity on the lowest doable charges. Take into account that these loans are very aggressive, so that you’re going to need to have your financials so as earlier than you apply.

Step 7: Open for enterprise

With financing in your pocket, your franchise settlement signed, and your restaurant in good working order, you’re able to open for enterprise. Your franchisor could organize a grand opening for your enterprise to drum up some pleasure. You’ll additionally in all probability must undergo some company coaching to higher equip you to function your franchise. Then it’s about entering into the day-to-day of working a enterprise.

Your franchisor will lay out the fundamentals of how the enterprise ought to function, however it nonetheless requires grit, willpower, and a spotlight to element to run a profitable restaurant.

The underside line

In case you’re able to run your personal restaurant, a restaurant franchise is a good way to get began. The roadmap is already laid out for you, and you may appeal to clients by being a well-known, welcoming face in a sea of choices. What’s extra, if in case you have larger aspirations, beginning with a restaurant franchise will educate you the ropes from organizations which have already had numerous success within the restaurant sport. There’s no higher strategy to be taught.

In case you’re in search of inspiration on what kind of franchise to open, these 10 restaurant franchise alternatives are an excellent place to begin.

This text initially appeared on JustBusiness, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.

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