Fast Food Franchise Costs Compared

Understanding the initial investment and financial requirements of different franchise brands is a great starting point to narrow the vast choices out there.

Whether an entrepreneur has amassed a substantial war chest of capital or has a smaller budget, the franchise world is their oyster, with a plethora of concepts to choose from. Understanding the initial investment level and financial requirements of different franchise brands is a great starting point and a way to narrow the vast choices out there.

Thankfully, for potential franchisees doing their research, each franchisor is required, by law, to provide an accurate representation of the average initial investment and a breakdown of each line item therein. Most franchise brands also require franchisee applicants to meet minimum financial standards, which are typically available and easy to find.

Aspiring first-time franchise operators may assume that a fast food restaurant is the cheapest type of franchise for entering the restaurant world, but that’s not always the case. And they may even find that they can own a more elevated restaurant franchise for about the same price as less expensive fast food chains.

How Much Do Various Fast Food Franchises Cost?

A recent report by Fox Business looked at the cost of getting a franchise from the biggest fast food chains.

If you want to stand next to Mayor McCheese at the ribbon cutting for your new McDonald’s location, it will cost you. A McDonald’s franchise entails a total cost of $1,013,000 to $2,185,000, and the company requires franchisee applicants to have at least $500,000 in liquid assets, just to be considered.

Fast Food Franchises

Burger King franchises come at an estimated total cost of $316,100 to $2,660,600, and it costs an estimated $297,000 to $2,109,000 to open a Pizza Hut. And while BK may be the home of the Whopper, Taco Bell’s entry price for a franchise is a real whopper itself — far north of the financial border, between $1,200,000 and $2,600,000.

At an estimated total cost of $2,000,000 to $3,500,000, opening a Wendy’s also may be a, well, Frosty proposition for aspiring franchisees. In fact, Wendy’s requires that potential franchisees show $2 million in liquid assets. And a Dairy Queen franchise costs $1,083,525 to $1,850,425.

At the lower end of the entry spectrum, Domino’s will deliver a franchise agreement at a cost somewhere between $119,500 to $461,700. A Dunkin Donuts franchise can be had for $109,700 to $1,637,700, while a Subway franchise’s estimated total cost is $105,800 to $393,600.

And Starbucks doesn’t allow people to own franchises at all, although individuals can become licensees by paying a license fee, at an entry threshold of around $315,000.

How Do These Compare to Fast-Casual Franchises?

Featuring the fast service of fast food but the higher quality of food found in a full-service restaurant, fast-casual franchises are the fastest growing restaurant segment. Like at a fast food restaurant, customers may order from a menu board. But they enjoy a sit-down dining experience more like they would in a casual dining establishment.

And, perhaps surprisingly, some fast-casual franchise brands are just as affordable if not more so than a number of fast food chains. What’s more, in 2018, foodservice research firm Technomic found that fast-casual concepts are leading growth in the restaurant industry. And according to QSR magazine, fast-casual is the only restaurant segment to grow traffic in the past five years.

Wayback Burger FranchisesA first-time investor or someone looking for a more accessible cost of entry, as well as the ability to scale more quickly, might want to take a hard look at a fast-casual concept, such as a Wayback Burgers franchise. In fact, Wayback Burgers is one of the Top 10 Fast Casual Restaurant Franchises for 2019, and QSR magazine took keen notice of the rising brand recently.

Wayback Burgers considers potential franchisees with at least $100,000 in liquid capital. The initial investment is in the range of $209,000 to $524,500, so entrepreneurs can open their own fast-casual burger restaurant for far below $1 million. This lower investment level also means that investors with access to more capital may be able to build additional locations in a shorter time frame.

And with an average Wayback Burgers footprint of 1,600 to 1,800 square feet — unlike the average McDonald’s or Burger King franchise, each around 4,000 square feet per location — the real estate, buildout, and equipment costs are much lower. And Wayback Burgers keeps growing and expanding and progressing with innovations such as a new delivery vehicle that enables fresh, on-site cooking capabilities, and a new mobile app.

Fast Food FranchisesIf you are a first-time business owner looking for guidance, systems, and support, or a seasoned entrepreneur looking for your next investment opportunity, check out Wayback Burgers.

Wayback offers qualified candidates the opportunity to open and operate a business in the highly sought-after fast-casual sector with a small footprint and a big upside.

Currently operating in 30 states and seven countries, the Connecticut-based burger franchise increased its system size by 14 percent in 2018, and has now reached over 160 locations worldwide. The brand offers initial training and ongoing support for all its franchisees and works diligently on finding innovative ways to offer franchisees the opportunity to increase revenue while adding value to the customer experience.

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