A Fast-Food Franchise Isn’t Your Best Investment. Here’s Why

Thinking about buying a fast-food franchise? There are some drawbacks. Learn why it may not be the best investment and what type of franchise is a better choice.


The variety of dining options available to hungry customers in an ever-changing world doesn’t just have to do with types of cuisines, but the environments and styles in which food is served. From fast-food restaurants to fast-casual to fine dining and any hybrids thereof, both customers and prospective business owners have plenty of opportunities to find what they’re looking for.
On its surface and dating back several decades, the most prevalent type of restaurant business appears to be the fast-food franchise, so it makes sense why so many hungry entrepreneurs are keen to explore the business model. But before locking in with the “best” brand or a chain that boasts the most visibility, it’s important to read the fine print and explore other avenues that may play to your strengths and goals even better in the long run.


With a fast-food franchise, you are catering to customers’ desire for convenience, lower price points, and a sense of consistency that allows diners to know to what to expect from one location to the next. Franchises rely heavily on the reputations of their brands to attract and retain business, so the best fast-food franchises let customers know exactly what to expect and give franchisees the opportunity to build off that recognition.
In terms of menus, fast-food franchises succeed by striking a careful balance between the popular standbys and the novelty of new offerings. Seasonal or limited time offer items appear on the menu from time to time, but they don’t deviate far from the concept at the heart of the operation. The aesthetic and core products remain consistent. This combination approach is meant to both pique customers’ interest and keep them coming back for more.
Ideally, any type of franchise you choose to invest in will provide you with an affordable buy-in, the positive impact of a well-known brand name, a proven business model, strong earning potential, and a level of training and ongoing support well worth the price of admission. However, not all fast-food franchises are created equal.


Some of the largest names in fast-food franchising include McDonald’s, Burger King, and Subway. These are three global brands that enjoy both the benefits and pitfalls of such worldwide recognition. McDonald’s operates thousands of locations around the globe, serving millions of customers every day.
While the initial franchise fee to own a McDonalds franchise is $45,000, the overall initial investment can range between $1.35 million and $2.4 million, making it a daunting investment for first-time entrepreneurs or those who lack established capital.
With fast-food franchises like McDonald’s and others focused on value menus and speed of service above all else, profit margins will increasingly feel the pressure. These brands will need to keep up with higher commodity costs, rising wage requirements, and the changing landscape of the restaurant industry as a whole.


Consumers are increasingly concerned not only with healthier food options, but also the environmental impact of the foods they purchase. Even though McDonald’s and other fast-food franchises have made some attempts to pivot toward more health-conscious menu options while retaining the same price points and level of convenience, this is often difficult to accomplish on such a large scale that requires the same level of consistency and quality across the globe.
Beyond the push toward healthier and more customizable menu options, there are increasing concerns about the overall food supply for fast-food operators. More and more, customers are paying attention to what is going into their food, balking at genetically modified and artificial ingredients. Unfortunately for fast-food restaurants, the business model can’t always support the changing attitudes and demand.


Everyone knows about fast-food and fine dining, but the fast-casual restaurant sector is rapidly growing to bridge the gap between the two. Fast casual restaurants combine the high-quality ingredients and inviting atmosphere of more formal restaurants with the convenience and reasonable price points of fast-food favorites. Increasingly, hungry diners are choosing fast-casual.
Fast-casual franchises provide the perfect investment opportunity for prospective restauranteurs, and those looking to expand their portfolios offering both the convenience and reasonable price points of fast food with the elevated service of full-service dining. The environments are more inviting, and the food is of higher quality, usually with more options to customize and know where the ingredients are coming from.
The fast-casual restaurant market size was valued at $125.6 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $209.1 billion by 2027, making it one of the hottest segments in the food industry. The best fast-casual restaurants do not sacrifice quality for convenience, nor customer services for reasonable prices. They are able to combine all the best things that draw customers and make for a winning investment opportunity for entrepreneurs. And like within the fast-food segment, fast-casual burger restaurants are leading the pack.


A leader in burger franchising since its inception, Wayback Burgers epitomizes everything that makes both guests and franchisees choose a fast-casual franchise over its fast-food counterparts. As an honest and uncomplicated brand, Wayback Burgers prioritizes high quality, world-class service, comprehensive support, and the best possible experience for everyone who walks through our doors…on either side of the counter.
We take pride in our menu, our guest service, our welcoming and laid-back locations, and our capacity for innovation to meet the cravings of our diners. At the heart of everything we do is our exceptional food and the belief that dedication and commitment to excellence is essential to keeping us at the top of our game.
To learn more about franchising opportunities with Wayback Burgers, get started today.