Owning a Fast-Food Franchise: Things to Consider Before Buying

Are fast-food franchises profitable? Do they make good investments? Learn what you need to consider if you're interested in owning a fast-food franchise.

Not So Fast!

Before you decide on fast-food, here are some things to consider.

  1. Investment: Owning a fast-food franchise requires a significant investment of money. Because there are so many opportunities available, the initial investment required might range anywhere from approximately $200,000 to over $2 million. The initial franchise fee as well as other startup costs like restaurant equipment are typically included in this price, which for many ranges between $300,000 and $500,000. In addition, most franchises require monthly service fees or royalties. You’ll also need to pay ongoing expenses like rent, supplies, and labor costs. Make sure you have enough capital to cover these costs before investing in a franchise.
  2. Brand Recognition: One of the benefits of owning a franchise is the brand recognition that comes with it. However, not all franchises are created equal. The more visibility your brand has, the more likely you are to be associated with any bad press. Research the reputation of the franchise you’re considering ensuring that it has a positive reputation in the community.
  3. Location: The location of your fast-food franchise can make or break your business. Look for a location with high foot traffic, visibility, and accessibility. Keep in mind that some franchises may have protected territories or restrictions on where you can open a location to prevent competition between fellow franchisees.
  4. Franchise Agreement: This is a legally binding contract between you and your franchisor, enforceable for an agreed upon amount of time. Before you sign a franchise agreement, make sure you understand the terms and conditions. Franchise agreements can be lengthy and complex, so it’s a good idea to have a lawyer and accountant review the agreement before you sign.
  5. Support: Look for a franchise that offers support to its franchisees. This can include training programs, marketing materials, and ongoing support from a franchise representative.

While owning this type of franchise can be a lucrative and rewarding business venture, it’s important to do your due diligence before investing. Consider these factors carefully and do your research to ensure you’re making the right decision for your business and financial goals.

A Different Way

Fast-casual franchises make all of their food to order with higher-quality ingredients than their fast-food neighbors. Fast-casual restaurants typically have a more upscale atmosphere with plenty of dining room seating and a wider range of menu options. Some fast-casual restaurants also feature drive-thrus for customer convenience. However, if they don’t have a drive-thru, most do offer a carryout option as well as online ordering for those on the go.

When comparing fast-casual vs. fast-food opportunities, they both have similar pros and cons. When joining either type of franchise, you’re buying into a system with a proven business model. You reap the benefits of an established brand, operations, technology, and marketing support, and the chance to collaborate with other franchise owners.

However, it’s important to look at the potential profit margins. Fast-food restaurants often have to rely on the volume of orders they serve to make money. Their food costs are low, but so are their price points, which can have an impact on their earnings. Keep in mind that fast-casual restaurants use higher quality ingredients, make food to order, and have a more inviting atmosphere. Therefore, those types of restaurants can charge higher prices for their meals and potentially attract guests that are willing to pay a bit more. With the right franchise brand and business model, your restaurant could sit at the higher end of the national profit margin average.

A Better Way

Wayback Burgers is a nationally beloved fast-casual burger franchise that stands apart for its superior quality with made-to-order burgers, hand-dipped milkshakes, and savory sides to satisfy the entire family. We focus on quality and tradition with an eye toward innovation, and both our guests and franchisees crave what we’re cooking.


To let us tell you more about why you should pass up fast-food for Wayback Burgers, get started today.