Most Popular Food Franchises and How Much They Cost

We have compiled a list of the most popular food franchises and the costs involved to open each one. The following 8 franchises are considered "most popular" based on the search volume we receive to our site.

1
McDonalds Franchise

DES PLAINES, IL - OCTOBER 24: In this photo illustration, a McChicken sandwich sits with typical Dollar Menu items sold at a McDonald's restaurant on October 24, 2013 in Des Plaines, Illinois. McDonald's has announced it will make changes to its low-priced Dollar Menu, which includes items like coffee, small fries, hamburgers and apple pies. The new menu, dubbed the Dollar Menu and More, will offer some higher priced options such as the grilled Onion Cheddar Burger and a McChicken sandwich.
Scott Olson/Staff/Getty Images News

You will need a minimum of $300,000 in non-borrowed, personal resources to be considered for a franchise. Most Owner/Operators enter the System by purchasing an existing restaurant directly from McDonald’s or from a McDonald's Owner/Operator. A small number of new operators choose to purchase a new facility, but that requires an initial down payment of 40% as opposed to 25% for an existing restaurant. Intensive training addresses all aspects of operating a McDonald's restaurant. While McDonald’s does not offer financing, McDonald’s Owner/Operators have access to the company’s established lender relationships with some of the lowest lending rates in the industry.

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2
Subway Franchise

The estimated total investment to open a Subway franchise in the United States is between $101,000 and $285,000. This includes the complete investment in setting up a Subway franchise, and also operating expenses for the first three months. After opening, franchisees pay a royalty fee, which is 8% of their overall gross sales.

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3
Pinkberry Franchise

The franchise fee is reportedly $40,000 but has not yet been verified. Start up costs will vary per location. Although Pinkberry won’t discuss sales, the silver lining declares one store could enjoy $250,000 a month on average based on 1500 customers a day. Idealistic? Maybe not in NY or CA. But what about Little Rock? Plan on the usual royalty structure for this newbie, a 5% royalty fee with another 2% for marketing.

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4
Wendy's Franchise

Wendy’s requires $500,000 in liquid assets with $1,000,000 net worth, which was a bit easier to achieve in last year’s economy. The total investment lies somewhere between $250,000 and $600,000 but if you want to buy a franchise you will have to wait. Wendy’s is not currently accepting applications for Domestic franchises although it appears International franchises and Canadian franchises are still available.

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5
Domino's Pizza Franchise

Franchisees at Domino’s Pizza fall into one of two categories: internal or external. Internal franchisees have already worked within Domino’s as a General Manager for at least one year. External franchisees have not previously worked with Domino’s as a General Manager, but do bring outside business or other management experience to the table. For the first group the franchise fee is $0 to $25,000 depending of the social segment (woman, minorities, veterans). For External franchisees, the fee is set at $25,000. Domino's Pizza offers a comprehensive training program covering store operations, marketing, finance, and human resources.

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6
Pizza Hut Franchise

If you have a budget of between $1.3 million to $3 million and a net worth of $1 million with $360,000 in liquid assets, you can be in business within a year. You must commit to building at least 3 restaurants over 3 years.

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7
Dunkin Donuts Franchise

Dunkin Donuts requires you to have at least $250,000 liquidity and net worth of $500,000 per unit. Also, one single candidate must personally meet the financial qualifications.

The total initial investment ranges from $228,621 to $1,692,314. In contrast, the start-up fee is a tame $40,000 to $90,000.

In some markets there are 5-unit minimums, but there are no unit minimums in select markets.

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8
Taco Bell Franchise

Taco Bell has a goal of developing 2,000 new Mexican restaurant locations by 2023. Taco Bell’s main focus is to recruit new franchisees that can acquire and develop multiple units over time.

The initial investment for a stand-alone restaurant runs between $1,177,300 and $2,620,600, but these figures do not include the land or lease costs. The initial franchise fee is $45,000.

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