scorecard
  1. Home
  2. slideshows
  3. miscellaneous
  4. What it costs to open 12 of the biggest fast-food chains in the US, including McDonald's, Chick-fil-A, and Taco Bell

What it costs to open 12 of the biggest fast-food chains in the US, including McDonald's, Chick-fil-A, and Taco Bell

McDonald's: $1.3 million to $2.2 million

What it costs to open 12 of the biggest fast-food chains in the US, including McDonald's, Chick-fil-A, and Taco Bell
Slideshows1 min read

Chick-fil-A: $10,000

Chick-fil-A: $10,000

Startup costs: $0

Franchise fee: $10,000

Minimum liquid asset requirement: none

Minimum net worth requirement: none

Ongoing fees: Chick-fil-A charges a fee equal to 15% of sales plus 50% of pretax profit remaining, the company told Business Insider.

It's also important to note that Chick-fil-A prohibits most of its franchisees from opening multiple units, which can limit franchisees' potential profits.

Chick-fil-A says this limitation is meant to enable its franchisees to be intimately involved in the day-to-day operations of their restaurants.

Average per-unit sales*: $4.1 million

*2017 figures according to QSR Magazine.

Subway: $116,000 to $263,000

Subway: $116,000 to $263,000

Startup costs: $116,000 to $263,000

Liquid asset requirement: $80,000 to $90,000

Franchise fee: $15,000

Ongoing fees: Subway charges franchisees a weekly fee of 12.5% of gross sales minus the sales tax. The company says 8% goes toward the franchise royalties and 4.5% goes towards advertising.

Average per-unit sales*: $417,000

*2017 figures according to QSR Magazine.

Burger King: $1.9 million to $3.3 million

Burger King: $1.9 million to $3.3 million

Startup costs: $1.9 million to $3.3 million for a free-standing Burger King.

Franchise fee: $50,000

Ongoing fees: Burger King charges an advertising fee (4% of gross sales) and royalty fee (4.5% of gross sales).

Average per-unit sales*: $1.4 million

*2017 figures according to QSR Magazine.

Taco Bell: $1.2 million to $2.9 million

Taco Bell: $1.2 million to $2.9 million

Startup costs: $1.2 million to $2.9 million. This includes the franchise fee and other startup expenses such as real estate and construction. The costs are slightly lower — between $175,000 and $1.8 million — for franchisees to acquire an existing Taco Bell restaurant.

Minimum liquid asset requirement: $750,000 minimum

Minimum net worth requirement: $1.5 million

Franchise fee: $45,000 for a new traditional Taco Bell restaurant. Fees are lower ($25,000) for an in-line or end-cap restaurant.

Ongoing fees: Taco Bell charges a royalty fee equal to 5.5% of gross sales and a marketing fee equal to 4.25% of gross sales.

Average per-unit sales*: $1.5 million

*2017 figures according to QSR Magazine.

Wendy's: $2 million to $3.5 million

Wendy

Startup costs: $2 million to $3.5 million

Minimum liquid asset requirement: $2 million

Minimum net worth requirement: $5 million

Franchise fee: $50,000

Ongoing fees: Wendy's charges franchisees ongoing fees for local and national advertising (4% of gross sales) and royalties (4% of gross sales).

Average per-unit sales*: $1.6 million

*2017 figures according to QSR Magazine.

KFC: $1.4 million to $2.8 million

KFC: $1.4 million to $2.8 million

Startup costs: $1.4 million to $2.8 million for a "traditional" KFC location.*

Minimum liquid asset requirement: $750,000*

Franchise fee: $45,000*

Ongoing fees: KFC charges franchisees about 10% of gross revenues (5% for royalties and 4.5% for advertising).*

Average per-unit sales**: $1.2 million

*According to Franchise Direct, which cited a 2019 KFC Franchise Disclosure Document.

**2017 figures according to QSR Magazine.

Dairy Queen: $1.1 million to $1.8 million

Dairy Queen: $1.1 million to $1.8 million

Startup costs: $1.1 million to $1.8 million

Minimum liquid asset requirement: $400,000

Minimum net worth requirement: $750,000

Franchise fee: $35,000

Ongoing fees: Dairy Queen charges a royalty fee equal to 4% of sales and a marketing fee equal to 5% to 6% of sales.

Average per-unit sales*: $1.3 million

*2017 figures according to QSR Magazine.

Sonic: $1.22 million to $3.53 million

Sonic: $1.22 million to $3.53 million

Startup costs: $356,500 to $977,300 for a "non-traditional" unit and $1.22 million to $3.53 million for a "traditional" unit. These figures exclude the cost of land.

Minimum liquid asset requirement: $500,000

Minimum net worth requirement: $1 million

Franchise fee: $22,500 for a "non-traditional" unit 45,000 for a "traditional" unit. There is an additional area development fee of $10,000 per location.

Ongoing fees: Sonic charges a royalty fee of up to 5% of gross sales and advertising fees of at least 3.25%, according to Franchise Direct.

Average per-unit sales*: $1.3 million

*2017 figures according to QSR Magazine.

Papa John's: $300,000

Papa John

Startup costs: $300,000

Minimum liquid asset requirement: $75,000

Minimum net worth requirement: $250,000

Franchise fee: $25,000

Ongoing fees: Papa John's charges a monthly royalty fee of 5% of net sales that is due on a monthly basis. Papa John's also requires that franchisees spend 8% of net monthly sales on marketing.

Average per-unit sales*: $968,000

*2017 figures according to QSR Magazine.

Dunkin' Donuts: $229,000 to $1.7 million

Dunkin

Startup costs: $229,000 to $1.7 million

Minimum liquid asset requirement: $250,000

Minimum net worth requirement: $500,000

Franchise fee: $40,000 to $90,000

Ongoing fees: Dunkin' Donuts charges franchisees advertising fees (5% of gross sales) and royalties fees (2% to 6% of gross sales).

Average per-unit sales*: $733,000

*2017 figures according to QSR Magazine.

Arby's: $320,550 to $2 million

Arby

Total startup costs: $320,550 to $2 million

Minimum liquid asset requirement: $500,000

Minimum net worth requirement: $1 million

Franchise fee: $6,250 to $40,900

Ongoing fees: Arby's charges a royalty fee equal to 4% of sales and an advertising fee equal to 4.2% of sales.

Average per-unit sales*: $1.1 million

*2017 figures according to QSR Magazine.

Newsletter BI Logo
BI NEWSLETTER

Get your weekly dose of essential news delivered right to you, plus explore a world of insights with our diverse newsletter subscription options.

  • Weekly newsletter
  • Uncover the latest in Tech, Finance, Business, and more
  • Handpicked web stories, in-depth articles, and expert analyses
Copylink BI



Advertisement