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Here’s How Much It Costs To Open These 10 Famous Quick-Service Restaurant Franchises

The prices to open some of the world’s most well-known QSR brands may surprise you.

When it comes to opening your own quick-service restaurant, there are a lot of different options to choose from. With so many different contenders in this category? How can you know which is the right one? The best place to start is by looking at the price. These are the prices for 10 of the most popular fast-food/quick-service restaurants in the United States. 

1. McDonald’s: As arguably the most popular brand in the world, McDonald’s requires franchise candidates to have at least $500,000 in liquid assets to be considered for a franchise. The brand’s franchise fee is $45,000, with an estimated initial investment of $1.2 million to $2.2 million for a new location.

2. Taco Bell: Much like McDonald’s, opening up a Taco Bell restaurant requires a hefty sum, especially when considering the prices of some of the brand’s menu items. According to Entrepreneur, Taco Bell seeks candidates with a net worth of $1.5 million and has an estimated initial investment ranging from $525,000 to $2.9 million.

3. Burger King: While Burger King’s investment requirements aren’t listed on its official franchise site, Franchise Business Review reports that the brand’s estimated initial investment varies depending on which facility configuration a prospect is considering. For instance, FDD data cited by FBR notes a non-traditional Burger King can range from $323,100 to $754,600, a more traditional freestanding unit can range from $1.8 million to $3.3 million.

4. KFC: Similar to most of the franchises on this list, KFC requires a total net worth of $1.5 million and liquidity of $750,000 to buy into its system. Per Entrepreneur, the estimated initial investment ranges from $1.4 million to $2.7 million.

5. Subway: For those looking for a brand-name yet cost-effective investment option in the franchise space, Subway may just be for you. Unlike many other brands its size, Subway has a startup cost that’s less than $500,000, with an initial investment ranging from $116,000 to $263,000, with a franchise fee of $15,000.  

6. Papa John’s: With a franchise fee of $25,000 and an initial investment of $300,000 that varies depending upon the geographical area and unit footprint, Papa John’s also gives prospects the opportunity to invest in a business for less than $500,000. 

7. Domino’s: While Domino’s predominantly prioritizes home-grown franchise candidates who previously served as a GM of one or multiple stores in the franchise awarding process, there are limited opportunities available to external candidates. These investors need $100,000 in liquid assets and can expect an initial investment ranging from $119,700 to $461,450, per

8. Wendy’s: Serious inquiries only—and by serious, we mean those with serious cash only. Anyone looking to reap the benefits of Wendy’s social media prowess needs to fork over a $40,000 franchise fee and should expect an initial investment ranging from $2 million to $3 million. 

9. Chick-fil-A: This extremely popular franchise brand relies on an interesting model to award franchises, one that, so far, has benefitted it greatly. On the surface, Chick-fil-A franchisees pay only $10,000 to open a new restaurant. Great, right? But you may also be wondering about the reason it’s so cheap, and that’s because Chick-fil-A pays for the construction and real estate of its locations, meaning franchise owners lease the space from the brand as opposed to owning it themselves. Though still an extremely cost-effective option, it’s important to keep in mind what you’re willing to waiver—and the fact that operator approval rate is low due to the competition being high.

10. Sonic Drive-In: Sonic offers prospective investors both traditional and non-traditional location options to choose from, reflected in two different investments. The franchise fee for a traditional restaurant is $45,000 with a total investment ranging from $1.24 million to $3.54 million compared to a $22,500 franchise fee and $356,500 to $977,300 total investment range for a non-traditional location. While a higher investment, returns are great here, too, as owners saw an average gross sales figure of $1.25 million in 2018.

It’s always important to keep in mind what you’re looking for in business and in a brand—price is a good place to start, but it shouldn’t be the only deciding factor.