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How To Open a Chick-fil-A Franchise

Getting selected isn’t very easy… But once you are, the opening process is smooth sailing thanks to the franchisor’s heavy support and involvement.

By Morgan Wood1851 Franchise Contributor
Updated 10:10AM 08/04/22

The Chick-fil-A franchisee — or operator, as they call it — application process is incredibly selective. The brand’s initial investment is just $10,000, meaning that the company covers the majority of startup costs for its franchisees. However, less than 1% of hopeful operators are actually selected.

If you’re looking to own and operate your very own Chick-fil-A location, here’s what you need to know.

First, do your research. There is substantial information on the Chick-fil-A franchise website, including quotes from existing operators, more details on the selection process and a list of in-person and webinar format informational sessions.

If you’re still game, there’s an online application process to engage in. For those passed through all levels of this tiered application process, the next step is virtual and in-person interviews, and selected candidates will proceed to the final selection period.

The process is arduous. Some franchisees report working through the application and interview process for nearly an entire year, and applicants can be let go from the recruitment process at any time. 

For Chick-fil-A, this process is about more than liquidity and a few questions about restaurant experience. While the brand has requirements about previous business experience and money management, it is also concerned about a quality culture fit and the personal attributes of its prospective operators.

The Chick-fil-A “my pleasure” culture is iconic, and the commitment to protecting that strong reputation really shines through in the selection process.

The few candidates who finally are selected will embark on a multi-week training program before taking complete control of their very own restaurant.

One of the draws to the brand is that, for selected operators, the brand manages the majority of the startup process. According to Nerdwallet, the franchisor selects the restaurant site, rents all necessary equipment and handles any necessary build-out.

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