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Franchise Deep Dive: Modern Market Eatery Franchise Costs, Fees, Profit and Data

The healthy fast-casual franchise, owned by the same parent company as Qdoba, is on a mission to make real food the standard in the fast-food industry.

By Luca Piacentini1851 Franchise Managing Editor
SPONSOREDUpdated 9:09AM 03/05/24

REPORTED COST TO GET IN: $928,500 and $1,468,750
REPORTED ROI (Item 19): $2,232,664 (AUV)

Modern Market Eatery is a fast-casual restaurant franchise that distinguishes itself by blending chef-inspired menus with sustainable practices, all while delivering meals with the speed and efficiency expected of quick-service restaurants (QSRs). 

How Many Modern Market Eatery Locations Are There? 

The inception of Modern Market traces back to the unique journey of its founder, Rob McColgan, whose career transitioned from the high-stakes world of trading and investment management at Goldman Sachs to pioneering in the restaurant industry. Together with Anthony Pigliacampo his best friend in high school, McColgan embarked on a mission to reimagine fast food with a restaurant that could offer healthy, clean, and satisfying meals. In 2008, fueled by their shared passion and vision, McColgan and Pigliacampo left their careers to lay the groundwork for what would become the first Modern Market in Boulder, Colorado, in 2009.

From its inception, Modern Market was designed to cater to those seeking nourishment that was both delicious and nutritious. The founders' backgrounds as athletes influenced their commitment to a menu that could serve as fuel for the body, incorporating a wide range of options from pizzas to salads. 

This philosophy quickly resonated with diners, propelling the brand through a decade of steady growth as it expanded into multiple states, including Colorado, Texas, Arizona and The University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 posed new challenges, but also accelerated the brand's innovation in digital ordering and delivery services. This evolution not only kept Modern Market at the forefront of the fast-casual dining scene, but also significantly expanded its operational capabilities, aligning it with the digital efficiency of leading retailers.

Today, Modern Market operates 31 restaurants across the nation under the umbrella of Modern Restaurant Concepts, alongside another fast-casual brand Qdoba. This association enhances Modern Market's leverage in the industry, offering it the purchasing power and logistical support typical of an 800-unit chain. Modern Market launched its franchising program in 2021, signing its first franchise agreement for 41 units with Thrive Restaurant Group. The brand also recently opened its first-ever drive-thru location in Colorado Springs late last year.  

What is the Modern Market Business Model?

At the heart of Modern Market’s model is a chef-inspired menu that caters to a wide audience with its “better-for-you” options. The menu's diversity, spanning salads, sandwiches, bowls, pizzas, and even catering services, is designed to appeal to various customer segments, including families and professionals. 

This extensive range is also matched by a steadfast commitment to sustainability and quality. Modern Market differentiates itself by offering plant-based options and scratch-made, sustainable food, sourcing ingredients from some of the best suppliers globally to ensure competitive pricing without compromising on quality.

Another pivotal aspect of Modern Market's operational model is its double-sided production line, which significantly enhances kitchen efficiency. This setup enables the staff to quickly prepare a high volume of orders, blending the speed of QSRs with the quality of fast-casual dining. The integration of kitchen processes allows for scratch-cooking at impressive speeds, with made-to-order dishes ready in three to five minutes. This efficiency is crucial for maintaining a low labor cost structure, as staff are trained across multiple kitchen areas. 

Furthermore, the introduction of drive-thru services at select locations marks a unique offering in the fast-casual domain, allowing Modern Market to serve its quality, diverse menu in a convenient format for customers on the go.

Another strategic advantage of Modern Market's business model lies in its real estate flexibility. The brand has successfully operated in spaces as compact as 2,000 square feet, proving the model's viability in various locations. This flexibility not only allows for strategic expansion opportunities but also helps in managing occupancy costs, a significant concern for many restaurant operators.

To operate the day-to-day operations of a Modern Market Eatery restaurant, Modern Market requires that franchisees or their authorized operational partners have proven restaurant expertise or are able to hire someone who does. 

How Much Can Modern Market Eatery Franchise Owners Make?

  • Average Unit Volume is $2,232,664 for the trailing twelve months ended Oct. 2022 for the 18 mature company-owned restaurants covered in Item 19 of the brand’s 2023 Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD).
  • Average Prime Cost is 57% for the trailing twelve months ended Oct. 2022 for the 18 mature company-owned restaurants covered in Item 19 of the brand’s 2023 FDD.
  • Average Occupancy Cost is 7% for the trailing twelve months ended Oct. 2022 for the 18 mature company-owned restaurants covered in Item 19 of the brand’s 2023 FDD.

How Much Does It Cost to Open a Modern Market Eatery Franchise?

The estimated initial investment ranges between $928,500 and $1,468,750 for a single Modern Market Eatery restaurant. The amount you invest depends on several factors including build-out costs and location. More details are available in our FDD.

What Is the Franchise Fee for Modern Market Eatery?

The franchise fee required to open a Modern Market Eatery franchise is $40,000.

Who’s On Modern Market Eatery’s Leadership Team?

What Helpful Articles Can I Read to Learn More About Modern Market Eatery?

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