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Are You An Ideal Franchisee?

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How do you quantify an ideal? It’s like the pursuit of perfection. It might be ultimately impossible, but the effort typically leaves you with the best possible outcome. In franchising, franchisors attempt to locate the best candidates for their systems by listing their specific qualifications.


The qualifying factors for franchises can be divided into three general categories: financial, business, and personal. The most obvious is the financial aspect. Can you afford to properly get the business started and run the business until it turns a profit? This is extremely important. According to FranConnect, the #1 reason for new franchisee failure is “uncapitalization” – not having enough money. Remember when doing your research, the figures disclosed in the Franchise Disclosure Document are simply a guide. Everyone’s situation is different. Instead of the three months of working capital suggested, an incoming franchisee may need a year’s worth of funds saved in advance to take care of life and business expenses until the franchise is producing a livable wage.


The business category covers the straight-forward, more easily measured, skills a prospective franchisee brings to the franchise operation. How many years have you operated businesses? Do you have franchise-specific experience? Do you have sales experience?


What would come up in a background check? These things are covered in the personal category of the qualifications. Most often franchisors look for a clean criminal history, little to no litigation, and good referrals. The personal factors also cover the less quantifiable reasons. These qualifications are usually gauged during interviews during the franchise opening process. These qualifications typically include a visible passion for the brand or service, a community mindset, and more.


Wonder if you’re an ideal franchisee? Possibly. We've gathered and summarized the requirements of 20 franchises below. Have a look.







- Minimum credit score of 700

- $1,500,000 Total Net Worth

- $750,000 Liquid Assets

- Proven track record in operating a multi-unit restaurant or hospitality business (preferably quick service restaurant)

- Successful business ownership experience (preferably multi-unit restaurant)

- No criminal history, bankruptcy history, or history of litigation

- Good referrals, business history, and reputation

Taco Bell

- Well capitalized within multi-unit QSR brands

- Track record of organic growth

- May also be an individual with high net worth, interested in being paired with someone with operational expertise

- Multi-unit experience with QSRs, gas and convenience, hotel or other hospitality experience

- Shows interest in multi-unit franchise opportunities

- Has ability to be a multi-unit operator

- Experienced leader with entrepreneurial spirit

- Can focus on operating a business that provides exceptional service

Splash and Dash

- The desire and resources to purchase single or multi-unit development opportunities

- Adequate capitalization – requirements vary by market, but the lowest requirements are 50k minimum liquid assets and 100k minimum net worth per unit


- Food service, retail, or multi-unit management experience

- An understanding of, and a drive to engage in local store marketing and community involvement

- A clear understanding of real estate development process


- A passion for, and dedication to, operational excellence

- A demonstrated ability to build a high performing team and organization


Papa John’s

-  Minimum of $50,000 in cash or liquid assets

-  Minimum net worth of $250,000

- Ability to obtain financing up to $250,000

- Business professionals with management experience

- Restaurant or retail experience preferred

- Passion for quality

- Believe in doing things right, in doing things first class

- Willing to give an extra 10 or 20 percent every day

Dunkin’ Donuts

- The desire and resources to purchase single or multi-unit development opportunities

- Adequate capitalization – requirements vary by market, but the lowest requirements are 250k minimum liquid assets and 500k minimum net worth per unit

- Food service, retail, or multi-unit management experience

- An understanding of, and a drive to engage in local store marketing and community involvement

- A clear understanding of real estate development process

- A passion for, and dedication to, operational excellence

- A demonstrated ability to build a high performing team and organization


- Minimum net worth of $1,000,000 and $500,000 in liquid assets, per restaurant

- Proven expertise in owning or operating restaurants

- Previous franchise experience is advantageous

- Commitment to grow with the Popeyes brand

- Strong belief in accountability and takes as much pride in serving the front of the house as managing the back of the house

Pollo Tropical

-  Verifiable minimum net worth of $5.0 million US (greater for large territorial development agreements)

- Verifiable unencumbered liquid assets of $1.5 million US (greater for large territorial development agreements)

- Adequate capital reserves available to fulfill the development opportunity

- Significant experience in high volume, multi-unit restaurant management. This may include hotel, contract feeding, catering, or other hospitality industry experience. Five years or more is desired. Ownership of the operations in question is not required, but it does add to the qualifications of the candidate. (If the candidate is a financial investor, an equity partner must fulfill this requirement.)

- A business infrastructure able to support an investment and operation of the size desired

- Demonstrated experience and success in developing commercial and retail properties

- Willingness to commit to the five restaurant minimum

- Excellent credit and personal/business references

Jamba Juice

- Minimum $80-100K liquid assets per store

- $250-300k net worth per store

- Retail or restaurant operations experience

- Local market knowledge

- Passionate about the Jamba brand


- Cash liquidity of $120,000

- Net worth of at least $400,000

- Restaurant management experience as an owner and /or operator (franchisee candidates without sufficient restaurant experience can successfully complete Cinnabon’s internship program in hopes of fulfilling experience requirement)

- Enthusiasm and passion for owning their own Cinnabon Bakery franchise and creating lasting memories for their guests

- An enjoyment in giving back to their communities

Sylvan Learning

- Well-capitalized (or have a partner who is)

- Minimum liquidity of $75,000

- Minimum net worth of $250,000

- Business experience (preferably selling a service and/or in a sales role)

- Articulate leader and highly skilled at building relationships

- Savvy with technology

- Want to do something meaningful within your community

- Willing to live in or near the Sylvan Learning franchise territory that interests you

- Want to make money and willing to work hard for it Willing to spend at least 70 percent of your time working on the business

- Passion for education (as a parent, from work experience, etc.)

Buffalo Wild Wings

- Required liquid assets: Minimum of $750,000 per restaurant

- Required net worth per restaurant of $1.5 million

- No more than 80% of the start-up costs be leveraged; 20% of any single store's start-up costs must be in liquid assets

- Each franchise group must have a person with multi-unit restaurant management experience with alcohol

- Be prepared to manage and control your business on a daily basis or hire an Operations Partner to manage your business

- Able to hire a full-time, qualified, experienced General Manager


- Total estimated investment $250,000 to $600,000 (including estimated real estate costs)

- Estimated liquid capital required $125,000 to $300,000

- Personal participation in operating a retail facility

- Entrepreneurial attitude, creativity and the ability to make sound business decisions

- Ability to create and implement a comprehensive business plan

- Ability to obtain / qualify for and maintain a valid beer and wine sales license for off-site consumption

- Ready to make a full commitment to the business and to put forth full attention to the key business drivers

- U.S. citizenship, or permanent resident alien status

- English language proficiency

- Good credit record/credit history evidenced by prompt payment of all financial obligations

Tim Hortons

- Liquid funds in the amount of $300,000 minimum

- A net worth of $500,000

- Have prior management experience, preferably in food service and/or restaurant operations

- Demonstrate the ability to build, hire and train a professional team

- Live in the U.S. within 30 miles of their Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop

- Have equity in the business and will commit to the business full time

- Not personally involved in other business ventures

- Ready to sever relationships with their current employer prior to beginning the training program

Panera Bread

- Net worth of $7.5 million

- Liquid assets of $3 million

- Experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator

- Recognition as a top restaurant operator

- Infrastructure and resources to meet our development schedule

- Real estate experience in the market to be developed

- Total commitment to the development of the Panera Bread brand

- Agree to open a number of units, typically 15 bakery-cafes in a period of 6 years

- Cultural fit and a passion for fresh bread


- Credit score 700 or higher

- $100,000 to $300,000 in liquid assets based on territory size

- $500,000 net worth

- Solid business and communications skills

- Ability to build relationships and trust with businesses, government agencies and other organizations of all types within their territories

- Background free of any criminal activity or bankruptcy for 15 years

- High integrity

Edible Arrangements

- Credit score of 675+

- $250,000 net worth

- Minimum $80,000 liquidity

- Business experience that translates to running your own store

- Customer service aptitude

- Financial management skills

- Entrepreneurial spirit

- Motivation and a strong desire to succeed

- Ready to be a category leader

Sandler Training

- Net worth of $150,000

- Passion for sales

- Love to train and help people

- Want more control of your income

- Want to spend more time with family


- $1.5 million in net worth minimum (individual or partnership)

- $500K in liquid assets minimum (individual or partnership)


- Five years of multi-unit restaurant management experience as an owner and / or operator

- Operating, real estate and trade area experience in development territory

- Dedicated support team for Smashburger

- Ability to obtain a liquor license (where applicable)

- Demonstrated enthusiasm, drive and passion, and a proven record of success in the restaurant industry

Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop

- Net worth of at least $1,000,000

- $500,000 in liquid assets ready to use for the business

- Have a proven leadership background in business or quick service food

- Commitment to providing exceptional customer service

- Commitment to following the Capriotti's system precisely

- Have ambition and drive

- Enjoy working with the public


- A minimum net worth of $1.5 million

- Liquid assets of at least $500,000

- Restaurant management experience as an owner and/or operator

- The ability to open a minimum of three restaurant locations

- Enthusiasm for the brand and business ownership

- An unstoppable urge to yell “Welcome to Moe's” loud and often

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