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How Much Does It Cost to Open a Fast Food Franchise in the United States?

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Below are the costs for 10 popular franchises’ most “traditional” unit. Most often these units are larger, and as a result more expensive, than other unit types a franchise offers. Other unit types include locations within retail stores, strip centers, airport terminals, universities, hospitals, and other diverse places such as theme parks, etc.

Keep in mind some given investment range estimates don’t include real estate costs because of their variability from area to area. You can find more detail on franchise investment costs by clicking the franchise name.

McDonald's

Estimated Initial Franchise Investment Range: $989,352 - $2,217,045

Initial Franchise Fee: $45,000

Liquid Cash Requirement*: $750,000

Net-worth Requirement: Not given 

Royalty Rate: 4% of Gross Sales

Advertising Rate**: Not less than 4% gross sales

 

Subway

Estimated Initial Franchise Investment Range: $116,600 - $263,150

Initial Franchise Fee: $15,000

Liquid Cash Requirement: $30,000 - $90,000

Net-worth Requirement: $80,000 - $310,000 

Royalty Rate: 8% of total gross sales

Advertising Rate: 4.5% of total gross sales

 

KFC

Estimated Initial Franchise Investment Range: $1,262,800 - $2,543,000

Initial Franchise Fee: $45,000

Liquid Cash Requirement: $750,000

Net-worth Requirement: $1,500,000

Royalty Rate: 5% of gross revenues per month or a minimum of $825, whichever is greater

Advertising Rate: 4.5% of gross revenues

 

Burger King

Estimated Initial Franchise Investment Range: $1,416,600 - $2,580,600

Initial Franchise Fee: $50,000

Liquid Cash Requirement: $500,000

Net-worth Requirement: $1,500,000 

Royalty Rate: 4.5% of monthly gross sales

Advertising Rate: 4% of monthly gross sales

 

Pizza Hut

Estimated Initial Franchise Investment Range: $852,000 - $2,109,000

Initial Franchise Fee: $25,000

Liquid Cash Requirement: $350,000

Net-worth Requirement: $700,000

Royalty Rate: 6% of gross sales (6.5% under certain circumstances)

Advertising Rate: 2.5 to 3% of gross sales

 

Domino's

Estimated Initial Franchise Investment Range: $141,650 - $516,700

Initial Franchise Fee: up to $25,000

Liquid Cash Requirement: $75,000

Net-worth Requirement: Not given

Royalty Rate: 5.5% of weekly royalty sales

Advertising Rate: 4% of weekly royalty sales

 

Dunkin' Donuts

Estimated Initial Franchise Investment Range: $276,100 - $1,637,700

Initial Franchise Fee: $40,000 - $90,000

Liquid Cash Requirement: $125,000

Net-worth Requirement: $250,000 

Royalty Rate: 5.9% of gross sales

Advertising Rate: 5.0% of gross sales

 

Taco Bell

Estimated Initial Franchise Investment Range: $1,177,300 - $2,620,600

Initial Franchise Fee: $45,000

Liquid Cash Requirement: $750,000

Net-worth Requirement: $1,500,000

Royalty Rate: 5.5% of gross sales

Advertising Rate: 4.25% of gross sales

 

Hardee's

Estimated Initial Franchise Investment Range: $1,339,500 - $1,840,000

Initial Franchise Fee: $10,000 - $35,000

Liquid Cash Requirement: $300,000

Net-worth Requirement: $1,000,000 

Royalty Rate: 3.5% of gross sales for the 1st 5 years and 4% of gross sales for the rest of the initial term

Advertising Rate: Up to 7% of gross sales (currently 5.5%)

 

Arby's

Estimated Initial Franchise Investment Range: $399,000 - $961,000

Initial Franchise Fee: $15,000 - $40,000

Liquid Cash Requirement: $500,000

Net-worth Requirement: Not given 

Royalty Rate: 4% of total gross sales

Advertising Rate: A percentage of monthly gross sales, with a current minimum of 4.2% aggregate including this fee, local advertising, and cooperative advertising (if applicable).

 

* Liquid cash requirement refers to the amount of money a franchisor suggests a franchisee have in savings and able to access quickly. Most often, the requirement includes an estimate for emergencies, setbacks, and accounts for regular living expenses until the franchise unit begins turning a profit large enough for the franchisee to garner an adequate take-home wage.

** The advertising rates given are for promotion on the national level. Additional local expenditures often also apply.

The information above was compiled from the respective franchise’s franchise disclosure documents (FDDs), except for the liquid cash and net worth requirements, which were compiled from Entrepreneur. The FDDs are all dated 2015.

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