The burger industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States, so if you are planning to capitalize on this lucrative industry, you are not alone.
In this article, we’ll share some of the best burger franchise opportunities in the United States in 2023.
Burger chains are one of the largest segments in the fast-food industry, not only in America but all around the globe.
Hamburgers are one of the most loved fast foods among Americans, which makes it a multi-million-dollar industry with high-profit margins.
In 2022, the market size of this segment of burgers touched $131 billion, with annual growth expected at a rate of 4.6% by 2027. The industry involves both huge brands and franchises.
However, there’s a constant increase in the demand for franchises, as people are always looking to try out new places, which can help you to be successful.
This highly successful and proven business model is not only easy to operate but also has a high ROI.
Whether you are interested in a casual burger joint or looking for something more upscale, here are the ten best burger franchise opportunities to invest in 2023, in a particular order.
Let’s dig in!
Interested In A Burger Franchise?
10 Best Burger Franchise Opportunities
Here is a curated list of the ten best burger franchise opportunities with established brand recognition, a proven business model, and a loyal customer base that will help you start a profitable burger business and lead you to success:
1. Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers Franchise
Founded in 2002, the restaurant takes a different approach from traditional burger chains and takes you back to the time when food was fresh and served with love.
Their menu includes tasty ground beef steakburgers, chicken sandwiches, Vienna Beef hot dogs, custards, and several other savory items.
Due to its proven business model and systems of execution, Freddy’s got ranked as the country’s best burger franchise by Forbes in 2019.
Freddy offers both single and multi-unit franchise options, along with world-class franchise support for maintaining the processes, procedures, and accountability standards associated with franchise administration and growth.
2. Mooyah Burger Franchise
Mooyah is a relatively new concept in the burger franchise industry committed to serving mouthwatering burgers in a fun and comfy environment.
This fast-casual dining restaurant is famous for its beef hamburgers, veggie burgers, turkey burgers, French fries, and shakes.
They cook their burgers and French fries for 24 hours to enhance flavor, making them stand apart from competitors.
Mooyah is an excellent franchise opportunity for those looking for an affordable startup with the potential to generate high returns.
The company is actively welcoming franchise owners to help them expand and grow their brand within new neighborhoods.
As a Mooyah franchisee, you can expect to receive initial training, access to industry-leading systems, and unparalleled support to help you manage and grow your franchise fast.
3. CheeBurger Franchise
Known for its massive burgers, Cheeburger Cheeburger is another big hitter in the U.S. burger industry.
Established in 1986, the 1950’s style restaurant specializes in customized cheeseburgers, fries, salads, and milkshakes.
With more than 44 franchise units, the restaurant is a relatively safe bet in terms of brand reputation and return on Investment.
The restaurant follows a profitable business model developed over 26 years, which means you’ll have the maximum potential for success.
The franchisor will work together as a team and provide all the necessary resources you need to be successful in this high-intensity industry.
4. Carl’s Jr. Franchise
Carl’s Jr is an American premier burger chain with over 1,100 restaurants worldwide.
Founded in 1941, the restaurant is known for its innovative menu, speedy service, and sit-down restaurant quality menu items, featuring the renowned black Angus Beef burgers and other fast-food items.
With more than 3,100 locations in 42 states and 13 countries, Carl’s Jr is the finest franchise opportunity to break into the burger industry.
The franchisor provides 12 weeks of hands-on management training, field support, and ongoing assistance from beginning to end.
In addition, their team of franchise consultants helps you with site selection, construction, restaurant design and equipment, and food supplies for your restaurant.
5. Smash Burger Franchise
SmashBurger is a quick fast-casual hamburger restaurant chain that offers customized burgers with a wide range of buns and topping choices, chicken, veggies, salads, sides, and beverages.
The restaurant operates more than 300 locations in over 38 states and nine countries.
Smashburger is looking for franchises from all over the country, allowing them to operate a Smashburger restaurant at a single location. The franchisor will support you throughout every step of the process.
Their expert team of franchise experts will guide you with site selection, construction, and décor. In addition, you will get initial training and help to open your first two units.
6. BurgerFi Franchise
If you are looking for an affordable franchise in the fast-casual burger business, BurgerFi is an attractive choice in terms of profitability and cost.
The Florida-based restaurant chain offers hamburgers, sandwiches, hotdogs, and custards in a hip urban atmosphere.
Known for using 100% natural ingredients, they also offer plenty of meatless options for vegetarians.
As of 2023, the company operates more than 125 outlets in the United States and outside the country and looking for qualified franchisees to expand more and make a name for itself nationally and internationally.
The Franchisees must meet their pre-set criteria to get selected as a BurgerFi franchisee.
The franchise support includes extensive initial training, access to their business model and marketing resources, and ongoing support to help you get the fastest return on your Investment.
7. Wayback Burgers Franchise
Wayback Burgers is one of the most famous and fastest-growing fast-food burger chains in the U.S. that stacks up next to its competitors in affordability and profitability.
With more than 146 locations nationwide, the restaurant features an extensive menu, including hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, salads, and a variety of regional dishes and delicious sides.
With one of the most successful franchise models, Wayback burgers shine through how they work with their franchisees.
The chain offers unrivaled franchise support, including initial training for operational excellence, unrelenting guidance, and ongoing support to lead you to the path to success.
8. Farmer Boys Franchise
Farmer Boys is one of the best burger franchise opportunities when it comes to profitability and guaranteed return on Investment.
Founded in 1981, the chain is famous for its eight different kinds of signature burgers made from all fresh ingredients locally sourced to ensure the best taste.
In addition, they also offer a variety of breakfast items, salads, and sides to cater to a wide range of customers.
The chain has been franchising since 1991 and expanding at a lightening fast speed recently, with up to 95 establishments.
They provide each franchisee with unbeatable support and guidance, which is hard to find with other brands.
Moreover, their team will work together with you as a cohesive unit to solidify your place in this highly competitive industry and help you maximize your revenue.
9. The Counter Custom Burgers Franchise
The Counter Customer Burgers is a premiere burger franchise that offers an innovative and conventional approach to creating hamburgers allowing customers to create customized burgers, choosing from 31 signature toppings, 7 proteins, 12 kinds of cheese, 6 kinds of buns, 20 types of sauces, and different types of greens to create more than a million possible combinations of burgers.
The counter has been looking to expand into new markets and looking for entrepreneurs with a passion for bringing the best burger experience to their community.
Owning a Counter franchise is an excellent opportunity to benefit from its recognized brand image and developed business model, which will make it easier for you to maximize your profits and grow quickly.
They also offer financing via a third party as well as a discount for veterans.
10. Red Robin Franchise
Red Robin is a privately-owned casual-dining burger chain known for serving gourmet hamburgers and bottomless steak fries.
Though burgers are their signature item on their menu, they also offer a wide range of options, including sandwiches, mac & cheese, soups, chicken or prime rib, salads, and plenty of vegetarian items.
With over 500 franchises nationwide, Red Robin is actively looking for passionate franchisees to break into more markets.
In terms of franchise support, you will be provided initial training and access to the key resources to get a head start.
Comparison of Top 5 Burger Franchise Opportunities
|Company||Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers||Mooyah Burger||Cheeburger||Carl’s Jr||Smash Burgers|
Also Check Out Best Hot Dog Franchise Opportunities
Is Burger Franchise Right For You?
A franchise does not offer you as much flexibility as your independent business, but since it comes with so many pros, many prefer to invest in a franchise rather than starting a business from scratch. However, if you are interested in owning a burger franchise, then you must ask yourself the following questions:
Do I love burgers?
If you are going to open a burger franchise, then a large part of your day will be spent around them. If you have a passion for burgers, then opening a burger franchise may be right for you.
Do I have the needed investment?
Although the investment range may vary, Burger franchises are not cheap and can cost a lot. Additionally, most burger franchises also require you to have liquid capital, a certain net worth, etc. So make sure you have your investment sorted before you think about investing in a burger franchise.
Do you have enough experience?
The need for managing or business experience may vary from franchise to franchise. However, running a food-related business is a herculean task, and having some amount of experience can really make it easy for you to run this business smoothly.
What type of burger franchise do I want?
There are all kinds of franchise models, from drive-thru to specialty burger joints, etc., and the investment and other requirements are also different for different options. So you must consider the kind of burger franchise you want and then make your investment accordingly.
How to Choose a Burger Franchise?
Several factors may impact the sales of your burger franchise, so have a look at these key points that you must consider:
There are a plethora of Burger franchises of all sizes, right from McDonald’s to Zac’s Burger.
However, different burger brands have different pricing and hence different profit margins. If you are looking for a burger franchise with a higher profit margin, then McDonald’s might be your choice, but then it also is expensive to invest in.
However, if you choose Zac’s Burger instead, your profit margin may be less, but it will be more affordable. So choose a franchise that you can afford and earn enough profit from at the same time.
A brand’s reputation plays a major role in the success of its franchises.
Well-known Burger franchises such as Burger King have a higher possibility of sales just because of their established brand name and signature taste as compared to a burger franchise that is not that well-known.
So you must avoid getting stuck with a burger franchise that not a lot of people know or can relate to.
- Management Flexibility
A majority of burger or restaurant franchises impose operational limitations where they give a set of guidelines that the franchisee must follow.
This not only includes following standard recipes and construction but also limits the working hours, the number of people you need to hire, etc.
Make sure you know how much flexibility you need for your burger franchise, and then choose an option accordingly.
- Food Options
Not everyone like burgers, so you might want to look for a burger franchise that also offers other food items on their menu so that you can cater to a larger audience and work your revenue up.
You could also look at franchises that offer healthy, vegetarian, or vegan burger options to increase your customer base.
If you are looking to start a business in the culinary world, burger franchises might be the right option for you.
Burger franchises offer a proven business model which takes the guesswork out of creating a profit-generating restaurant and ensures success in the long term.
Unlike many other businesses, burger franchises are relatively easy to operate, and you will have access to all the resources and help you need to be successful.
When you compare the cost of starting your burger joint from scratch to starting a burger franchise, you’ll find that a burger franchise is a much safer and more affordable option.
All the franchises listed above offer a high return on Investment, which means if you do things right, you will make a significant profit.
How Much Does A Burger Franchise Cost?
The cost may vary widely depending on the specific franchise, location, and a variety of factors.
The initial Investment for a burger franchise can range from tens of thousands to millions of dollars.
It is critical to carefully research and understand the initial and ongoing costs associated with a particular franchise before investing.
Is Burger Franchise Profitable?
Like any other business, the earning potential of a burger franchise can also vary depending on several factors, such as location, competition, and management.
According to an estimate, a typical burger franchise can earn between $100,000 to $500,000 in annual profits.
However, keep in mind that these earnings can be highly impacted by the costs of running the franchise, including marketing expenses, royalties, and overhead expenses.
What Kind of Support Can I Get From A Burger Franchise?
Most burger franchises in the USA offer a range of support services to their franchises, including initial training, marketing support, and ongoing assistance to help franchisees establish and grow their businesses, and this can be particularly valuable for those who are new to the industry.
Make sure to carefully evaluate the support services offered by a particular franchise before investing.
What is the Burger Franchise Profit Margin?
A profit margin of 10-15% is considered ideal for a restaurant business. However, according to the National Restaurant Association, the average profit margin of a burger franchise is between 5% – 8%.
Having said that, it is possible to make a higher profit margin from a burger franchise as burger franchise giants like Burger King and McDonald’s has much as an 18% profit margin.
In the end, your burger franchise profit margin will largely depend on the brand you chose, its pricing, popularity, etc.
Which is the Cheapest Burger Franchise?
Zac’s Burgers is the cheapest burger franchise to own, with a total initial investment costing only $119,500 to $198,000, with no additional requirement of liquid assets or net worth. However, you will need to have $35,000 in hand to take care of any sudden expenses in the first three months.
Other cheap burger franchises that you can check out include:
- Steak ‘n Shake – $1,375,000 to $2,135,000
- Jack In The Box – $1,316,100 to $2,414,700
Amit Gupta is an experienced expert in digital marketing and co-founder of DrFranchises. With more than 11 years of knowledge in franchise digital marketing, SEO, email marketing, and social media marketing, Amit has helped many brands achieve incredible success online. As a passionate entrepreneur and owner of 7 franchises, he continues to study franchise models, looking at costs, revenue, and profitability to guide brands toward profitable growth. When he’s not working on digital marketing, Amit enjoys spending time playing with his beloved dog.