10 Best Fast-Food Franchise Opportunities 2024

Fast Food is a part of American life, and for some people, like travelers, it is a lifeline. 83% of American families consume fast food at least once a week. So, if you want a list of the 10 best fast-food franchise opportunities, we’ve got you covered.

10 Best Fast-Food 
Franchise Opportunities

With about 83% of Americans eating fast food, don’t you think this opportunity can open your doors to a successful, profitable franchise business?

So, without further ado, let’s start this guide to understanding when the right time to start the franchise is, what the best fast food franchises are, and factors you must consider before signing any franchise agreement.


10 Best Fast-Food Franchises

1. McDonald’s Franchise

10 Best Fast-Food Franchises- McDonald's
Founded1940
Franchising Since1955
Estimated Outlets40,801
Initial Investment$1,469,000 – $2,503,000
Franchise Fees$45,000
Liquidity$500,000
Royalty Fees4%

McDonald’s is one the well-known fast-food franchises in the food industry. Whether it’s a Happy Meal or a McChicken, the world is lovin’ it.

The brand was founded by brothers Dick and Mac McDonald in 1940. They opened their first drive-in joint in California and later expanded their brand further.

Currently, McDonald’s has more than 36,000 locations in over 100 nations. So, being a part of McDonald’s means you will be a part of a big and successful brand.

2. Taco Bell

10 Best Fast-Food Franchise Opportunities- Taco Bell
Founded1962
Franchising Since1965
Estimated Outlets8,320
Initial Investment$575,600 – $3,370,100
Franchise Fees$25,000- $45,000
Liquidity$750,000
Royalty Fees5.5%

Taco Bell originally first started as a hot dog stand with the name Bell’s Drive-in California by Glen Bell. Now, Taco Bell is the world’s largest seller of Mexican cuisine.

The best thing about owning this franchise is that it mostly focuses on the financial requirements of the franchisees rather than their personal background.

But to qualify to open this franchise, you need to meet the financial requirements of the brand such as initial investment and net worth of $5,000,000.

To get more details on Taco Bell Franchise, read our full article.

3. Dunkin’ Franchise

10 Best Fast-Food Franchise Opportnities- Dunkin' Franchise
Founded1950
Franchising Since1955
Estimated Outlets13,372
Initial Investment$437,500 – $1,809,500
Franchise Fees$40,000-$90,000
Liquidity$250,000
Royalty Fees5.9%

One of the first names that comes to mind when it comes to coffee and donuts is Dunkin Donuts. Founded in 1950, this global brand has become a household name for many worldwide.

For more than 70 years, Dunkin’ has been one of the top choices in coffee and baked goods franchises in the United States.

The company serves over 3 million customers daily – that’s more than 1 billion customers served every year! As a Dunkin Donuts franchisee, you’ll be part of a successful brand beloved by customers worldwide. It is also one of the best donuts franchise opportunities to own in 2024.

Read our full article to know more about Dunkin’ Franchise.

4. Jack In The Box

Jack In The Box
Founded1951
Franchising Since1982
Estimated Outlets2,189
Initial Investment$1,765,500 – $2,761,600
Franchise Fees$50,000
Liquidity$500,000
Royalty Fees5%

Jack In The Box was founded in 1951 by Robert Oscar Peterson, who already owned several successful Topsy’s restaurants. The company began expanding in 1960 and began franchising in 1982.

The brand’s menu features a wide variety, along with hamburgers, such as sandwiches, breakfast, tacos, salads, and many more items.

The chain is estimated to serve over 500 million annual guests, making it one of the country’s largest and most successful fast-food franchises.

Check our article to get complete details about Jack In The Box Franchise.

5. Smoothie King

Smoothie King
Founded1973
Franchising Since1988
Estimated Outlets1,354
Initial Investment$311,601–$638,465
Franchise Fees$30,000
Liquidity$150,000
Royalty Fees6%

Smoothie King is the world’s largest smoothie and juice franchise that was founded in 1973 by Steve and Cindy Kuhnau in New Orleans.

The brand began franchising in 1988. The brand takes pride in serving a variety of nutritious smoothies made from whole fruits and organic veggies. Smoothie King is also counted in the list of 10 best fresh juice franchise opportunities.

Moreover, Smoothie King will help you find the right site for your unit and store, plus they will also help with the negotiation. So, owning this franchise means that you’ll be part of the original US-based smoothie brand.

To get more details about Smoothie King Franchise, read our complete article.

6. Teriyaki Madness

Teriyaki Madness
Founded2003
Franchising Since2005
Estimated Outlets131
Initial Investment$312,500–$731,260
Franchise Fees$45,000
Liquidity$150,000
Royalty Fees6%

Teriyaki Madness is one of the very popular quick-serve Japanese restaurants in the United States, and it has an appearance outside of the US, as well.

The restaurant was founded in 2003 and started franchising in 2012. Currently, the brand operates in over 130 locations, making over $1 million in annual revenue. 

Professionally, Teriyaki Madness does not necessarily look for food service or restaurant management experience. However, it will be a plus in getting approved, but it’s not a necessity.

Read our complete article to know more about Teriyaki Madness Franchise.

7. KFC

10 Best Fast-food franchises- KFC
Founded1930
Franchising Since1952
Estimated Outlets28,475
Initial Investment$1,852,825 – $3,771,550
Franchise Fees$45,000
Liquidity$750,000
Royalty Fees4%-5%

KFC, also known as Kentucky Fried Chicken, is a global fast-food restaurant chain that specializes in fried chicken. With over 25,000 locations across 145 countries, KFC is the world’s second-largest restaurant chain.

If you are considering owning this franchise, then knowing the cost to open a KFC franchise is significant, and it is important to be aware of all expenses associated with the process.

In addition to the monetary requirements, KFC also has a number of other criteria that potential franchisees must meet in order to be considered for ownership.

Therefore, read the complete article about the KFC Franchise to learn more about it.

8. QDOBA Mexican Eats

QDOBA Mexican Eats
Founded1995
Franchising Since1997
Estimated Outlets615
Initial Investment$489,200–$1,178,000
Franchise Fees$45,000
Liquidity$350,000
Royalty Fees5%

Founded in Denver, Colorado in 1995, QDOBA Mexican Eats is a fast-casual Mexican restaurant chain with more than 600 locations across the United States.

The brand stands out from other Mexican fast-causal restaurant chains because of its three–cheese queso-dip and more than 30 different food add-ins and toppings.

The success of the franchisees is the top goal at Qdoba Mexican Eats. They work hard to equip their restaurant owners with the procedures and resources they need to succeed.

Read our full guide to get more details about the QDOBA Mexican Eats Franchise.

9. Culver’s Franchise

10 Best Fast-Food 
Franchise Opportunities- Culver's Franchise
Founded1984
Franchising Since1988
Estimated Outlets918
Initial Investment$2,524,000 – $7,228,000
Franchise Fees$55,000
Liquidity$500,000-$750,000
Royalty Fees4%

Culver’s is a fast-food restaurant chain known for its signature ButterBurgers, frozen custard, and Wisconsin cheese curds.

The first Culver’s restaurant was opened in 1984, and since then, the brand has has over 800 restaurants across 26 states. They strictly use fresh, high-quality ingredients in all the food in their restaurants, which is their pride point.

Culver’s has a franchise system that ensures each new franchisee is supported from the start. To owning this franchise means you’ll be a part of a reputed brand.

Get more details about Culver’s franchise by reading our guide.

10. Burger King

Founded1954
Franchising Since1961
Estimated Outlets19,739
Initial Investment$1,815,600 – $4,520,900
Franchise Fees$50,000
Liquidity$500,000
Royalty Fees4.5%

Burger King is one of the biggest fast-food restaurants in the world. It is an American fast-food restaurant franchise chain that operates in over 75 countries with over 19,000 locations.

As for the franchisees, there is an obligatory in-restaurant training held in various locations authorized as a training restaurant. This in-restaurant training focuses on the daily operations of the business.

In addition, they strongly prefer people who have a background in the QSR industry. A proven track record with administrative, financial, or development capabilities is also highly preferable.

Read our complete guide to know more about Burger King Franchise.


When Should You Choose A Fast-Food Franchise?

Opening a business or investing in a franchise is not a cakewalk. It requires you to do a lot of research and get your finances in place.

But if you are looking for when you should choose a fast-food franchise then the decision can be made simpler by evaluating the pros and cons of the pros and cons of owning it.

Pros Of Fast-Food Franchise

1. Proven Business Model

When opening your business, you have to research what the market has to offer and what to do that will work to attract customers.

However, when franchising, the franchisor has already figured out what is working out and what doesn’t.

They have tested every strategy and developed an established system of success as a result. Therefore, as a franchisee, you enjoy the proven successful system and business model established by the brand.

2. A Winning Brand

This is a very common phenomenon among people that they will return to the restaurants they know and trust. Even if they haven’t experienced a particular location, they know what to expect from a franchisee if it’s a part of a reputed brand.

This will help you save some money on marketing and advertising your franchise.

Cons Of Fast-Food Franchise

1. No Work-Life Balance

The fast-food industry is a labor-intensive industry requiring you to work long hours, and elevating stress levels.

No doubt owning a fast-food restaurant has a high revenue potential, but the owners must sacrifice their work-life balance and flexibility to make the business successful.

2. Lack Of Creative Freedom

In the food industry, the food is tested and vetted in focused groups to ensure that they appeal to a wide audience.

So, having someone else create the menu takes away a lot of your work, but if you are creative and want to add anything new to the menu, you must get the franchisor’s permission.

However, testing the new item and then getting it approved by the board will be a long process.


Factors To Consider Before Investing In A Fast-Food Franchise

Before you jump on buying a fast-food franchise, you need to consider the below-mentioned factors:

1. Investment

Owning a fast-food franchise requires you to invest a significant amount of money. It does not include the initial investment you must pay at starting but also includes royalty, advertisement, and ongoing fees. These fees are a certain percentage of your revenue and must be paid quarterly or annually.

Therefore, before investing in a franchise, you first need to look for all the investments. Ensure you have enough capital to cover the cost of operating the franchise.

2. Franchise Agreement

A franchise agreement is a legally binding contract between you and the franchisor and is enforceable for an agreed amount of time. It is a very significant document with contains the terms and conditions of the franchisor.

So, make sure that you thoroughly read it. Moreover, these agreements can be complex and lengthy; thus, hiring a franchise attorney to understand better all the terms of the agreement is recommended.

3. Training And Support

The next thing to consider is the training and support. This is one of the best advantages of investing in a franchise.

Even if you are new in the industry, the franchisor provides you with all the necessary training and support to make the franchise successful.

While training includes classroom training, support includes providing marketing material, helping with the equipment, and ongoing support.


Comparison Of 5 Best Fast-Food Franchises

Company NameMcDonald’sTaco BellDunkin’Jack In The BoxSmoothie King
Founded19401962195019511973
Outlets 40,8018,32013,3722,1891,354
Franchise Fee $45,000$25,000-$45,000$40,000-$90,000$50,000$30,000
Initial Investment $1,469,000- $2,503,000$575,600- $3,370,100$437,500 – $1,809,500$1,765,500 – $2,761,600$311,601–$638,465
Royalty Fee4%5.5%5.9%5%6%


Conclusion

So, this is our list of the 10 best fast-food franchise opportunities to own in 2024. This list is made based on the reputation, experience, and proven track record of success of the franchises.

However, you must do your own research on determining the demand for the franchise in your area and also get all the financials in place before investing in the franchise.


FAQs

Which is the highest earning food franchise in the world?

The highest-earning food franchise is McDonald’s. It has the largest network of franchises, with $89 billion in global sales.

Which is the cheapest fast-food franchise to own?

The cheapest fast-food franchise is Smoothie King. The franchise requires an initial investment of $311,601–$638,465, which is less than that of other franchises.

What is the average cost of fast-food franchise?

The average cost of a fast-food franchise ranges between $311,601 and $7,228,000.

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