10 Best Fried Chicken Franchise Opportunities

When it comes to fast food, fried chicken franchises rule the roost. Pizzas and Burgers may top the list of most midnight snacks, but fried has a separate fan base.

In the United States, the consumption of fried Chicken per capita is increasing every year, while red meat is in decline mode. 

Fried chicken franchises are dominating the market with great margins and have become one of the most successful businesses driven by franchise opportunities.

The main reason behind the popularity of chicken restaurants is their vast menu options and formats, such as quick service restaurants, drive-throughs, food trucks, and other services.

Chicken restaurants make up a hefty portion of the fast-food market, worth about $40 billion. Although the market is already huge, still poised for growth and is projected to grow by 4.5% this year.

Best Fried Chicken Franchise Opportunity
Best Fried Chicken Franchise Opportunity

If you’re planning to invest in a business, a fried chicken franchise may be a perfect option for you.

In this article, you’ll find the 10 best-fried chicken franchise opportunities for sale in the United States.

All these brands offer abundant franchise opportunities, along with all the support you need to thrive. Let’s dive right in!


10 Best Fried Chicken Franchise Opportunities 

Here are the ten best-fried chicken franchises you could invest in: 

1. KFC Franchise

KFC Franchise

Founded in1930
Franchising Since1952
Estimated Outlets2,769
Initial Investment$1,200,000$2,300,000
Franchise Fees$45,000
Liquidity$750,0000
Royalty Fees5%

Kentucky Fried Chicken, also known as KFC, is a leading American fast-food restaurant chain that specializes in fried Chicken and a huge variety of other chicken and beef dishes, including hamburgers, wraps, sandwiches, and salads.

Famous for its blend of 11 secret herbs and spices, KFC is like McDonald’s of fried Chicken and has been serving the customers its finger-licking good Chicken for decades now. 

KFC has a franchise network across 123 countries and actively seeking franchisees to develop multi-unit regions with KFC locations.

The brand offers several franchise opportunities for entrepreneurs, including initial training and support at every step of the way.

To know about how to own a KFC franchise, read our complete guide.


2. Chick-Fil-A Franchise

Chick-Fil-A Franchise

Founded in2004
Franchising Since2018
Estimated Outlets6
Initial Investment$342,990-$1,982,225
Franchise Fees$10,000
Liquidity$5,000
Royalty Fees15%

Chick-Fil-A is one of the leading quick-serve fast-food giants that offer a variety of chicken-based dishes.

Founded in 1946, this privately-owned restaurant is associated with the Southern United States; it is slowly becoming America’s favorite fried chicken restaurant with annual earnings of $3.9 billion. 

Currently, Chick-FIL-A operates over 2,800 locations in 39 states, most of which gets operated by hand-picked franchisees.

They offer rigorous training and support to their franchisees to run a Chick-Fil-a restaurant successfully.

You’ll be supported throughout by Chick-Fil-A’s experienced team of franchise consultants in everything from site selection to grand opening.

But is owning a Chick-Fil-A franchise profitable?


3. Buffalo Wild Wings Franchise

Buffalo Wild Wings Franchise

Founded in1982
Franchising Since1992
Estimated Outlets1,200
Initial Investment$1,443,700-$3,589,700
Franchise Fees$40,000
Liquidity$750,000
Royalty Fees5%

Buffalo Wild Wings is one of the largest casual dining restaurants in the world, specializing in chicken wings and more.

With a huge selection of chicken wings flavors to choose from, they provide a place for people and families to enjoy a meal in a fun and casual environment. 

Apart from this, they offer a variety of other dishes, such as chicken tenders, sandwiches, wraps, shrimp, and more.

Committed to bringing the casual dining experience to everyone, Buffalo Wild Wings offers some fantastic franchise opportunities for international franchisees.

As a franchisee, you’ll be part of the global network of Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants and get access to initial training and variety of ongoing support options, and third-party financing to start and run your business.

Read our complete guide to get all the information about Buffalo Wild Wings Franchise.


4. Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen 

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen

Founded in1972
Franchising Since1976
Estimated Outlets3,736
Initial Investment$500,000-$1,000,000
Franchise Fees$30,000
Liquidity$250,000
Royalty Fees5%

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen is an American fried chicken chain of quick-service restaurants that offers a limited menu of breakfast, lunch, and dinner products.

Popeyes distinguishes itself with a unique Louisiana-style menu featuring spicy wings, fried shrimp, chicken tenders, and other quick service items. 

The restaurant has 3,736 locations in the United States, of which only 41 are company-owned.

The company has been continuously expanding over the last few years, which shows that now is the best time to become a Popeyes franchisee.

Popeyes is seeking franchisees in the United States and worldwide. They offer franchisees the opportunity to run their own business by providing relevant training and support.

They offer consistent support in the ownership process, development, and operations to successfully establish your Popeyes restaurant.

Read our complete guide to know more about owning Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen.


5. Epic Wings Franchise

Epic Wings Franchise

Founded in1982
Franchising Since2018
Estimated Outlets26
Initial Investment$462,950-$1,170,700
Franchise Fees$30,000
Liquidity$250,000
Royalty Fees5%

Epic Wings is a family-run fast dine franchise specializing in chicken wings, secret sauces, pizza, hand-rolled breadsticks, and side dishes.

Starting as Wings N’ Things in California, in 1982, the restaurant was the first to introduce buffalo wings to the West Coast and all across America. 

Epic Wings has more than 20 locations across the United States and pursuing an aggressive approach to expand more.

They offer exciting franchise opportunities to entrepreneurs nationwide to be part of one of the most promising chicken brands. 

As an Epic Wings franchisee, you will receive support from the franchise development team throughout, from site selection to store opening and operational training.

Do proper research and explore the opportunity before investing any money.


6. Church’s Chicken Franchise

Church's Chicken Franchise

Founded in1952
Franchising Since1969
Estimated Outlets1,550
Initial Investment$681,500-$1,603,300
Franchise Fees$15,000
Liquidity$650,000
Royalty Fees5%

Church’s Chicken is another popular fried chicken franchise in the United States.

In the beginning, they only had fried Chicken on the menu and later added mashed potatoes, fries, jalapeno pepper, honey butter biscuits, and other mouthwatering side dishes. 

With more than 1,700 locations across the globe, Church’s Chicken offers favorable opportunities for entrepreneurs who want to earn profit by sharing the values of the company.

Franchisor also provides on-the-job training and ongoing support for franchisees, including help in site selection, marketing, and promotions.

To get more details about the support options, you can send a request to the franchisor.

Read our complete guide on what you need to own a Church’s Chicken Franchise.


7. Zaxby’s Franchise

Zaxby's Franchise

Founded in1990
Franchising Since1995
Estimated Outlets908
Initial Investment$284,000-$664,300
Franchise Fees$35,000
Liquidity$500,000
Royalty Fees5%

Zaxby’s is a famous chain of casual dining fast-food restaurants located in the Southwest United States.

Known for its slogan “Real Chicken,” they specialize in a wide range of chicken dishes such as chicken fingers, buffalo wings, fries, sandwiches, and more. 

The chain has gained massive popularity in the last few years by collaborating with different celebrities and getting sponsorships and contracts to sell its foods at football and basketball games at division colleges.

Currently, Zaxby’s has more than 908 locations across the United States, of which only 146 are company-owned.

The franchisor grants license for quick casual dining restaurants and provide the initial training and ongoing support essential to run and operate a franchise.

Franchisees must devote their best efforts to meet the standards and run the restaurant as per the franchisor’s requirements.

Read our full article to get an insight into Zaxby’s Franchise.


8. Bojangles Franchise

Bojangles Franchise

Founded in1977
Franchising Since1978
Estimated Outlets775
Initial Investment$577,000-$3,020,750
Franchise Fees$35,000
Liquidity$500,000
Royalty Fees4%

Bojangles Famous Chicken’ n Biscuits is an American chain of fast-food restaurants specializing in fried Chicken with Cajun seasoning, buttermilk biscuits, and iced tea.

The company started franchising after one year after being founded, and since then, it has grown to more than 700 locations.

Apart from being one of the most loved fried chicken chains in the United States, they also offer terrific opportunities for franchisees. More than 400 of their locations are franchisee-owned.

Their well-thought-out business model and reputation of more than 40 years make it one of the best-fried chicken opportunities out there. 

Franchisees are offered initial training marketing support and probably benefit from Bojangles’ experienced professionals with years of experience in the industry.

Their marketing will help you select the best locations for your restaurant and advise you on the best practices to expand fast.

But is Bojangles Franchise profitable? How much revenue does it generate? To get the answers of these questions, read our complete guide.


9. Harold’s Chicken Shack Franchise

Harold's Chicken Shack Franchise

Founded in1950 
Franchising Since1950 
Estimated Outlets40
Initial Investment$135,000-$325,000
Franchise Fees$35,000
LiquidityN/A
Royalty FeesN/A

Harold’s Chicken Shack often referred to as the fried chicken king, is one of the most recognized fried chicken franchises that keeps customers coming back for their scrumptious fried Chicken.

Founded in 1950, they specialize in Chicken and fish and offer a wide range of sides, including shrimp, sandwiches, salads, and desserts. 

Their franchise training program is unique, and they are looking for highly motivated and dedicated franchisees to join them.

As a franchisee, you’ll be taught all the knowledge and skills you need to run a successful business and experience first-hand ownership.

They provide on-site training along with ongoing marketing support to develop the brand. It takes approximately 6-9 months to successfully open a franchise. 


10. El Pollo Loco Franchise

El Pollo Loco Franchise

Founded in1975
Franchising Since1987
Estimated Outlets485
Initial Investment$502,000-$1,100,000
Franchise Fees$40,000
Liquidity$250,000
Royalty Fees4%

El Poco Loco is one of the best franchise options in the chicken restaurant industry.

It was founded in 1975; this leading quick-service chain specializes in Mexican-style flame-grilled chicken dishes.

Mostly known for their Mexican-style dishes, they have expanded their menu, venturing into chicken meals, burritos, tostadas, and salads. 

The restaurant has been franchising for 40 years and currently seeking franchisees in the United States, especially Texas, to invest in multi-unit agreements, preferably a minimum of three locations in 48 months. 

Investing in an EL Pollo Loco franchise means you will get the support of the franchise team in site selection and market planning.

They offer seven pre-training for the franchisees and additional help as well. To know more about whether to buy El Pollo Loco Franchise, read our full guide.


Things You Need To Know Before Opening Fried Chicken Franchise

1. Profitability

Any business is started to earn profit. Before investing in a fried chicken franchise, know about whether your investment will yield a good return.

Understand the cost structure, revenue streams, and any financial risk involved.

2. Viability

Owning a franchise is not a short-term business. It requires a commitment of 10-30 years or more.

So, before getting into any fried chicken franchise brand, check the track record of the brand, whether they are a start-up or a well-established business, and is their food really good.

3. Financing

Evaluate all the cost associated with opening a franchise which includes franchise fee, royalty fee, initial investment, real estate fees and etc.

Also, evaluate how you are going to finance your franchise. Here are some financing options you can consider:

1. Equipment financing

This type of loan provides you a facility to get capital for purchasing any equipment you require for your franchise, like heavy-duty pots, bamboo skimmers and etc.

2. Business line of credit

This provides you the ability to access loan amounts incrementally. You can get loans for large purchases that require huge capital, or you can also take smaller amounts of capital for small purposes like marketing.

3. Business term loans

These are the traditional loan facilities and requires monthly repayment. The have a business term loan of 5 to 6 years.

4. Location

Considering location the prime element to look for before investing in a franchise.

Know about your surrounding, the potential customers, competitors in your local area, and the foot traffic in the area where you are planning to open the franchise.


When Should You Choose A Fried Chicken Franchise?

Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself that will help you in making the decision of buying a fried chicken franchise:

1. Do I Possess Skill Required To Open A Fried Chicken Franchise?

A fried franchise chicken is a QSR meaning a quick service restaurant where people want quick service and quick delivery of their food.

Opening a fried chicken restaurant franchise will require you to hone analytical skills to make your franchise a game changer.

2. Am I Passionate Enough?

Before thinking about investing in the franchise think about are you passionate about the business.

Some people invest in the franchise, run it for some time, and loose their fire of turning it into a successful venture.

3. Do You Have Patience?

Another important element to consider is patience. A franchise takes months to build and then years to get a good return on investment.

It takes about 3-4 years for a business to become a successful franchise.


Comparison of Top 5 Fried Chicken Franchise Opportunities

CompanyKFCChick-Fil-A Buffalo Wild WingsPopeyes Louisiana KitchenEpic Wings 
Founded19302004198219721982
Outlets 2,769201819923,73626
Franchise Fee $45,000$10,000$40,000$250,000$30,000
Initial Investment $1,200,000-$2,300,000: $342,990-$1,982,225$1,443,700-$3,589,700from $500,000-$1,000,000$462,950-$1,170,700
Royalty Fee5%15%5%5%5%


Conclusion

If you are thinking of investing in a fried chicken business, there is no better time than now. As one of the most thriving markets, the fried chicken industry is showing no signs of slowing.

While it’s true that there are plenty of fried chicken franchise opportunities available, not all opportunities are equally beneficial, and some investments are better than others.

So, it is really important to do your homework before investing in a franchise.

All the fried chicken franchises listed above are the best ones to invest in right now. All of them offer a wide range of opportunities for franchises, and you can choose the one you think fits you the best according to your specific needs.


FAQ

Is The Fried Chicken Franchise Profitable?

The fried chicken business has always been popular and one of the most lucrative businesses to own in the food industry.

However, some franchises are more profitable than others, with profit margins between 7%-8%.

The gross sales from a chicken franchise can range from $50,000 to over $3 million annually.

The profit margin also varies depending on your menu and location, so make sure to have your distinct menu and best location to make it more profitable. 

What Is The Fried Chicken Franchise Profit Margin?

Some franchises of fried chicken report profit margins between 7 to 8%. For instance, the profit margin of KFC is 15%, and it would take 13.5 years to recoup the investment.

What Corporate Support Can I Expect from a fried chicken franchise?

The most important component of a franchise business model is the training and support they offer to their potential franchisees to define the difference between starting your business as a franchisee or starting it from scratch.

Look for franchises that offer comprehensive training and post-opening support, assistance in site selection, and marketing support you need to establish and run your business successfully. 

How To Choose The Best-Fried Chicken Franchise?

There are certain things you should consider to find the best franchise opportunity.

First of all, determine your budget, analyze your local market and compare features and franchise support options offered by different brands, read the franchise disclosure document, think about what business style works best for you, and choose the franchise model that fits your specific needs. 

How Much Does Fried Chicken Franchise Cost?

Selling fried chicken is one of the most profitable endeavors in food service. The initial investment for owning a fried chicken ranges between $135,000 to $3,589,700.

Which Is The Cheapest Fried Chicken Franchise?

According to the above-collected data, the cheapest fried chicken franchise is Harold’s Chicken Shack Franchise, with initial investment ranging from $135,000- $325,000 and a franchise fee of $35,000.

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