Chick-fil-A has become one of America’s most beloved fast-food chains.
If you’re interested in joining the Chick-fil-A family and becoming a franchisee, there are several essential things to consider.
From Franchise Fees and Total Investment costs to Training Programs and Renewal requirements, understanding all the details of franchising with Chick-fil-A will help ensure your success.
In this article, we’ll provide an overview of everything you need to know about owning a Chick-fil-A franchise!
So if you’re interested in learning what it takes to own and operate a Chick-fil-A franchise, keep reading!
About Chick-fil-A Franchise
Chick-Fil-A is an American fast-food restaurant chain that franchises its name to respective franchisees.
They are the largest chain that specializes in chicken sandwiches, with headquarters in Georgia. The company currently mainly operates in the United States but also has stores in Canada.
They previously had stores and operations in the United Kingdom and South Africa, but they ceased those.
Even though they are an international fast food chain restaurant, they keep to certain values as a company.
These include being closed on Sundays and other Christian holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. They now have over 2,000 outlets across tens of different states.
Founded in 1946 with the name Dwarf House by Truett Cathy, the company was located in Georgia, Atlanta.
After serving fast food for about 15 years, Truett made a discovery that they could cook a chicken sandwich at the same time as a burger.
After this, Truett registered the company name Chick-Fil-A and officially started to operate under their current name.
They licensed this sandwich for years to different companies until their first standalone store opened in 1967.
Ever since then, Chick-Fil-A has been opening and operating its own restaurants. As of 2023, they own over 2,500 stores across 48 states.
Chick-fil-A Franchise Model 2023
|Name of Fee||Low||High|
|Initial Franchise Fee||$10,000||$10,000|
|First Month’s Rental of Equipment||$750||$5,000|
|First Month’s Lease/Sublease of Premises||$2,500||$85,800|
|First Month’s Insurance Expense||$310||$11,510|
How Much Does It Cost To Open A Chick-Fil-A Franchise?
The cost to open a Chick-Fil-A franchise can vary, but on average, it ranges from $342,000 to about $2 million. Unlike most businesses, Chick-Fil-A has a unique franchise system. To get started, you need to pay an initial franchise fee of $10,000.
The company then provides a loan for everything you need, including property, equipment, training, and more. You can repay this loan in installments over the first few months of opening your store.
Once your store is operational, you are required to pay 15% of your monthly gross sales to Chick-Fil-A.
Why It Only Costs $10K to Own a Chick-fil-A Location?
The reason why it only Cost $10k to own a Chick Fil A Location is because, Unlike traditional franchise opportunities, Chick-fil-A does not allow individuals to own and operate their own businesses under the parent company’s brand.
Instead, individuals who wish to become Chick-fil-A operators must pay an initial fee of $10,000 and go through an extensive training program.
However, this fee does not grant ownership of the location. Rather, the operator is considered an “operator” and is granted a license to run the restaurant.
Chick-fil-A’s tight control over its brand and operations allows the company to maintain high standards of quality and service.
In exchange for all the company’s upfront costs to open the location, Chick-fil-A corporate takes 15 percent of sales and 50 percent of the profit annually from its locations.
Operators do not have any control over where the chain is located and are unable to sell the location or pass it down to their heirs. Additionally, operators are unable to own multiple locations.
Despite these limitations, the opportunity to become a Chick-fil-A operator is highly coveted. The company receives thousands of applications each year but only accepts a small fraction of them.
According to franchise business expert Joel Libava, “Chick-fil-A wants 100% control – and they have it. It’s a very, very unique individual who is going to apply and be accepted.”
Chick-Fil-A Franchise Requirements
Because Chick-Fil-A has a very attractive offer to prospective franchisees, many people apply to be a franchisee with them.
That’s why they have very strict requirements if you want to be a franchise with them.
The most important thing is that you must have the time to work 60 to 80 hours a week in your franchise branch.
Then, you need a strong background in business and sales. Having references on top of this background experience is also a strong addition.
Chick-Fil-A considers all of these when you apply to become a franchisee with them.
Chick-Fil-A Franchise Training and Support
As part of their franchise package, all Chick-Fil-A franchisees and their employees have to undergo a multi-week training.
This multi-week training program aims to teach you the day-to-day operations of running a Chick-Fil-A franchise, hiring and training employees, and every other detail. It includes both practical and theoretical information.
These trainings are mostly not specified to Chick-Fil-A. They mostly teach about running and operating a business altogether, which helps to run your franchise, as well.
Chick-Fil-A Franchise Terms of Agreement and Renewal
Chick-Fil-A franchises do not have a certain set of terms of the agreement or renewal time like many other franchises.
The initial franchise term ends at the earliest 31st December of the year that you signed the agreement or if the lease expires earlier.
Your agreement automatically expands for another year unless there is a 30 days prior notice.
Chick-Fil-A Franchise Obligations and Restrictions
The most important thing is that all the Chick-Fil-A stores must be closed every Sunday and on Christian holidays such as Christmas.
As the franchisee, you also must be able to spend 60 to 80 working hours per week to ensure the daily operations are on track.
Additionally, the agreement you make with Chick-Fil-A is specific to you, and you can’t sell or pass it on to another family member.
You also cannot own any other business venture when you own a Chick-Fil-A franchise.
Chick-Fil-A Franchise Financial Assistance
Chick-Fil-A has an untraditional way of providing financial assistance to franchisees. When you are a franchisee, you don’t actually own the store.
You just become a manager because Chick-Fil-A owns everything, from the land to the equipment.
This also means that when you start, you just need to pay the initial $10,000 franchise fee.
All the rest of the costs will be covered by Chick-Fil-A itself as a loan to you.
So they give all the needed capital to you as financial assistance without you needing to apply for this assistance.
Entrepreneurs considering a venture into the fast food franchise sector might explore options such as In N Out Franchise, Culver’s Franchise, Popeyes Franchise, Taco Bell Franchise, and Burger King franchises.
Chick-Fil-A Chicken Comparison
|Initial Investment||$342,990-$1,982,225||$681,500 – $1,603,300|
|Annual Revenue||$5.8 Billion||$786 Million|
Chick-Fil-A is one of the most popular and biggest fast-food franchises in the world, with millions of customers every day.
They do not have a conventional franchise method, and you don’t get to own your branch at all, but they are extremely profitable.
This means that you are likely to make great money when you get approved for a Chick-Fil-A franchise.
That is why if you are thinking about applying for a Chick-Fil-A franchise, you must certainly apply for it.
However, their requirements are extremely heavy, and only %0.4 of all people applying for it get accepted. This is a very low acceptance number, and you must be ready to get rejected.
Frequently asked questions
Is Chick-fil-a franchise?
You will find different answers from different sources for this question. But in reality, Chick-Fil-a is a franchise organization. However, it doesn’t call the people who run its restaurants “franchisees” instead; it calls them “operators,”
What is the average income of a Chick-fil-A franchisee?
A Chick-fil-A franchise may expect to make roughly $200,000 annually in 2023.
Why is it difficult to open a Chick-fil-A restaurant?
The Chick-fil-A restaurant is difficult to open because the business wants to keep control of the franchise and make all the purchasing decisions.
How much does a Chick-fil-a Franchise Cost?
To buy a Chick-fil-a franchise, you’ll require an investment of $342,990-$1,982,225 and $10,000 as an initial franchise fee.
Can’t I own a Chick-Fil-A Franchise Completely?
No, when you get approved for a Chick-Fil-A franchise, you get approved to run a franchise, not own one.
Chick-Fil-A is completely company owned, and they do not give equity to own a franchise to anyone.
What is the difference between owning and managing a Chick-Fil-A franchise?
When you own a franchise, you have all the rights to do what you want within the terms of the franchise agreement, and you become a business owner.
When you are managing it, you just manage it according to their own rules and do not own any equity in the company.
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.