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Restaurant Franchise


Dishing up a full-service restaurant franchise

The phrase 'food franchise' used to be synonymous with paper napkins and ketchup served in little packets. Now customers out for a meal can say good-bye to the days of plasticware and the infamous 'spork,' for the booming popularity of the full-service restaurant franchise makes it possible to enjoy a nice dinner with a recognized name.


The popularity of the full-service restaurant franchise has soared over the past decade as food quality and preparation has improved. It also hasn't hurt that the American palate has readily accepted new flavors and types of food. Of course, full-service franchises demand a much greater effort and financial commitment than a fast food restaurant. How much you invest depends on a number of factors and not just the brand name you choose. A Rockin' Baja Lobster restaurant serves patrons fresh seafood with a Mexican twist. Development costs are relatively low, ranging from $250,000 to $652,500. On the other hand, a Golden Corral restaurant that serves sizzling steak dinners requires an investment of $1.7 million to $4 million.

The total investment, royalty fee, franchise fee, terms, availability of financing and franchisee qualifications all depend on the franchise's policy. The amount of time it takes from signing the agreement to your grand opening also depends on your franchise situation; are you building a new site or purchasing an existing one? How much equipment do you need and how many employees should you train?

Some reasons to open a full-service restaurant franchise:

  • The food industry is a prosperous one and franchised full-service restaurants have a proven tradition of success
  • Variety! Try different ethnicities from Greek to Mongolian to Chinese. Or how about not previously franchised food? Try seafood, fondue or a pita sandwich chain.
  • Allows the franchisee to participate in an ownership role rather than managerial or even labor like some of the smaller industries
  • It can be fun running your own restaurant with the backing of a reliable company
  • A good choice for partnerships

Concerns of owning and operating a full-service restaurant franchise:

  • A full-service restaurant franchise is one of the most expensive franchises and requires a lot of investment
  • The more complex the operation; the more risk is associated with it
  • You need a permanent location fully fitted with equipment
  • Location is a priority; you must have ample parking, a safe neighborhood and attractions such as movie theatres to encourage customers
  • A large number of fully trained staff are required