Today we are covering the process of buying a Chick-fil-A franchise.
First lets look at the details you probably already know:
- In 1946 Truett Cathy opens his first restaurant called the Dwarf Grill in Georgia.
- In 1967 The first official Chick-fil-A Restaurant opens in an Atlanta shopping mall.
- Since that time Chick-fil-A has steadily grown to become one of the largest fast food chicken restaurant franchises in the United States and has become somewhat controversial for its religious and anti gay stance.
- Chick-fil-A franchises have over 1,700 locations in 39 states. Annual sales were over $4.6 billion for 2012.
- Chick-fil-A is still privately held and family owned.
If you do buy a Chick-fil-A Franchise you will be entering into a relationship that is quite unique in the industry.
Firstly there is a very low franchise fee of only $5000, but there are trade offs that we cover shortly. Unlike most other fast food franchises Chick-fil-A pays for the store build out and other related costs for its franchisees which are in the millions of dollars.
That’s good right? Well that low investment comes at a cost. Unlike other franchises you never actually own an equity position in the store. Additionally you will pay 15% of gross sales and 50% of net profits to Chick-fil-A. This franchise model is obviously not suitable for serial investors who just want to add to their portfolio. This is very much a hands on owner operator model. In fact unlike other fast food franchises Chick-fil-A does not encourage multi-unit ownership and prefers operators run the store personally. Operators are guaranteed a $30,000 salary regardless of how the store does which is also unique in the industry.
Chick-fil-A makes no bones they are a religious based organization requiring operators to close on Sundays and adhere to christian values.
In order to ensure they have candidates that fit their profile Chick-fil-A puts prospective owners through a somewhat gruelling vetting process that consists of many, many interviews and pre-qualification requirements.
If you are considering buying a Chick-fil-A franchise you will be competing against upwards of 20,000 other people. That’s right — between 10-20,000 people a year apply for a Chick-fil-A with only 60-70 people actually being awarded a franchise. For those of you that find those odds daunting we have dozens of other fast food franchise options call us for details. For those of you who would like to to try your luck with Chick-fil-A here is the complete application process and what you can expect.
- Complete their online interest form.
- If your application is accepted fill out a 20 page application and return to head office.
- If your Chick-fil-A application is accepted attend a phone interview.
- Pass the phone interview have several in person interviews.
- Pass the in person interviews then fly to Atlanta for more interviews.
- Pass more field interviews often with a different interviewer.
- Final interviews in Atlanta and then you start 6-8 week training.
Chick-fil-A is looking for family oriented people, obviously being christian does not hurt, someone who who has a history of managing their finances. A huge bank account is not necessary but a bankruptcy will take you out of contention for Chick-fil-A ownership.
The Chick-fil-A franchise is a unique model unlike any other, and while being controversial no one can argue against their overall success in the fast food industry.