Great steak sandwich

In Brief:

      • The Great Steak franchise was founded by two brothers with a passion for Philly cheesesteak in 1982.
      • Back by large franchisor Kahala Brands, Great Steak offers expert support to its numerous franchisees.
      • Compared with other food franchises, the initial franchise fee to own a Great Steak franchise and its startup costs are relatively low.

Financial Summary

    • Initial Franchise Fee: $17,500 – $30,000
    • Startup Costs: $155,900 – $513,300
    • Royalty Fees: 6% of Weekly Gross Sales or $400/week
    • Average Revenue per Location: $398,613 – $481,045

Learn more about Great Steak by visiting their franchise page! Get Started

Is there anything more American than baseball and apple pie? Well look no further than the cheesesteak. Since the Great Depression, no one sandwich has been more glamorized and publicized than the cheesesteak. Marketed as an alternative to the hot dog, the cheesesteak took off in American culture due to its simplicity and mouth watering ingredients.

Since the dawn of American food franchises in the 1950s, the cheesesteak has been an integral part of the menu for numerous restaurant giants like Subway, Wawa, Jersey Mike’s, and Firehouse Subs. Yet, Great Steak was one of the first franchises to introduce the cheesesteak to the American public on a large scale. 

Up until the 1980s, cheesesteak was an extremely regional love affair. In cities like Philadelphia, favoring one restaurant over another could lead to the break up of families. That is until two brothers sought to bring cheesesteak to the main stream.

In 1982, two brothers from rural Ohio traveled to Philadelphia for some downtime. As what happens with many tourists in the city of brotherly love, the duo became mesmerized by the taste of the Philly cheesesteak. Determined to spread the savory taste and joy of chomping down a cheesesteak, the two brothers founded the Great Steak & Potato Company. Now known simply as Great Steak, the food franchise has expanded to a full menu of delicious sandwiches and french fry options.

great steak soda and fries

Great Steak Franchise Expansion Efforts

Many innovative and exciting franchises are backed by large parent companies that can take their brand to the next level – Great Steak is not exempt from that exception. When Great Steak partnered with Kahala Brands in 2004, a Canadian subsidiary based in Arizona, the franchise rapidly expanded to its current 50 plus locations around the nation.

As a leader in franchise innovation, Kahala Brands generates billions in revenue each year from its numerous holdings including, Cold Stone Creamery, Pinkberry, Baja Fresh, and Planet Smoothie. Kahala Brands boasts over 3,000 franchisees and 4,600 retail locations.

The Great Steak franchise offers two proven business models that are easy to operate and do not require franchisees to have an extensive background in the restaurant industry. Its food court model requires little staff, low overhead, and is custom designed to attract mall goers.

In over three decades of operation in some of America’s largest malls, Great Steak has cultivated a close relationship with many mall companies. The In-Line business model also requires a small staff and low overhead. The Kahala Brand team works with franchisees to determine the best location to open a Great Steak and become an integral part of the local community.

Great Steak also provides valuable training in management, marketing, and everything else franchisees need to know in order to have success. As Senior VP of Kahala Brands, John Wuycheck explained, “We can help first-time restaurant owners develop their skills in the underserved market of cheesesteak lovers in America and beyond.” Kahala Brands also offers IT training on POS systems and its proprietary computer system.

COO of Kahala Brands, Jeff Smith also explains, “Great Steak franchisees are supported every day, from the rolling out of limited-time offerings, to training, to professional help with business plans, to how to effectively market in their communities to grow their customer base. This allows our franchisees to focus on what they do best: giving our brand’s customers the best cheesesteak experience that can be found anywhere.”

Great steak restaurant

Why Are Franchisees Attracted to the Great Steak Franchise System?

1. Unrivaled Franchisee Support

As we’ve mentioned, Kahala Brands is one of the most powerful and innovative franchisors in the industry. Having the full support of an experienced team of executives is every franchisee’s dream. Kahala Brands works closely with its franchises to ensure the success of each location. Franchisees are trained to become master managers, marketers, and above all – master franchisees.

2. The Opportunity To Tap Into A Popular Market

According to a study done in Forbes, Americans spend an average of $1,000 on lunch each year. Most of this expenditure goes towards high quality sandwiches of which Great Steak offers plenty. Franchisees can immediately tap into a market with high demand.

3. A Proven Brand

Restaurants don’t stick around for almost 40 years without having a proven business model and capturing excellent brand exposure. One of the greatest benefits to owning a franchise is the ability to tap into a proven brand. Rather than building a business from scratch, entrepreneurs have the ability to buy into a brand that thousands across the country already know and love.

4. Relatively Low Cost

Great Steak is an excellent investment for entrepreneurs looking for a relatively low cost franchise. Compared with bigger brand names like McDonald’s, Great Steak requires much less financial capital. The initial franchise fee for a McDonald’s is $45,000 and startup costs will run over $2 million. The initial franchise fee for Great Steak is $30,000 and startup costs max out at around $500,000. For those interested in owning a restaurant franchise, but are looking for a lower priced option, Great Steak is an exciting alternative.

5. Accessible for Entrepreneurs From Every Background

Due to their extensive training and ‘round the clock franchisee support, Kahala Brands has made owning a Great Steak franchise an intriguing option for those from all walks of life. Unlike other food franchises that require franchisees to have some experience in the restaurant industry or in management, anyone can succeed in owning a Great Steak franchise provided they put in the work.

FDD Summary

Initial Franchise Fee: $17,500 – $30,000

The initial franchise fee for a Great Steak franchise is $30,000 for the first location. This figure compares favorably with other restaurant franchises in the industry. If franchisees purchase a second Great Steak location, the initial franchise fee drops to $17,500. Great Steak also offers non-traditional franchises with an initial franchise fee of $7,500.

Royalty Fee: 6% of Weekly Gross Sales or $400/week

The royalty fee depends on the greater sum of 6% of weekly gross sales or $400/week. In this instance, “gross sales” refers to all revenue from your Great Steak excluding sales tax, refunds, credits, and allowances. The royalty is automatically withdrawn each Thursday from your designated bank account.

Estimated Initial Investment Cost: $155,900 – $513,300

Name of Fee Low High
Initial Franchise Fee $17,500 $30,000
Grand Opening Marketing $10,000 $10,000
Real Estate/Rent $12,000 $20,000
Travel and Living Expenses While Training $2,500 $5,000
Architectural Fees $9,000 $17,000
Leasehold Improvements $40,000 $210,000
Training, Travel, Lodging, and Food $1,000 $2,000
Signage $200 $1,000
Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment $40,000 $140,000
Exterior Signage $9,000 $20,000
Software System Fees (3 months) $3,000 $10,000
Opening Inventory $66 $66
Licenses, Permits, and Subscriptions $2,500 $7,000
Business Insurance $1,000 $5,000
Additional Funds (3 months) $5,000 $15,000
Total $155,900 $513,300


Revenue Range: $398,613 – $481,045

The figures above represent average and median sales for all Great Steak locations. Individual success is not guaranteed. As of November 2019, 51 percent of Great Steak locations met or exceeded the median gross sales figure. 42 percent of Great Steak locations met or exceeded the average gross sales figure.

great steak sub and fries

Chomping At The Bits For A Great Steak Franchise?

Backed by franchise industry titan Kahala Brands, Great Steak has offered an intriguing and delicious product for decades. With relatively low overhead costs, excellent brand exposure, and expert franchise support, franchisees around the nation continue to look into this exciting franchise. The executive team at Kahala Brands has also insured a product that entrepreneurs from all backgrounds can buy into and still find success. 

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