Restaurant drive thru


In Brief:

  • Chick-fil-A is now the third largest restaurant franchise in the nation.
  • Entrepreneurs and investors are fighting to get in on the Chick-fil-A action.
  • Chick-fil-A franchise applications total 20,000 per year but only about 0.4% are selected.
  • Yet, there appear to be many alternatives to choose from.

The famous Chick-fil-A cows have pleaded with the masses for decades: “Eat More Chikin”… and boy have we. According to Nation’s Restaurant News, the fried chicken mecca generated approximately $10.24 billion in 2018 and is now the third largest restaurant chain in the U.S.! Entrepreneurs continue to notice Chick-fil-A’s runaway success as one of the fastest growing franchises in the U.S. Why are entrepreneurs begging for a seat at the table?

Here’s an interesting example. Mike worked at an automotive factory for 25 years installing mid-size sedan fenders. His work, although vital, took its toll on Mike’s physical well-being. After years of excruciating back pain, busted knuckles, and a perforated ear drum from the constant loud stimulus, Mike noticed the success of Chik-Fil-A type franchises, so he decided “I’ll take this chance – the opportunity looks just too good,” – so Mike just called it quits. Furthermore, Mike just inherited a couple hundred thousand dollars upon the passing of a family member. So he said, “let’s take the chance on an opportunity!”

So why did Mike jump on a fast-food restaurant like Chick-fil-A?

First and foremost, today Chick-fil-A is one of the most profitable food franchises in America. The average Chick-fil-A brought in during a full year in 2018, gross revenue of approximately $4 million. Here’s the issue though, nobody can get a Chick-fil-A. Only .4% of applicants are able to open one. So what opportunities are there that are similar?

Most entrepreneurs looking for opportunities are researching for similar franchises. And there are franchises that seem to be going the Chick-fil-A route. While Chick-fil-A takes up a sizable chunk of the market share in the fast-food space, several fast-food restaurants continue to experience growth within the industry.

The truth is, consumers love fast-food and are certainly not limited to Chick-fil-A when deciding what to sink their teeth into. Fast-food is not only cheap, but relatively inexpensive and convenient. Customers can order from the comfort of their own vehicles and have their food ready to eat within a matter of minutes. So what other options are available? Some of these types of franchises are listed below.

Teriyaki Madness

Teriyaki Madness is a Japanese fast-food restaurant that makes and sells a variety of teriyaki dishes. Teriyaki Madness offers entrepreneurs a low risk, high reward business opportunity that is a simple and scalable concept, is consistently growing in sales, and a leader in the fast, casual Asian food industry.

  • Approx. Initial Fee: $45,000 (per 2019 FDD)
  • Approx. Startup Cost: $313,500-$653,860 (per 2019 FDD)
  • Approx. Revenue Range: $$631,431-$1,430,790 (per 2019 FDD)
Teriyaki madness store exterior
Photo by: Mark Turnauckas via Flickr/creativecommons

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s focuses on being a family friendly restaurant where people can get together to enjoy quality food and a comfortable atmosphere. Centered around sports entertainment, Beef ‘O’ Brady’s is a great location to socialize and watch the big game and now operates over 200 locations!

  • Approx. Initial Fee: $37,500 (per 2019 FDD)
  • Approx. Startup Cost: $791,967–$1,327,475 (per 2019 FDD)
  • Approx. Revenue Range: See FDD
People having fun at a pub
Photo by: Beef ‘O’ Brady’s at TradeWinds Island Resorts via Flickr/creativecommons

Jon Smith Subs

Jon Smith Subs serves the highest quality, overstuffed, marinated grilled sirloin steak and chicken breasts sandwiches, prepared fresh every day. The sub restaurant operates 20 stores in four different countries and plans to open up 35 more in the coming year!

  • Approx. Initial Fee: $149,500-$199,984 (per 2019 FDD)
  • Approx. Startup Cost: $332,500-$637,984 (per 2019 FDD)
  • Approx. Revenue Range: See FDD
Exterior of jon smith subs
Photo by: Phillip Pessar via Flickr/creativecommons

French Fry Heaven

French fries are a classic food item loved by everyone around the world, but what if there was a place that brought this salty dish to the next level? French Fry Heaven offers a wide variety of loaded french fry options that are fresh and made from scratch.

  • Approx. Initial Fee: $25,000 (per 2019 FDD)
  • Approx. Startup Cost: $217,500–$490,500 (per 2019 FDD)
  • Approx. Revenue Range: $124,338–$3,633,358 (per 2019 FDD)
French fry food truck
Photo by: 5chw4r7z via Flickr/creativecommons

Doc Popcorn

Doc Popcorn creates unique popcorn products and flavors, including soft drinks and other delicious treats. Doc Popcorn is devoted to the creation of quality ingredients and products for all customers. You can find Doc Popcorn in malls across America.

  • Approx. Initial Fee: $15,000 (per 2019 FDD)
  • Approx. Startup Cost: $46,909–$130,074 (per 2019 FDD)
  • Approx. Revenue Range: $221,778–$243,834 (per 2019 FDD)
Bowl of popcorn
Photo by: Pixabay

What is an entrepreneur to think of all this?

Although it is extremely hard to secure a Chick-fi-A, the many great alternatives mean entrepreneurs can still find their way into this burgeoning industry. Fast-food constitutes a cheap, convenient, and inexpensive meal that many consumers continue to rely on. Judging by the numbers, Americans are not going to stop eating fast-food anytime soon. Entrepreneurs are definitely not lacking for choice!

By Tyler Dikun and Jim Notaris

Tyler and Jim bio

Callens Capital