Chick-fil-A Franchise: Cost, Profit, Owner Salary, Pros and Cons

Chick-fil-A is one of the biggest American fast-food restaurant chains that was founded on May 23 1946 by S. Truett Cathy. All these years they have worked so hard to expand these chains and currently they are serving more than 2800 locations in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

Also, the benefits that entrepreneurs receive from this franchise are great. That is why people in these countries want to get a Chick-fil-A franchise. For that purpose, we have discussed many aspects of the franchise such as how to get a Chick-fil-A franchise, its cost, profit, how much its owners make, and its pros and cons.

So, if you are planning to open a Chick-fil-A franchise then you should know everything about it. We have researched for you and have covered every aspect that you must know about the franchise.

What is Chick-fil-A?

It is a private restaurant chain that was earlier known as Dwarf Grill and Dwarf House. It was founded in 1946 in Hapeville, Georgia, U.S. The current headquarters are at 5200 Buffington Road, Atlanta Georgia, United States.

Currently, the revenue of the company is more than 11 billion dollars and owner of the Chick-fil-A is the Cathy family. It currently operates in 2813 locations.

The company is focused on a small menu so that every customer can afford it and they specialize in chicken sandwiches. In 1994, Chick-fil-A opened its first franchise in Canada. But it was closed in 2019.

So, here was the quick info about Chick-fil-A.

Pros and Cons of Owning a Chick-fil-A Franchise?

Chick-fil-A franchise is a good investment and the profit potential is also very great. There are various advantages and disadvantages that you should know about the franchise to better decide whether you should invest in Chick-fil-A or not.

Advantages of the Chick-fil-A franchise:

1. Better Support

Chick-fil-A provides great support to its franchisees. They help you in each step and you don’t have to worry about the opening of your Chick-fil-A restaurant. When your application gets accepted, they will decide where you should open the store and pay for all expenses to set up a restaurant.

So, it is one of the advantages of starting a Chick-fil-A franchise because they do a lot of work for you so that you can easily start a restaurant. It is very beneficial because, for entrepreneurs, it is like training that provides you to ensure that the franchise will be successful.

2. High Demand for Chick-fil-A products

Chick-fil-A products are in high demand in the market which is why many entrepreneurs all over the United States and Canada want to get this franchise because it is a foolproof way to set up a successful business.

Their sales number increase per year even having low numbers of stores as compared to other franchises like Mcdonald’s, Subway, etc. Chick-fil-A is expanding its business slowly but is doing great in the restaurant business.

There is high demand but the supply is low because of having fewer stores than other restaurant chains.

3. Low Capital Needed

Chick-fil-A franchise requires low investment to set up compared to other franchisees in the United States. It is one of the benefits that you should consider if you are planning to open a Chick-fil-A franchise.

Most restaurant franchises require high investment to acquire but in the Chick-fil-A franchise, the main investment you put in is just $10,000 as a franchise fee.

4. Business Challenges

Facing challenges in the business is not a disadvantage, it is a benefit that you get because it helps you to improve yourself both as a person and entrepreneur. It allows you to avoid mistakes and help you be a businessman who can handle problems.

Chick-fil-A franchise is one of the best restaurant chains that allow you to keep up with the market, provide you with the right tools and help you to grow and improve your both skills and attitude.

So, when you are in a business you will learn a lot of things that help you to grow your business but this franchise will give you the challenges as well as guidelines to tackle them.

Disadvantages of the Chick-fil-A franchise:

1. You can’t own the franchise

It is a private family-owned business and is not for sale. It means that the Cathy family owns all the retail stores of Chick-fil-A. So you don’t own a franchise completely. It is just you working in a restaurant and the boss is the Cathy family.

Please remember they don’t operate like other franchise stores and it is not that you pay the fee and you are the owner of the franchise. No, it doesn’t work like that. It is one of the cons of the Chick-fil-A franchise.

Chick-fil-A manages the franchise and they have a share in the profits you make.

2. Not able to choose a location

Once your application gets accepted they will choose the location, not you. And they are very selective in choosing a franchise location. So, you have no control over the location of the Chick-fil-A franchise.

3. No multiple options

Chick-fil-A franchise doesn’t give any opportunity to open more than one franchise. You can only open one franchise.

4. Less control

You don’t have any control over the franchise because you work as an operator of that particular location they choose. They will provide everything you need to set up a restaurant so all the assets you have are owned by Chick-fil-A.

It is a disadvantage of the Chick-fil-A franchise but doesn’t worry you will earn well.

5. Complex application process

Yes, it is cheap to get a Chick-fil-A franchise but they are very selective about their operators. You can think of getting a Chick-fil-A franchise like winning a lottery. So the application process is quite complex that you must follow if you are interested in getting one.

Also, you should have the skills and knowledge about the business because you are the operator of the restaurant, not an owner, that is why you have to work as per their guidelines.

6. No passive income

If you are looking for passive income then this franchise is not for you. They are looking for a person who is passionate to work for them and their business.

So, if you want a side hustle, you shouldn’t consider this one. You can consider yourself an owner of the Chick-fil-A franchise but actually, you are just an operator.

How much does a Chick-fil-A franchise cost?

The initial franchise cost for the Chick-fil-A restaurant is $10,000. It is an initial financial commitment that you need which is CAD 15,000 in Canada. It requires a good commitment to getting the franchise.

The other investment cost that you may require for the franchise is given in the table below:

Name of the InvestmentAmount
Initial Investment$10,000
Inventory Cost$18,000 – $95,000
Equipment Rental (Monthly)$750 – $5,000
Lease Cost$1,500 – $86,000
Insurance$300 – $12,000
Other Investment$2,50,000 – $2,223,000
Total$2,80,550 – $2,431,000

The main investment that you are required initially is 10,000 dollars and other costs may vary from time to time and location to location. Also, it is recommended that you ask them for the actual figures.

I have done the research and found out about these investments but the only cost that has its official source is the investment of $10,000. So, keep that in mind.

Chick-fil-A franchise Fees

Considering the lease, rental, equipment, and other investment costs, the total franchise fee that they will charge you from sales is 15%, and the pretax profit of 50%. Also, there is a royalty fee of 15%.

There are major ones that you require. Other fees include the following:

Type of FeeAmount
Advertising0% to 3.5%
Cash Handling System Services$90 to $400 (monthly)
Hardware and Software Support; High-Speed Internet Access   $9,000 to $22,000 (annually).

The above information is gathered from trusted sources and the figure may vary from the actual figure that you may get from Chick-fil-A franchise officials but they will be close to these figures.

Chick-fil-A Franchise Owner Salary

On average the Chick-fil-A franchise owner makes 2,00,00 to 2,50,000 dollars which is around 5 to 7% of total sales after considering the expenses.

So, the owner makes quite a fascinating amount.

Chick-fil-A franchise profit

As we all know fast food companies don’t reveal ultimately what their franchise owners make annually. But there are certain factors from which we can get an idea of how much they are earning.

On average mostly Chick-fil-A’s gross profit annually is 5 to 7% of gross annual profit. A Chick-fil-A restaurant makes around $5 million annually from its sales which makes it one of the leading fast-food restaurant chains like McDonald’s, Subway, and Whataburger.

How to get a Chick-fil-A franchise?

Here are the steps you need to follow for getting the Chick-fil-A franchise:

1. Prepare Yourself

The first step is to prepare yourself for getting a Chick-fil-A franchise because it doesn’t operate as other restaurant franchises do. So, you must prepare for both the benefits you will receive and the challenges you may face.

Chick-fil-A is very choosy about the franchise operators so you need to fulfill their criteria and you should be passionate to run a quick-service restaurant. Also, you need to be free from any other business.

2. Prepare the Initial Capital

Once you have prepared your mind for opening a Chick-fil-A franchise then you need to prepare the capital you need for starting this franchise. If you have already the required amount of money then you can invest that.

But if you don’t have any money to invest in the franchise, you should find a source for financial help.

3. Apply for Chick-fil-A Franchise

Becoming a Chick-fil-A franchise offers the opportunity to start a successful business and invest in a better idea. Currently, you can apply for three states the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada.

Please remember you can’t apply for three places at once. You can apply only for one place. The process of the Chick-fil-A franchise is quite lengthy because they take time to know the candidates who are applying for the franchise.

Go to the official website of Chick-fil-A to apply for the franchise.

This is one of the best industries in quick-service restaurants. That is why if you are passionate about serving the food then this franchise is good for you.

4. Franchisee Selection Process

The selection process for Chick-fil-A is quite lengthy and extensive. You also need to be free from any business ventures because it is a life investment, not a side hustle.

The selection process includes three steps:

A. Tiered Application

Once you submit the initial application the selection process will be done through additional tiers and for that purpose the information that Chick-fil-A will ask you are work experience, leadership skills, capital, and geographical preference.

It is not that you don’t have any experience in business and lack the required capital and they will give the franchise. You need to be ready both financially and skills-wise.

B. Virtual and in-person interviews

There will be both online and offline interviews so that they can better know you. They will test in every possible way so that they can decide whether you fit the franchise operator or not.

C. Final selection

Once the above steps are completed successfully and you qualify all the criteria that they set then they will finally select you.

5. Training

Once you get selected they will provide the necessary training so that you will be able to take a Chick-fil-A restaurant franchise. They are very supportive in helping you to build your restaurant because it is their brand that they are trying to improve.

Once training will be finished you will be handed over the operation of the franchise.

What Are the Webinars and Live Events of Chick-Fil-A?

If you want to learn about their extensive process of selection and training you can register for their Webinars and live events.


Chick-fil-A is a profitable franchise to open because there are so many benefits that they provide but the process of selection is quite lengthy. Also, it is recommended that you should contact them for the capital that you need to have other than the initial investment.

There are so many things that we have discussed here and you should read them carefully before you take the final step.

FAQ on Chick-fil-A Franchise

How hard is it to be a Chick-fil-A owner?

Chick-fil-A franchise is considered a franchise but it is based on an operating system and getting one is near to impossible because the application process involves a series of steps that one should qualify and you should be free from other businesses. So, it is very hard to get one but with the passion and hard work you put in, then you may be able to get one.

Is Chick-fil-A the best franchise investment?

Chick-fil-A is one of the best franchises in which you should invest. It is a franchise technically but you work as an operator in the franchise not as an owner. The operators need to pay $10,000 and go through extensive processes and training so that they will be able to handle and operate the Chick-fil-A franchise. In a nutshell yes it is a profitable investment.

How much does a Chick-fil-A owner make per year?

Becoming a Chick-fil-A owner (in reality the operator) is a competitive challenge but when you can get one the benefits you receive are amazing. A Chick-fil-A owner makes 5 to 7% of revenue from annual sales which are around $2,00,000 to $2,50,000. So, with a $10K investment, the owners make quite a good amount.
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