It’s hard to think of a more classic American meal than a burger and fries. With a seemingly endless list of condiments to pick and choose from, everyone has their go-to ingredients. Whether you’re team mayo, cheese or no cheese, or double or single patty, there is a burger out there for you.
It’s easy to see why entrepreneurs are drawn to the opportunities that owning a burger franchise can provide. As a timeless food option, hamburgers will continue to be the ultimate comfort food for years to come.
That being said, not all burgers are created equal—and the same can be said for all burger franchise opportunities.
Finding the right franchise to invest in can be overwhelming. To ensure that you find the ideal fit for your new burger franchise, dive into our guide below which covers the factors you should consider while making your decision. Keep in mind, you’ll want to choose a franchise that fits your personal preferences and values while offering a viable plan for profit and success.
And, while we may not be financial advisors and can’t tell you which franchise is the best investment for you, we can tell you why Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers is one of the best burger franchises to own.
Let’s get started!
Burger Franchise List: The Best of the Best
There are thousands of franchise options available and hundreds of burger franchise opportunities to choose from. To help you get started on your search, here is a list of the top burger franchises in the United States by number of restaurant locations:
- McDonald’s – 22,235
- Burger King – 17,796
- Wendy’s – 6,711
- Sonic – 3,615
- Hardee’s – 2,229
- Jack in the Box – 2,229
- Carl Jr’s – 1,600+
- Five Guys Burger & Fries – 1,600+
- Whataburger – 820
- Johnny Rockets – 400+
- Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers – 340
- Fatburger – 200+
Evaluating Hamburger Franchise Opportunities
Due diligence is essential when considering a franchise investment. Whether you’re an individual or represent a private equity firm, the importance of being able to evaluate and vet a franchise prior to conducting a full-scale analysis cannot be overstated. Doing so will help you eliminate restaurant franchise opportunities from your list that aren’t good fits.
Here are seven key areas to research and review when considering which burger franchise to choose:
Franchisor Management and Support
One key characteristic to look at when evaluating franchise opportunities is the backgrounds and experience of key franchisor executives and support staff. Not only will this shed light on whether the franchise has the right people at the helm to be able to continue its success, but an active support team will help ensure that your franchise location thrives.
Take into consideration the hamburger franchise’s territory and its general rules around expansion. For example, is the available territory clearly defined in a consistent manner, and is there enough opportunity for growth?
Also, find out if the franchise territory is Exclusive, Protected, or Open. Exclusive and Protected territories offer assurance that your franchise won’t have to worry about cannibalization from other franchisees. Open territories can result in conflicts among neighboring franchisees, as their target market will overlap, and territory ownership becomes disputed. This can ultimately lead to a reduced ROI.
Curious where Freddy’s is looking to grow? View our available territories here.
Identify if the franchisor requires additional fees from Franchise Owners outside of royalty and ad fund fees. Additional fees for software usage, licensing fees, etc., will increase expenses and leave you less profitable than what you were expecting. Compare and contrast fees across the franchises so you can get a better idea as to how they stack up against one another.
Outside of any start-ups on your list, all the hamburger franchise opportunities you’re considering should have three years of audited financials available. The most important piece of financial information to identify is revenue. Ensure the franchises you’re considering have consistent growth in revenue from year to year.
Required Vendors and Suppliers
Find out if the franchisor has a list of approved vendors and suppliers. If you have experience in the restaurant business, knowing which vendors and suppliers you’ll be working with may help guide you towards the right franchise opportunity. It’s also good to know whether the franchise will assist you in working with vendors or if you’re on your own.
Franchisor Training Programs
You shouldn’t be expected to be able to run a franchise’s restaurant without any training. Instead, the franchise should be committed to ensuring you succeed by giving you everything you need to run a thriving, profitable restaurant. Make sure to read up on the training programs offered by the franchises you’re considering.
There are a lot of restaurant brands out there today. In addition to choosing a franchise that stands out because of a superior menu and service, consider opting for a franchise opportunity that owns intellectual property. Trade secrets and other confidential, proprietary information help distinguish the franchise from the competition and help you attain a high ROI on your investment.
Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers vs. Other Hamburger Franchises
So, what helps separate Freddy’s from the competition? Here are some of Freddy’s key differentiating points that make it one of the most reliable franchise opportunities out there today:
- A Simple Menu with Quality Products – One of Freddy’s defining features is a menu that keeps it simple without ever compromising on quality. If you’ve been to a Freddy’s before, then you know exactly what we’re talking about. And if you haven’t, find a location near you!
- Growth Opportunity – How’s this for growth opportunity: Kansas is the only state that is completely sold out. Every other state has limited market availability, several available markets, or is fully available. Overall, there is plenty of room for Freddy’s to grow and expand its reach.
- Passionate Fanbase (FredHeads™) –With superior food, fantastic service, and a great atmosphere, it’s only natural that Freddy’s would spawn a passionate fanbase known as FredHeads. This means Franchise Owners can always expect to have a steady flow of Guests that will come back time and time again. In addition, there are plenty of future FredHeads out there.
- Corporate Support and Training –Freddy’s is committed to your success as a Franchise Owner. You and your Team Members will all receive Freducation®. This includes everything from food prep to how to deliver our genuine hospitality for a world-class Freddy’s experience every time you interact with a Guest. At Freddy’s, we pride ourselves on offering world-class training with continued support and ongoing training. We want you to succeed and are willing to put in the work to ensure it.
- Vendors – Another defining feature of Freddy’s is our vendor partners tend to stick with us for life. Many of them have even been around with us since we first started franchising. As a Franchise Owner, you don’t need to find your own vendor partners or worry about getting everything set up in your new restaurant. Our corporate team of experts is here to help you in that process. We also never take back-end dollars. This means that when we negotiate contracts, we pass the savings on to franchisees rather than pocketing the difference.
To learn more about becoming a Franchise Owner with Freddy’s, fill out the brief form below to get the conversation started!
Check out the below resources to learn more about Freddy’s and what separates us from other hamburger franchises: