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Restaurant Franchises That Are Hot Right Now

Although traditional restaurants are having a rough time recovering from lockdowns, restaurant franchises still remain very profitable.  The best restaurant franchises have developed innovative ways of serving food that can replace traditional dine-in with services, such as drive through, take away, catering and other off-premise services.

Despite the new trends, the best restaurant franchise opportunities to own are well-known brands that have already built their reputation and have millions of visitors.  These franchises are not inexpensive, however they will begin to bring profit immediately.  An entrepreneur who is willing to invest in popular restaurant franchises will save on advertising, but will have to spend money on buying or renting premises, equipment, and other things which will meet the high requirements of the franchisor.

According to TopFranchise.com, there are 10 restaurant franchises that are hot right now.  Learn about brands and discover information about the franchise requirements and fees here.

Top 10 restaurant franchise opportunities

1.  Golden Krust Caribbean RestaurantGolden Krust - Franchise Resales

Founded in:  1989 / Franchising since:  1996 / Franchise units:  109 / Initial investment:  $225,900 - $687,000 / Franchise Fee:  $40,000 / Royalty Fee:  5% / Ad Royalty Fee:  2.5% / Net Worth Requirement:  $500,000 / Liquid Cash Requirement:  $200,000

Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill is the largest restaurant franchise of authentic Caribbean cuisine.  The original restaurant was formed 30 years ago and is still open today.  The fast food chain’s parent company is owned by immigrants from Jamaica.

Golden Krust also manufactures and distributes food products to retailers, producing over 40 million Jamaican patties per year.  The company’s system-wide sales are over $100 million and they have over 1,800 employees.

Golden Krust franchises are located in 10 states and Canada.  They offer a fresh, new dining experience for today’s demanding consumer and a savvy business opportunity for the success-minded entrepreneur.

The Golden Krust team does its best to support its franchisees through training, site selection, and assistance in selecting and purchasing or leasing equipment. The Golden Krust team will provide you with the recipe for the tasty food that has captured their customers over the years.

Golden Krust Support Options:

On-The-Job Training: 47 hours
Classroom Training: 33 hours
Additional Training: At designated operating store10 Types
Number of Employees Required to Run: 8

2. Denny'sDenny's - Franchise Resales

Founded in: 1953 / Franchising since: 1963 / Franchise units: 1,627 / Initial investment: $1,428,425 - $2,326,540 / Franchise Fee: $10,000 - $30,000 / Royalty Fee: 4.5 – 7% / Ad Royalty Fee: 3 – 3.25% / Net-worth Requirement: $1,000,000 / Liquid Cash Requirement: $500,000

In a world where fast-food restaurants dominate, customers always seek a spot to take loved ones and enjoy high-quality food in a relaxed atmosphere. Denny's offers full table service, providing tasty dishes with very few frozen or processed ingredients. By serving customers directly at the table, Denny's offers customers a great opportunity to socialize while dining.

Starting a Denny's restaurant franchise may be a mindful move for a potential franchisee who appreciates the value that ambiance, good food, and quality service add to the dining experience. With its moderately priced menu, customers visit Denny's to enjoy classic cuisine, signature sauces, toppings, and dips that they may not be able to find elsewhere in the same price range.

Denny’s restaurants are located in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Mexico, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Curaçao, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, New Zealand, Qatar, Philippines and United Arab Emirates.  Denny’s serves millions of customers each day.

Most Denny’s restaurants are franchise owned and are located close to freeway exits, bars, and in service areas.  Denny’s is known for always being open, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner around the clock.

Denny’s has cultivated a well-established restaurant franchise business model.  With today’s business climate, presenting new challenges and unique opportunities, Denny’s offers franchisee partners long-term stability and support.

Denny’s Support Options:

On-The-Job Training: 91 hours
Classroom Training: 16 hours
Additional Training: At existing franchise location
Number of Employees Required to Run: 80

For more Denny's Franchise info, click here.

3.  Huddle HouseHuddle House - Franchise Resales

Founded in: 1964 / Franchising since: 1966 / Franchise units: 307 / Initial investment: $560,435 - $1,379,575 / Franchise Fee: $35,000 / Royalty Fee: 4.75% / Ad Royalty Fee: 3% / Net-worth Requirement: $600,000 / Liquid Cash Requirement: $200,000

If you love the idea of offering delicious home-style classic family dining to your local community, then opening a Huddle House franchise may be for you. Huddle House is known for its ‘home-cooked,’ comforting meals that include waffles, bacon, prime ribs, southern chicken, pork chops, specialty burgers and mashed potatoes.

Operating in 23 states, Huddle House is a family restaurant franchise famous for ‘round-the-clock breakfast, Southern hospitality, and being the best place in town for friends to gather.  Using their proprietary recipes, you will likely acquire a great following of loyal customers.

As a Huddle House franchisee, you will join their network of casual dining restaurants that are committed to providing flavorful, quality and delicious food. Your restaurant can be a place for people and families to come together and enjoy a great meal in a fun and casual environment.

Huddle House offers an exciting endeavor that will allow you to create something special which will be both long-lasting and financially rewarding.  As a Huddle House franchise owner, you will enjoy a small-town appeal and a strong brand culture, backed by a system with over 50 years of success.

Huddle House Support Options:

On-The-Job Training: 2 weeks
Classroom Training: 40 days
Additional Training: At training store
Number of Employees Required to Run: 25 - 30

4.  Taco BellTaco Bell - Franchise Resales

Founded in: 1962 / Franchising since: 1964 / Franchise units: 7,567 / Initial investment: $575,600 - $3,370,100 / Franchise Fee: $25,000 - $45,000 / Royalty Fee: 5.5% / Ad Royalty Fee: 4.25% / Net-worth Requirement: $1,500,000 / Liquid Cash Requirement: $750,000

From a hot chalupa to their signature sauce, Taco Bell is the largest purveyor of Mexican cuisine in the world.  As one of the top quick-service restaurant franchises, Taco Bell is known for serving Mexican-style food quickly and at a low price. You can get their tasty tacos at over 7,000 locations across 30 different countries.

Taco Bell is an American-based fast-food restaurant franchise chain, which was founded in Irvine, California in 1962 by Glen Bell.  The restaurants serve a variety of Mexican-inspired foods, which include: tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, and novelty and specialty items, along with a variety of "value menu" items.

The restaurant chain serves over two billion customers each year, at over 7,000 restaurants, of which more than 93 percent are owned and operated by independent franchisees and licensees.  Everyone needs to eat, no matter how much of a hurry people are in these days!

If you’d like to open a restaurant, the Taco Bell restaurant franchise opportunity could be the answer to your dreams!  Satisfy people’s hunger and fulfill your appetite for fortune – open a Taco Bell franchise in your city!

For more Taco Bell’s Franchise info, click here

5.  Melting PotMelting Pot - Franchise Resalses

Founded in: 1975 / Franchising since: 1984 / Franchise units: 97 / Initial investment: $1,339,023 - $1,587,201 / Franchise Fee: $45,000 / Royalty Fee: 5% / Ad Royalty Fee: 1.9 – 3% / Net-worth Requirement: $1,500,000 / Liquid Cash Requirement: $450,000

The Melting Pot fondue restaurant franchise is more than just cheese and chocolate.  The menu contains a variety desserts, salads and entrees, including filet mignon, lobster tail, sirloin and chicken breast, all prepared in different fondue cooking styles.  This unique, easy-to-operate restaurant franchise is for leaders who are passionate about creating memorable guest experiences with each fondue pot.

A unique feature of Melting Pot is its nontraditional nature.  It does not require a chef or a whole army of skilled kitchen staff.  The menu may be small and straightforward, and even the kitchen could offer a very simple setup and require minimal equipment and upkeep.  Nonetheless, the Melting Pot franchise has been successful for over 45 years.

The Melting Pot has developed extensive training, systems and guidance to franchisees make the most of their fondue restaurant franchise opportunities.  Training includes all aspects of the business and support is backed by a staff of more than 50 Restaurant Support Center employees the home office and in the field.

Melting Pot Support Options:

On-The-Job Training: 288 hours
Classroom Training: 40 hours

6.  McDonald'sMcDonMcDonald's Image 5 - Franchise Resales

Founded in: 1955 / Franchising since: 1955 / Franchise units: 39,396 / Initial investment: $1,314,500 - $2,313,295 / Franchise Fee: $45,000 / Royalty Fee: 4% / Ad Royalty Fee: 4%+ / Liquid Cash Requirement: $500,000

McDonald's has become a staple in fast meals on-the-go. Whether it's a Happy Meal or a McChicken, the world loves McDonald’s.  It's no secret that McDonald's commands a considerable following, especially in the American fast-food industry. The fast-food chain enjoys global recognition for its affordable and growing menu.

McDonald's is the world’s largest restaurant chain by revenue, serving over 69 million customers daily in over 100 countries.  Founded by Richard and Maurice McDonald, in San Bernardino, California, over eight decades ago, the Golden Arches logo was introduced in 1953 at a location in Phoenix, Arizona.

Many new franchises have been established since McDonald’s began franchising.  Consequently, the vast majority of entrepreneurs wanting to get into the McDonald’s restaurant franchise business buy existing franchises rather than launch new ones.  Existing franchises typically come with trained staff and built-in customers, so in a sense, they are turnkey businesses.

McDonald’s Support Options:

On-The-Job Training: 6-24 months
Classroom Training: 75 hours
Additional Training: At local McDonald's restaurant

For more McDonald’s Franchise info, click here.

 7.  Del TacoFranchise Resales

Founded in: 1964 / Franchising since: 1967 / Franchise units: 600 / Initial investment: $812,700 - $2,368,000 / Franchise Fee: $35,000 / Royalty Fee: 5% / Ad Royalty Fee: 4% / Net-worth Requirement: $2,000,000 / Liquid Cash Requirement: $500,000

If you love the idea of offering customers delicious fast food with a twist, then opening a Del Taco restaurant franchise might be for you.  Usually known for their American-style Mexican cuisine that is made up of affordable tacos and burritos, Del Taco also offers classic American fast food options, including burgers, fries, sodas, and milkshakes.

As a Del Taco franchisee, you may join an extensive network of specialty fast-food restaurants that are committed to providing quality, flavorful, and delicious food. You generally provide a place for people to come together and enjoy a great meal in a casual environment. Using their tasty and proprietary recipes, you may also be providing an essential service to your community.

The majority of Del Taco restaurants are located in the West Coast states - California, Oregon and Washington.  Del Taco also operates in many other western states including Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah.  Del Taco is expanding rapidly across the country, with exclusive development territories available throughout the United States for qualified candidates.

For more than 50 years, Del Taco has been serving freshly prepared, craveable food at an unbeatable value.  Led by an experienced executive team, Del Taco is one of the leading brands in the fast-growing Mexican quick-service category.  Their proven business model, creative marketing strategies, and solid company financials offer franchisees the support systems and resources needed to establish, manage, and grow their business.

Del Taco Support Options:

On-The-Job Training: 6 Weeks
Classroom Training: 48 hours
Additional Training: At local Del Taco’s restaurant

For more Del Taco Franchise info, click here 

8.  Zoup!  EateryZoup! Eatery - Franchise Resales

Founded in: 1998 / Franchising since: 2003 / Franchise units: 66 / Initial investment: $357,900 - $675,500 / Franchise Fee: $39,900 / Royalty Fee: 6% / Ad Royalty Fee: 2% / Net-worth Requirement: $400,000 - $500,000 / Liquid Cash Requirement: $150,000 - $180,000

Zoup! Eatery is a fast-casual soup concept restaurant franchise that offers soups, grilled sandwiches, made-to-order salads, baked goods, craft beverages and more.  This enticing, innovative menu features 12 rotating daily varieties of soup, including low-fat vegetarian, spicy, gluten-free and dairy-free options.

Zoup! Eatery commits to its customers while taking the steps to help franchisees build a loyal customer base.  For example, in celebration of National Soup Month, customers may receive a free cup of soup every Friday in January between 2:00pm and 4:00pm.  These efforts to bring in and keep customers may be appealing to franchisees who value customer service and loyalty.

The brand is committed to menu innovation. Since its inception, they've tested new ingredients, recipes, and techniques to keep things fresh. A franchisee may find this innovation part of how they keep loyal customers and bring in new ones.

Headquarterd in Southfield, Michigan, Zoup! Eatery has locations in the United States and Canada.  The company is seeking new franchisees in Colorado, District of Columbia, Delaware, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio Pennsylvania, South Dakato Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virgina and Canada.

Zoup! Eatery’s experienced Franchisee Support Team is trained and ready with the best-in-class support and systems.  From operations and training to technology and marketing, franchisees will have what they need to run a successful and thriving Zoup! Eatery.

Zoup! Eatery Support Options

On-The-Job Training: 72 hours
Classroom Training: 40 hours
Number of Employees Required to Run: 10 - 14

9. KFCKFC - Franchise Resales

Founded in: 1930 / Franchising since: 1952 / Franchise units: 25,680 / Initial investment: $1,442,600 - $2,771,550 / Franchise Fee: $45,000 / Royalty Fee: 4 - 5% / Ad Royalty Fee: 5% / Net-worth Requirement: $1,500,000 / Liquid Cash Requirement: $750,000

Based in Louisville, Kentucky, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) is the world’s most popular chicken restaurant chain.  Famous for its Original Recipe® fried chicken, which is made with the same secret blend of 11 herbs & spices that founder Colonel Harland Sanders perfected, KFC has been serving customers freshly prepared family meals for more than nine decades.

Today, more than 25,000 KFC restaurants are located in over 145 countries and territories around the world.  The specialized menu has expanded to include Extra Crispy™, Kentucky Grilled Chicken® and Extra Crispy™ Tenders with home-style sides, Hot Wings™ pieces and freshly made chicken sandwiches.

KFC has been ranked in Entrepreneur's Franchise 500 many times in its existence. They have also been ranked in Entrepreneur's Fastest-Growing Franchises and is a consistent high-ranker in Entrepreneur’s Top Global Franchises. These rankings are based on an evaluation of more than 150 data points in the areas of costs and fees, size and growth, franchisee support, brand strength, and financial strength and stability.

Owning a KFC fast food restaurant franchise is easy because of the training and support provided by the brand team.  While franchisees are expected to take a hands-on approach, they are also seen as a valuable asset to the company and part of a community. KFC strives to create an inclusive atmosphere that can feel like home–they believe that comfort should extend past the dinner table.

KFC Support Options:

On-The-Job Training: 6 weeks
Classroom Training: 2 days

For more KFC Franchise info, click here.

10. Popeyes Louisiana KitchenPopeyes - Franchise Resales

Founded in: 1972 / Franchising since: 1976 / Franchise units: 3,575 / Initial investment: $383,500 - $3,545,800 / Franchise Fee: $50,000 / Royalty Fee: 5% / Ad Royalty Fee: 4% / Net-worth Requirement: $500,000 / Liquid Cash Requirement: $250,000

If you love fried chicken and have some business experience, then opening a Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen franchise might be right for you.  This could be a great business opportunity as there are usually many hungry people ready for a bucket of fried chicken.  Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen is usually listed near the top whenever someone Googles ‘fast food near me’.

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen is a multinational chain of fried chicken fast food restaurants.  Popeyes’ extensive menu offerings, including seafood, desserts, sides and beverages are loved by consumers all over the world.  As one of the most popular fast-food chains in the United States, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen also boasts over 600 franchises internationally, in addition to more than 200 in Canada.

The great recipes and franchise support system are just some of the many reasons Popeyes is continually ranked as one of the top restaurant franchise choices by franchisees.  The distinguished Louisiana-style food is well-known by most people and new franchise territories generally come with an in-built customer base.

Popeyes restaurants work well in a range of settings, including freestanding locations, shopping malls, university campuses and airports

For more Popeye's Franchise info, click here.  

Considerations for Restaurant Franchises

To further research restaurant franchise opportunities, you’ll need to align your budget with the investment requirements of the brand, evaluate your business experience and check into the available markets in your location of interest.

Here are some of the details that you’ll need to consider.

  • Ensure you have adequate capitalization.
    In order to open a restaurant franchise, you must have a minimum net worth. This varies by brand.  See above information for each of the brands listed here.
  • Appreciate the investment required for a restaurant franchise.
    You will need to consider building leasing and / or real estate costs, the cost of equipment and signs, the costs of licenses and permits, the cost of uniforms, the cost of insurance, the cost of payroll, etc.
  • Evaluate your prior experience and strengths.
    You should thoroughly evaluate your prior business experience before applying to become a restaurant franchise owner.
  • Assess market availability.
    You will want to look at the market availability for the brand you are considering to see if there are available markets in your location of interest

Conclusion - Restaurant Franchises

To summarize, any of the above listed restaurant franchises are worth checking into.  There is a lot to consider while choosing the franchise opportunity that best suites you.  The reputation of the brand, training and support are extremely important as well as if other franchisees are successful.

To ease the challenge of comparing the brands listed above, below is a comparison flowchart of the minimum estimated initial investment and initial franchise fee of each restaurant franchise listed above.  This should help you figure out the difference in financial requirements for each brand and will hopefully help you decide which restaurant franchise opportunity fits you the most.

Restaurant Franchises That Are Hot Right Now - Franchise Fee, Initial Investment - Franchise Resales

To read the full TopFranchise.com article about the 10 best franchises to buy and own, click here.


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