A burger franchise is a great way to own your own successful business. While there are a wide variety of brands to choose from, you should want to choose one that you actually like eating at and which has a corporate atmosphere that you actually want to be a part of. There are a lot of franchises out there that are little more than a gear in a heartless corporate machine—that’s not what we ty to do here. If you’re interested in buying a burger franchise, here’s what you need to know.
1. Get your finances together.
The very first step of buying a burger franchise is to make sure that you have your finances in line. While you do not have to have all of the money in the bank that you will need in order to buy the franchise, you are going to need have a financial portfolio that will get you a franchise and a bank loan. A certain amount of net worth and some amount of liquid assets will be required in order to qualify to become a franchisee, but how much depends on which brand you are going to work with.
2. Find the right lender.
You might already have the money on hand to buy a franchise outright. If you don’t you will have to get a loan. Depending on which brand you have chosen to work with, they might provide you with a recommendation, but most of the time, it will be your responsibility to find a lender. There are some lenders that will be willing to make these kinds of loans and others that avoid them entirely. There are even some lenders that provide loans for other types of franchises but are not willing to finance burger franchises, so do your research.
3. Research the brand.
Even before you have started the application process to become a franchisee, you will want to do as much research about the brand as you can. Some brands will have questionnaires that help both them and you make sure that you are good fit. Some brands are just going to mesh better with your experience and other brands may not have the right resources available to their franchisees. There are a lot of similarities between starting a business from scratch and starting a business through a franchise program, including that both take a lot of work. You might want to see what kind of support your brand has for their new franchisees to make sure you get the support that you need to be successful.
4. Contact the brand.
A brand that has franchises already will likely have a special contact page or number of individuals who are interested in opening a franchise for that brand. There might be a form you need to fill out, you might request a packet of information, or you might call and talk to their franchise representative immediately. While talking with this individual, you will want to discuss your qualifications, to make sure that you and the brand are going to be a good fit.
5. Select a location.
Just as in residential real estate, location is everything, especially for restaurants. Even if your food is great, if you are in a bad location, you are going to have trouble getting people through the door. Most towns and cities have regulations when it comes to determining where you can build and where you’re not allowed to build. Make sure that there are spaces available that would be appropriate for your franchise. Often, the franchise will provide some guidance to make it easier to find a franchise location that works for you. Sometimes, the franchise might already have a location in your area in mind that they will want you to use.
6. Select the options you want and review the agreement.
Once you have decide what franchise options you want, tell the representative that you are ready to see the franchise agreement. This might be a large document and your best course of action, after receiving it, is to have a lawyer look it over. Be sure, whether you contact a lawyer or not, that you understand the terms very clearly. You want to know exactly what you are getting into, what you are responsible for, what the brand is responsible for, etc. before you sign the agreement. Pay special attention to the termination and resale clauses so you know what your options are should you want to back out of the deal or sell your franchise to someone else.
7. Get your loan.
Once the details of the agreement have been decide upon, you can take this document and your financial portfolio to your lender to get your franchise loan (if you need one). If your finances have changed since you first contact the lender about getting a loan, you might want to provide your new financial portfolio.
8. Sign the agreement and deposit the cash.
The last step to buying a burger franchise is to sign the franchise agreement and deposit the cash that that agreement requires. Once you have finished this step, you will be the owner of a burger franchise. Of course, there is a lot more work to be done, including arranging and overseeing construction, hiring and training staff, preparing for opening, and running the day to day, week to week, and month to month operations of your franchise.