The Smarter Burger Franchise Alternative to a McDonald’s Franchise


Okay, you have decided that you want to open a burger franchise. That is a good first step, but you know have to decide which burger franchise to join. While there are some big names in the burger franchise business don’t just jump onto any bandwagons right off the bat. Popular burger franchises like McDonald’s are everywhere and seem to be doing a booming business, but that doesn’t mean it is necessarily the best burger franchise for you to join.

There are many factors you should take into consideration when choosing a burger franchise. Besides the initial investment and the success of the brand, you should also consider whether the values of the brand match up to your own and whether the parent company offers you the support you will need to be successful in your venture. Thorough research is a must if you want to be a successful franchise owner. Here are some things to consider:

The McDonald’s Brand

When anyone sees those golden arches, they automatically think of McDonald’s. It is a well-known brand that is still growing and its franchises are doing well with both national and international locations, but there are some potential drawbacks.

First, it is under increasing scrutiny over its menu and the need for healthier food options. They have been trying to offer more variety and more creative options than just the simple fare of burger and fries, but crews struggle with providing quality food at a fast pace. Second its startup costs are a little on the pricier side ranging from $989,000 to $2.2 million. To open a McDonald’s franchise, you will need at least $500,000 in liquid assets here too.

The Zac’s Burger Brand

Consider as an alternative, a Zac’s Burger franchise. Zac’s Burgers is a family-oriented business who is currently located in the Philadelphia area and is looking to expand. Zac’s is known for its quality food, top notch service and friendly atmosphere. With Zac’s you also have the option of running a food truck which has become more popular in the last few years.

As a Zac’s franchise, you won’t have to contend with the fast food mentality. The Zac’s family prides itself on providing good quality food in a fast casual environment. Fast casual chains tend to offer better, fresher ingredients and higher quality service and restaurant environment than traditional fast food franchises like McDonald’s.

In addition, the startup costs are more manageable for more people. An initial investment in Zac Burger’s will cost you anywhere between $119,500 and $198,000 with no requirements for net worth or liquid assets, although you will need to have at least $35,000 on hand for the first 3 months for additional costs. If you want to get into the burger franchise business and you have never owned a business before, this is a good first investment because of its low startup costs.

Whichever burger franchise you choose, make sure you look carefully at your finances, your expected return in the investment and also think carefully about whether your vision for your restaurant matches that of the parent company. The more prepared you are, the best chance you have of succeeding.

Tips for Getting Started in the Franchise Business

No matter which burger franchise you ultimately decide on, one of the most important things to decide first is to double check if franchising is really the best road for you to take. Franchising is not for everyone so you should be clear on what the pros and cons of taking this particular route to becoming a business owner before signing on any dotted lines.

Some of the pros are that you are given an already established product or service to sell allowing you to capitalize on the franchisor’s brand name recognition and that you are offered a support structure and training to help you get your franchise unit up and running. Typically the franchisor will help you with financing and constructing your store as well as with the grand opening and ongoing management support. As a beginner with little experience, being a franchise owner is like being a business owner with training wheels on. You have a support structure to help get a sure footing in the business.

One of the cons is that you do not have complete creative control. You have to adhere to all the regulations agreed upon in the franchisee agreement and you can’t just make whatever changes you want. Often times you will have to buy your supplies directly from the franchisor whether or not you think you can get a better deal somewhere else. Plus, there is the financial burden. Besides the initial franchise fee to get started, you will also have to pay royalties and advertising fees. If you find the franchise agreement too constricting you might want to start your own business instead. Also if you have a unique product or service that you’d like to explore then joining an existing franchise will not work for you. Being your own business owner will offer you the freedom you will need to see your vision realized.

Once you are sure you want to franchise and that burgers are what you want to focus on, you should interview a bunch of franchisors and their franchisees to find out more about their particular franchise.

Here are some important questions to investigate:

  • How much are initial start-up costs? Is this doable for me?
  • How long does it take to see a profit? Do I have enough money to keep everything afloat till then?
  • Does the franchisor offer adequate training and ongoing support? What do they offer for advertising and marketing?
  • Where will my franchise unit be located? Will I get rights to certain territory?
  • Are there any bankruptcies or legal problems in the franchisor’s present or past?
  • Are the franchisor’s trademarks federally registered?
  • Does the franchisor compete with its franchisees in the same market?
  • What are your financing options?
  • If they offer training, where will it take place and for how long? Will it cost additional money?
  • Who leads the training and what are their qualifications?

This is a big step you are considering taking, but it can be a smart move when you take it wisely. Being honest with yourself and thoroughly doing your research are the keys to making a good decision. For more information about franchising with Zac’s Burgers, contact them today.

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Zac's Burgers is presently not selling franchises and does not have a certified franchise disclosure document.  Zac's is offering licensing opportunities, however, potential licensees must meet all federal and state requirements.

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