The Top 10 Most Expensive Franchises in the World

Time and time again, we have seen that there is no need to reinvent the wheel. When you see a successful business model, instead of being just a copycat of the real thing, it might be better to just take out a franchise of the company. While it would require the payment of some fees, it would also allow you to use the company’s trademark, as well as sell its goods. You also get a free ride on the coattails of its already popular name and its advertisements.

Some of the more popular franchises are those connected in the burger and pizza businesses. But which franchises are the ones that would cost the most in terms of franchise fees and royalties, as well as the ones that would require quite a sum to start up the business? The following is a list of the top ten most expensive franchises in the world.

10 Choice Hotels International - $14.6 million

Choice Hotels International is involved in the hospitality business and is affiliated with a number of brands. Among the brands under its banner are the Ascend Collection, Cambria Suites, Clarion, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Econo Lodge, Mainstay Suites, Quality Inn, Rodeway Inn, Sleep Inn, and Suburban Extended Stay Hotel. The company was founded in 1939 and is based in Silver Spring in Maryland. It has revenues of almost $650 million, with net income at $113 million.

9 Amazing Spaces - $8.25 million

Amazing Spaces started out as a family business in 1998. It offers storage space that is well managed and clean. Its first office was located in Houston. It emphasizes in offering storage spaces that are strictly secured and well appointed, thus all its units have their own door alarms and the loading areas are covered. It currently has more than 2,000 customers and offers around 370,000 square feet of self-storage space.

8 AMPM - $7.6 million

AMPM is a chain of convenience stores with branches located all over the West Coast, as well as in Georgia, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Pennsylvania. It can also be found in Central and South America, particularly in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico. It is usually situated in areas next to a gas station under the BP American, Inc. brand. Aside from the start up fee, franchisees must also pay a five percent royalty fee.

7 Golden Corral - $6.76 million

Golden Corral is a family-style restaurant that is open from breakfast to dinner. A lot of its items are grilled and the restaurant offers a large buffet for its customers. Established in 1973, it has restaurants in 40 states. The North Carolina-based company earns more than $195 million in revenues each year. Aside from the $6.76 million needed to start up a franchise, it also requires four percent in royalty. Those applying for franchises must also have $500,000 in liquid capital and a net worth of $2.5 million.

6 Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar - $3.2 million


Buffalo Wild Wings is a casual dining restaurant that is popular for its Buffalo wings. Founded in 1982, it now has 832 restaurants all over the United States. It has revenues of almost $785 million. The restaurant is also popular as a bar for sports aficionados.

5 Culver’s - $2.8 million

Culver’s is a fast casual restaurant that has 454 branches across the United States, with most of it in the Midwest states. Its main products are frozen custard and butter burgers. Aside from the start up cost, franchisees must also pay four percent in royalty fees. The company provides four months of training to potential franchisees, including a week of on the job training at the first Culver’s in Sauk City in Wisconsin.

4 KFC Corp. - $2.5 million

KFC, or Kentucky Fried Chicken, is almost synonymous to fried chicken. Harland Sanders established the popular fried chicken chain in 1930 in Kentucky. In 1952, the first KFC franchise was opened in Utah. It has since spread to 109 countries all over the world, with revenues reaching more than $9 billion. Aside from the initial start up cost, franchisees are also required to fork over a five percent royalty fee to the mother company.

3 Denny’s Inc. - $2.4 million

Denny’s, or Denny’s Diner, is a full service coffee shop and restaurant. It operates 24 hours a day, and serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert around the clock. The restaurant is open even during holidays, except only when the law requires its closing down. It currently has more than 1,600 restaurants, most of it owned by a franchisee, in the United States and around the world, including Puerto Rico, Canada, Curacao, Costa Rica, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. The first Denny’s franchise was granted in 1963. Last year, it earned a net income of $112.29 million. Aside from the $2.4 million start up costs and franchising fee, those owning a franchise are also required to fork over a four percent royalty fee.

2 Carl’s Jr. - $1.8 million

Carl’s Jr. is a fast food restaurant chain that operates primarily out of the West Coast and the Southwest. Carl Archer established its first restaurant in 1941 when he opened Carl’s Drive-in Barbeque. Its success led to a chain of small restaurants called Carl’s, before it took the name of Carl’s Jr. in 1954. A four percent royalty fee is required, aside from the start up cost of $1.8 million. The company is owned by CKE Restaurant, making Carl’s Jr. a sister restaurant of Hardee’s, which is number ten in our list.

1 Hardee’s - $1.6 million

Hardee’s is a restaurant chain that operates mainly out of the South and Midwest states. Established in 1960, the company has undergone several transfers of ownership, before CKE Restaurants eventually acquired it. It currently has more than 1,900 branches around the world. Aside from the initial $1.6 million start up cost, franchisees are also required to pay a four percent royalty fee.

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