Culver Franchising System Inc.

2015 Franchise 500
At a Glance

Products & Services: Frozen custard, specialty burgers

Number of Locations: 556

Total Investment: $1.4M - $3.7M

Founded: 1984

Began Franchising: 1988

About Culver Franchising System Inc.

After working with his parents in their restaurants, Craig Culver decided it was time to open one for himself. In 1984 Culver, with the help of his wife Lea and parents George and Ruth, transformed the A&W his parents owned since the sixties into Culver's Frozen Custard. Its founder's family inspired the menu for the initial Sauk City, Wisconsin, restaurant. When Culver's mother made hamburgers, she would put a dab of butter on the crown of the hamburger buns before toasting them; something her children felt made them taste better. Today, employees at each Culver's location use the same technique when making their ButterBurgers.

Franchise Units

Year U.S. Canadian International Company Owned
2015 549 0 0 7
2014 511 0 0 8
2013 482 0 0 8
2012 448 0 0 9
2011 425 0 0 9
Where Seeking Franchisees: Franchisor is seeking new franchise units in the following states:
Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Midwest, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South, South Dakota, Southeast, Southwest, Texas, West, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

Startup Costs, Ongoing Fees and Financing

Total Investment: $1,354,801 - $3,680,500
Franchise Fee: $55,000
Ongoing Royalty Fee: 4%
Term of Franchise Agreement: 15 years, renewable
Veteran Incentives: $10,000 off the initial franchise fee for a qualified veteran.
Financial Requirements
Liquid Cash Available: $350,000 - $600,000
30% of all franchisees own more than one unit. Number of employees needed to run franchised unit: 40 - 50. Absentee ownership of franchise is NOT allowed. (100% of current franchisees are owner/operators).
Financing Type In-House Third Party
Franchise Fee
Startup Costs
Accounts Receivable

How This Franchise Supports Franchisees

Training: Available at headquarters: 16 weeks.
Ongoing Support: Newsletter, Meetings, Grand opening, Internet, Security/safety procedures, Field operations/evaluations, Purchasing cooperatives
Marketing Support: Ad slicks, National media, Regional advertising,

Franchise Ranking History

Franchise 500®: #85 (2015), #88 (2014), #83 (2013), #83 (2012), #85 (2011),
Fastest-Growing: #80 (2015), #99 (2014), #99 (2013), #87 (2011),