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- 2022 Franchise 500 Rank
#26 Ranked #25 last year
- Initial investment
$1.4M - $2.8M
- Units as of 2021
25,680 19.8% over 3 years
Here’s what you need to know if you’re interested in opening a KFC franchise.
In 1930, Colonel Harland Sanders opened his first restaurant and started what would later become KFC. The second location opened in 1952, and KFC has been franchising since then. Founded in Louisville, Kentucky, the company now has over 24,000 units all over the world.
For anyone unfamiliar with the company, KFC is known for its bucket of fried chicken. This is commonly served with a couple of sides to make a full meal for an individual or family. While this comfort food is the restaurant's core, new things are also added to the menu bringing a nice balance of familiarity and adventure.
Why You May Want to Start a KFC Franchise
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.
The company wants people who are motivated and committed. KFC franchisees can expect hands-on involvement with the day-to-day tasks in this business. There is also a high focus on improving, simplifying, and innovating to satisfy customers. This could be a good option if you are ready to go all-in for a company that values improvement.
What Might Make a KFC Franchise a Good Choice?
KFC is passionate about changing lives. They actively work to showcase diversity and inclusion and help the communities around them fight hunger. The company is also conscious about the planet and animal welfare, working to improve both of these areas and reducing their environmental footprint.
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.
To be part of the KFC franchise team, you should make sure you're financially ready for an initial investment made up of a franchise fee and other startup costs. In addition, you should prepare yourself for ongoing fees that will include advertising, royalty, and potential renewal fees. Franchisees will also need to meet the company's set net worth and liquid capital requirements.
How To Open a KFC Franchise
KFC provides many opportunities and resources to its franchisees. In addition to regular restaurants, there are also non-traditional options that may expand the opportunities of franchisees and the company. These are smaller options with roughly 900 square feet of workable space for locations such as airports, truck stops, and universities.
The company offers multiple weeks of on-the-job training, in addition to classroom training and ongoing support. Some of this support includes marketing support that complements the award-winning marketing KFC already has.
Opening a KFC franchise may offer a more predictable outcome than investing in a completely new brand that could struggle to thrive in an already crowded and competitive industry.
- Franchising Since
- 1952 (70 years)
- # of employees at HQ
- Where seeking
This company is seeking new franchisees throughout the US.
This company is seeking new franchisees worldwide.
- # of Units
- 25,680 (as of 2021)
Information for Franchisees
Here’s what you need to know if you’re interested in opening a KFC franchise.
Financial Requirements & Ongoing Fees
Here’s what you can expect to spend to start the business and what ongoing fees the franchisor charges throughout the life of the business.
- Initial Franchise Fee
Definition: The initial fee paid to a franchisor to join their system
What you need to know: Found in Item 5 of the FDD, this may be a flat fee, or may vary based on territory size, experience, or other factors.The franchise fee is an up-front (one-time) cost that a new franchisee pays to the franchisor. This fee is usually due at the signing of the franchise agreement and covers the right to use the franchisor's trademarks, name, and related business systems.
- Initial Investment
- $1,442,600 - $2,771,550
Definition: The total amount necessary to begin operation of the franchise
What you need to know: The initial investment includes the franchise fee, along with other startup expenses such as real estate, equipment, supplies, business licenses, and working capital. This is outlined in a chart in Item 7 of the FDD, showing a range of possible costs from low to high.
- Net Worth Requirement
Definition: The minimum net worth you must have in order to qualify to become a franchisee of this company
What you need to know: Net worth is the value of a person's assets minus liabilities. Assets include cash, stocks, retirement accounts, and real estate. Liabilities include items like mortgages, car payments, and credit card debt.
- Cash Requirement
Definition: The minimum liquid capital you must have available in order to qualify to become a franchisee of this company.
- Royalty Fee
Definition: A ongoing fee paid to the franchisor on a regular basis.
What you need to know: Most franchisors require franchisees to pay an ongoing royalty fee, which is detailed in Item 6 of the FDD. This fee is typically a percentage of weekly or monthly gross sales, but may also be a flat weekly, monthly, or annual fee.
- Ad Royalty Fee
Definition: An going fee paid to the franchisor on a regular basis to support advertising or marketing efforts.
What you need to know: This may also be called advertising fee, marketing fee, brand fund fee, and more, but the basic purpose is the same-- to support promotion of the brand systemwide. As with the royalty fee, it is detailed in Item 6 of the FDD, and can be a percentage of weekly or monthly gross sales or a weekly, monthly, or annual fee.
- Term of Agreement
- 20 years
Definition: The length of time your franchise agreement will last.
What you need to know: Franchise terms are typically anywhere from 5 to 20 years in length, but are sometimes instead dependent on factors such as the term of your lease. Once your term is up, you may have the option to renew your agreement, typically for a smaller fee than the original franchise fee.
- Is franchise term renewable?
Some franchisors offer in-house financing, while others have relationships with third-party financing sources to which they refer qualified franchisees.
- Third Party Financing
- KFC has relationships with third-party sources which offer financing to cover the following: franchise fee, startup costs, equipment, inventory, accounts receivable, payroll
Training & Support Offered
Franchisors offer initial training programs and a variety of ongoing support options to help franchisees run their businesses.
- On-The-Job Training
- 9 weeks
- Classroom Training
- 1.5 days
- Ongoing Support
Purchasing Co-opsNewsletterMeetings & ConventionsToll-Free LineGrand OpeningOnline SupportSecurity & Safety ProceduresField OperationsSite SelectionProprietary SoftwareFranchisee Intranet Platform
- Marketing Support
National MediaSocial MediaSEO
Additional details about running this franchise.
- Is absentee ownership allowed?
Definition: Absentee ownership means that the franchisee does not actively work in the franchise business or manage day-to-day operations.
- Can this franchise be run from home/mobile unit?
Definition: The business can be run from your home and/or a vehicle, and it is not necessary to have a retail facility, office space, or warehouse.
- Can this franchise be run part time?
Definition: This business can be run by the owner on a part-time basis (less than 40 hours per week) and/or as a side business; it is not necessary for the business to be open/run full-time.
- Are exclusive territories available?
Definition: An exclusive territory is a fixed area in which you are given the right to operate and in which no other units of the same franchise may be opened.
What you need to know: Territory size may be based on factors such as radius, population size, zip codes, and more. Details can be found in Item 12 of the FDD.
Interested in franchise ownership like KFC? Request a free consultation with a Franchise Advisor now.
Franchise 500 Ranking History
Compare where KFC landed on this year’s Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.
Curious to know where KFC ranked on other franchise lists? Find out below.
Are you eager to see what else is out there? Browse more franchises that are similar to KFC.
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