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- 2022 Franchise 500 Rank
#102 Ranked #202 last year
- Initial investment
$1.6M - $2.2M
- Units as of 2021
1,659 1.1% over 3 years
Here’s what you need to know if you’re interested in opening a Carl's Jr. franchise.
Since the inception of the first Carl's Jr. fast-food drive-in in 1941, the company has blessed us with a wide variety of tasty American and Mexican delicacies. After solely operating a drive-in for five years, Carl's Jr. and his wife eventually opened two Carl's Jr. restaurants. They registered them under the name CKE Restaurants, Inc.
Through steady hard work and superb customer service, Carl's Jr. had managed to open 300 restaurants by 1981. Three years later, he went public, allowing others the opportunity to join the Carl's Jr. franchise family. Now, there is a large pool of Carl's Jr. restaurants globally. CKE restaurants acquired Hardy restaurants in 1997, bringing restaurant locations into the high hundreds.
There are over 1,000 Carl’s Jr. franchises in the United States to go along with more than 500 international locations.
Why You May Want to Start a Carl's Jr. Franchise
It's hard to go wrong with a good burger. As you probably know, Carl's Jr. restaurants are known for their signature Charbroiled 100% Black Angus beef. Their diverse menu may attract a wide range of hungry customers.
As a Carl's Jr. franchise restaurant owner, you might serve a specialized breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu consisting of burgers, sandwiches, salads, sides, desserts, beverages, and American/Mexican breakfast items. The company has a product development team that works hard to keep your franchise fresh and exciting. They also have a digital customer loyalty program that may keep people coming back for their mouth-watering burgers.
What Might Make a Carl's Jr. Franchise a Good Choice?
You may also have access to Carl's Jr. field consultants, free updates on improving the way you run the business, and professionally crafted marketing services. Carl's Jr. might also be known for its investment in the marketing sector. They believe that effective marketing is how they attract a majority of their customers.
Most of the time, Carl's Jr. says that they prefer multi-unit contracts. However, they do consider single-unit contracts under certain circumstances. A franchise contract is usually a 20-year agreement.
To be part of the Carl's Jr. team, you should make sure you’re financially ready for an initial investment made up of a franchise fee and other startup costs. You should also 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 Carl's Jr. Franchise
Typically, Carl's Jr. will assign you a team to help develop a business plan as you decide on the location of your franchise. This may be a great opportunity to ask questions about territory restrictions and availability.
Carl’s Jr. often assists with restaurant décor, design, ordering equipment, training your workers, and overseeing the construction, as well. Potentially, this could remove some of the stress associated with starting your own business—especially a restaurant.
Afterward, the team may present your business plan to corporate, which will do a thorough check on your finances and the business plan. If your finances and site are approved, you can usually begin mandatory franchisee training right away. This training often consists of great learning experiences for your future franchise.
If you're interested in owning your own Carl's Jr. franchise, you just might be into something good!
About Carl's Jr.
- Franchising Since
- 1984 (38 years)
- # of employees at HQ
- Where seeking
This company is seeking new franchisees worldwide.
This company is seeking new franchisees in the following US states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington
- # of Units
- 1,659 (as of 2021)
Information for Franchisees
Here’s what you need to know if you’re interested in opening a Carl's Jr. 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
- $25,000 - $35,000
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
- $1,633,000 - $2,228,000
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
- Carl's Jr. 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
- 400 hours
- Classroom Training
- 51 hours
- Additional Training
- 12 weeks of management training & at grand opening
- Ongoing Support
NewsletterMeetings & ConventionsToll-Free LineGrand OpeningOnline SupportSecurity & Safety ProceduresField OperationsSite SelectionProprietary SoftwareFranchisee Intranet Platform
- Marketing Support
Ad TemplatesNational MediaRegional AdvertisingSocial MediaWebsite Development
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 Carl's Jr.? Request a free consultation with a Franchise Advisor now.
Franchise 500 Ranking History
Compare where Carl's Jr. landed on this year’s Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.
Curious to know where Carl's Jr. 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 Carl's Jr..
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