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- 2022 Franchise 500 Rank
#490 Ranked #406 last year
- Initial investment
$191K - $864K
- Units as of 2021
37 60.9% over 3 years
Here’s what you need to know if you’re interested in opening a Cousins Maine Lobster franchise.
Cousins Maine Lobster was founded by two cousins, Jim Tselikis and Sabin Lomac, in 2012. They started with just one food truck, a small restaurant, and skeleton staff. With a brand culture that customers gravitated toward, their big break came when they were featured on ABC's hit investment show Shark Tank.
Many Cousins Maine Lobster franchises are in the South, where over 15 locations make up the franchisor's 30-plus locations nationwide. Cousins Maine Lobster has also recently expanded internationally. If you are passionate, goal-oriented, hardworking, and have an innate desire to learn while having fun, Cousins Maine Lobster may be the franchise for you. Although they prefer franchisees with professional business management experience, you don't need extensive food industry know-how. You should prioritize exceptional customer care.
Why You May Want to Start a Cousins Maine Lobster Franchise
Cousins Maine Lobster offers franchise holders multiple models that suit your preferred market location, including stand-alone shops, physical storefronts, food halls, food trucks, and more. As a franchisee, you'll be offering fast-casual seafood options by operating on a nationally recognized and internationally trusted brand.
The franchiser serves premium, 100% wild-sourced, and sustainably harvested Maine lobster as the signature delicacy, offered alongside traditional New England hospitality. When you join the Cousins Maine Lobster franchise, you may train in Maine, following the product from the lobstermen's nets to the table. The franchise is committed to food quality, excellent customer service, and their famous lobster roll.
What Might Make a Cousins Maine Lobster Franchise a Good Choice?
To be part of the Cousins Maine Lobster 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. A typical franchise agreement runs for five years. At the conclusion of those five years, you may be offered a chance to renew your franchise if both you and the franchisor are in agreement.
Cousins Maine Lobster marketing systems may give you stability so that you can best run your franchise. Their Hollywood, California corporate headquarters restaurant employs multiple staff members, and the franchisor prefers that your location follows their model.
You will not go it alone with your franchise, as Cousins Maine Lobster offers multi-location, multi-level training, and a corporate member will be present when you open shop. Besides a digital bundle of marketing materials, you'll have access to proprietary technology that simplifies operations and gives your business an edge against the competition.
How To Open a Cousins Maine Lobster Franchise
As you decide if opening a Cousins Maine Lobster franchise is the right move for you, make sure you take time to explore the opportunity. Research the brand and your local area to see if a Cousins Maine Lobster franchise would do well in your community. While competition is healthy, too much of it may not allow for the most possible growth.
Review Cousins Maine Lobster's updated Franchise Disclosure Document, and ask the franchise representative to answer any questions you may have. You may be invited to Los Angeles to meet Sabin and Jim, the Cousins, who may speak with you regarding your proposed concept and market location. Upon award of a franchise agreement, the company will take you to Maine and then Los Angeles, California for initial training, where you'll learn the ins and outs of the lobster industry.
About Cousins Maine Lobster
- Franchising Since
- 2014 (8 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
- 37 (as of 2021)
Information for Franchisees
Here’s what you need to know if you’re interested in opening a Cousins Maine Lobster 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
- $190,800 - $863,750
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
- $100,000 - $200,000
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
- $50,000 - $75,000
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
- 5 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
- Cousins Maine Lobster has relationships with third-party sources which offer financing to cover the following: franchise fee, startup costs, equipment, inventory
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
- 84 hours
- Classroom Training
- 74 hours
- Ongoing Support
NewsletterMeetings & ConventionsToll-Free LineGrand OpeningOnline SupportSecurity & Safety ProceduresLease NegotiationField OperationsSite SelectionProprietary SoftwareFranchisee Intranet Platform
- Marketing Support
Co-op AdvertisingAd TemplatesNational MediaRegional AdvertisingSocial MediaSEOLoyalty Program/App
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.
- # of employees required to run
- 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 Cousins Maine Lobster? Request a free consultation with a Franchise Advisor now.
Franchise 500 Ranking History
Compare where Cousins Maine Lobster landed on this year’s Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.
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