- 2023 Franchise 500 Rank
#12 Ranked #18 last year
- Initial investment
$645K - $2.5M
- Units as of 2023
3,602 2.8% over 3 years
Fast food franchises are everywhere, but few have the unique advantages and brand recognition of Arby’s. Indeed, Arby’s franchisees run flexible, profitable restaurants throughout the country, offering delicious sandwiches, salads and wraps to satisfied customers.
When you franchise with this unique brand, you’ll gain access to a host of supportive resources, training and store locations that could help you achieve your entrepreneurial goals in more ways than one.
However, going into this franchise opportunity with as much information as possible is essential.
Today, let’s take a closer look at how to start an Arby’s franchise, what it costs and the benefits of becoming a partner of this franchisor.
Why should you start an Arby’s franchise?
Starting an Arby’s franchise can come with many benefits and advantages.
For starters, Arby's has wide-reaching brand recognition. With over 3700 distinct Arby's restaurants across the US, people are well aware of the Arby's brand.
When given a choice between a small deli or a sandwich restaurant they don't know and an Arby's location, they will often choose the latter. Arby’s roast beef sandwiches, hamburgers and curly fries are particularly popular, even compared to other restaurants like McDonald’s and Buffalo Wild Wings. After all, their slogan is: We Have The Meats.
That positions you perfectly for success if you run your franchised location properly. Arby's is one of the top 10 restaurant brands in the US and Canada that is perfectly positioned to grow.
In addition, Arby’s offers a varied and well-reviewed menu of sandwiches, wraps, salads and plenty of other products. Simply put, people like Arby’s food, making it unlikely that the brand will diminish soon.
Arby’s further provides flexible and contemporary store layouts. When you contract with Arby’s to make a new franchise location, you’ll be able to ensure that your new store fits its area and local market perfectly. Arby’s even provides different prototypes and investment options to suit different franchisees' needs and budget limitations.
Later down the road, as an Arby’s franchise owner, you’ll benefit from various operating systems, development teams and other forms of support.
In this way, Arby’s could be a great franchise business for new business owners or entrepreneurs who may not yet have the most management experience.
What are the types of Arby’s franchise locations?
In terms of customization, Arby’s franchisees can choose between two different types of franchise offerings:
- Traditional Arby’s restaurants. These locations have the entire Arby’s menu and limited service. These freestanding restaurants may be located in convenience stores, end cap locations, in-line locations and malls. Most Arby’s stores include drive-thru windows.
- Nontraditional Arby’s restaurants. These feature limited Arby’s menus and limited sizes. They are usually cheaper to start since they occupy much smaller retail spaces. They can be perfect choices if you don’t have the startup cash required for a full-size restaurant or if you want to open a franchised location in a casino, university or other institutional building/facility.
Will you receive exclusive territory?
You will. According to the Arby’s License Agreement, all franchisees get to operate one restaurant in a specific location. Arby’s usually grants franchisees limited protected areas surrounding the restaurant, preventing other Arby’s restaurants from cropping up and cutting in on your business.
However, this isn’t universally true, so be sure to go through your License Agreement before signing on the dotted line.
What resources and support does Arby’s offer franchisees?
Arby’s is a popular franchising partner for various reasons, including its extensive resources and support network.
For instance, all new store owners can attend purchasing co-ops, get access to the Arby’s newsletter and attend Arby’s meetings and conventions. Arby's will assist with site selection as you pick where your store will pop up. When you open your first store, count on extensive grand opening support from Arby’s corporate, including help training your initial staff.
As your store rolls along, Arby’s provides ongoing field operations support and online support whenever you have questions. This includes access to the franchisee intranet platform and proprietary management software, which can help streamline and bolster your store operations.
Arby's provides you with various advertising templates for marketing, so you don't have to create your own advertisements from scratch.
It also assists with both regional and national media advertising; that way, your advertising campaign will connect to the target diners in your local area, not just the nation at large.
Email marketing and website development perks are included by default, too. This can help draw new people to the Arby’s brand and ensure that your store website is inviting and navigable.
You’ll even get access to the Arby’s loyalty program and app, which can help you build a loyal customer base and keep people coming back repeatedly.
This marketing support is crucial because you won't have to focus on advertising as the store owner and manager. Instead, you can put your efforts toward management, leadership, recruiting or anything else you need to do to ensure your franchised location succeeds.
What does it cost to start an Arby’s franchise?
Arby’s franchise costs can be high initially, even if it may lead to significant profits in the long run. Those costs include fees for real estate and liquid capital and other startup fees that all add up to your total investment.
Firstly, you’ll need between $6,200 and $50,000 for the initial franchise fee. Franchise fees are usually more expensive for competitive locations or larger restaurants.
Similarly, you’ll need an initial investment ranging from over $628,000 to approximately $2.3 million: Again, the price can vary from place to place.
Arby’s requires all new franchisees to produce $500,000 in cash and have a net worth of $1 million to ensure they have the finances necessary to facilitate business operations.
If you can collect that amount of money, you should be in a great position to start an Arby’s franchise location anywhere you like.
Once your Arby’s store is in operation, be prepared to pay 4% royalty fees in perpetuity. You’ll also need to pay 4.2% ad royalty fees for the marketing assistance and materials provided by Arby’s’ corporate offices.
If all goes well, you can renew your franchise term after 20 years, the standard duration of the agreement’s length.
Does Arby’s offer discounts or financing assistance?
Are you a veteran? If so, you can take advantage of a 50% discount on the development fee. You'll also benefit from further financing assistance and discounts, like a waiver for the license fee and a reduction in the royalty fee for the first year of operation.
But if you aren’t a veteran, know that Arby’s does have relationships with third-party lending organizations. Through those organizations, you can get assistance to pay for startup costs, the franchise fee and inventory expenses depending on your financial needs.
What training is provided for your Arby’s franchise?
To ensure that new franchisees have the skills and knowledge they need to thrive, Arby's requires between 96 and 144 hours of on-the-job training. New franchisees must participate in a New Franchisee Orientation or NFO.
This is essentially an overview of the Arby's franchising system and a training module so you can use the corporate administrative support provided by the company. It occurs in Atlanta, Georgia and Forrest, Ohio.
When you open your first and second restaurants, know that you must employ at least three managers who have each completed and been certified by the Arby’s Restaurant Management Training Program or a comparable training program.
Furthermore, when you open your first restaurant, your training requirements will include assistance from two specialists to assist with pre-and post-opening crew training for 10 calendar days.
In other words, you'll hire people to run your Arby's restaurant, but Arby's will provide you with the training and support you need to make sure those new hires can get the job done and know how to represent the Arby's brand properly.
Start an Arby’s franchise today
The right franchise opportunity can reinvigorate your business opportunities, and Arby's could be the perfect place to challenge yourself.
With the information above, you're ready to consider an Arby's franchise opportunity, so contact this fast food chain today if interested.
If you’re interested in learning more about Arby’s and other franchising opportunities, check out Entrepreneur’s other guides and resources.
|Franchising Since||1965 (58 years)|
|# of employees at HQ||3,000|
This company is offering new franchisees throughout the US.
This company is offering new franchisees worldwide.
|# of Units||3,602 (as of 2023)|
Information for Franchisees
Here's what you need to know if you're interested in opening a Arby's 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.
|$0 - $37,500|
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.
|$644,950 - $2,451,000|
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.
Definition: The minimum liquid capital you must have available in order to qualify to become a franchisee of this company.
Definition: A discount or other incentive offered to military veterans who buy a franchise with this company.
|50% off development fee; license fee waived; royalty fee reduced for first year|
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
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.
|Up to 20 years|
|Is franchise term renewable?||Yes|
Some franchisors offer in-house financing, while others have relationships with third-party financing sources to which they refer qualified franchisees.
|Third Party Financing||Arby's 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||96-144 hours|
Meetings & Conventions
Security & Safety Procedures
Franchisee Intranet Platform
Additional details about running this franchise.
|Is absentee ownership allowed?||Yes|
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||15-25|
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 ownership opportunities like Arby's? Request a free consultation with a Franchise Advisor now.
Franchise 500 Ranking History
Compare where Arby's landed on this year's Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.
Curious to know where Arby's ranked on other franchise lists? Find out below.
Are you eager to see what else is out there? Browse franchises that are similar to Arby's.
- Retail specialty foods, catering, cafes
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