- 2023 Franchise 500 Rank
#188 Ranked #247 last year
- Initial investment
$791K - $2.4M
- Units as of 2022
834 3% over 3 years
Take a bite out of the 'crazy good food' found at Checkers and Rally’s!
Founded by James E. Mattei in Mobile, Alabama in 1986, Checkers and Rally’s is one of the largest hamburger drive-thru restaurant franchises in the United States. Checkers famously acquired Rally’s in 1999, increasing its outreach. There are over 850 Checkers and Rally’s locations in the U.S. with franchisees owning over 575 of them.
Checkers and Rally’s has learned to abandon the dining room in favor of fast drive-thru and walk-up service. Known for its milkshakes, burgers, and french fries, Checkers and Rally’s proves that the drive-thru setup can be incredibly effective. Their franchisees seem to enjoy a system that places its focus on making fresh, quality food for customers.
Why You May Want to Start a Checkers and Rally’s Franchise
Checkers and Rally’s is one of the more business-forward restaurant franchises, with executives understanding that if their locations fail, so do they. Because of this, Checkers and Rally’s strives to be inclusive and transparent. The company works closely with its franchisees to ensure a startup and secure business. They can also offer competitive incentives for franchised restaurants to keep teams motivated.
From the beginning, Checkers and Rally’s has been very open about where their locations do well. While they don't tend to focus their attention on the northwestern region of the U.S., they claim that the East Coast reports strong numbers. Additionally, southwestern states like California and Arizona are listed as substantial markets. Is the spot you have your eye on located in one of these areas?
What Might Make a Checkers and Rally’s Franchise a Good Choice?
One of the top contenders in the gigantic hamburger industry, Checkers and Rally’s is expanding its locations and customer convenience. Checkers and Rally’s has introduced online and mobile app delivery along with pick-up, as well. Franchisees may be benefitting from Checkers and Rally’s improvements with a new 4.0 Modular restaurant design that cuts 90 days of construction time for new locations.
How to Open a Checkers and Rally’s Franchise
To be part of the Checkers and Rally’s 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.
During the process of opening a Checkers and Rally’s franchise, take advantage of opportunities to speak with existing franchisees and ask questions directed to the Checkers and Rally’s team. If your net worth and available liquid capital match the brand’s requirements, you may qualify to open a Checkers and Rally’s franchise, and you can get started with an initial investment.
Once you pass the screening, a financial business consultant will likely interview you to assess your financial standing. It's also a good idea to review the Financial Disclosure Document and visit various Checkers and Rally’s locations to get a well-rounded view of the business.
After Checkers and Rally’s approves your finances and you’ve created a business plan, you’ll usually visit the Restaurant Support Center. With support from its Operations Excellence program and your consultant, you can start dishing out those burgers.
About Checkers and Rally's
- Franchising Since
- 1989 (2023-1989 years)
- # of employees at HQ
- Where seeking
This company is offering new franchisees in the following US states: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virginia
- # of Units
- 834 (as of 2022)
Information for Franchisees
Here's what you need to know if you're interested in opening a Checkers and Rally'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.
- Initial Investment
- $790,797 - $2,368,316
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.
- Veteran Incentives
- Franchise fee waived
Definition: A discount or other incentive offered to military veterans who buy a franchise with 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
- Checkers and Rally's has relationships with third-party sources which offer financing to cover the following: startup costs, equipment
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
- 132-165 hours
- Classroom Training
- 28-33 hours
- Ongoing Support
Purchasing Co-opsMeetings & ConventionsToll-Free LineGrand OpeningOnline SupportSecurity & Safety ProceduresLease NegotiationField OperationsSite SelectionProprietary SoftwareFranchisee Intranet Platform
- Marketing Support
Co-op AdvertisingAd TemplatesRegional AdvertisingSocial MediaSEOWebsite DevelopmentEmail MarketingLoyalty Program/App
Additional details about running this franchise.
- Is absentee ownership allowed?
- 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 ownership opportunities like Checkers and Rally's? Request a free consultation with a Franchise Advisor now.
Franchise 500 Ranking History
Compare where Checkers and Rally's landed on this year's Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.
Curious to know where Checkers and Rally's ranked on other franchise lists? Find out below.
Ranked #188 in 2023
Entrepreneur’s 44th annual Franchise 500® ranking shines a light on the unique challenges and changes that have shaped the franchise industry over the last year—and how franchisors have adapted and evolved to meet them.
Ranked #7 in Hamburgers in 2022
Our annual list of the top restaurant and other food franchises, divided up by category, is the perfect place to start if you’re craving a food-based business opportunity.
Ranked #16 in 2022
Our ranking of the top 150 franchises offering incentives and other programs to help veterans become franchisees.
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