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- 2023 Franchise 500 Rank
#381 Ranked #115 last year
- Initial investment
$16K - $288K
- Units as of 2022
1,098 14% over 3 years
Chester's, which was founded in 1952, is a quick-serve restaurant that sells fresh, never frozen, marinated chicken that's double-breaded and fried using a secret, family recipe. There are over 1,300 locations in convenience stores, truck stops, and supermarkets. After more than 50 years of business, Chester's may know how to fry with love and is happy to share what they do.
Though they may sell fried chicken nowadays, Chester's started in 1952 frying doughnuts. Since the shift in product offerings, the company operated strictly as a corporate-owned entity before branching out to franchising in 2004.
Why You May Want to Open a Chester's Franchise
Chester's sells a simple menu of bone-in chicken, chicken tenders, and biscuits. For sides, you may get classics like potato wedges and mashed potatoes and gravy. In 2019, they introduced their new chicken sandwich. They also serve fried chicken livers and gizzards.
When you open a Chester's franchise, you may become part of a company that believes in a winning attitude. No one is above a job, and most work and win as a team. They are also committed to open and honest communication, encouraging that everyone do the right thing, even if no one is watching. And though they emphasize that hard work is the right kind of work, Chester's strives to foster a fun atmosphere.
As a franchisee, you have access to a Chester's representative that might help you prepare for your grand opening with extensive training and support services. They generally teach you how to minimize waste, calculate margins, upsell, and, of course, how to fry their chicken the right way.
What Might Make a Chester's Franchise a Good Choice?
Between their commitment to loyal customers and different options to drive sales home, Chester's has been ranked in Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 many times in the past several years. This ranking is 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.
A business that updates procedures, standards, and menus may be more likely to survive changing economies than ones that do not. Chester's loves to explore new ideas and listens to suggestions that come in. Keeping customers engaged with the brand through social media and giveaways also might ensure steady clientele. With exciting promotions that highlight new, featured items as well as old favorites, you may draw in customers with quality food.
How To Open a Chester's Franchise
To be part of the Chester's team, you should make sure you’re financially ready for an initial investment made up of a franchise fee and other startup costs. If you need help funding your startup or covering equipment costs, Chester's might offer third-party financing options to help cover the franchise fee, startup cost, and equipment.
If you wish to open up a Chester's franchise, you may have to fill out the basic inquiry form. If approved, you may expect to go through a few dozen hours of hands-on training and about an additional few hours of classroom training. You may also need to hire about a few staff members to operate your location. As you move forward with your location, franchisees have three different franchise location options to choose from: store-in-store, express, and supermarket.
- Franchising Since
- 2004 (19 years)
- # of employees at HQ
- Where seeking
This company is offering new franchisees in the following US states: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming
This company is offering new franchisees in the following international regions: Central America, Canada
- # of Units
- 1,098 (as of 2022)
Information for Franchisees
Here’s what you need to know if you’re interested in opening a Chester'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
- $15,950 - $288,118
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.
- 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
- Chester's has relationships with third-party sources which offer financing to cover the following: franchise fee, 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
- 32 hours
- Classroom Training
- 10.5 hours
- Ongoing Support
NewsletterMeetings & ConventionsToll-Free LineGrand OpeningOnline SupportSecurity & Safety ProceduresField Operations
- Marketing Support
Ad TemplatesNational MediaSocial MediaSEOEmail Marketing
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 ownership opportunities like Chester's? Request a free consultation with a Franchise Advisor now.
Franchise 500 Ranking History
Compare where Chester's landed on this year’s Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.
Curious to know where Chester'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 Chester's.
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