- 2023 Franchise 500 Rank
#49 Ranked #28 last year
- Initial investment
$112K - $547K
- Units as of 2022
1,807 17.3% over 3 years
"Sweet treats" and Cinnabon are essentially synonyms. Everyone knows the sugary, delightful fragrance of Cinnabon shops, whether they’re in an airport, shopping mall or Cinnabon drive-through.
If you’ve ever wanted to contribute to the joy that the Cinnabon brand brings to people, plus enjoy the freedom and flexibility of running your own Cinnabon operation, it might be time to look into a Cinnabon franchise.
Cinnabon franchises are popular for various reasons, and they can be great ways to stretch your management muscles and get a jumpstart on your entrepreneurial endeavors.
Are you still trying to figure out where to start? Read on to learn more about starting a Cinnabon franchise, plus the benefits of this franchise opportunity.
Why should you start a Cinnabon franchise?
Simply put, because you love to sell delicious sweet treats and think a bakery business would be an excellent venture.
Cinnabon is a massively popular and worldwide brand. Each Cinnabon store sells freshly baked cinnamon rolls and related products, like muffins, cupcakes and coffee.
Walking into a bakery can bring back good memories and lift people’s spirits. For many franchise owners, nothing sounds more appealing than running such a restaurant.
But there are other reasons why you might consider starting a Cinnabon franchise, including:
- The option to join Cinnabon’s bakery with single, multiunit or co-branded franchising opportunities. Cinnabon offers many different ways to become a franchisee and various real estate options.
- Take advantage of Cinnabon’s worldwide brand in this business opportunity. If you’ve ever wanted to start a bakery but find the startup costs and marketing requirements to be too excessive for comfort, jumping in with Cinnabon’s immediate brand recognition could be the way to go.
- Cinnabon offers customizable and efficient bakery designs. As a result, your unique Cinnabon location doesn’t have to look cookie-cutter or like all the others. You can customize or personalize it based on your location and preferences.
- Cinnabon also provides tons of support for its franchise partners, including access to a dedicated franchise support team.
When you start a new Cinnabon franchise location, you’ll get access to immediate prototype designs and conceptual layouts. With the assistance of Cinnabon’s contractors, you’ll be able to make sure your new store fits the bill in more ways than one.
What are the different types of Cinnabon franchises?
As noted above, Cinnabon franchises come in more than one type. You can open the following types of Cinnabon bakeries:
- Full bakery, where franchisees make and sell the complete menu and range of Cinnabon products in-house, including sweet rolls, deli offerings and ice cream. These are often kiosk or in-line locations.
- Express bakery, where you’ll sell and produce a limited selection of products. These can be located in another restaurant or business as the franchisor approves.
- Concession bakery, which is located on the market, show or other special events, usually in a food truck or concession trailer. You’ll sell a limited range of Cinnabon products.
- Auntie Anne’s Co-Branded Bakery. With this bakery type, the franchisee will produce and make many Cinnabon products in conjunction with products sold under the Auntie Anne brand and franchise system.
- Carvel Co-Branded Bakery. With this bakery, you’ll also sell Cinnabon products, with more products authorized under the partnered Carvel franchise system.
Related: The Top 20 Fast-Food Franchises of 2016
What resources does Cinnabon provide for franchisees?
Cinnabon franchisees get to enjoy a lot of supportive resources.
The most important is marketing resources, including targeted bakery and coffee shop marketing plans. Cinnabon further provides high-quality point-of-purchase and merchandising marketing materials.
Because of this, you'll never have to worry about coming up with marketing campaigns or materials; you can rely on the marketing campaigns created by Cinnabon corporate.
That extends to seasonal and local store marketing campaigns to help you capture local customer traffic and maximize your unique location.
Regarding menu items, Cinnabon provides your store with many different delicious menu offerings. These menu offerings change occasionally, but again, all you have to do is offer what Cinnabon creates, not worry about ideation yourself.
Ongoing support resources include consultation visits from licensed Cinnabon franchise business consultants, plus Q and A consultations. Cinnabon regularly provides business review analyses of your store sales and performance to help you meet your benchmarks and goals.
Add to that password-protected intranet access, and new franchisees for Cinnabon will have everything they need to thrive no matter where they launch their new stores.
Related: How Kat Cole Went from Hooters Girl to President of Cinnabon by Age 32
How much does opening a Cinnabon franchise cost?
Keep in mind that starting a Cinnabon franchise does require some upfront cash and liquid capital on your part, like other franchise industry stores.
Specifically, you’ll need to pay an initial franchise fee of between $5,500 and $30,500, depending on location and startup costs. You’ll also need to make an initial investment of anywhere between $112,000 and over $500,000 to facilitate the grand opening of your store, plus initial local marketing.
To ensure franchisees have the capital to make the operation work, Cinnabon requests that you have a minimum net worth of $300,000 to $580,000. You’ll also need to provide between $40,000 and $260,000 in cash.
Even after starting your Cinnabon location, remember that you’ll need to pay a regular 6% royalty fee (plus other ongoing fees) and an ad royalty fee ranging from 1.5% to 3%.
Luckily, the franchise agreement you sign has a 20-year term of agreement, so you’ll have plenty of time to make back these expenses. Many Cinnabon locations boast high gross sales, so it is not uncommon that a Cinnabon franchise owner makes back their total investment and then some.
Does Cinnabon offer financing assistance?
It does, in addition to a veteran discount. If you are an American veteran, you can get up to $10,500 taken off your initial franchise fee, lowering the barrier to entry.
Cinnabon also has a variety of relationships with third-party financing sources to help you cover costs like startup fees, equipment fees, inventory costs and payroll costs. You can check these options in your Franchise Disclosure Document.
Related: Expansion News – Cinnabon, Qdoba
What does Cinnabon franchise training include?
Training for any new Cinnabon franchise means completing 20 hours in the classroom training program and 36 hours of on-the-job training. This occurs at the Cinnabon WOW University in Atlanta, Georgia, and in the field.
The on-site bakery franchise training involves support from a knowledgeable franchise partner, who will teach you the ins and outs of running a successful Cinnabon operation. Even after your store launches, you’ll have continued access to online training resources, development support tools and an in-depth coffee shop franchise operations manual.
Cinnabon provides initial management training plus on-site bakery visits. In this way, you can rest assured that you’ll always have a guiding hand to help you maximize your chance to thrive with your Cinnabon location. Because of this, Cinnabon franchises could be good choices for new entrepreneurs or business owners who don’t have much management experience yet.
What do the franchisee reviews say about Cinnabon?
So far, many other franchise owners have enjoyed running their own Cinnabon locations.
For instance, Deby Reynolds, a franchise partner since 1999, says that she "took over a corporate store for her first location and immediately recognized that it needed a local focus. Once we took it over, it instantly was up 50%. We felt pretty comfortable very early on that it was definitely a concept that would be successful for us.” In this way, Reynolds highlights the freedom that Cinnabon provides to its franchise owners.
Greg Komen, a franchise owner since 1985, also says, "Cinnabon has been very, very good to me. It’s how I make my living and I love the brand.” These responses are just a taste of the freedom and success you can expect if you open your own Cinnabon franchise location.
Related: What Do Schlotzky’s, Cinnabon, and Auntie Anne’s Have in Common? The Same Parent Company: Focus Brands
Start a Cinnabon franchise today
Starting a Cinnabon franchise is a great way to bring joy to thousands and helm a thriving business venture.
If the benefits of Cinnabon franchising seem good, consider applying for a franchised location today.Check out Entrepreneur’s other guides and resources for more information about Cinnabon and other franchise opportunities.
- Related Categories
- Cinnamon Rolls, Baked Goods, Breakfast/Brunch Restaurants
- Parent Company
- Focus Brands LLC
- Tracey Young, Chief Brand Officer
- Corporate Address
5620 Glenridge Dr. N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30342
- Franchising Since
- 1986 (2023-1986 years)
- # of employees at HQ
- Where seeking
This company is offering new franchisees throughout the US.
This company is offering new franchisees in the following international regions: Asia, Middle East, Europe (Eastern), Europe (Western), Canada
- # of Units
- 1,807 (as of 2022)
Information for Franchisees
Here's what you need to know if you're interested in opening a Cinnabon 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
- $5,500 - $30,500
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
- $112,000 - $546,800
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
- $300,000 - $580,000
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
- $40,000 - $260,000
Definition: The minimum liquid capital you must have available in order to qualify to become a franchisee of this company.
- Veteran Incentives
- $10,500 off full bakery franchise fee
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
- Cinnabon 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
- 36 hours
- Classroom Training
- 20 hours
- Ongoing Support
NewsletterMeetings & ConventionsToll-Free LineGrand OpeningSecurity & Safety ProceduresLease NegotiationField OperationsSite SelectionProprietary SoftwareFranchisee Intranet Platform
- Marketing Support
Ad TemplatesSocial 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.
- 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 Cinnabon? Request a free consultation with a Franchise Advisor now.
Franchise 500 Ranking History
Compare where Cinnabon landed on this year's Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.
Curious to know where Cinnabon ranked on other franchise lists? Find out below.
Ranked #1 in Cinnamon Rolls in 2022
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Ranked #49 in 2023
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Ranked #9 in 2023
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Ranked #24 in 2023
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Ranked #1 in Cinnamon Rolls 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 #5 in 2023
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