Cousins Maine Lobster

Lobster food trucks and restaurants
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Franchise 500 2023
Franchise 500 Rank
N/R Not ranked last year
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Initial investment
$197K - $537K
Units as of 2023
62 Increase 77.1% over 3 years

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 40-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.

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Company Overview

About Cousins Maine Lobster

Industry Food
Related Categories Seafood , Miscellaneous Quick-Service Restaurants
Founded 2011
Parent Company Cousins Maine Lobster
Leadership Jim Tselikis, Co-owner
Corporate Address 125 John Roberts Rd., #2
South Portland, ME 04106
Social Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube

Business Overview

Franchising Since 2014 (10 years)
# of employees at HQ 20
Where seeking

This company is offering new franchises in the following US states: Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming

This company is offering new franchises in the following international regions: Asia, Middle East, Europe (Eastern), Europe (Western), Canada

# of Units 62 (as of 2023)

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 Information Circle
Initial Investment Information Circle
$197,350 - $537,300
Net Worth Requirement Information Circle
$500,000 - $1,000,000
Cash Requirement Information Circle
$250,000 - $500,000
Royalty Fee Information Circle
Ad Royalty Fee Information Circle
Term of Agreement Information Circle
10 years
Is franchise term renewable? Yes
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Financing Options

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: 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 74 hours
Classroom Training 55 hours
Ongoing Support
Purchasing Co-ops
Meetings & Conventions
Toll-Free Line
Grand Opening
Online Support
Security & Safety Procedures
Field Operations
Site Selection
Proprietary Software
Franchisee Intranet Platform
Marketing Support
Ad Templates
National Media
Social Media
Website Development
Loyalty Program/App


Additional details about running this franchise.

Is absentee ownership allowed? No
Can this franchise be run from home/mobile unit? Information Circle
Can this franchise be run part time? Information Circle
# of employees required to run 8-12
Are exclusive territories available? Information Circle
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Franchise 500 Ranking History

Compare where Cousins Maine Lobster landed on this year's Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.

Additional Rankings

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Updated: December 12th, 2022