- 2023 Franchise 500 Rank
N/R Not ranked last year
- Initial investment
$499K - $1M
- Units as of 2021
70 7% over 3 years
Gold Star Chili is a family-owned business founded in 1965 by four brothers and their extended family who immigrated from Jordan to Cincinnati, Ohio. The brothers started Gold Star Chili with the hope of capturing the American dream of owning their own business. With over 60 franchises located throughout the United States and more opportunities to grow, the founders and their descendants may still be involved in running and working for the company.
Gold Star Chili excels by offering unique, delicious food and quick, friendly service. Not only do they serve their famous chili, but they have since evolved to include culinary burgers and salads on their menu to cater to all of their guests. A streamlined menu, tableside service, and franchise support make Gold Star Chili a community favorite.
Why You May Want to Start a Gold Star Chili Franchise
An ideal Gold Star Chili franchisee is someone who is enthusiastic, passionate, and driven. No previous restaurant experience is required, and the Gold Star Chili team provides in-store and classroom training to all franchisees. During the opening days and beyond, additional support is given, follow-up visits for the first, second, and third months of your opening days to make sure things are running smoothly. They may also answer any questions or concerns that arise with services from a calibration specialist.
Gold Star Chili is a solid mix of quick-casual, full-service, and drive-thru options to accommodate customers who would like to eat in or eat on the go. Because of this, a Gold Star Chili location may best function in an area with both residential and commercial properties that has high traffic and accessible entrance and exit points.
The Gold Star Chili team can help you find the optimal location for your franchise using demographic research. They also inform franchisees of future marketing efforts after opening day. The analytics team focuses on traffic data, social media usage, and geo-fencing to ensure your location is represented and recognized as part of the Gold Star Chili family.
What Might Make a Gold Star Chili Franchise a Good Choice?
Because of Gold Star Chili's good reputation and long existence in its market, becoming a franchisee may offer a more predictable outcome than investing in a completely new brand that may struggle to thrive in an already crowded and competitive industry.
To be part of the Gold Star Chili 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.
How To Open a Gold Star Chili Franchise
As you decide if opening a Gold Star Chili 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 Gold Star Chili franchise would do well in your community. While competition is healthy, too much of it may not allow for the most possible growth.
Before making any financial commitment or signing an agreement, you must perform your due diligence and establish if this is the right opportunity for you. As part of your due diligence, you may want to speak to existing franchisees and ask the Gold Star Chili franchising team questions.
About Gold Star
- Franchising Since
- 1966 (2023-1966 years)
- # of employees at HQ
- Where seeking
This company is offering new franchisees throughout the US.
- # of Units
- 70 (as of 2021)
Information for Franchisees
Here's what you need to know if you're interested in opening a Gold Star 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
- $15,000 - $30,000
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
- $498,500 - $1,006,000
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
- $500,000 - $750,000
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
- $150,000 - $200,000
Definition: The minimum liquid capital you must have available in order to qualify to become a franchisee of 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
- 10 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
- Gold Star has relationships with third-party sources which offer financing to cover the following: startup costs, equipment, inventory, 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
- 82 hours
- Classroom Training
- 62 hours
- Ongoing Support
Purchasing Co-opsNewsletterMeetings & ConventionsToll-Free LineGrand OpeningOnline SupportSecurity & Safety ProceduresLease NegotiationField OperationsSite SelectionFranchisee 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.
- 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 Gold Star? Request a free consultation with a Franchise Advisor now.
Franchise 500 Ranking History
Compare where Gold Star landed on this year's Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.
Curious to know where Gold Star ranked on other franchise lists? Find out below.
Are you eager to see what else is out there? Browse franchises that are similar to Gold Star.
- Mexican-inspired food
Jersey Mike's Subs
- Subs and Philly cheesesteaks
Well Groomed Pets
- Pet grooming
- Printing, graphics, and marketing services
Related Franchise Content
Catch up on the latest franchise news, trends, and more.
Florida Burger King to Pay $8 Million to Customer Who Slipped and Fell in Restaurant Bathroom
The case marks one of the largest slip-and-fall verdicts in Florida's history.
6 Things to Consider When Getting Out of a Franchise Agreement
Want to get out of your franchise agreement? Here are six things to consider
7 Essential Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting a Franchise
Starting a franchise requires a hard look in the mirror to decide if you really have the makeup to become an entrepreneur. Start by reflecting on yourself and your goals with these questions.
'Worst Day of My Life': Fans Are Furious as Dairy Queen Removes Iconic Item From Menu Just Ahead of Summer
The popular flavor has been on (and sometimes off) menus for the last five years.
With Company Layoffs Increasing, Here's Why Franchising Is the Next Best Move
Here's why franchise ownership is a great option for recently laid-off employees who want to pursue entrepreneurship as their next step.
Why a Strong Chief Financial Officer Is Crucial for Your Franchise — and What to Look for When Hiring One
A successful private equity transaction for your franchise business means bringing on the right strategic thought partner.