Mexican food
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Franchise 500 2023
Franchise 500 Rank
N/R Not ranked last year
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Initial investment
$489K - $1.2M
Units as of 2023
615 Decrease 16% over 3 years

Founded in Denver, Colorado in 1995, Qdoba Mexican Eats is a fast-casual Mexican restaurant chain. Though they went through two name changes and a few different owners, Qdoba Mexican Eats is now a brand with more than 700 locations across the United States. Over 375 of those 700+ locations are owned and operated by franchisees. Focusing on freshly prepared food, a hip restaurant atmosphere, and, of course, flavor, Qdoba Mexican Eats is ready to branch out even more, with franchise opportunities across the U.S. 

Why You May Want to Start a Qdoba Mexican Eats Franchise

Qdoba Mexican Eats may stand out from other Mexican fast-casual restaurant chains because of their famous three-cheese queso dip and more than 30 different food add-ins and toppings. As a franchisee, you may experience more efficient inventory management and flexibility. Qdoba Mexican Eats restaurants typically have flexible footprints; you may be able to open anything from a 400 sq. ft. non-traditional location to a 1,200 sq. ft. free-standing restaurant. 

With Qdoba Mexican Eats catering, you may grow your business outside of your restaurant walls. And with customizable marketing materials geared towards your locale, you may be able to generate targeted appeal.

Qdoba Mexican Eats is also big on community. The company has provided millions of meals to children nationwide. The company also may help franchisees find resources and third-party financial sources to help franchisees cover the franchise fee, startup cost, equipment, and inventory. This may make Qdoba Mexican Eats a tremendous blessing to a community, as well as you,the franchisee.

What Might Make Qdoba Mexican Eats a Good Choice?

Qdoba Mexican Eats may be a sturdy competitor to other Mexican chains like Chipotle. Some believe that it is comparatively more innovative than Chipotle. In 2014, Qdoba Mexican Eats launched its spicy queso diablo, before releasing its Cholula hot and sweet chicken in 2020 and its cauliflower mash in 2021. Its foray into low-carb eating may make it more appealing for people looking for healthier alternatives. In addition to following food trends, Qdoba Mexican Eats generally has its own reward program and mobile ordering app in an effort to make a diner’s experience more enjoyable and convenient.

Monetarily speaking, 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 ensure that you are prepared 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.

Using trade area marketing software, Qdoba Mexican Eats may work to ensure that your store is in the best location possible for customers. While competition is healthy, too much of it may not allow for the most possible growth, spo you will want your Qdoba Mexican Eats location to be in a solid location.

How Do You Start a Qdoba Mexican Eats Franchise?

Qdoba Mexican Eats has a very specific set of franchisee candidate qualifications. You must be a U.S. citizen and may need to have five years of multi-unit relevant business ownership experience within the last ten years, knowledge of the market, and financial and strategy development experience. 

If you meet these qualifications, you may submit an initial inquiry through the form. A representative generally gets in touch with you if you are seen as a good fit. You might fill out a pre-qualification application and, if approved, receive the Franchise Disclosure Document. Once you have reviewed the document and sorted out any lingering questions, you typically attend a discovery day at company headquarters in San Diego, California to meet the Qdoba Mexican Eats executive team in person. If they give you the final approval, you can start developing your store. 

After going through in-store training and corporate training, you may soon open the doors to your very own Qdoba Mexican Eats location.

Find Your Perfect Franchise

Company Overview

About Qdoba

Industry Food
Related Categories Mexican Food
Founded 1995
Leadership John Cywinski , CEO
Corporate Address 350 Camino de La Reina, #400
San Diego, CA 92108
Social Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram

Business Overview

Franchising Since 1997 (27 years)
# of employees at HQ 8
Where seeking

This company is offering new franchises throughout the US.

This company is offering new franchises worldwide.

# of Units 615 (as of 2023)

Information for Franchisees

Here's what you need to know if you're interested in opening a Qdoba 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
$489,200 - $1,178,000
Net Worth Requirement Information Circle
$750,000 - $1,000,000
Cash Requirement Information Circle
$350,000 - $1,000,000
Veteran Incentives Information Circle
$10,000 off franchise fee
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 Qdoba has relationships with third-party sources which offer financing to cover the following: franchise fee, startup costs, equipment, inventory

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 360 hours
Classroom Training 9 hours
Ongoing Support
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
Regional Advertising
Social Media
Website Development
Email Marketing
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 15
Are exclusive territories available? Information Circle
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Franchise 500 Ranking History

Compare where Qdoba landed on this year's Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.

Additional Rankings

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The information on this page is not intended as an endorsement or recommendation of any particular franchise or business opportunity by Entrepreneur Media. Our listings and rankings are solely research tools you can use to compare opportunities. Entrepreneur stresses that you should always conduct your own independent investigation before investing in a franchise or business opportunity. That should include reviewing the company's legal documents, consulting with an attorney and an accountant, and talking to former and current franchisees/licensees/dealers.
Updated: December 12th, 2022