- 2023 Franchise 500 Rank
#117 Ranked #109 last year
- Initial investment
$305K - $1.4M
- Units as of 2022
321 1% over 3 years
Wienerschnitzel was started in 1961 with a single location in Southern California, established by John Galardi. After more than 60 years, the restaurant has grown to hundreds of locations across the United States.
Wienerschnitzel offers multiple varieties of hot dogs using USDA-approved cuts of quality meat. Hot dog varieties include chili cheese dogs, Chicago dogs, and corn dogs. The restaurant also offers a breakfast menu, to go along with burgers, sandwiches, fries, snacks, and a variety of ice cream snacks from Tastee-Freez that may old-fashioned sundaes, shakes, root beer floats, banana splits, and southern lemonades.
Why You May Want to Start a Wienerschnitzel Franchise
If you like to make people happy and love running a restaurant, starting a Wienerschnitzel franchise may fit you well. The company prefers franchisees who have had previous restaurant operations experience. However, they will consider most professionals with previous business ownership, high-level retail, or management experience.
Wienerschnitzel is all about comfort food. It also believes it may appeal to a niche of people looking for nostalgia. You will not find fancy or complicated foods at Wienerschnitzel; only the best in classic hot dogs, burgers, and ice cream. These are all foods that have brought families and friends together for decades, which may be why Wienerschnitzel has been in business for over five decades.
Wienerschnitzel has been ranked in Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 many times in the past few decades. 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.
What Might Make a Wienerschnitzel Franchise a Good Choice?
Point blank: people love hot dogs. The company sells more than 120 million hot dogs a year. People also love fun foods, including burgers and, of course, a wide selection of ice cream products. The company continues to succeed thanks to its food offerings.
However, according to the company, the best-growing franchisees are the most active in their businesses. This means the franchisee is expected to be in their restaurant daily to ensure their staff is performing well and their customers are in good hands.
To be part of the Wienerschnitzel 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 Wienerschnitzel Franchise?
Before deciding on pursuing the opportunity of opening a Wienerschnitzel franchise, you should look at the states available for expansion opportunities. Wienerschnitzel may have customizable restaurant models for any market, including models for new construction, conversion, and end caps for existing buildings.
Wienerschnitzel provides a comprehensive multi-week program that addresses all facets of running a restaurant. The training is provided for the franchisee and the general manager of the store. This training will include classroom training and on-the-job training. Franchisees must finish all training before the new store’s opening. Additionally, the company provides on-site grand opening support and training assistance for new employees.
- Franchising Since
- 1965 (2023-1965 years)
- # of employees at HQ
- Where seeking
This company is offering new franchisees in the following US states: Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin
This company is offering new franchisees in the following international regions: Asia, Middle East, Europe (Western), Central America, Canada, South America, Mexico
- # of Units
- 321 (as of 2022)
Information for Franchisees
Here's what you need to know if you're interested in opening a Wienerschnitzel 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
- $10,000 - $32,000
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
- $304,600 - $1,444,000
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
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
Definition: The minimum liquid capital you must have available in order to qualify to become a franchisee of this company.
- Veteran Incentives
- 25% off 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
- Wienerschnitzel has relationships with third-party sources which offer financing to cover the following: 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
- 480 hours
- Classroom Training
- 56 hours
- Ongoing Support
Purchasing Co-opsNewsletterMeetings & ConventionsGrand OpeningOnline SupportSecurity & Safety ProceduresLease NegotiationField OperationsSite SelectionProprietary SoftwareFranchisee Intranet Platform
- Marketing Support
Co-op AdvertisingAd TemplatesRegional AdvertisingSocial MediaSEOEmail 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 Wienerschnitzel? Request a free consultation with a Franchise Advisor now.
Franchise 500 Ranking History
Compare where Wienerschnitzel landed on this year's Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.
Curious to know where Wienerschnitzel ranked on other franchise lists? Find out below.
Ranked #1 in Hot Dogs in 2022
These are the companies that not only ranked in this year’s highly competitive Franchise 500, but ranked #1 in their respective industry categories.
Ranked #117 in 2023
Entrepreneur’s 44th annual Franchise 500® ranking shines a light on the unique challenges and changes that have shaped the franchise industry over the last year—and how franchisors have adapted and evolved to meet them.
Ranked #1 in Hot Dogs 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.
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- Frozen custard, steakburgers, hot dogs
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