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- 2022 Franchise 500 Rank
#228 Ranked #293 last year
- Initial investment
$477K - $1.1M
- Units as of 2022
643 12% over 3 years
Here’s what you need to know if you’re interested in opening a Qdoba Mexican Eats franchise.
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.
About Qdoba Mexican Eats
- Franchising Since
- 1997 (25 years)
- # of employees at HQ
- Where seeking
This company is seeking new franchisees throughout the US.
This company is seeking new franchisees worldwide.
- # of Units
- 643 (as of 2022)
Information for Franchisees
Here’s what you need to know if you’re interested in opening a Qdoba Mexican Eats 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
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
- $476,800 - $1,069,700
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
- $750,000 - $1,000,000
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
- $350,000 - $1,000,000
Definition: The minimum liquid capital you must have available in order to qualify to become a franchisee of this company.
- Veteran Incentives
- $10,000 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
- 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
- Qdoba Mexican Eats 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
NewsletterMeetings & ConventionsToll-Free LineGrand OpeningOnline SupportSecurity & Safety ProceduresField OperationsSite SelectionProprietary SoftwareFranchisee Intranet Platform
- Marketing Support
Ad TemplatesRegional AdvertisingSocial MediaSEOWebsite DevelopmentEmail MarketingLoyalty Program/App
Additional details about running this franchise.
- Is absentee ownership allowed?
Definition: Absentee ownership means that the franchisee does not actively work in the franchise business or manage day-to-day operations.
- 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.
- # of employees required to run
- 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 franchise ownership like Qdoba Mexican Eats? Request a free consultation with a Franchise Advisor now.
Franchise 500 Ranking History
Compare where Qdoba Mexican Eats landed on this year’s Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.
Curious to know where Qdoba Mexican Eats ranked on other franchise lists? Find out below.
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