Signing out of account, Standby...
- 2022 Franchise 500 Rank
N/R Not ranked last year
- Initial investment
$305K - $459K
- Units as of 2021
8 42% over 3 years
Here’s what you need to know if you’re interested in opening a Tom & Chee franchise.
Tom & Chee are not just two guys that decided to open a restaurant. The business name is a contraction of Tomato and Cheese—the two simple ingredients that form the cornerstone of this popular restaurant's menu. What began as a pop-up grilled cheese shop during the holidays has become a fan-favorite. Its menu offers comfort food like handcrafted melts, salads, and homemade soups.
Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, Tom & Chee opened its doors in 2009 and began franchising the concept in 2012. Tom & Chee’s claim to fame was on an appearance on Shark Tank, ABC's hit reality show for budding entrepreneurs. Tom & Chee scored an investment partnership with Barbara Corcoran and Mark Cuban, and business became more successful after that.
Why You May Want To Start a Tom & Chee Franchise
Tom & Chee restaurants may be a fun place to be with friendly and attentive staff members.
The ideal franchisee for Tom & Chee is someone who takes pride in serving top-quality American food for customers feeling nostalgic for a taste of home. Tom & Chee prefers onboarding cheerful, friendly people who know how to lead a team and build a rapport with staff and customers. You should be a team player with ambition.
What Might Make a Tom & Chee Franchise a Good Choice?
It might seem like a contradiction to describe Tom & Chee's menu as innovative. After all, the business is focused on taking customers back to mom's kitchen. However, its food echoes past memories of home cooking with a twist. There may be something for everyone on their menu and repeat business may demonstrate that Tom & Chee offers what customers are looking for.
Tom & Chee depends on customer satisfaction. Their franchisees are expected to maintain the business' high standards and create a restaurant that's a welcoming, dynamic place to be. And when it comes to the day-to-day running of a busy business, franchisees often delegate responsibility to a manager since Tom & Chee allows absentee ownership.
How To Open a Tom & Chee Franchise
To be part of the Tom & Chee 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.
Tom & Chee has partnered with third-party financial lenders that may help cover the costs of the franchise fee, startup, equipment, inventory, accounts receivable, and payroll if you meet their qualifications.
Take the time to evaluate your competition and make sure your target customer has access to the location you have in mind. Make sure you speak to existing franchisees and ask the Tom & Chee franchising team questions during the onboarding process. Pair family memories with cheesy combinations as you start up your own Tom & Chee franchise.
It may be a good idea to speak with an attorney or financial advisor to ensure that you have the necessary financial resources to own and operate a Tom & Chee franchise.
About Tom & Chee
- Franchising Since
- 2012 (10 years)
- # of employees at HQ
- Where seeking
This company is seeking new franchisees throughout the US.
- # of Units
- 8 (as of 2021)
Information for Franchisees
Here’s what you need to know if you’re interested in opening a Tom & Chee 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
- $305,200 - $458,500
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.
- 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
- Tom & Chee has relationships with third-party sources which offer financing to cover the following: franchise fee, startup costs, equipment, inventory, accounts receivable, 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 Selection
- Marketing Support
Co-op AdvertisingAd TemplatesNational MediaRegional 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 Tom & Chee? Request a free consultation with a Franchise Advisor now.
Are you eager to see what else is out there? Browse more franchises that are similar to Tom & Chee.
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