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2022 Franchise 500 Rank
N/R Not ranked last year
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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.

Find Your Perfect Franchise

Company Overview

About Tom & Chee

Related Categories
Miscellaneous Sandwiches, Sandwiches
Parent Company
GSR Brands
Roger David, CEO

Franchising Overview

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)

Franchisor Information

Corporate Address
650 Lunken Park Dr.
Cincinnati, OH 45226

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
Initial Investment
$305,200 - $458,500
Net Worth Requirement
Cash Requirement
Royalty Fee
Ad Royalty Fee
Term of Agreement
10 years
Is franchise term renewable?
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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
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-ops
Meetings & Conventions
Toll-Free Line
Grand Opening
Online Support
Security & Safety Procedures
Lease Negotiation
Field Operations
Site Selection
Marketing Support
Co-op Advertising
Ad Templates
National Media
Regional Advertising
Social Media
Website Development
Email Marketing
Loyalty Program/App


Additional details about running this franchise.

Is absentee ownership allowed?
Can this franchise be run from home/mobile unit?
Can this franchise be run part time?
# of employees required to run
Are exclusive territories available?
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The information on this page is not intended as an endorsement or recommendation of any particular franchise by Entrepreneur Media. Our franchise listings and rankings are solely research tools you can use to compare franchise operations. Entrepreneur stresses that you should always conduct your own independent investigation before investing in a franchise. That should include reviewing the franchisor's legal documents, consulting with an attorney and an accountant, and talking to former and current franchisees.
Updated: February 8th, 2021