In the franchise world, I’m still a spring chicken. Yet I’d still be swimming in change if I had a dime for every budding entrepreneur who asked me how to buy into a Chick-Fil-A franchise. Great question! Who doesn’t love the Chick-Fil-A experience? 

We’ll revisit the popular chicken chain later. First, let’s answer some other frequently asked questions from folks looking to own their own franchise business. The short answers might surprise you. 

  1. Are franchises really expensive?
    • Sure, some franchises are very expensive while others are more modestly priced. The investment ranges are as vast as the number of opportunities with many affordable options starting at around $50K. Employees, equipment costs and real estate impact the cost, so you might be pleased to earn about the many lower-cost options that offer the benefits of business ownership without costing a lifetime of savings.  
  2. Can you show me absentee franchises?
    • No. There, I said it. Investing in a franchise is both a financial and a time commitment. As the owner of the business, it’s vital to be involved on some level. While there are franchises may be managed on a “semi-absentee” basis, it’s critical to ascertain from the franchisor how much of the owner’s time is critical to success. It’s rarely, if ever, zero.
  3. What’s the hottest franchise?
    • The answer depends on your definition of “hottest”. Certainly, there are popular brands from the consumer perspective, but this question begs so many other questions. Do your skills and talents match up to what’s required of the owner? The better question to ask is, what franchises would fuel your fire? 
  4. Are there really good franchises outside of fast food?
    • Yes. Franchising has enjoyed success in tons of other industries such as car repair, B2B services, residential and commercial cleaning, child enrichment, health and fitness, senior care, pet care and many others. If you can imagine an industry, there’s probably a franchise system to support it. 15 business and thought leaders even wrote a book about the plethora of options outside of food, More than Just French Fries.
  5. If I follow my passion, will the money follow?
    • Wouldn’t that be wonderful?! Following your passion means different things to different people. Successful franchise owners are passionate about their role in their own business – maybe that’s developing and advancing employees. Maybe that’s finding win-win solutions to the customers.  Many happy and profitable franchise owners will tell you they have little passion for their product or service, but they are head over heels in love with the financial and personal freedom they’re achieving through business ownership. 
  6. Don’t I need experience in that industry?
    • Nope. That’s the beauty of franchising. A healthy two-thirds of the franchise owners had little to no experience in the industry of their chose franchise. The key is, they wanted to try something new, different and exciting. It was their business acumen and transferrable skills that mattered most during the selection process. 
  7. Is paying franchise royalties really worth it? 
    • I know of no franchise owner who says they love paying royalties, but the most successful business owners view the transaction as a win-win in terms of both money and time.  Royalties represent the cost of operating a healthy business and cover items that you would likely have to pay someone else to do or create yourself. Part of your due diligence should be to fully understand the terms of your franchise agreement.
  8. Can you help me buy Chick-Fil-A franchise? 
    • These stats might have you ready to chicken out. Every year, the popular chain reportedly receives in the neighborhood of 60,000 applications for operators and less than 100 are accepted. So while I’m happy to join the robust discussion on the economics of the chicken sandwich business, perhaps you’d also consider investigating the thousands of franchise opportunities outside of fast food.

There are hundreds more perfectly valid questions to ask when it comes to investigating your options in franchise ownership. And you definitely want to ask them. A good franchise consultant will get you stated start by helping you answer these two first:

  1. Is business ownership right for me?
  2. How do I find your perfect franchise among so many options?

Let’s go grab a chicken sandwich and talk it over.


Kelly Trim joined the FranNet team of franchise experts in 2014 where she helps guide entrepreneurial hopefuls through a proven consultative process of assessing high-potential franchise opportunities. Kelly is a Franchising Subject Matter Expert for SCORE North Metro Atlanta and the head of the Kennesaw Crossroads Career Ministry. In 2019, Kelly was recognized with the “Good Works” award for her volunteer work with Team Blueline. She is a proud mother of twins and a graduate of the University of Georgia.