How To Start a Chick-Fil-A Franchise in Five Easy Steps

Now that you have shown interest in joining the Chick-Fil-A franchise by adding your email to the list of potential owners via the Chick-Fil-A website. It is time to gear up for the long road ahead.

Step 1: Attend an Information Session About How to Open a Chick-Fil-A

Step one is considered optional. However, former applicants have stated that it is very important. Attending an information session on how to open a Chick-Fil-A franchise is key to understanding how the Chick-Fil-A model works and how it differs from other franchises,

During this information session, you’ll better understand Chick-fil-A’s application and interview process. You’ll also get to hear from Chick-fil-A’s current franchisees and team members involved in the selection process. One of the most emphasized points of this session is the expectations Chick-Fil-A has for all its franchise owners.

Step 2: Submit an Expression of Interest

You need to submit your email address to the company to express interest. Once your email is submitted, you will receive a form from Chick-Fil-A. This form is a profile creation profile to add you to their database.

A second form is provided. This includes your basic contact information. With that, you have to fill out several more forms for the company to determine whether or not you are a viable candidate.

Step 3: Complete A Follow-Up Application

If the company is satisfied with the answers you provided in step two, you will receive a follow-up application. This application will require you to fill out more information regarding:

  •         Personal finances
  •         Work experience
  •         Educational background
  •         Leadership style
  •         Community engagement

Step three will see Chick- Fil- Process your application depending on priority. This priority is based on the company’s needs and target market strategies. On your follow-up application, you will have a chance to indicate your preferred location.

With community engagement being a key part of the company, mentioning how engaged you are with your community might get you those bonus points.

Step 4: Prepare for Virtual and In-Person Interviews

The Chick-Fil-A application process takes anywhere from 12 months to 24 months. You will be called in virtually and in person for a round of interviews during this time. Every interview is more important than the last.

During the interview sessions, the company is looking for several things. These include your capability and ability to represent the company’s values and mission. Interviewers also look to verify your character and credentials.

Some interview questions may be repeated throughout the interview process. While your answers should stay consistent, they should evolve in maturity and precision every time.

Step 5: Attend A Training Program for New Chick-Fil-A Franchisees

Once you make it to step five, congratulations are in order. You are in, however, don’t pop the champagne yet. You still have to go through the rigorous training program. If you fail, you can retry, get taken back to step one or lose your chance at becoming an owner.

The Chick-Fil-A training program runs for six weeks. During this training you will learn more about the business and:

  •         How to make the Chick-fil-A sandwiches 
  •         Legal aspects of running the franchise 
  •         How to find and hire employees 
  •         Business development 
  •         Accounting

After completing the training program, you are paired with a mentor. Your mentor is a successful Chick-Fil-A franchise owner. They will give you all the tips and tricks to survive the business and guide you to success.

Before You Jump on Board

According to Chick-Fil-A, joining the Chick-Fil-A franchise is more than a business opportunity. It is a lifetime investment. The ultimate success of your Chick-Fil-A franchise is tied to the passion the company was built on.

Every year Chick-Fil-A gets at least 60,000 applications from prospective business owners. But because of their stringent rules and regulations, only 1% of these applicants are chosen. This alone makes Chick-Fil-A one, if not the most challenging franchise to join.

With the recorded numbers, Chick-Fil-A generates $570 billion annually, which is expected to grow to $931 billion by 2027. It is no surprise that many people are interested in being part of this success.

If you are considering applying for a Chick-Fil-A franchise, you can start the process on the company’s website. The application process required one to have at least $10,000. While this is low compared to other franchises like McDonald’s, which requires applicants to have at least $1,000,000, the uphill battle is yet to come. Here are a few reasons why Chick-Fil-A is one of the most challenging franchises to own.

Tough Selection Process

The selection process takes anywhere from 12 months to 24 months. During this time, you will undergo a series of interviews and assessments. Doing this allows the company to weed out those interested in just making a quick buck from those interested in growing the company and the brand.

Most of the Needed Work is Done by Chick-Fil-A

Once your application has been accepted and you have been selected to be a franchise owner, the business essentially runs itself. This means that as a franchise owner, you will have little to no involvement in running the background operations. Your responsibility will be centered around the day-to-day operations.

Chick-Fil-A is Not Looking for Passive Investors

As a Chick-Fil-A franchise owner, the company expects you to do more than a financial investment. All franchise owners are required to dedicate their time and energy to the business, hence why the company insists on this opportunity being a lifetime investment.

Chick-Fil-A Picks the Franchise Location

Once your application is selected, Chick-Fil-A determines where your business will be located. Doing this allows the company to have control over the expansion of the chain restaurants and proper distribution.

Minus the Franchise Fees, There are Ongoing Fees

As a Chick-Fil-A franchise owner, you are expected to pay 15% of royalty fees. This is on top of the 50% net profit. All these fees are ongoing as long as your restaurant is open.

It Is Worth It

A Chick-Fil-A franchise is a great way to get into the restaurant business with a proven brand. But it’s not a cheap investment – you’ll need at least $10,000 in liquid assets to qualify for the franchise fee alone.

And while the company is very supportive of its franchisees, you’ll need to be prepared to put in long hours and work hard to make your restaurant successful. But owning a Chick-Fil-A franchise can be a very rewarding experience if you’re up for the challenge.

Chick-fil-A franchisees receive free training from headquarters and typically have access to corporate loans, assistance with real estate purchases, and equipment financing. However, it’s important to understand that your location will be restricted.

The company requires that you’re within an area zoned for commercial use and cannot be located near another franchise or business offering a similar service. Franchises are also required to close on Sundays out of respect for employees’ religious beliefs – it’s one of several factors that may influence your decision on whether or not to apply.

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