The coffee franchise industry is really popular nowadays as consumers use coffee shops as a place to hang out, study, and meet with friends. This is why it’s currently one of the best franchise opportunities. We spoke with FranchiseGrade.com and received data on the 8 best-performing coffee franchises with minimum investments between $10,000 and $250,000.
If you have already selected a franchise and are in need of startup funding, you might be able to use a Rollover for Business Startups (ROBS). A ROBS lets you use your retirement savings to purchase a franchise without paying early withdrawal fees or penalties. If you have at least $50K in a qualified retirement account, you can talk to a ROBS expert at Guidant for more information.
The 8 best coffee franchises include:
Corner Bakery Cafe is a fast and casual restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The menu features freshly prepared dishes including pancakes, oats, sandwiches, soup, pastries, coffee, juice, and more. They also pride themselves on having a best-in-class catering platform.
Corner Bakery Cafe was founded in 1991 and started franchising in 2007. As a franchisee, they assist you every step of the way, from site selection to grand opening. The required initial investment ranges from $10,000 to $1.9 million, plus an ongoing royalty fee of 5%. The contract length is 10 years.
Maui Wowi is a Hawaiian-themed coffee shop that serves fresh fruit smoothies, Hawaiian coffee and related espresso beverages and a variety of Hawaiian products. Their franchise units vary from full-scale restaurants to mall kiosks, food trucks and portable carts.
You need a total upfront investment of $73,900 to $1.5 million to become a Maui Wowi franchisee. They currently have 170 locations nationwide. The initial contract agreement term is for a period of 10 years and their renewal term is 5 years.
Dunkin’ Donuts is a popular coffee and doughnut chain all around the world. They have been in business since 1950 and currently have over 7,500 locations available. However, it’s tough to join Dunkin’ Donuts as a new franchisee. There’s a rigorous selection process for new owners, and existing owners have an advantage because 90% of new stores are opened by current franchisees.
Dunkin’ Donuts require an initial upfront investment of $95,200 to $1.7 million. The ongoing royalty fee is 5.9% and they have their agreement term is 20 years – the longest term among all the coffee franchises on this list.
Scooter’s Coffee is a drive-through coffee founded in 1998. They started to franchise in 2001 and they currently have 177 franchise locations. They offer a variety of items, such as hot drinks, iced drinks, blenders, smoothies, teas, pastries, sandwiches, burritos, and more. Their keys to success are finding great locations and staying committed to high-quality drinks and speed of service with a smile.
If you want to start a Scooter’s Coffee franchise, you need an initial investment of between $103,000 to $468,500. Their contract agreement is for a length of 10 years and their ongoing royalty fee is 6%.
Cafe2U is a mobile coffee business that sells high-quality coffee at offices, factories, parks, campuses, and almost anywhere else. Franchise owners sell coffee straight from their Cafe2U van, which is equipped with all the gear needed to make espresso, cappuccinos, lattes, and other premium drinks. Cafe2U was launched in 2000 in Australia and is now making slow headway into the US.
If you want to start a Cafe2u franchise, you need an upfront investment between $109,146 and $154,621. The ongoing royalty fee is $175 per week, and the length of the contract agreement is 10 years.
Biggby Coffee takes a traditional approach to the American coffee house. Their mid-sized interiors resemble a modest office lounge and their menu includes a variety of coffee drinks, flavored lattes, cookies, parfaits, fruit cups, bagel sandwiches, and other baked goods. Their founders have years of experience in the restaurant business and they have developed a support system that offers training, marketing, and more.
An initial investment between $160,350 and $319,100 is needed if you want to be a Biggby Coffee franchisee. They currently have over 200 franchise locations nationwide. The contract agreement has a length of 10 years and the term for renewal of the contract is 5 years. The ongoing royalty fee is 5%.
Caffe Bene is one of the fastest growing coffee chains, which originally started in South Korea in 2008. They have over 1,600 units globally, with 31 existing locations in the US. They offer a diverse menu including coffee, tea, frappes, smoothies, fruit juice, ice flakes, pastries, bagels, and waffles.
Caffe Bene offers a cozy and comfortable coffee lounge for its customers, with its a homey interior of reclaimed wood. You need a minimum initial investment of $246,000 to become a Caffe Bene franchisee. The contract agreement length for this coffee franchise is 10 years and the ongoing royalty fee is 4.9%.
Cabin Coffee Co. has the highest minimum initial investment among the five coffee franchises listed in this article. The required total initial investment ranges between $250,000 and $935,000. However, they have the lowest royalty fee of 3%, compared to the other coffee franchises’ royalty fee of between 4.9% to 6%. Also, they have the shortest agreement length of 5 years, versus the 10-year contract of the other franchises.
Cabin Coffee Co. is an artifact-themed café and restaurant that specializes in the preparation and merchandising of specialty coffees and coffee blends, other blended soft drinks, baked goods, soups, sandwiches, salads, and more. They are dedicated to training, supporting, and serving each franchisee to ensure that you maximize every opportunity in providing quality service and products. Currently, they have 11 existing locations available.
Bottom Line – Best Coffee Franchise
While most of the big coffee chains are not open for franchise opportunities, there are a number of growing coffee shops looking to expand through franchising. Finding the right location for your franchise site, hiring the best people to manage your coffee shop, and using great cafe POS software are key components to making sure that your coffee franchise will be a success.
If you’re in need of funding for your franchise, you may want to consider a rollover for business startup (ROBS), which allows you to use your retirement funds to start a business without paying early withdrawal penalties or taxes. If you have at least $50K in a qualified retirement account, talk to a ROBS expert at Guidant for more information.