Review of the Cheddars Franchise Opp and Startup Costs

The Cheddar’s franchise opportunities are a tremendous option to bring fine, yet casual dining into your community. This organization focuses on handmade food, a scratch kitchen, and exceptional quality. The unique vision of Aubrey Good and Doug Rogers was that each Cheddar’s would bring two things into each neighborhood: high quality food and reasonable prices. A franchisee is able to do the same utilizing the reputation of the casual cafe’s name.

What Is the Cost To Start a Cheddar’s Franchise?

The Cheddar’s start up costs are going to vary based on the location of your restaurant’s physical location. Your initial franchise fee is $30,000. The good news is that there aren’t any territorial restrictions to this franchising opportunity. They are accepting new franchises right now anywhere in the United States, Canada, and even worldwide.

The focus of a Cheddar’s franchise is the neighborhood presence of the restaurant itself. Because of this, a central location and stunning presence is often a necessary component of starting up this franchise opportunity. For this reason, a prime location is often necessary in order for the Cheddar’s franchisee to be successful. Typical start up costs, because of this need for a neighborhood presence, top $1.5 million for the average franchisee.

How Much Capital Is Needed to Start a Cheddar’s Franchise?

In order to successfully apply for a Cheddar’s franchise opportunity, a franchisee must have a minimum of $300,000 of working capital available at any given time. This helps to cover operating costs during the initial establishment of the franchise and provides the franchisee with a greater chance of experiencing success in the long-term. Even though the Cheddar’s brand is associated with tremendous value and quality, not every community has heard of the brand.

In addition to the working capital, potential franchisees are also required to pay a 3% royalty on the sales that are made in the restaurant each year. This royalty can be paid at the franchisee’s discretion, although a majority of the franchisees tend to pay this fee on a yearly basis. This is a lower than average royalty fee in the franchise industry, which is a great opportunity for profitability as overhead costs to the originating franchise are much lower.

Why Choose the Cheddar’s Casual Cafe Concept For a Franchise?

From the first moment that Cheddar’s opened their doors in Arlington, TX in 1979, the emphasis of this brand has been to make fresh foods that are reasonably priced. When people go out to enjoy a meal at a restaurant, it needs to be a better meal than what they could create on their own at home. It needs to be skillfully constructed, explode with flavor, and be tantalizing to all of the senses. That is what sets the Cheddar’s brand apart from many other restaurant chains.

You’re not going to find tubs of frozen sauces or freeze-dried ingredients that a chef must thaw out and then warm up in the microwave in this franchise. You’re going to need staff at the back of the house that know their way around the kitchen. You’ll have access to recipes that must be replicated because they are tried and true. It is an attentive and dedicated team that establishes the Cheddar’s name within a neighborhood and once a franchisee can achieve that, they’ll have the formula for success.

It doesn’t stop there, however, because the pricing structure of a Cheddar’s franchise is unique. Rather than focus on niche target groups to drive profitability, this restaurant wishes to reach out to the entire neighborhood, in each salary demographic, to offer them the opportunity to experience a special night with incredible food. Fair pricing on quality ingredients is the emphasis so that everyone in each neighborhood that has a Cheddar’s can experience the casual cafe atmosphere that makes this franchise opportunity such a special one.

What Can You Expect To See On the Cheddar’s Menu?

Because the focus of Cheddar’s is on casual dining, you’ll see a majority of the menu’s emphasis in this franchise opportunity is on burgers, salads, and sides. To refresh the menu consistently each year, this brand reaches out to its customer base to see what they would want for food options on the menu. In 2013, that led to an emphasis on lower calorie entrees that didn’t compromise on quality or flavor.

It also led to the creation of the incredible jalapeno burger, which features:

• Fried Jalapenos
• Pepper Jack Cheese
• Chipotle Mayo

There was also an emphasis to create healthier side options at each Cheddar’s, so new products were introduced last year quite successfully. These new sides include edamame, homemade black beans, and a fresh medley of yogurt and apples. The featured dessert is a strawberry mini cheesecake.

As for the entrees themselves, the menu is a bit limited when compared to other franchise opportunities, but this is to accommodate the emphasis on fresh ingredients and dishes that are made from scratch in your own kitchen. There’s a garlic parmesan sirloin steak, lemon pepper whitefish, and a Baja-inspired chicken entree that will keep people coming back again and again.

Is This Franchise Opportunity Right For You?

With over 130 different locations in 23 states right now with several new locations opening soon from Iowa to Louisiana, the time is right to get into this ground floor opportunity if you have the capital on-hand right now. In 2012, Zagat rated Cheddar’s as the #1 large scale restaurant chain in the United States. It was also given the awards for the best food and the best interior design of any other restaurant in the US.

Having a Cheddar’s in a neighborhood means that there is a place where everyone can come together, enjoy time with loved ones, and have a great meal thanks to the quality service that a franchisee will emphasize. With this formula for success, it is easy to see how many franchisees can experience profitability within the first year.