Review of the Philz Coffee Franchise Opp and Startup Costs

Philz Coffee is the classic American success story. Although the company began in 2003, it was able to start because of the results of nearly 25 years of work in testing and experimenting on a personal level. Phil Jaber loved coffee and he felt like he was born to make it. He put together different beans from around the world in a quest to find the richest, best tasting coffees in the world. From his little corner grocery store in San Francisco, Phil tested his experiments and the rest was history. Now Philz Coffee has multiple locations and is one of the best coffee shops in the United States.

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Philz Coffee is unfortunately not offering any franchising opportunities at this time, although they are considering the possibility at some point down the road. If you’re looking to get involved with a franchising investment in the coffee niche, here are some of the top coffee franchising opportunities that are available right now.

1. Bad Ass Coffee Company

If you’re looking for a franchise that has a memorable name in this niche, you can’t beat what this one has to offer. The franchising fee is $35k and you’ll need at least $100k in liquid cash available. The franchise term is short as well, just 5 years, so you can get in and get out if you need to do so. The minimum total investment expected into this coffee franchise is about $227k, with a high estimate coming in at $326k.

2. Biggby Coffee

Featuring specialty coffee, tea, and baked goods, Biggby Coffee is a staple of the Midwest. The initial franchise fee is just $15k and ongoing royalties are a little lower than other coffee franchises at just 5%. There is a net worth requirement of $400k, however, and you’ll need at least $70k on hand in liquid cash available. The franchise term is for 10 years and you’ll get 3 weeks of training to help you get your foot into the coffee business.

3. Dunkin’ Donuts

Besides the one coffee company that seems to be on every street corner in the world right now, Dunkin’ Donuts has the highest level of brand recognition and saturation in the niche right now. You’ll provide unique breakfast products to your customers in addition to great coffee and have an extensive network of over 10,000 franchises around the world upon which you can draw support.

It is a long term investment, however, as the franchise fee in some markets can approach $90k. There’s an ongoing royalty of 5.9% and the term of the franchise is not renewable. The initial net worth requirement is just $250k, with a liquid cash minimum of $125k. The initial investment on the high-end estimate, however, is $1.5 million to achieve your grand opening in this coffee franchise opportunity.

4. Gloria Jean’s

If you want to have a premium coffee franchise that offers a barista service and specialty products, then you can’t go wrong with this opportunity. The franchise fee is $32,500 and the term is good for up to 15 years. There’s an ongoing 6% royalty that is paid and you’ll need a minimum net worth of $350k to qualify. There’s also a mandatory $125k in liquid assets required to qualify as well. What you’ll receive in return is a franchise that is dedicated to providing customers with the full coffee house experience that they’d find in other major national brands. Prices are competitive, the perceived value of the brand is high, and you’ll have a place to establish your own niche.

5. The Human Bean

Featuring sustainable growing methods, this franchising opportunity started in 1998 in the Pacific Northwest and has slowly spread out from there. This opportunity will allow you to serve drive-thru espresso to your community and it is one of the few coffee franchise opportunities where absentee ownership is allowed. The franchise fee is just $20k and it is good for 10 years. You’ll need a minimum net worth of $350k to get started, but the liquid cash requirement is just $50k. The high-end initial investment level is somewhat problematic for some, however, as it is $620k.

6. Maui Wowi

One of the keys to success in any niche is to carve out your own little niche from the bigger one. With Maui Wowi, you’ll create this opportunity by selling Hawaiian coffees and smoothies to your organization. It’s one of the few in-house financiers of equipment for coffee franchisees and the net worth requirements are some of the lowest in this area at just $100k. You’ll need $40k in liquid cash, but the franchise fee can be near $60k in certain circumstances. The best news, however, is that the low end estimate to achieve a grand opening with this investment opportunity is just $75k.

7. PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans

If your community could use a kiosk instead of a full location, then PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans might be the answer you’re looking for. The initial franchise fee could be as low as $10k and the ongoing royalty is a standard 5%. There’s a net worth requirement of $300k, with $100k in liquid cash capital is required. It’s also a young brand, so there’s a chance to build a community identity while still getting support from a network of franchises across the country. The focus of this organization is on the college community, but kiosks in places from airports to stadiums are encouraged to be developed.

8. Solar Roast

Here’s maybe the most exciting opportunity in the coffee franchising field right now. Solar roast offers customers coffee that is roasted using 100% natural renewable energy, namely solar. The initial franchise fee is $39k and there’s an ongoing royalty of 7%. What you get, however, is the chance to get in on a ground floor opportunity where there is no real competition in this specific niche. You’ll need to build up brand recognition as there are no current franchises operating right now because this new organization just started in 2013.