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Review of the Mellow Mushroom Franchise Opp and Startup Costs

Started in 1974, the goal of Mellow Mushroom was to feed a hungry world with great pizza. It’s marketed to a niche of people that the organization calls “free-thinkers” and their goal is simple: to bring people onto a pizza detour that takes them away from the status quo. Locations of this restaurant franchise opportunity stretch from coast to coast, which means your location is probably a good fit for this unique pizza place.

According to some research, pizza is the 4th most craved food in the United States. Billions of slices are eaten each year! If that’s something you’d like to invest in, then this fun franchise could be the best place to put your money. It’s not just pizza that Mellow Mushroom offers, however, because you can get salads, calzones, sandwiches, and other exclusive dishes that are fresh and tasty!

What Are the Initial Costs of a Mellow Mushroom Franchise?

Unlike other franchise opportunities that invite in as many people as possible, Mellow Mushroom looks to limit investment opportunities because they know that this niche isn’t right for everyone. It’s kind of like purchasing an expensive car: not everyone can do it, but those who can have a better chance of having ongoing success to be able to afford another expensive car in the future.

With that consideration in mind, here is a look at the initial fees that will be required to get your own Mellow Mushroom up and running:

Franchise Fee. The franchise fee for this opportunity is $50k and is due in a lump sum when you either sign the franchise agreement or a preliminary agreement for the franchise, including any development rights rider that might be attached to the agreement.
Artwork Package Fee. One of the unique aspects about this franchise is the visual appeal that is used to bring customers in. To that extent, artwork is mandatory and can cost as much as $48k and is due in a lump sum when the franchise agreement is signed.

In addition, there are expectations for leaseholder improvements, comprehensive insurance to cover customers and employees, and new equipment purchases. All told, the minimum investment to begin a Mellow Mushroom is estimated to be about $1.3 million. If you have real estate or intend to purchase your property for your new franchise location, the high estimate of the initial investment could reach $3.7 million.

On the other hand, unlike other franchise agreements, the initial franchise fee deposit paid under the preliminary agreement and any unused portions of the artwork package are refundable, as are architectural or civil engineering fees. If you need help with financing, Mellow Mushroom has a relationship with BoeFly to help in this area.

What Kind of Support Do You Receive?

Mellow Mushroom provides you with a number of different ways to support your franchise from the moment your agreement is signed. The first benefit you’ll receive is instant brand awareness for what it is that you provide your local community. Many are known to drive hundreds of miles to get food in this primarily Southeast US chain, and there are hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.

You’ll also receive help with your site selection. Mellow Mushroom has data about all of their stores at their fingertips and they can tell you what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to specific location success. Of course the way a store runs contributes to its success or failure, but so does having an attractive location in a high traffic area. A representative will personally come out with you to scout sites in your local community.

You’ll also get help with the staffing and training that it takes to successfully run a Mellow Mushroom. You’ll get interview questions that have been proven to be successful in recruiting the best staff possible from your open job pool. This organization loves to promote within, so you may also receive recruiting recommendations from established personnel who are ready to take on the next challenge in the career.

As a franchisee, you’ll also be required to attend Shroom U, which is where you’ll find out how mellow you can make your new business opportunity. You’ll get a variety of simulation practices, have the chance to work in the test kitchen, and even work live in their Atlanta restaurant. You’ll cover everything from HR to basic operations of a restaurant. You’ll receive on-site training 10 days before your scheduled grand opening and these trainers will stay with you through the first two weeks of operation.

Is This the Right Investment Opportunity For You?

If you can afford the investment, this is a great organization to work with because of the high levels of ongoing support that you’ll receive. You’ll get dedicated staff working with you, field representatives to help you with quality control, and effective execution of your marketing ideas so that you can drive local excitement to your new location. You’ll even receive help with getting your margins lower and maybe best of all, you’ll get access to a Mel Mushroom suit. Who doesn’t want that?

You’ll also be serving craft beer at your establishment because let’s face it: beer and pizza are a natural combination! Add that to the national rewards programs that are offered by this organization and you’ll have the chance to attract new customers to your location every day! Your customers will even have the chance to build their own creations in addition to the massively great-tasting recipes provided by Mellow Mushroom, giving those creative free-thinkers the chance to be satisfied too.

Add in the gluten-free concepts available and other allergy awareness concerns that are emphasized and this organization can help you market to a wide range of customers locally. If you’re ready to embark on a new path of food philosophy, this investment could be right for you. Take a closer look today and see for yourself if becoming mellow is the right step to make!

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