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Opening a Restaurant Franchise; Your Essential Checklist

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Opening a Restaurant Franchise; Your Essential Checklist

By Caron_Beesley, Contributor
Published: August 5, 2009 Updated: September 3, 2015

Buying a restaurant franchise is a great alternative for entrepreneurs who may be reticent about starting or investing in their own independent restaurant business - especially during a recession.

In addition to the training, marketing support, and brand prestige a successful restaurant franchise operation can offer budding entrepreneurs, franchising is also one form of business entrepreneurialism that offers would-be business
owners a vast amount of upfront pre-investment advice and guidance from a host of independent experts.

So rather than reinvent the wheel on this topic, I've sifted through some of the best articles, resources and tools to provide an A-Z checklist about how to start a restaurant franchise and make it a success.

From evaluating your readiness for franchise ownership to assessing and buying a restaurant franchise to understanding how the law frames the process of buying and operating a restaurant franchise, here is a selection of expert advice that's worth bookmarking. Note that while much of the information below focuses on restaurant franchising, there is a good amount of information that applies to franchising in general.

1. Is Franchising the Way to Go?

Tips on whether the franchise business model is right for you.

2. Assessing Potential Restaurant Franchise Opportunities

Tips on how to choose the right franchise for you.


  • Investigating a Franchise Opportunity - How a Little Detective Work and the Law can Help - This earlier  blog post outlines steps you can take yourself to assess a franchise opportunity as well as guidelines on what the law requires franchise owners provide to potential franchisees.

  • Buying a Restaurant Franchise - Do you have what it takes to be a successful restaurateur? In assessing a food business, you'll need to understand the advantages and disadvantages of a food service business franchise model. Read more about the secrets of evaluating restaurant franchise opportunities in this excellent article from MSNBC and Enterpreneur.com.

3. The Process of Buying a Restaurant Franchise

Buying a franchise is not always as easy as you might think. Get a greater understanding of what it takes by reading these step-by-step guides. SBA.gov's Franchise Buying Guide includes helpful tips, resources and regulatory guidance from the government's official site for small businesses. The SBA also offers comprehensive advice for potential franchisees.

4. Operating Your Restaurant Franchise within the Law

Your franchise contract will outline the type of support your franchiser will provide to help you make your business operation a success. This may or may not include advice on how to comply with the laws and regulations that govern the food service business.  From labor laws to food safety laws and new regulations such as no smoking laws, understanding and achieving compliance with legal and regulatory requirements can have a big effect on the success of a restaurant operation. Read Operating a Restaurant within the Law: A 101 in Compliance - Part 1 and Part 2 for guidance on the laws that apply to minimum wage, tips, and overtime, youth labor, immigration, food safety and taxes.

Additional Resources

  • International Franchising Association - IFA represents all aspects of the franchise community and works to protect, enhance and promote franchising.

  • The Franchise King - This site is rich with franchise information, resources, products, and services. If you are a prospective franchise owner, you'll find the resources you need to help you lower your risk. If you are a franchisor, you'll find great resources here to help your franchise system continue to flourish.

About the Author:

Caron Beesley


Caron Beesley is a small business owner, a writer, and marketing communications consultant. Caron works with the SBA.gov team to promote essential government resources that help entrepreneurs and small business owners start-up, grow and succeed. Follow Caron on Twitter: @caronbeesley


Don't locate too close to other restaurants either. If your competitor is well established you might struggle to compete.
Something else to consider is the location of the restaurant as this is very likely to be key to success or failure. The right location can bring a lot of passing trade onto your business doorstep for example.
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