Waffle House Signage

How to Start a Waffle House Franchise

Do you think you’re ready to run a business with minimal hassle? Then you should consider entering the world of franchising. However, not all franchises are as lucrative or will fit your passion. If you have a penchant for the food industry and want to make a tidy profit, you’ll find the perfect match with a Waffle House franchise.

Waffle House is one of the most popular breakfast and diner chains in the United States. The franchise is especially popular in the South. There are over 2,100 Waffle House locations in the country, spread out over 25 states.

But what is the cost of a Waffle house franchise? What do you need to open a 24-hour coffee shop? And what’s the Waffle House menu like? Find out the answers to these important questions below before you purchase this lucrative food franchise.

What is the Cost of a Waffle House Franchise?

plate of waffles
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Franchises are seen as an easy way to start a business because you’re using methods, products and the public image of an already established enterprise. But accessing these resources and setting up your space requires payment. This is called a franchising fee and every franchise for sale comes with one.

The franchise fee is essentially your membership fee for becoming part of the food franchise. It’s payment for the assets the franchise brings to the table and covers royalties and other assets such as processes.  Some franchises also cover basic training and equipment in their franchising fee, but this is not often the case.

A Waffle House franchise naturally has a franchising fee. This fee can range from $200,000 to $300,000. Take note that the franchise fee is only one part of the cost of a Waffle House franchise. Associated costs of setting everything up for your new 24-hour coffee shop can reach up to $1 million. This cost includes property renovations, equipment and other materials necessary for your Waffle House franchise to operate effectively. These materials and equipment, along with the franchise fee, are why the total cost of a Waffle House franchise is between $600,000 and $1 million.

If you still wish to open a Waffle House franchise, there are several methods you can use to raise capital effectively.

What Do You Need to Open a Waffle House Franchise?

Aside from the associated costs and materials, which will be explained to you thoroughly in a franchise agreement, there are several other things you need to identify and consider when you’re opening a Waffle House franchise. These things aren’t simply like cooking equipment or pre-made waffle mix. These are factors and conditions you need to scope out to ensure the success of your 24-hour coffee shop.

Your Role

Before you pool your resources to purchase any franchise, you need to consider what your role will be in your new business. Will you be taking a hands-on approach and manage the business personally? Or are you going to hire a manager in your stead and just occasionally check in on how it’s doing? Figure this out beforehand to avoid friction in the future.

Your Market

The Waffle House menu provides a wonderful array of delicious breakfast foods, as well as a wide selection of meals for lunch and dinner. However, you need to study the market around your area before you break ground. Some neighborhoods may already be saturated with breakfast diners with loyal customer bases. Or the community may not be interested in good old-fashioned diner food and prefer different types of cuisine.

Identifying whether there is a need for a Waffle House franchise in your area is essential to ensure you have a market to tap into. This will provide you with a steady supply of customers during the first crucial months of your operation.

Your Location

Survey the area for the right place to set up your 24-hour coffee shop. First, check if the price of leasing the property is worth it. If you plan on setting up in a particularly robust area, the price may be much higher than you’re willing to pay for. On the other, such an area can provide you with a steady steam of customers.

Second, make sure the location is convenient for everyone. Your food franchise will benefit from having its own parking to prevent street parking. It should also be in an easily visible and accessible location, ideally with plenty of foot traffic. Again, such a great location can increase the price of the property.

Finally, make sure you’re not in the same territory as another Waffle House franchise. Headquarters will usually keep an eye out to make sure franchisees don’t end up in the same nearby areas to avoid competition. However, it wouldn’t hurt for you to double-check that there are no other Waffle Houses within a two to three miles of your location.

Your Team

You have to be very selective when choosing your employees for your 24-hour coffee shop. Some of the qualities you should be looking for, such as punctuality and professionalism, are essential in every type of employee. However, restaurant work needs a different set of skills and personalities.

For example, forward-facing employees like cash register operators and wait staff need to be able to charm customers, be patient when taking orders and have a great memory to keep everything running smoothly. Meanwhile, employees who work in the kitchen and other service areas need to be able to work fast, focus on multiple tasks and keep calm during rush hours. Find people who match these criteria and your Waffle House franchise will run smoothly.

What is the Waffle House Menu Like?

people eating breakfast
Photo from Pexels

If you haven’t eaten at a Waffle House, you may be wondering what makes it so different from other breakfast diners and similar establishments. One of the biggest selling points of the Waffle House menu is that in a restaurant industry that’s becoming more and more conscious about calorie intake and changing ingredients to pretentious alternatives, they provide good, old-fashioned comfort food.

The food franchise’s foundation is, of course, its waffles. These enormous breakfast pastries are made affordable by Waffle House’s ingredients and processes without losing their deliciousness. Aside from waffles, the diner provides common breakfast food, such as sausages, hash browns and city ham.

For lunch and dinner, they have juicy hamburgers, chicken sandwiches and luscious cheeses steaks. It should be clear that Waffle House is not for those who are overly concerned about their diet and caters to people who enjoy simple food with an affordable price tag.

Waffle House franchises provide busy, every-day Americans with the sort of breakfast they remember from their childhood. The kid of comforting, delicious food you might remember smelling when you wake up and eating in your family’s dining room. This is the allure of the Waffle House menu. No pretentions, no fuss, just honest and delicious food.

Purchasing a franchise for sale may be easier than starting your own business from scratch but it has its own complications. Doing your research and your due diligence, such as researching the cost of a Waffle House franchise and determining if there’s a market for a 24-hour coffee shop in your area are all part and parcel of becoming your own boss.

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