What Is the Most Profitable Fast Food Franchise? The Ultimate Guide

May 7, 2024by Jason

Imagine what you could achieve if you had a robust stream of passive income to work with. You could free up extra time to focus on what’s most important, and you may even have the opportunity to retire early. Starting a business is an amazing way to generate passive income, but you don’t always have to build your own company from scratch.

There are many franchise business opportunities to take advantage of, and fast food restaurants are some of the most notable. Before moving forward, though, it’s essential to understand the most profitable food franchises. This will help you make the right decisions.

So, what is the most profitable fast food franchise? Let’s explore the answer below and the factors that influence it.


The location where you open your franchise plays a large role in how profitable it is. To clarify, you’ll likely make far more sales in a large city like Los Angeles compared to a rural town in the Midwest. However, it’s also worth noting that larger cities also have far more competition.


Unless you have substantial experience running a fast food business, achieving success will become less likely than you’d prefer. Franchises that can adapt to changing market conditions will be more likely to stay profitable as time passes. For instance, an inventory shipment might be delayed and put you in a position where you need to come up with a quick solution.

Franchisor Resources

If you want to turn your location into a top fast food franchise, you’ll need access to resources like comprehensive training and marketing data. This will help align employees with your goals and facilitate a much better customer experience. Marketing information is especially important, as it will take robust strategies to cut through the clutter and get your brand in front of the right demographic.

Franchise Fees/Royalties

Some franchisors impose substantial fees and royalties on franchisees. If you don’t look into these before signing your agreement, you risk making far less money than you unexpected.

There might even be miscellaneous fees that further reduce your income. Never choose a franchisor that isn’t transparent about these details. This is a red flag you can’t ignore.

Maintenance and Repairs

If the location you operate has inefficient or outdated equipment, you might have to budget for maintenance and repairs. While delaying these may sometimes seem like the best course of action, it’s never recommended. This can lead to further expenses and damage your franchise’s reputation.

General and Administrative Costs

Franchises often implement models that minimize the number of practicing managers. This can substantially decrease the amount you spend on operating the facility.

However, these will vary depending on the franchisor you work with. Some have policies that implement a greater number of managers, which will affect your overall profitability. Keep this in mind when moving forward so you aren’t caught off guard.

Operating Costs

No matter how much revenue you generate, it won’t mean much if your operating costs cut the amount you make. These will vary depending on many factors, such as the size of your company and the type of fast food you serve.

Even obscure details like the relationship the franchisor has with their suppliers will impact your operating costs. It’s best to constantly look for ways to reduce spending. Cutting costs will add up over time and help you save a substantial amount of money.

Type of Franchise

The fast food your franchise offers is one of the most significant factors that influences profitability. Some foods are more popular than others.

For instance, you can find a fast food restaurant that sells burgers in almost every city in the United States. Facilities that sell hotdogs aren’t quite as common in comparison.

This doesn’t mean these franchises can’t be profitable, though. The right combination of high local demand and low competition can make your franchise substantially profitable.

Market Share

How much market share does the franchise currently have? Brands that dominate the local market are more likely to generate substantial profits. This is especially true if the contender with the second-largest share of the market has far less than your franchise.

What Is the Most Profitable Fast Food Franchise?

There’s no singular answer to this question, as it will depend on the factors listed above. For instance, you might discover that opening a restaurant that sells burgers and fries doesn’t gross as much as one that sells something less conventional.

It’s worth noting that straying from typical options like McDonald’s and Chick-fil-A can help you leverage untapped markets. Greek food franchises are perfect examples. They’re popular enough to be in demand but aren’t common enough to saturate the market.

Getting Started

The best way to get started with opening a fast food franchise is by researching the local market. The more information you know about market conditions, the better idea you’ll have of whether your franchise will be profitable. You should also carefully deliberate what type of franchise you intend to open and how much competition already exists.

Look for franchisors that provide ample resources to help you succeed as an owner. The last thing you want is to spend money opening a franchise and then be forced to figure out everything on your own.

Establishing long-term goals can also help you streamline fast food franchise profitability. With enough vigilance, you’ll be able to traverse the obstacles you encounter.

Pursue This Endeavor Carefully

The only successful fast food chains are carefully approached. The information in this guide will help ensure you take the right steps toward success. Keep the answer to “What is the most profitable fast food franchise?” in mind so you can avoid issues you may have otherwise encountered.

Gyro Shack provides franchisees with an exciting way to establish a new revenue stream. We offer dine-in, drive-thru, and catering options.

It’s even possible for customers to place their orders online. You’ll learn more about the many benefits we have to offer when you get in touch with us today.

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