Checklist for Opening a Restaurant Franchise

The Ultimate Checklist for Opening a Restaurant Franchise

Around four million businesses open every year. In order for a startup to succeed and remain open, proper support and guidance are essential. At Rib & Chop House, we’ve got you covered in terms of funding and management, so you won’t have to worry about improper planning.

A safer alternative to creating a new business from scratch is to choose a franchise. In 2021, around 26,000 new franchise locations opened. These locations allow you to become a business owner while receiving the proven support and guidance needed to succeed. 

Continue reading below for a concise checklist for opening a restaurant franchise to help you better understand the requirements.

Determine if a Restaurant Franchise is Right For You

You could choose from many franchises, including restaurants, fitness centers, hair salons, and hardware shops. But today, you’ll be learning about opening a restaurant franchise. A restaurant franchise may be right for you if:

  • You have experience working in the restaurant industry
  • You have a love for food and community
  • You have a business mindset 
  • You grew up in or around the restaurant industry

Although you don’t have to meet all of these requirements, some restaurants do have specific requirements regarding your food industry experience. 

Meeting Restaurant Franchising Requirements

The restaurant franchise you choose usually has its requirements for you to open one of its locations. For example, Rib & Chop House requires you to have at least five years of experience in casual or fine dining and a proven track record in hospitality systems. We also require a net worth of $1.5 million, a liquidity minimum of $500,000, and a local knowledge of the area you plan to open in.

It’s important to note that every franchise is different, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the food industry.

The Franchise Application Process

You’ll need to prove you meet the restaurant’s qualifications during the franchise application process. Once again, each franchise opportunity may have different requirements and vary in how you’ll be required to provide proof of qualifications. However, a few things you’ll want to plan on delivering might include:

  • Detailed information on your restaurant experience
  • Your credit applications
  • A personal financial statement
  • References (both personal and professional)
  • Proof of liquidity minimum
  • Your identification (a copy of your ID, birth certificate, social security card, etc.)

To complete the franchise application process:

  • Gather your necessary documents and other proof of qualifications
  • Carefully fill out the application in full
  • If or when you do hear back, schedule an interview
  • Answer any questions the interviewer has for you and be sure to ask any questions you have
  • Attend a “discovery day” that gives you a better idea of what running one of the franchise locations looks like

If the application process goes well, the next step will likely be signing the contract. 

Signing The Contract

The franchise agreement is the binding contract you sign once your application has been approved. In some cases, you may be able to negotiate specific parts of your franchise agreement. In other cases, the agreement is the same for every franchise owner. 

Before signing your franchise agreement, you should get a lawyer to review the contract. It ensures that you are aware of all your obligations and benefits and the restrictions on using the franchisee’s brand. 

Before signing the contract, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I understand the terms of the franchise agreement?
  • Have I had a lawyer look over and sign off on the franchise agreement?
  • Do I feel comfortable about running a restaurant?
  • Does this specific restaurant feel like the right fit for me?
  • Do I fully understand how the restaurant’s daily operations work?
  • Do I completely understand my financial obligations, including taxes and fees?

Finding the Right Location

Finding the right location is one of the most important parts of owning any business. Make sure your chosen location checks off the following boxes:

  • There’s plenty of organic foot traffic or easy access to public transportation
  • There’s ample parking for your needs
  • The building has sufficient room for your needs
  • You’ve got the franchise’s approval on that location (in some cases)

In addition to serving Montana and the Midwest, Rib & Chop House offers plenty of opportunity to expand into untapped territories like the coastal Carolinas. It is our pride to lead the way in the small-town market. Throughout the east coast and down south, you can bring a taste of Rocky Mountain hospitality across the country.

Preparing For Opening

At long last, it’s time for you to prepare for the opening. It is an exciting time for you, and you may have a mentor helping you along the way. Either way, you’ll need to make sure the following checklist is completed so you can have a successful opening day:

  • Equipment for the kitchen, servers, and the bar, if applicable
  • Dining areas for the guests (including utensils, dishes, decorations, place settings, etc.)
  • Enough staff to comfortably open the restaurant, trained and ready to work 
  • Marketing for opening day to let the community know and get them excited
  • Everything is clean and inspected thoroughly
  • You’ve met all your legal requirements for the franchise and your chosen area
  • Food has been ordered
  • Your point-of-sale system is working

Ready to Complete the Checklist for Opening a Restaurant Franchise?

If you believe you’re ready to complete this checklist for opening a restaurant franchise, there’s never a better time than now to get started.

Here at Rib & Chop House, we provide a training team to ensure you have the necessary skill set to run your franchise location successfully. You will receive six weeks of classroom and in-restaurant training for you and your investment partners. Once complete, we’ll support you with a development team that remains at your location for three weeks. This way, you can feel confident and supported as your business opens. If that encourages you to take the next step, don’t hesitate to contact our team! We can help you get started with our franchise process today.