In 2023, the coffee shop industry continues to grow, and coffee shop franchises remain a popular and profitable business opportunity. These franchises offer a blend of specialty coffee, a cozy atmosphere, and different menu options to cater to the customers' taste. In the article you will find top coffee shop franchises that are remaining popular during these years.
Starting a franchise can be a gateway to entrepreneurship without the steep overheads. The top coffee franchises with low investment costs offer the unique opportunity to enter the bustling coffee industry with a modest budget. These selections prioritize affordability without compromising on quality and support, making them ideal for first-time franchisees.
Founded in: 1983
Franchising since: 1997
Franchise Units: 128+
Initial investment range: Mobile Operating Unit at Events: $28,900 – $200,050
Mobile Operating Unit at Permanent Site: $35,100 – $245,050
Fixed Operating Unit: $96,350 – $1,116,000
Initial Franchise Fee: $30,000
Royalty: No royalty fees
Maui Wowi presents a unique franchise model with its mobile-based setup, offering franchisees a distinctive blend of freedom and low operational costs. Their popular Ka'anapali Cart enables a moveable venture, bringing Hawaiian coffees and smoothies to various locations.
For over 30 years, Maui Wowi has been serving its unique blends worldwide. The franchise prides itself on a collaborative culture, where the feeling of 'Ohana' or family is celebrated, and franchisees support one another toward success.
With a variety of business models, including storefronts, event setups, and catering, Maui Wowi provides a flexible franchise opportunity. This franchise offers more than just a business venture; it’s a lifestyle infused with the Hawaiian spirit of collaboration and freedom.
Founded in: 1995
Franchising since: 1999
Franchise Units: 350
Initial investment range: $246,305 - $564,626
Initial Franchise Fee: $20,000
Biggby Coffee offers a welcoming franchise opportunity tailored for aspiring entrepreneurs, with an entry cost lower than many other coffee shop franchises, making it an accessible choice. The franchise provides a comprehensive support platform, including build-out and equipment costs within the total investment.
Their model is designed to keep ongoing costs low through a streamlined business operation and advanced technology for managing inventory and sales. Furthermore, they have established connections with third-party lenders to assist in financing the venture, demonstrating a supportive approach towards franchisees.
In appreciation of service, Biggby Coffee offers a substantial discount on the initial franchise fee for honorably discharged U.S. Military Veterans, portraying a community-centric brand value.
Founded in: 1870
Franchising since: 2004
Franchise Units: 7+
Initial investment range: $187,000 - $305,000
Initial Franchise Fee: $35,000
Franchisees are expected to align with Cafe Barbera's values and vision, embodying attributes like motivation, passion, a guest-driven mindset, and an eagerness to learn and understand the business. The success of the franchisees is seen as a shared success, with Cafe Barbera committed to providing substantial support across various domains including brand building, marketing, real estate, recruiting, menu quality, and operational profitability. Site selection, in particular, is emphasized as a critical factor for success, highlighting the importance of location in driving sales turnover.
Marketing is considered the heart of the business, and Cafe Barbera employs a community outreach and engagement strategy to build a loyal customer base. They advise a well-publicized Grand Opening Event to kickstart a successful franchise journey, with an array of marketing support actions like social media strategy and mobile application provided to foster ongoing engagement and brand recognition.
Moreover, Cafe Barbera invests in the training of the franchisees and their staff through a dedicated Barista School. This school aims to impart both the science and art of coffee making, covering a range of skills from coffee preparation and brewing to presentation. The training is conducted by highly qualified trainers who have perfected true Italian coffee-making, ensuring that trainees are well-prepared to deliver the exceptional coffee experience that Cafe Barbera is known for.
Founded in: 2002
Franchising since: 2003
Franchise Units: 39
Initial investment range: $612,000 to $899,000
Initial Franchise Fee: $25,000
The Ellianos Coffee franchise opportunity shines with its unique drive-thru only design starting from 800 sq. ft. This design emphasizes quick service, efficient sales, and customer satisfaction, with features like a double-sided drive-thru, showcasing operational simplicity. Financially, the franchise presents a promising outlook with system-wide average unit net sales ranging between $1,029,734 and $1,285,663. The venture is particularly appealing in the Southeast U.S., offering low franchise fees and initial investments likely to yield returns. Ellianos aligns with the motto "ITALIAN QUALITY AT AMERICA’S PACE®", portraying a brand that blends quality with the fast-paced American lifestyle.
Founded in: 1993
Franchising since: 2004
Franchise Units: 7+
Initial investment range: $260,076 to $393,174
Initial Franchise Fee: $49,500
The Sweetwaters Coffee and Tea franchise beckons those aspiring to delve into the coffeehouse domain, promising a venture that's not just about premium coffee but also community engagement. The franchise seeks individuals with a passion for community and an aptitude for managing young talent, aiming to create a congenial space for people to unwind, connect, and relish a diverse menu.
What sets Sweetwaters apart is its global palate, reflected in its offerings. Tracing back to the Vietnamese heritage of its founders, the menu encompasses a medley of Asian-inspired beverages alongside classic coffee and tea options. From Vietnamese Au Lait to Thai Iced Tea and Dragon Eye coffee, the brand celebrates a fusion of flavors from Vietnam, Thailand, India, China, and Japan. Besides, the menu extends to frozen drinks, shakes, and a delightful assortment of baked goods and light meals, offering something for every taste.
The franchise, with its roots in Ann Arbor, Michigan, since 1993, has gradually expanded its footprint, earning accolades from customers for its exceptional service and inviting ambiance. It's not just a coffeehouse; it's a blend of global flavors, community spirit, and a cozy retreat for its patrons.
In the coffee franchise sector, consumer demand is the engine of success. The franchises topping the high market demand category have mastered the art of attracting and retaining customers with their compelling offerings and consistent quality. They are the go-to options for entrepreneurs looking to capitalize on proven and popular coffee trends.
Founded in: 2000
Franchising since: 2013
Franchise Units: 105
Initial investment range: $283,500
Initial Franchise Fee: $25,500
Aroma Joe's distinguishes itself through a culture of positivity and enthusiasm, aiming to offer a remarkable customer experience and community engagement. Their unique approach sets them apart in the competitive coffee industry, offering a fresh perspective for potential franchisees.
The franchise model is attractive with its handcrafted coffee blends and ethically sourced, environmentally sound coffee beans. This, coupled with a diverse menu, not only offers multiple revenue streams but also caters to a broader customer base.
Moreover, the lower operational costs compared to other coffee franchises, convenient drive-thru service, and varying build-out options present a financially sound and flexible opportunity for investors. Additionally, the brand emphasizes creating a joyful work environment, making it a fulfilling venture for potential franchise owners.
Founded in: 1976
Franchising since: 1985
Franchise Units: 70
Initial investment range: $185,000 - $400,000
Initial Franchise Fee: $15,000
The Coffee Beanery franchise opportunity presents a blend of tradition and modern business practices. Before the term "specialty coffee" was well-known in the US, Coffee Beanery has grown over the decades on a foundation of time-honored traditions and values, focusing on outstanding customer service, continual improvement, a team player mentality, and a positive attitude.
Distinguishing features of the Coffee Beanery franchise include a unique family business approach, which is recognized across the industry. The franchise has nearly 100 locations globally, and it stands out for its corporate culture and commitment to quality1. Moreover, the franchise offers a comprehensive training and support system for its franchisees, which includes a 21-28 day classroom management training, on-site opening training, follow-up training visits, and continual education through regional meetings and national convention workshop programs. There's also extensive support in store development, technology, and store management system to guide franchisees towards a successful and prosperous business.
Founded in: 1987
Franchise Units: 60
Initial investment range: $501,620 – $739,232
Initial Franchise Fee: $40,000
Dunn Brothers Coffee proposes a rich franchise opportunity, resonating with a sense of community and shared success. Entering the coffee shop business is simplified with their supportive framework, ensuring you're not starting from scratch.
Their longstanding presence since 1987, with over 60 coffee shops across 7 U.S. states, reflects a wealth of experience and a proven business model. The franchise is tailored to foster success, providing invaluable resources such as assistance with high-quality bean sourcing, fabulous product recipes, and marketing strategies.
Dunn Brothers Coffee stands as a leader in the specialty coffee shop sector, pledging a strong partnership with franchise owners, which is central to their ethos - your success resonates as their success.
Founded in: 1978
Franchising since: 1989
Franchise Units: 160+
Initial investment range: $207,000 to $1,131,000
Initial Franchise Fee: $25,000-$35,000
A distinctive feature that sets PJ's Coffee apart is its New Orleans tradition, offering not just a cup of coffee but an enriched experience characterized by quality products within a New Orleans-inspired environment. The franchise prides itself on bringing the timeless taste of New Orleans to local communities through unique offerings like Beignets, deep-fried pastries that pair perfectly with their coffee, requiring minimal additional equipment to prepare, and serving as a major differentiator in the coffee franchise market.
PJ's Coffee provides extensive support to its franchisees through various stages including site evaluation & lease procurement, design & construction, training & education, product distribution, ongoing operations & consulting, and marketing & promotions. Their systematic approach in site selection, lease procurement, and design adaptation is aimed at ensuring that the franchisees meet the specific PJ's criteria. The franchise also emphasizes training, offering a multi-level training program to franchisees and their teams, delivered through online training, classroom training, and on-site, hands-on training at the franchisee's location. This is to ensure adherence to their strict operational standards and deliver an exceptional southern hospitality experience.
Additionally, PJ's Coffee boasts of a vertically integrated process in procuring and producing coffee, harvesting only the finest 1% of Arabica coffee. Their strategic partnerships enable them to distribute coffee from their roasting facility in New Orleans to the franchisee's store in a timely and cost-effective manner. They also offer year-round operational consulting on an individual shop basis and develop marketing and promotional campaigns to enhance brand awareness and customer traffic.
Founded in: 1989
Franchising since: 1995
Franchise Units: 30
Initial investment range: $401,500 to $778,000
Initial Franchise Fee: $100,000
The Bad Ass Coffee franchise stands out with its Hawaiian essence, offering premium Hawaiian coffees and imbibing the Aloha Spirit in a distinct store ambiance that resonates with the Hawaiian islands. Upon becoming a franchisee, you're welcomed into the 'ohana (family), receiving extensive support throughout your journey from store inception to daily operations. This includes a step-by-step process encompassing initial discussions, application, location selection, construction, and hands-on training, ensuring you are well-prepared for your venture. The franchise seeks entrepreneurial individuals with business experience who are passionate about coffee.
Founded in: 1993
Franchising since: 2004
Franchise Units: 45
Initial investment range:$518,500 to $761,500
Initial Franchise Fee: $30,000
The Beans & Brews franchise opportunity stands out with its unique High-Altitude Roasting™ technique, providing a smooth coffee intensity unmatched by lower altitude roasting competitors. The franchise offers flexible business models suitable for different locations, along with a simplified menu aimed at maximizing profit margins.
Their brand ethos extends beyond merely serving coffee; it's about fostering a human connection within the community. They emphasize a robust support system for franchisees, ensuring they have the necessary tools and training to succeed. The brand is built on three pillars: Human Connection, encapsulating a welcoming atmosphere and community support; Business Model and Training, ensuring consistency in delivering the perfect cup of coffee every time; and High-Quality Ingredients, underscoring their commitment to quality.
Investing in a Beans & Brews franchise not only offers a chance to be part of a growing and exciting expansion but also to engage in a business with a strong community-centric ethos, promising a fulfilling entrepreneurial journey.
Founded in: 2004
Franchising since: 2016
Franchise Units: 75
Initial investment range: $467,000 to $2,000,000
Initial Franchise Fee: $40,000
The Ziggi's Coffee franchise opportunity is distinctive due to its emphasis on community and carefully selecting franchisees who align with the brand's values. Their franchise program is designed to ensure the success of each franchisee with a proven model developed over a decade of operating successful cafes and drive-thrus.
A notable feature is the variety of business models offered, with a strong focus on a double-sided drive-thru model. This model operates from a compact, freestanding building of approximately 250 to 500 square feet, solely serving drive-thru customers without customer seating, setting it apart from many other coffee franchises.
Prospective franchisees are taken through a thorough selection process, starting with an initial review to ensure a good fit between the brand and the candidate. The financial investment for a franchise ranges from $467,000 to $2,000,000, and candidates should have at least $150,000 in liquidity. The process continues with a review of the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD), followed by several steps of engagement and planning to ensure a thorough understanding and preparedness for running a Ziggi's Coffee franchise.
Brand power is a formidable asset in the crowded coffee franchise landscape. The franchises leading this category are distinguished by their widespread recognition and esteemed reputation, which can drive foot traffic and foster customer loyalty. Investing in these franchises means aligning with established names that resonate with coffee enthusiasts worldwide.
Founded in: 1963
Franchising since: 2002
Franchise Units: 1,035
Initial investment range: $250,000-$500,000
Initial Franchise Fee: $30,000-$50,000
The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf franchise opportunity stems from a strong brand heritage, having been established in Southern California in 1963. Their motto, "Find Your Flavor," reflects a commitment to customer satisfaction, providing a personalized experience with every handcrafted beverage. They offer an extensive selection of coffee and tea from across the globe, catering to a wide range of tastes.
The franchise process is well-structured to provide robust support to franchisees. From training to store development and operations, the support system is designed to ensure the success of each franchise unit. The franchise's global presence, with over 1,000 stores, signifies a proven business model adaptable to various markets.
Founded in: 1998
Franchising since: 2001
Franchise Units: 650
Initial investment range: $797,000-$1,341,500
Initial Franchise Fee: $40,000
The Scooter’s Coffee franchise opportunity stands out with its unique drive-thru model, housed within a compact 664-square-foot kiosk. This model caters to the modern, on-the-go consumer, offering quick service without compromising on quality. With over 650 locations across the U.S., the franchise is on a growth trajectory, indicative of its successful model.
Potential franchisees are expected to have a strong entrepreneurial spirit, a desire to succeed, and a customer service orientation. A notable financial requirement is the $200,000 liquid capital to ensure the stability and sustainability of the franchise operations.
Scooter’s Coffee is committed to creating amazing experiences for both customers and franchisees. Their brand promise of delivering "Amazing drinks, amazingly fast" is not just a tagline but a reflection of the brand’s commitment to quality service and product excellence.
Founded in: 1998
Franchising since: 2003
Franchise Units: 148
nitial investment range: $245,000 to $559,000
nitial Franchise Fee: $30,000
What sets The Human Bean apart from other franchises is its no royalty fee model, a rare find in the franchise industry. This financial model can potentially enhance the profit margins for franchisees. Furthermore, The Human Bean is dedicated to providing substantial support for its franchise partners, covering operations, training, site development, and marketing, ensuring a smooth transition into the franchise system and ongoing success.
The brand has a unique tradition of topping every cup of coffee with a chocolate-covered espresso bean, symbolizing their aim to make even the smallest exchanges memorable. This tradition has been upheld since the very first cup they served, embodying their ethos of quality service and customer engagement.
Community involvement is a cornerstone of The Human Bean's operation. Through various "giveback days" throughout the year, they engage in community and global outreach. For instance, on Earth Day, they plant a tree for every drink sold, supporting impoverished farmers and aiding in land revitalization in coffee-growing regions. Other initiatives include Mochas For Men, aimed at supporting men's health, and Coffee for a Cure, which raises funds for individuals in their communities battling breast cancer. These initiatives not only make a significant impact but also foster a strong community bond and customer loyalty.
Founded in: 1979
Franchising since: 1986
Franchise Units: 859
Initial investment range: $175,000 to $500,000
Initial Franchise Fee: $15,000 - $25,000
Gloria Jean’s Coffees provides an enticing franchise opportunity for those passionate about coffee, people, and business. With its proven business model and supportive systems, it promises ease in establishing and running a coffee house. The franchise offers various engaging store formats including Drive-thru, Kiosk, or In-line, catering to different market preferences and locations. New franchise opportunities are particularly highlighted in cities like New York City, Fort Lauderdale, Chicago, Houston, and Phoenix, either as Drive-Thrus or Cafés.
With over 25 years of franchising experience, Gloria Jean's Coffees continually introduces new hot beverages and refreshing chillers, keeping the menu exciting and appealing to a broad customer base. This long-standing experience and innovative approach to the coffee industry underscore its uniqueness as a franchise opportunity.
The franchise has a rich history dating back to 1979 and has been franchising since 1986, with an estimated 600 units as of the latest data. The U.S. headquarters is located in Chicago, Illinois, and the franchisor is Gloria Jean’s Gourmet Coffees Franchising Corp, under the parent company Retail Food Group USA, Inc5. This rich history, combined with an innovative and supportive franchise model, makes Gloria Jean's Coffees a compelling franchise opportunity for prospective investors.
In recent years, owning a coffee franchise has proven to be a highly profitable and rapidly growing venture. With the global coffee shop market valued at a staggering $237 billion in 2021 and projected to grow at a CAGR of 9.3% from 2022 to 2028, the demand for coffee remains strong and shows no signs of slowing down. As a franchise owner, you can leverage the power of an established brand with a proven business model, ensuring a faster return on investment. Moreover, coffee franchises have relatively low startup costs, with initial investments ranging from $60,000 to $600,000 depending on size and location. But the real appeal of owning a coffee franchise lies in the high profit margins it offers. According to industry reports, coffee franchises have an average profit margin ranging from 15% to 25%, with top-performing franchises earning margins as high as 35%. This combination of strong market demand, established brand recognition, and favorable profit margins makes owning a coffee franchise a highly lucrative opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to enter the foodservice industry.
The coffee franchise industry has undergone significant changes in recent years, with emerging trends shaping the way business is conducted. One of the most notable trends is the increasing focus on specialty coffee, with franchises now offering high-quality, single-origin beans and unique brewing techniques to cater to consumers seeking a more refined taste experience. Additionally, sustainable practices are gaining traction, with franchises adopting eco-friendly packaging and sourcing ethically-produced beans, as more customers prioritize environmental consciousness in their purchasing decisions. Technology has also played a vital role in transforming the coffee franchise landscape, with mobile ordering, contactless payment systems, and loyalty programs enhancing customer convenience and satisfaction. Finally, the industry has witnessed a shift towards smaller, more versatile store formats such as kiosks and drive-thru locations, allowing for greater accessibility and lower overhead costs. These dynamic changes have transformed the coffee franchise industry, highlighting its ability to adapt and evolve to meet the ever-changing needs and preferences of its customers.
Before entering the coffee franchise industry, it is crucial to have a solid understanding of the costs and investments involved in running a successful business. Although the initial investment cost might vary greatly depending on a number of factors, the typical costs fall between $60,000 and $600,000. Equipment, construction, signage, and inventory are among the factors that play a significant role in determining the overall investment cost. The ongoing costs, which are sometimes measured as a percentage of gross sales and include royalties and marketing contributions, should also be considered in addition to the initial investment. It is also essential to consider working capital, which ensures the smooth operation of the business during its initial growth phase. While these costs may appear daunting, many franchisors provide financing options and support to help alleviate some of the financial burdens associated with starting a new business.
Understanding coffee trends and consumer preferences" It is crucial for coffee franchises to stay informed about current and emerging trends to cater to evolving consumer demands. Conducting market research to identify local preferences and adapting your offerings accordingly can help meet customer expectations and improve satisfaction.
Menu Development: Collaborate closely with the franchisor to develop a dynamic and diverse menu that caters to a wide range of coffee and beverage preferences. Customize offerings to align with local tastes while maintaining brand consistency.
Equipment and Supplies: Invest in top-notch coffee brewing equipment, espresso machines, grinders, and essential tools. Forge partnerships with reliable suppliers who ensure prompt delivery of coffee beans, milk, syrups, cups, lids, and other necessary supplies.
Sustainability Matters: Embrace sustainable practices by utilizing eco-friendly packaging, supporting fair trade coffee, sourcing from sustainable farms, and implementing recycling and composting initiatives to minimize waste.
Tech-Forward Approach: Harness technology to streamline operations and enhance the customer experience. Embrace user-friendly point-of-sale systems, mobile ordering and payment options, and loyalty programs or mobile apps to drive customer engagement.
Community Connection: Engage with the local community through event sponsorships, charitable support, and coffee tasting sessions or workshops. Foster brand loyalty and a positive reputation by actively participating in community initiatives.
Health-Conscious Offerings: Stay attuned to health and wellness trends by providing dairy-free milk alternatives, low-sugar options, and organic or gluten-free snacks. Catering to diverse dietary preferences expands your customer base.
Digital Presence: Establish a robust online presence with an appealing website, active social media presence, and positive online reviews. Cultivate a sense of community through social media engagement and promptly address customer feedback.
Operational Efficiency: Continuously optimize operations to boost efficiency and reduce costs. Regularly evaluate processes, staffing levels, and inventory management to maximize productivity and profitability.