Whataburger Franchise Cost [Startup & Ongoing]
If you’re a burger lover that has always dreamed of owning your own restaurant, then you might want to consider opening your very own.
If you’re considering opening up a Whataburger franchise in your area, then you will need to consider the start-up cost.
The initial start-up cost for a Whataburger will run you an average of $1,800,000. These costs can vary from as low as $1,500,000 to $2,000,000.
Some factors contributing to the initial costs include location, size, build-out, equipment, initial franchise fee, and licensing.
Whataburger has a 5 million dollar liquid capital requirement and a 12.5 million dollar net worth minimum. You will also have to commit to opening 5 locations within 5 years.
If you still want to be a part of this great franchise, keep reading as we cover what it takes to open your first Whataburger.
How Much It Costs to Open a Whataburger Franchise
Just how much does it cost to open a Whataburger franchise? The basic answer is $1,800,000 for an average size location. These costs can vary from as low as $1,500,000 to $2,000,000.
You will want to ensure you meet the fundamental franchise criteria, including a 12.5 million dollar net worth, 5 million dollars in liquid capital, and be willing to open at least 5 locations in 5 years.
The total cost of opening a Whataburger franchise without additional expenses, including equipment, build-out, etc., will be about $1.2 million.
Cost Per Whataburger Location
To make your restaurant a success, you need to have a steady flow of customers. For this to happen, you will need to know the average cost per Whataburger location.
This breakdown can help you know how much it takes in sales to cover your costs and ultimately turn a profit.
Several factors will determine the total cost per Whataburger location, including the build-out, equipment, construction cost, building, and land cost.
We will examine the costs of each of these elements, so you know what to expect when opening your very own Whataburger franchise.
Location & Land Costs ($50k – $250k)
You will need to have a location that is conveniently located near your target audience. Sites for Whataburger are limited, and you will probably have to build one in Texas, Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, or Alabama.
Once you find the perfect site, you will be required to pay for the land, which will cost an average of $150,000. Cost for land can range from $50,000 to $250,000 depending on the state and location you choose to purchase in.
Building Cost ($250k – $500k)
After you have purchased the land for your location, the next step is to build the restaurant. The building itself will cost you about $250,000 to $500,000.
You will want to ensure that your building reflects the quality and integrity of Whataburger and includes sustainable features. You can expect to pay between $150 and $350 per square foot for your facility.
This will vary depending on the size of the restaurant, the number of customers you plan to serve, how many years it is expected to remain open, and other factors that will contribute to your build-out costs.
Equipment Cost ($75k – $250k)
Once your location is secured, and your build-out is complete, the next step will be to obtain all of your equipment.
You can expect to spend anywhere from $75,000 to upwards of $200,000 on equipment alone, depending on the items you choose to purchase.
When it comes to equipment, some standard costs are associated with opening your Whataburger franchise. You will need to have about $4,000 in dishwashing equipment, including plates, cups, water dispensers, and utensils.
You will need about $30,000 in cooking equipment which includes your appliances such as ranges and ovens. You can also expect to pay for fryers, microwaves, and heat lamps.
You will also need to spend around $7,500 on refrigeration units such as reach-ins and walk-ins. Your cash registers will cost you about $3,500, and your grills will run around $3,500.
Seating and guest area equipment will run you about $20,000.
Licensing Fees ($20k – $30k)
Licensing fees will cost you between $20,000 and $30,000 to open your Whataburger franchise.
Depending on where you choose to set up shop, there may be additional costs for licensing fees that will range anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000.
This expense can vary based on the location of your business and what other fees are associated with it.
Signage and Signage Installation ($15k – $40k)
You will need to have a great-looking building and some signage out front, so your customers know they are at the right place.
This will cost anywhere from $10,000 to $40,000, depending on the size of the sign and the materials used for construction.
Once you have acquired your franchise, you will need to have your sign installed by a professional. You can expect to pay around $20,000 for installing the signage itself.
Initial Inventory ($15k – $25k)
You will need to invest at least $15,000 for your initial inventory purchase. This number can vary depending on the time of year you open your franchise and where you are located.
You should also budget about $2,500 for miscellaneous items, including paper goods, food prep items, and uniforms.
Hiring and Training New Staff ($7k – $15k)
For hiring and training your employees, consider budgeting about $10,000. This will get you a manager and enough staff to get the restaurant opened.
In addition to managers, you will need to have several employees on hand at all times. You should be able to hire a minimum of 10 employees.
Insurance Costs ($3k – $8k)
To protect your investment, you will want to carry a minimum of insurance. You may need more coverage depending on where you store your inventory and the size of your location.
This will cost around $3,000 to $8,000 per year and save you thousands should anything happen.
Maintenance Costs ($10k – $15k)
Your location will need to be maintained, costing anywhere from $5,000 to $8,000 per year. This should include maintenance on the appliances and equipment along with cleaning supplies.
Employee Compensation Insurance ($4.5k – $6k)
You will want to have employee compensation insurance that will cover about $100,000 worth of coverage per person. This cost should range anywhere from $4,500 to $6,000 per year.
Health Insurance ($4k – $5k)
You will want to offer your employees health insurance that averages out at about $400 per month per employee. This cost should be around $4,000 to $5,000 per year per full-time employee.
Utilities ($10k – $15k)
You will need to pay for utilities that include water, gas, and electricity. These costs should range anywhere from $1,000 to $3,200 per month, depending on the size of your location.
Advertising Costs ($1k – $3k)
For advertising, you will want to spend between $1,000 and $3,000 per month. This cost should include any online marketing, ads in the local paper, and flyers. This number can vary depending on how often you want to run your ads and how long they will be running.
Legal & Accounting Costs ($3k – $5k)
You should budget between $3,000 and $5,000 per year for legal costs. These fees will cover filing your franchise tax and other legal expenses that may arise while doing business.
You should also hire accounting services each year which will cost between $1,000 and $2,500. This will cover the costs of account reconciliation and filing your taxes with both your state and federal government.
Why Open A Whataburger Franchise?
Whataburger has been around since 1950. It is known for its delicious burgers and world-famous onion rings. This restaurant also offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner items that are served all day long.
When people see a Whataburger, they expect to have a good time. This is because the staff should go out of their way to ensure each customer feels welcome and comfortable in your establishment.
Whataburger has been ranked one of the top 25 burger chains in America.
Is This Franchise Right For You?
If you are hardworking, independent, and driven to succeed, this may be the right option for you. This franchise is perfect for those who know how to work their way around a restaurant and can handle themselves in high-pressure situations.
Employees love working at Whataburger because they genuinely care about each customer. They want to ensure that every person who walks through the door has a positive experience and leaves full and satisfied.
If you have a 15 million dollar net worth, have 5 million dollars in liquid assets, and intend to open 5 locations, Whataburger may be the perfect franchise option for you.