How Much Money Can a Chick-fil-A Franchise Owner Make in a Year?

Investors always strive for high profits and returns from their businesses. One of the safest and easiest ways to achieve this is through franchising. However, not all franchise opportunities are created equal in terms of profitability. Various factors, such as brand reputation, marketing strategies, and investment, can greatly influence how much profit a franchise owner can make. To shed light on this topic, let’s explore the income potential of owning a Chick-fil-A franchise and whether it is a profitable venture.

About Chick-Fil-A

Chick-fil-A is a well-known family restaurant renowned for its scrumptious chicken dishes. It holds the distinction of being the nation’s largest chicken chain. What sets Chick-fil-A apart is its commitment to using 100% whole breast meat without any added fillers or hormones. The company differentiates itself through a focused menu and exceptional customer service. Originally founded in 1946 by Truett Cathy as “The Dwarf Grill,” the restaurant was later renamed “Chick-Fil-A” in 1967. Today, Chick-fil-A is a family-owned and privately held establishment with over 1565 outlets across the USA. Their franchise offers solid principles, menu innovation, and catering services.

How Much Does a Chick-fil-A Franchise Owner Earn?

According to data provided by Chick-fil-A, the average Chick-fil-A restaurant generates a staggering $5.3 million in annual sales. This figure surpasses the sales of other leading quick-service chicken restaurants in America by a significant margin. As for individual franchisees, they can make approximately $200,000 to $240,000 in annual income after considering the required fees.

Daily and Monthly Earnings

On a daily basis, an individual Chick-fil-A owner can expect sales of approximately $14,520, yielding a daily profit of $726. Extrapolating this to a monthly basis, an owner can make around $441,667 in sales and $22,083 in profit. These numbers are derived from the average restaurant’s earnings and the 50% of store profit that operators receive.

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Chick-fil-A’s Impressive Revenue Per Store

Chick-fil-A boasts an impressive revenue per store, amounting to $5.3 million annually. This translates to a daily revenue of $14,520, with a daily profit of $726. These statistics highlight the consistent success and profitability of Chick-fil-A’s operations. Monthly sales reach $441,667, generating a monthly profit of $22,083.

Chick-fil-A’s Signature Dishes and Customer Appeal

Chick-fil-A is renowned for its exceptional chicken sandwiches and diverse menu options, including fries, salads, and beverages. Their most popular items include Chicken Nuggets, Cobb Salad, Grilled Chicken Nuggets, Market Salad, Waffle Fries, Chick-n-Strips, and Spicy Southwest Salad. Customers appreciate Chick-fil-A not only for its delectable food but also for its pleasant dining experience, reliable quality, affordable prices, and commitment to nutrition and animal welfare.

Pros and Cons of Owning a Chick-fil-A Franchise

As with any business opportunity, owning a Chick-fil-A franchise has its pros and cons.


  • Chick-fil-A offers one of the lowest-cost franchises.
  • The company’s solid principles and logistics management ease the burden for franchise owners.
  • Chick-fil-A never compromises on the quality of its food.
  • The franchise provides a comprehensive training program for new franchisees.


  • Chick-fil-A remains closed on Sundays, Christmas Day, and holidays, affecting sales.
  • The selection process for owning a franchise is lengthy.
  • Franchisees are not allowed to operate multiple units.

Chick-fil-A Franchise Profitability and Payback Period

Based on available data, the average revenue for a Chick-fil-A franchise is approximately $5.3 million per year. This sizable income covers various expenses, including staff wages, rent, and other operational costs. Additionally, due to the brand’s immense popularity, franchise owners typically experience steady sales growth over time.

In terms of profitability, most owners make a net profit margin ranging from 5% to 7% of their gross sales. This translates to an annual income of roughly $200,000 to $240,000 after deducting expenses. It’s important to note that these profit figures do not include additional investments in marketing or renovations, nor do they factor in the owner’s salary.

Non-mall Chick-fil-A units tend to have higher sales volumes and better returns on investment. While mall units are also profitable, their profit and revenue numbers may be smaller due to the mall’s percentage of sales.

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Chick-fil-A’s Low Failure Rate and High Retention Rate

One of the key advantages of owning a Chick-fil-A franchise is its low failure rate. Industry estimates suggest that less than 5% of Chick-fil-A franchises fail, indicating a high success rate for owners. This can be attributed, in part, to the company’s supportive culture and emphasis on long-term franchisee success. Chick-fil-A provides extensive training and ongoing support to its owners, equipping them with the necessary tools for success. Impressively, over 96% of Chick-fil-A franchises have been operating for at least 50 years, reflecting the profitability and longevity of the business.

Chick-fil-A Franchise Payback Period

The payback period for a Chick-fil-A franchise is relatively short. The average investment required to open a Chick-fil-A franchise is approximately $1,363,510. After considering rent, wages, and other expenses, the average annual net profit amounts to around 5%. By using these figures, we can calculate the payback period using the formula:

Payback Period = Investment / Average annual net profit

For Chick-fil-A franchises, the payback period averages around 3.18 years. This timeframe is considered reasonable for a franchise, making Chick-fil-A an attractive option for aspiring franchise owners seeking a return on their investment.

Attaining a Chick-fil-A Franchise: A Challenging Endeavor

Despite its popularity and loyal customer base, gaining acceptance into the Chick-fil-A franchise program is incredibly difficult. Annually, the company receives over 40,000 franchise applications but only accepts between 100 and 115 applicants. This acceptance rate is below 0.25%, making it more challenging to become a Chick-fil-A franchisee than getting into Harvard University!

Applicants must go through a rigorous selection process, including initial expression of interest forms, formal written applications, recorded video interviews, and in-person interviews. Chick-fil-A’s selection standards are exceptionally high, as they seek dedicated individuals capable of providing exceptional customer service.

Interesting Facts About Chick-Fil-A

Now that we have delved into the profitability and challenging process of becoming a Chick-fil-A franchise owner, let’s explore some fascinating facts about the company:

  • Chick-fil-A is the largest quick-service chicken restaurant chain in the United States, with over 2,600 locations across 47 states and Washington, DC.
  • The chain achieved its first billion dollars in sales in 2000.
  • All Chick-fil-A restaurants are closed on Sundays to provide employees with rest and worship time.
  • The company’s signature menu item is the original chicken sandwich, featuring breaded chicken breast served on a buttered bun with two pickles.
  • The name “Chick-fil-A” combines “chicken” and “filet,” reflecting the company’s specialization in chicken filet sandwiches.
  • Chick-fil-A is known for its exceptional customer service, with employees trained to use phrases like “my pleasure” instead of a simple “you’re welcome” to show appreciation.
  • The company’s mascot is a cow, and the “Eat Mor Chikin” advertising campaign encourages customers to consume more chicken.
  • Since 2005, Chick-fil-A has celebrated Cow Appreciation Day on the second Tuesday of July, offering free food to customers who dress up as cows.
  • In 2018, Chick-fil-A became the first fast-food restaurant to offer meal kits, allowing customers to prepare their favorite dishes at home.
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Chick-fil-A Franchise Statistics

Chick-fil-A stands as one of the largest quick-service chicken restaurant chains in the United States, with over 2,600 franchised locations across 47 states and Washington, DC. The company achieved its first billion dollars in sales in 2000, and its growth has been consistent ever since.

According to a 2022 report by Zippia, Chick-fil-A ranks as the seventh largest fast-food chain in the United States based on U.S. system-wide sales. As of 2023, there are over 2,900 operational Chick-fil-A stores nationwide, including over 300 company-owned locations and more than 2,600 franchised establishments. The franchise has a retention rate of over 96%, indicating the long-term success enjoyed by many Chick-fil-A owners. Few stores have closed within the franchise system in recent years, testifying to the high standards and rigorous selection process implemented by the company.


Owning a Chick-fil-A franchise presents a lucrative opportunity aligned with the company’s strong values and beliefs. However, the application and interview process is rigorous, involving approximately 12 interviews or more. Chick-fil-A maintains strict oversight over the lifestyle of its franchise owners. Despite these challenges, a Chick-fil-A franchise can generate high profits while remaining one of the lowest-cost franchise options. Many franchises charge higher fees, ultimately reducing franchisees’ overall profits. Therefore, it is crucial to select wisely when considering investing in any franchise. By carefully considering all perspectives, you can make an informed decision that sets you up for success.

Frequently Asked Questions

Note: The following questions appeared at the end of the original article.

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