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BurgerFI Franchises: $1.1M AUV and a 28% Profit Margin

If you’re considering investing in a burger restaurant franchise, there are plenty of options to choose from. And among all burger franchise brands, BurgerFI is a strong contender.

With over 120 restaurants in the US of which 92 are franchised-owned, BurgerFI offers high profit margins at a reasonable cost ($820,000).

If you’re considering opening a new burger franchise, you may want to know how much profits you can realistically make. This is what we’re looking at in this article.

We will see how much it really costs to open a BurgerFI franchise, how profitable it is and whether you should invest in a BurgerFI franchised restaurant. Let’s dive in!

BurgerFI franchises: key figures

Franchise fee$45,000
Royalty fee5.5%
Marketing fee3.5%
Investment (mid-point)$821,000
Average sales$1,135,000
Sales to investment ratio1.4x
Payback period*5 years
Minimum net worth$1,000,000
Minimum liquid capital$500,000
* using 15% net profit margin
BURGERFI franchise business plan template

Download the BurgerFI franchise business plan

📗 Updated with Franchise Disclosure Document

📊 5-year pro forma financial model

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What is BurgerFI?

BurgerFi is an American fast-casual restaurant chain headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The chain was founded in 2011 by John Rosatti in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Florida.

It serves burgers, veggie burgers, fried chicken tenders and sandwiches, fries, onion rings, salads, hotdogs, custard desserts, beer, and wine.

BurgerFi started franchising in 2011 and currently has more than 120 franchised and corporate-owned restaurants in the US.

BurgerFI franchises pros and cons


  • Experienced franchise support: The brand has an experienced executive team committed to the growth and success of its franchise owners. Franchisees get the best QSR and professional franchise support and growth strategies to establish and build their businesses.
  • Quality training: The brand has a robust training system to help its franchisees learn about the business concept and run a successful restaurant. It trains franchisees on the products and processes, restaurant operations and management, hospitality, handling staff, and how to carry out a successful grand opening.
  • Real estate and construction: The brand has an experienced real estate team to provide franchisees with site selection assistance and guidance on identifying the most convenient location. In addition, the brand provides them with prototype plans, construction designs, and lease negotiations.
  • Exclusive territory protection: The franchisor provides its franchisees with the right to operate in an exclusive area whose area is defined in their agreement. It does not establish other franchises or operate competing channels in the agreed-upon location.
  • Marketing Support: The brand provides its franchisees with an in-house marketing and advertising team. It helps franchisees carry out pre-and post-opening marketing and promotional campaigns to market their local restaurants.


  • No absentee ownership: The franchise does not present a passive business opportunity. Franchisees are actively involved in the day-to-day decision-making and operations of the restaurants.
  • Not a part-time business: Franchisees must adhere to the parent company’s hours of operation.
  • Not a home-based opportunity: The franchise cannot be operated from a home, vehicle, or mobile unit. Franchisees must have fixed office facilities or warehouses.
  • Competition: A BurgerFi franchise faces stiff competition from leading burger brands such as Burger King, Five Guys, Wendy’s, Johnny Rockets, Steak n Shake or even Carl’s Jr to name a few

How much do BurgerFI franchises cost?

On average, you may need to invest around $820,825 to open a BurgerFI restaurant.

The investment amount is an average. Indeed, it depends on some factors like your location, restaurant size, etc. For example, real estate prices impact the required investment, as property prices and building costs will be impacted accordingly.

According to the latest Franchise Disclosure Document, the investment can be as low as $629,900 and up to $1,011,750.

BurgerFI franchises startup costs

The initial investment covers all the startup costs needed to begin the operation of a BurgerFI franchise. Meaning you don’t need to pay for anything else after the initial investment. In addition to the initial franchise fee of $45,000, the investment amount covers:

  • Formation Costs: security deposit, leasehold improvements, equipment, furniture, fixtures, permits and licenses, signage, architecture & MEP drawings, travel expenses for training, professional fees, opening assistance, etc.
  • Initial Marketing: grand opening advertising 
  • Operating Costs: initial inventory and supplies, insurance, rent, working capital for first 3 months, etc.
Type of costLowHigh
Initial Franchise Fee$45,000$45,000
Formation Costs$516,300$815,500
Initial Marketing$15,000$30,000
Operating Costs$53,600$121,250
Franchise Disclosure Document 2021
BURGERFI franchise business plan template

Download the BurgerFI franchise business plan

📗 Updated with Franchise Disclosure Document

📊 5-year pro forma financial model

📞 Free support

What’s the AUV of a BurgerFI franchise?

On average, a BurgerFI franchise makes $1,134,779 in sales per year.

The sales number is the annual median sales of the franchised restaurants operating in 2020 (average sales for a restaurant was $1,345,450 in comparison pre pandemic).

Though, the age of a restaurant had some limited impact on turnover. Indeed what’s very interesting (and reassuring) is that you would reach scale within 12 months only: the average turnover of a restaurant doesn’t increase as much after 12 months.

How profitable is a BurgerFI franchise?

On average, a BurgerFI franchise makes $319,251 in profits per year. This represents a 28% profit margin (adjusted EBITDA margin).

The 28% adjusted EBITDA margin is on the higher end compared to similar franchises as per our intelligence (~25-27% industry average).

Like most franchises, note that BurgerFI doesn’t provide any financial information regarding costs for its franchised restaurants in the Financial Disclosure Document. Indeed, we used the company-owned restaurant data for COGS (27.4% sales) and labor costs (25.5%) instead.

Profit and lossAmount% of sales
Royalty + marketing fees$(102,130)9.0%
Adjusted EBITDA$319,251~28%
Source: Franchise Disclosure Document (2021)

Is a BurgerFI franchise a good investment?

So is this worth investing in a BurgerFI franchised restaurant? To answer this question we must look at the payback period: the time for an investment to be repaid with its future profits.

We found the payback period for BurgerFI is 4.8 years on average, assuming a 15% net profit margin. In other words, you would need to wait only 4.8 years to recoup your investment.

This is a very good payback. Indeed, we found the average payback for restaurant franchises is 5-6 years, so BurgerFI is a solid investment opportunity compared to other franchises.

BURGERFI franchise business plan template

Download the BurgerFI franchise business plan

📗 Updated with Franchise Disclosure Document

📊 5-year pro forma financial model

📞 Free support

How does it compare vs. other franchises?

FranchiseInvestment ($)Sales ($)Payback (years)Min. net worth ($)Min. liquid capital ($)
Dunkin' Donuts,0001,056,5211.44.9500,000250,000
Krispy Kreme,0003,400,0004.11.62,000,000300,000
Little Caesars,022,850798,1130.88.5350,000150,000
Steak 'n Shake, Milshakes815,6261,346,3321.74.01,500,000500,000
Crumbl Cookies,2241,582,0903.12.1300,000150,000
Taco Bell,4131,650,0003.61.91,500,000750,000
Smoothie King,108573,2690.88.0300,000100,000
Jersey Mike's,3231,220,5862.14.7300,000100,000
Nothing Bundt Cakes,6501,307,2802.42.7600,000150,000
Jimmy John's,650874,8451.73.9300,00080,000
Texas Roadhouse,209,5002,955,5340.79.5n.a.200,000
Kung Fu Tea tea250,125353,2371.44.7n.a.25,000
Burger King,242,9501,215,9701.06.81,500,000500,000
Sonic Drive-In,467,0831,617,0001.16.01,000,000500,000
Panera Bread,290,5002,599,4321.15.97,500,0003,000,000
Pizza Hut,575906,9111.06.9700,000350,000
Dairy Queen Cream1,404,2201,143,1800.88.2750,000400,000
Jack in the Box,195,8001,755,5030.812.51,000,000250,000
Papa John’s,6951,101,1273.12.1750,000250,000
Five Guys,2251,203,3662.42.8500,000250,000
Carl’s Jr.,860,3351,419,5160.88.71,000,000500,000
Baskin-Robbins Cream465,100316,8150.79.8250,000125,000
Applebee’s American5,137,9662,356,9650.514.51,000,000500,000
Denny's American3,785,4591,639,5490.415.41,000,000500,000
Papa Murphy's,174580,4411.35.0275,000125,000
Auntie Anne's,692343,1351.55.6300,000100,000
Firehouse Subs,186888,3561.44.6350,000100,000
Tropical Smoothie Cafe,500961,9692.23.0350,000125,000
Marco’s Pizza,625895,5232.03.3400,000100,000
Cold Stone Creamery Cream310,956417,5881.35.0250,000100,000
Church’s Chicken,195,1471,395,0881.25.71,000,000300,000
Moe’s Southwest Grill,3701,013,3611.35.21,000,000100,000
Tim Hortons,242,7501,188,2401.07.0500,000100,000
Checkers & Rally's,8471,039,7731.25.4750,000250,000
Charleys Philly Steaks,806786,2331.54.3500,000100,000
Buffalo Wild Wings,546,9002,534,1480.79.31,500,000750,000
Rita's Ice Cream215,839248,3401.25.8300,000100,000
A&W Restaurants,750851,2121.16.2350,000150,000
Hungry Howie’s Pizza,682806,8991.93.5750,000200,000
McAlister’s Deli,424,9631,865,8611.35.11,000,000500,000
Round Table Pizza,2501,037,8161.35.0500,000200,000
Qdoba Mexican Eats,250972,9621.54.5
Taco John’s,119,0001,124,9801.06.61,000,000400,000
Scooter’s Coffee,143,250797,1010.79.6500,000200,000
Einstein Bros. Bagels,075885,0111.25.71,000,000536,500
Great American Cookies,275452,7711.25.7250,000100,000
Wienerschnitzel dogs873,300880,9801.06.6600,000250,000
Blaze Pizza,4501,096,4321.37.9500,000300,000
Wetzel's Pretzels,571748,8572.03.4300,00050,000
Pizza Ranch,268,3001,174,0880.418.61,000,000297,000
Del Taco,406,8501,345,3411.07.02,000,000500,000
Schlotzsky’s, Salads1,102,9331,053,3330.322.21,000,000300,000
Captain D’s,7781,067,8160.419.01,000,000350,000
Biggby Coffee,575648,3520.320.0300,000100,000
Which Wich,375281,8860.322.2500,000150,000
Marble Slab Creamery Cream407,360251,0520.416.7250,000100,000
Mountain Mike's Pizza,900865,7130.320.0300,000100,000
Huddle House,743712,4280.513.3600,000300,000
L&L Hawaiian Barbecue,350612,9210.333.3500,000150,000
Chicken Salad Chick, Salads651,0001,202,0200.320.0750,000250,000
Golden Chick,975917,6092.52.62,000,000425,000
Waba Grill,000466,5361.06.51,000,000250,000
Bruster’s Ice Cream Cream663,925466,6960.79.5375,000150,000