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Are Cinnabon Franchises Profitable? Costs & Profits (2023)

With 1,600 stores worldwide, Cinnabon is one of the most popular bakery and sweets franchises. On average, you would need to invest $276,062 upfront as the franchisee and your Cinnabon store would generate $394,897 in sales per year.

Is this a profitable investment? In this article we’re looking at Cinnabon franchises and the information available in their latest Franchise Disclosure Document.

We’ll answer questions like: how much you can make with this business, how much it really costs and whether you should start a Cinnabon franchise. Let’s find out!

Key stats

Franchise fee$30,500
Royalty fee6.0%
Marketing fee4.0%
Investment (mid-point)$323,000
Average sales$461,000
Sales to investment ratio1.4x
Payback period*6 years
Minimum net worth$300,000
Minimum liquid capital$120,000
* using 15% net profit margin

Cinnabon Franchise Business Plan

All the stats: startup costs, profits, breakeven, etc.

5-year financial projections built with the FDD

Excellent 4.8/5 based on 70 reviews

Excellent 4.8/5 based on 70 reviews

What is Cinnabon?

Cinnabon is an American chain of bakeries and baked goods shops synonymous with its signature cinnamon roll. The chain was founded in 1985 in Seattle, Washington, by Rich Komen and his son, Greg Komen.

Its menu includes cinnamon rolls, coffee, milkshakes, and churros. Cinnabon locations are commonly found in high-traffic areas such as malls, airports, and rest stops.

Cinnabon began franchising in 1986 and opened its first franchise in Pennsylvania. It is owned by Focus Brands Inc., headquartered in Sandy Springs, Georgia.

Cinnabon now has over 1,600 locations in the United States and 50 other countries.

Cinnabon franchises pros and cons


  • Franchise training: Cinnabon has in place a comprehensive training support team and digital resources that help franchisees, their designated managers, and employees learn all they need to operate and manage a successful and profitable bakery.
  • Aggressive marketing: The brand offers franchisees a dedicated marketing and public relations team to help them with the best local media and marketing plans in their locations. With an innovative and targeted marketing team, franchisees are guaranteed success.
  • Purchasing power: The franchisees can leverage the brand’s international supply channel and enjoy economies of scale by acquiring quality, regulated inventories at reasonable commercial prices.
  • Universal brand recognition: The brand has bakeries in more than 50 countries, and it’s still growing. Franchisees can join the most well-known cinnamon roll brand and have the opportunity to grow in markets where the brand is present. 
  • Real estate and construction: Cinnabon offers franchisees real estate experts to help in the construction. They assist in site selection, bakery construction, design, and branding. They also provide a dedicated leasing team to help franchisees identify real estate opportunities and negotiate the lease.
  • Flexible franchise models: Cinnabon has different flexible franchise models that franchisees can choose from. These include full bakeries, express bakeries, concession bakeries, Auntie Anne’s branded bakeries, and Carvel co-branded bakeries. Therefore, franchisees can start a bakery that fits their budget.
  • Operations and field support: The brand provides franchisees with a passionate and dedicated support team. Franchisees get access to initial management training, on-site bakery visits, security and safety procedures, review, and performance analyses by corporate management teams.
  • Product development: The Cinnabon brand enjoys world-class quality and a varied menu. It keeps improving on this and expanding the menu to accommodate different demands and new customer tastes through testing and experimenting with new flavors.


  • No exclusive territory granted: The brand does not offer franchisees exclusive territory protection. Therefore, franchisees may face competition from other Cinnabon bakeries.
  • No financing: The franchisor does not offer direct or indirect financing to franchisees. It also does not guarantee any lease, obligation, or note for any lenders. Franchisees must seek third-party financing or SBA loans to fund their trade fixtures, inventory, or other needs.
  • Prior restaurant chain experience: The brand requires franchisees to have past business experience as restaurant owners or operators.

How much does a Cinnabon franchise cost?

You need to invest around $323,000 to start a Cinnabon bakery, on average.

The investment amount will vary depending on your type of bakery. As per the latest Franchise Disclosure Document, a Carvel co-Branded bakery ($658,000) requires 5 times as much investment than an Express bakery ($111,000).

So before you prepare a business plan for a Cinnabon bakery, make sure to understand what are the different costs you will incur for the format of bakery you would go for.

See below the average investment required to open a Cinnabon bakery for all bakery formats:

As you can see, you would need to invest as low as $22,800 to as high as $883,900, depending on your choice of bakery type.

Bakery formatLowHighAverage
Full bakery – traditional location232,400621,400426,900
Full bakery – non-traditional location155,400544,200349,800
Express bakery60,300162,450111,375
Express bakery in a new schlotzsky’s restaurant22,80048,10035,450
Concession bakery – food truck149,200284,100216,650
Concession bakery – trailer109,200230,100169,650
Auntie Anne’s co-branded bakery352,075879,400615,738
Carvel co-branded bakery431,200883,900657,550
Source: 2023 Franchise Disclosure Document

When it comes to the cost breakdown, the investment covers all type of startup costs needed for a bakery business. In addition to a franchise fee ($5,500 – $66,000), you would also pay for costs like:

  • Pre-opening costs: permitting, legal and accounting fees, security deposits, training and support fees, travel and living expenses during training, etc.
  • Build-out costs: construction, equipment package, millwork, furniture, menu board, graphics and interior signage, exterior signage, computer system, small wares, architect/engineer, etc.
  • Marketing fees: grand opening marketing
  • Operating expenses: first month’s rent, insurance, office supplies, opening inventory, and working capital for first 3 months, etc.

Cinnabon Franchise Business Plan

All the stats: startup costs, profits, breakeven, etc.

5-year financial projections built with the FDD

Excellent 4.8/5 based on 70 reviews

Excellent 4.8/5 based on 70 reviews

How much sales can you make with a Cinnabon?

On average, a Cinnabon franchise makes $461,000 in sales per year.

This sales number is the average annual median net sales of all 457 franchised bakeries operating in 2022 which include all types of franchises. The average sales vary depending on the bakery format as you can see below:

Bakery formatNumber of restaurants2021 AUVNumber of restaurants2022 AUV
Enclosed Mall Franchises169595,413188660,921
Convenience Franchises216129,734215149,301
Auntie Anne’s Co-Branded Franchises46903,340541,003,175
Source: 2023 Franchise Disclosure Document

How profitable is a Cinnabon franchise?

On average, a Cinnabon franchise makes $58,163 in profits per year. That means you may expect a 15% adjusted EBITDA margin

Be careful here: this adjusted EBITDA is not as same as net profit. From EBITDA, you must also deduct taxes, debt interest expenses, and other costs to get to net profit. 

The 15% adjusted EBITDA margin is on the lower end compared to similar franchises as per our intelligence (~25-27% industry average). We assume the reason for this is the high rent expense (21.3% sales vs. 8% industry average).

Also consider that we used the industry average for COGS (25% sales) and labor costs (29%) as Cinnabon doesn’t disclose any financial information regarding costs in its FDD.

Profit-and-lossAmount ($)As % of sales
Royalty + marketing fees$(39,490)10.0%
Adjusted EBITDA$58,163~15%
* industry average

Is a Cinnabon a good investment?

So should you start a Cinnabon franchise? To answer this question, we need to look at the payback period: the time it takes for an investment to pay itself back, from the profits it generates.

Assuming a net profit margin of 12% (as EBITDA margin is already 15%), we found that the payback period for a Cinnabon franchise is 5.8 years, which is average.

Think about it: you would have to wait on average 5.8 years for your initial investment (the $276,062) to be reimbursed with the profits. So only after 6 years you would actually make money on your investment, as the franchisee / shareholder.

If you’re applying for a Cinnabon franchise, prepare a solid business plan with our template below. We’ve already built your financial plan, using the latest Franchise Disclosure Document numbers. Download your 3 pro forma financial statements, visualize your breakeven point and more.

Cinnabon Franchise Business Plan

All the stats: startup costs, profits, breakeven, etc.

5-year financial projections built with the FDD

Excellent 4.8/5 based on 70 reviews

Excellent 4.8/5 based on 70 reviews

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

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