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Golden Chick Franchises High Profit Margins (2023)

Despite the chicken fast food restaurant industry being one of the most competitive with giants like KFC or smaller players like Wingstop, or even Church’s Chicken, Golden Chick is one of the most profitable franchise we’ve seen.

Indeed, the required investment is only $362,975 on average vs. a $917,609 turnover per year. This means that on average you would repay your investment within 2.6 years only! Quite impressive when the industry average is around 5-7 years.

Want to know more? Let’s dive in!

Key stats

Franchise fee$37,500
Royalty fee4.5%
Marketing fee3.0%
Investment (mid-point)$363,000
Average sales$918,000
Sales to investment ratio2.5x
Payback period*3 years
Minimum net worth$2,000,000
Minimum liquid capital$425,000
Golden Chick business plan template

Golden Chick 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 Golden Chick?

Golden Chick is an American fast-food restaurant with over 210 stores in the US.

It was founded in 1967 by Howard and Jacque Walker in San Marcos, Texas.

The chain offers chicken tenders, combos, salads, sides, sandwiches, and beverages.

Headquartered in Richardson, Texas, Golden Chick began franchising in 1972, and it is one of the fastest-growing chicken franchises in the US.

Golden Chick franchises: pros and cons


  • Real estate and construction: The brand provides real estate advisors to help its franchisees with the site selection process, restaurant designs, lease negotiations, and structure of the restaurant from scratch or converting an existing building. This helps franchisees identify the most viable location and reduce construction costs.
  • Franchise support: The brand provides managerial and operational support and resources to help franchisees with a proven business model. It offers professional guidance and advice to franchisees on implementing its success tips. Franchisees also connect with other franchise owners, who share ideas on what has worked in other locations.
  • Field and ongoing support: The brand supports franchisees after the grand opening to ensure they succeed and grow. It assists franchisees to streamline cost management, quality assurance, and franchise operations through field directors’ visits so that they can grow and scale their profits.
  • Pre-opening training and support: The brand has a comprehensive and simplified training program to help its franchisees get up to speed on establishing and running a successful business. It trains its franchisees in proprietary recipes, hospitality, hiring and managing highly skilled staff, and inventory management. They also help the franchisees with the grand opening.
  • National supply chain: Golden Chick has a well-coordinated and online national supply chain. Franchisees can order food, equipment, and inventory online at reasonable commercial prices, saving on costs and maximizing efficient supply and quality controls.
  • Exclusive territory: Franchisees can benefit from an exclusive market development program. The brand designates a specific location for franchisees to operate in. During the agreement, the franchisor does not authorize other franchisees or itself to operate other Golden Chick restaurants in the area.


  • No financing: The franchisor does not finance franchisees directly or indirectly. The franchisees must find third-party financing for start-up costs, inventory, or trade fixtures.
  • Competition: The Golden Chick franchise faces a lot of competition from leading brands in the chicken industry, such as Wingstop, Church’s Chicken or even KFC
  • No absentee ownership: The Golden Chick franchise does not present a passive investment opportunity. Franchisees must be involved in the decision-making and daily operations of their restaurants.
  • Not a part-time business: The brand does not provide a part-time business opportunity. Franchisees need to be open as per the parent company’s operating hours.

How much does a Golden Chick franchise cost?

You have to invest around $362,975 to open a Golden Chick franchise restaurant. 

This is an average: indeed, it varies based on many factors such as the location of your restaurant, its size and future policy changes. This excludes any real estate, improvements, and soft costs.

In addition to the initial franchise fee which you must pay to the franchisor, you would pay for the furniture and fixtures, signage, equipment, professional fees, training costs, etc.

Here’s the full breakdown of costs:

Initial franchise fees$30,000 – $45,000
Furniture, fixtures and equipment$152,000 – $192,000
Signs and menu boards$30,000 – $80,000
Professional services$2,500 – $7,000
Other$23,450 – $164,000
Total$237,950 – $488,000
Source: Franchise Disclosure Document
Golden Chick business plan template

Golden Chick 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’s the average turnover of a Golden Chick restaurant?

On average, a Golden Chick franchise made $917,609 in sales per year.

Unfortunately, Golden Chick’s doesn’t provide much information about its franchise restaurants financial performance in its Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). Instead, we obtained this number by dividing the total revenue of all the franchises ($147 million) by the number of franchise-owned restaurants (160).

How profitable is a Golden Chick franchise?

On average, a Golden Chick franchise makes $281,279 profits per year. This corresponds to a 31% adjusted EBITDA margin.

Golden Chick is a profitable franchise. Indeed, we found that the 31% profit margin is higher than the average for similar restaurant franchises (25-27%). 

We calculated this number using the information available in the Franchise Disclosure Document 2018. Unfortunately, Golden Chick has not provided detailed information on the cost of goods sold, and labor costs. Therefore, we used benchmarks for both the cost of goods sold and labor costs (i.e., 25% and 29% respectively, of sales as per industry benchmarks).

Profit and lossAmount ($)% of sales
Royalty + marketing fees($68,821)7.5%
Adjusted EBITDA$281,27931.0%
Source: Franchise Disclosure Document

Is a Golden Chick franchise a good investment?

The great thing about Golden Chick is that it’s a very profitable franchise opportunity if you were to buy the franchise.

Indeed, we found the payback period (as in, the time it takes for the investment to repay itself with the future profits) to be only 2.6 years: this is an excellent payback period and as such a great investment.

Note that we used a 15% net profit margin to estimate this payback period, which makes sense given adjusted EBITDA is about 31% (see above).

Interested in buying a Golden Chick franchise? Download our pre-built template below and access your 5-year financial plan as well as all the metrics and reports investors ask for (break even point, payback period, pro forma financial statements, etc.).

Golden Chick business plan template

Golden Chick 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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