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Great American Cookies Franchise Costs $110K – $512K (+ 2024 Profits)

Great American Cookies, known for its Original Cookie Cake, was founded in 1977 with a cherished family chocolate chip cookie recipe at its heart. The franchise prides itself on being the largest U.S.-based retail cookie chain, boasting a unique position in the market through its proprietary cookie dough produced in its own Atlanta-based plant.

This not only allows for quality control but also gives the franchise a competitive edge in supply chain management, making it difficult for independent operators to match their offerings. Over the years, Great American Cookies has maintained a strong commitment to innovation, continuously developing new products to keep the menu fresh and exciting for customers​.

The franchise began expanding by offering franchise opportunities also in 1977. The franchise operates under the umbrella of FAT Brands, a global franchising company that manages several other notable brands. Great American Cookies distinguishes itself with a simple yet engaging bakery operation, inviting customers into a world where each treat is crafted to bring joy and satisfaction​.

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Initial investment

Type of ExpenditureAmount (Traditional Restaurant)
Franchise Fee$25,000
Grand Opening Marketing$3,000
Travel and Living Expenses While Training$1,000
Cookie Ingredients$5,000
Other Opening Inventory$5,700
Architectural Fees$7,000
Furniture, Fixtures, Equipment and Decor$91,000
Signs$4,500
Prepaid Rent and Security Deposit$2,500
Leasehold Improvements$115,000
Utility Deposits$2,200
Professional Fees$1,000
Point of Sale Systems (POS) and Related Technology$7,600
Business Licenses, Permits, etc. (for first 6 months)$1,500
Insurance (3 months)$2,500
Additional Funds (3 Months)$8,000
TOTALS$282,500$412,150

Note: The table above provides a snapshot of the main costs associated with starting the most common franchise format (as disclosed in the Item 7 of the Franchise Disclosure Document). For a complete overview of all the expenses involved with the various formats offered by the franchisor, please consult the Franchise Disclosure Document.

Franchise fees & Royalties

Initial Franchise Fee

The Initial Franchise Fee for both single and co-branded restaurants is set at $25,000, applicable uniformly across all franchisees and non-refundable upon agreement execution.

Royalty Fee

Franchisees are obliged to pay a Royalty Fee of 6% of total net sales, with overdue amounts incurring a 1.5% monthly interest and a weekly late fee of $25.

Transfer Fees

A $15,000 fee applies for franchise transfer requests, with exceptions for transfers to entities formed for ownership convenience, and a $2,000 fee for Satellite Restaurant franchise transfers.

Renewal Fees

Upon renewal, a fee equal to 40% of the then-current Initial Fee for new franchisees is required, reflecting the ongoing commitment to the franchise.

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Franchise Pros and cons

Pros

  • Training and support: The brand has an extensive training program to help new franchisees learn how to establish and run a successful bakery. It trains them how to make their signature cookies, handle inventory, serve customers, operate the bakery, and manage the staff. The program comprises 32 hours of on-the-job and 6 hours of classroom training.
  • Real estate and construction: Great American Cookies offers franchisees expert advice on how to identify a viable business location and guidance on how to construct, design, and brand their bakeries. In addition, the real estate team helps franchisees with lease agreements and negotiations.
  • Operations and management support: The franchisor helps the franchisees during their grand opening to ensure that they have all the resources required to succeed in the business. Additionally, they offer them ongoing support, including security and safety procedures, meetings and conventions, inventory acquisitions, field operations, and research and development.
  • Exclusive territory: The brand offers franchisees exclusive territory protection to operate their bakeries, which gives them the potential to grow and expand. As long as the agreement is in place, the brand does not grant any other franchisees or operate any competing channel in the protected area.
  • Unique menu: The brand started with a generational family recipe and continues to experiment and create new products unique to its customers. It now offers customers quality and various customized cookie cakes that cater to everyone’s taste

Cons

  • No absentee ownership: The Great American Cookie franchise is not a passive investment opportunity. It requires franchisees to fully take part in the decision-making and operations of their bakeries.
  • Not a part-time business: The franchise is also not a part-time opportunity. Franchisees must be open full-time as per the franchisor’s set operating hours.
  • Not a mobile unit: The bakery can’t be run from home or a mobile facility. Franchisees must have an office facility in or near the bakery.
  • No financing: The brand does not directly or indirectly finance franchisees for trade fixtures or ongoing costs. 

How to apply

1. Conduct Initial Research

  • Explore the Great American Cookies franchise opportunity by visiting the official franchise website and reviewing available resources.
  • Understand the brand’s history, mission, and values to ensure alignment with your personal and business goals.

2. Review Financial Requirements

  • Ensure you meet the financial requirements for opening a franchise, including liquid capital and net worth criteria.
  • Consider the total investment range and assess your financial readiness and ability to secure additional funding if necessary.

3. Submit an Inquiry

  • Complete the franchise inquiry form available on the Great American Cookies franchise website to express your interest.
  • Provide accurate and comprehensive information to facilitate the initial review process by the franchisor.

4. Participate in Discovery Process

  • Engage in discussions with the Great American Cookies franchise team to gain deeper insights into the franchise operation.
  • Attend discovery sessions, webinars, or meetings as required to understand the operational, marketing, and financial aspects of the franchise.

5. Review Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD)

  • Carefully review the Franchise Disclosure Document provided by Great American Cookies, which outlines critical franchise information, including fees, obligations, and performance expectations.
  • Consider consulting with a franchise attorney or advisor to understand the legal and financial implications of the FDD.

6. Attend Franchise Training

  • Participate in the comprehensive training program offered by Great American Cookies, which covers product preparation, store management, marketing strategies, and customer service.
  • Use this opportunity to ask questions, meet other franchisees, and learn best practices for successful franchise operation.

Disclaimer

Disclaimer: This content has been made for informational and educational purposes only. We do not make any representation or warranties with respect to the accuracy, applicability, fitness, or completeness of the information presented in the article. You should not construe any such information or other material as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other professional advice. Nothing contained in this article constitutes a solicitation, recommendation, endorsement, advertisement, or offer to buy or sell any franchises, securities, or other financial instruments in this or in any other jurisdiction in which such solicitation or offer would be unlawful under the franchise and/or securities laws of such jurisdiction.

All content in this article is information of a general nature and does not address the detailed circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Nothing in the article constitutes professional and/or financial and/or legal advice, nor does any information in the article constitute a comprehensive or complete statement of the matters discussed or the law relating thereto. You alone assume the sole responsibility of evaluating the merits and risks associated with the use of any information or other content in this article before making any decisions based on such information or other content.

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