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KFC Franchise Costs $1.1M – $3.7M (+ 2024 Profits)

KFC, also known as Kentucky Fried Chicken, is a renowned global fast-food franchise known for its crispy fried chicken. The company was founded by Colonel Harland Sanders in 1952, starting from his roadside restaurant in Corbin, Kentucky, where he perfected the original recipe of 11 herbs and spices. KFC’s headquarters are now located in Louisville, Kentucky, and the brand operates under the umbrella of Yum! Brands, Inc.

KFC began franchising in 1952, which marked the beginning of its expansion into the global market. It serves millions of customers each day, offering a menu that includes its famous Original Recipe chicken, alongside other chicken products, sandwiches, and sides.

The franchise distinguishes itself from competitors with its unique cooking method and secret recipe, which have been closely guarded since the company’s founding. This has helped KFC maintain a strong brand identity centered on taste and quality. 

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Initial investment

Type of ExpenditureAmount
Background Check Fee$575 to $2,500 per person
Deposit Fee$20,000
Option Fee$25,000
Training Expenses$5,000 to $8,000
Permits, Licenses & Security Deposits$50,000 to $100,000
Real Property$300,000 to $1,000,000
Building & Site Costs$200,000 to $650,000
Equipment, Signage, Décor, POS & Required Technology$375,000 to $606,000
Start-up Inventory$10,000
Grand Opening Expense$5,000
Insurance$7,250 to $10,050
Miscellaneous Costs$5,000 to $10,000
Additional Funds$50,000 to $75,000
Total (convert or remodel brand) $1,053,000 to $2,522,000
Total (to construct new Outlets) $1,853,000 to $3,772,000

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 each Outlet during the relevant period is $45,000. This fee is payable upon the execution of the Development Agreement, with the total Development Fee payable in installments, depending on the number of Outlets and development years agreed.

Royalty Fee

The royalty fee is 4% to 5% of Gross Revenue, subject to a monthly minimum of $1,440. This fee structure applies to both new and legacy franchisees, with variations depending on specific agreements and addendums.

Marketing/Advertising Fee

Franchisees are required to pay no more than 5% of Gross Revenue for advertising purposes. This fee is payable monthly by the 20th day of the following month.

Transfer Fees

Transfer fees are $4,800 for the first Outlet and $2,400 for each additional Outlet in the same transaction when transferring a franchise agreement.

Renewal Fees

The renewal fee is subject to adjustments based on the Consumer Price Index, with specific fees like $9,600 mentioned for renewing a franchise agreement.

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Franchise pros and cons

The Pros:

  • Global presence: The KFC brand is almost everywhere you go. There is no city you can walk around and never come across a KFC store on one of the streets. This is good news for would-be franchisees. You are guaranteed a ready market.
  • Brand recognition: What else can an investor wish for than a brand that is recognized globally? That is what the KFC brand offers. Customers will automatically recognize and visit newly opened restaurants to enjoy the trademark KFC brand’s good-tasting chicken.
  • Comprehensive training: KFC offers extensive onboarding and training. If you’re looking for a franchise where you can start immediately, KFC does that. It takes you only 9 weeks to complete, and you can start operating even before completing it. Their training will teach you everything you need to know to become a valuable and profitable KFC franchisee serving the best crispy and tasty fried chicken.
  • Solid business support: Another big feature you’ll love about the KFC franchise is its support for new franchisees. They offer new franchisees support in establishing and designing the restaurant. In addition, you are guided on how to operate the business, market, and advertise your products.
  • Proven expertise in the industry: For almost a century now, KFC has been in the spotlight as the world leader in tasty fried chicken. This is because, since its inception, the chain store has developed its brand following its reliable recipe and tradition. KFC is known to excel and do well in this industry, giving new franchisees a proven model for success.
  • Growth potential: KFC has grown steadily over the years. The brand is strong and has a huge customer following worldwide. It boasts millions of customers and offers franchisees great opportunities for expanding their businesses.
  • Reliability: Another benefit of operating a KFC franchise is reliability. It is estimated that KFC serves over 12 million customers in its restaurants worldwide every single day. This offers new franchisees the comfort of investing in a trusted company that guarantees them growth and profitability.

The Cons:

  • Expensive: Starting a KFC franchise is not cheap. You need at least a franchise fee of $45,000 and $750,000 in liquid capital. This is quite high, especially if you’re new to the franchising business. Also, you’ll have to pay royalties as long as you operate a KFC franchise.
  • No financing for new franchises: KFC offers optional financing to only minority groups. This may be a deterrent to potential franchisees given that the initial investment fee to start a KFC franchise is quite hefty.
  • Not a passive investment: KFC franchises require new franchisees to be fully committed to the operations of their restaurants. You can’t run this as a passive investment. It needs a lot of commitment and team-leadership skills if you operate a multi-unit franchise.

How to open a KFC franchise

1: Meet the Initial Requirements

  • Research Qualifications: Ensure you meet the minimum financial requirements, which typically include a substantial net worth and liquid assets.
  • Experience: Preferably have prior experience in multi-unit operations, which is often a prerequisite for new franchisees.

2: Application Process

  • Initial Inquiry: Fill out an initial inquiry form on the KFC franchising website to express your interest.
  • Formal Application: Complete a detailed application form, providing your financial details, business experience, and personal information.

3: Review and Approval

  • Background Checks: Undergo background checks and financial assessment conducted by KFC to verify your qualifications.
  • Interview: Participate in interviews to discuss your motivation, commitment, and suitability for a KFC franchise.

4: Financial Arrangement

  • Financial Proof: Provide proof of financial stability and the capability to invest in the franchise, which may include bank statements, asset documentation, and funding arrangements.
  • Franchise Fee: Prepare to pay the initial franchise fee, and understand the total investment required which covers construction, equipment, and other startup costs.

5: Training and Development

  • Training Programs: Attend comprehensive training provided by KFC, which includes both classroom and on-site training to understand the operation, standards, and procedures of KFC outlets.
  • Site Selection: Collaborate with KFC to choose a suitable location for your franchise, following guidelines and approval from the franchisor.


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