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Taco John’s Franchises Make $1.1M in Revenue (+ 2023 Profits)

With over 350 restaurants across the US, Taco John’s is another popular Mexican food franchise brand alongside the giant Taco Bell or even QDOBA. But should you invest in a Taco John’s franchise? How much money can you make with this business?

In order to answer these questions, we need to look at the latest Franchise Disclosure Document. With an investment of $1,119,000 on average and a turnover of $1,124,980, Taco John’s does seem like a good business.

In addition to the startup costs and turnover, in this article we will look at how profitable a Taco John’s restaurant really is to find out whether you should really invest in this franchise. Let’s find out!

Key stats

Franchise fee$25,000
Royalty fee5.0%
Marketing fee4.0%
Investment (mid-point)$1,119,000
Average sales$1,125,000
Sales to investment ratio1.0x
Payback period*7 years
Minimum net worth$1,000,000
Minimum liquid capital$400,000
* using 15% net profit margin
Taco John's business plan template

Taco John’s 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 Taco John’s?

Taco John’s International, Inc. is a prominent American chain restaurant founded in 1969 by John Turner. The fast food restaurant chain is based in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and offers Mexican-styled food and the signature potato oles dish.

Taco John’s is famed for serving the needs of the new generation, and its innovative menu includes burritos, tacos, salads, desserts, and beverages.

The quick-service restaurant started franchising in 1969 after Turner struck a deal with Woodson and Holmes.

Today, it has become a multi-million dollar business with 369 units spread across 22 US states. 

Taco John’s franchises pros and cons


  • Growth opportunities: Taco John’s has experienced steady growth over the past decades. And partnering with this franchisor provides exciting growth opportunities. 
  • Marketing support: the franchisor provides many resources to help franchisees optimize customer growth. The range of promotional tools includes SEO, ad templates, email marketing, regional advertising, and social media. 
  • Extensive training and support: the franchisor offers extensive hands-on training to help business owners grasp the best in-restaurant management practices including 148 hours of on-the-job training and 22 hours of classroom learning
  • Continual support: the franchisor also offers franchisees support to help with the day-to-day business operations. This includes lease negotiation, online support, security and safety procedures, proprietary software, site selection, and field operations
  • Third-party financing: Taco John’s partners with suitable third-party sources to help franchisees cover the startup costs, equipment, and inventory. 
  • Allows absentee ownership: the franchisor allows passive ownership. Thus, the franchisee doesn’t have to get involved in everyday operations. It favors restaurant owners who value flexibility. 
  • Exclusive territorial protection: as part of the franchise agreement, franchisees get exclusive rights to launch and run their restaurants in designated locations without worrying about competition from similar units. 


  • Preferences may not suit all franchisees: Taco John’s prefers franchisees with some background experience running multiple franchises or businesses. Novices may find it challenging to start and operate this franchise. 
  • Can’t run the franchise part-time: Taco John’s franchise isn’t a part-time investment. 
  • Minimum employees requirement: there’s a 30-45 minimum number of employees required to run the business. 
  • Competition: currently, Taco John’s is facing competition from other quick service restaurants like Chipotle Mexican Grill, Baja Fresh Corp, and Golden Chick. 

How much does a Taco John’s franchise cost?

To open a Taco John’s restaurant, you need to invest around $1,143,250 upfront.

The mentioned investment amount is an average; thus, it may be different in your your situation.

Indeed, factors like location, the format of the restaurant, and the current market price of the required equipment can affect the amount your must invest. For instance, a traditional restaurant needs twice as much financing vs. a non-traditional restaurant.

Why are you paying this amount? This initial investment covers all the startup costs required by a fast-food restaurant. In addition to the $25,000 initial franchise fee, you would also pay for:

  • Formation Costs: site preparation, construction, operating equipment, furniture, fixtures, decor, point of sale system, digital menu boards, pre-opening training, etc.
  • Marketing Fees: grand opening marketing
  • Operating Costs: initial inventory, additional funds as working capital, etc.
Initial Franchise Fee$20,000$25,000
Formation Costs$1,215,000$1,870,000
Marketing Fees$8,000$12,000
Operating Costs$40,000$57,000
Source: 2022 Franchise Disclosure Document
Taco John's business plan template

Taco John’s 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 turnover of a Taco John’s franchise?

On average, a Taco John’s franchise makes $1,124,980 in sales per year.

The sales number is the average annual sales of 332 franchised restaurants operating in the 2021 fiscal year. 

As the number is an adjusted average, it may change depending on the type of restaurant. To give you an idea, a traditional restaurant generates ~30% more revenue than a non-traditional one.

Type of restaurantNumber of restaurantsAverage sales
End cap27$1,033,776
Convenience store15$828,100
Source: 2022 Franchise Disclosure Document

How profitable is a Taco John’s restaurant?

On average, a Taco John’s franchise makes $326,244 in annual profits. This represents a 29% profit margin (adjusted EBITDA margin to be exact). 

This 29% profit margin is on the higher end compared to similar franchises as per our intelligence (~25-27% industry average). 

Note that we had to estimate this number. Indeed, Taco John’s doesn’t provide any financial information regarding the costs of its franchises’ operations. Instead, we had to use the industry average for COGS (25% sales), rent (8%), and labor costs (29%).

Profit-and-lossAmount ($)As % of sales
Royalty + marketing fees$(101,248)9.0%
Adjusted EBITDA$326,244~29%
* industry average
Source: 2022 Franchise Disclosure Document

Yet, this adjusted EBITDA does not mean you can keep 29% of the total revenue in your pocket. You would need to deduct taxes, debt interest expenses, and other costs to get to net profits instead.

Is a Taco John’s franchise a good investment?

Now, is it worth investing $1,119,000 to start a Taco John’s franchise? Is this worth the profits?

Assuming a 15% net profit margin (which makes sense in light of the 29% adjusted EBITDA margin), you would need to wait on average 6.6 years to repay your investment. This is a good payback period for fast food restaurant franchises.

Want to buy and open a Taco John’s franchise? Download the business plan with a pre-built 5 year financial plan with the latest numbers from the FDD.

Taco John's business plan template

Taco John’s 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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