Did you know that Carl’s Jr. landed on the top 500 list for restaurant chains as recently as 2019? If this tells us anything, it’s that Carl’s Jr. is as famous as it ever was.
So, maybe you’re thinking about “feeding your happy” and considering a franchise opportunity with this burger-centric fast-food chain. Perhaps you’re dreaming of their Super Star® with cheese, or hand-scooped ice cream shakes and thinking: “I wonder if Carl’s Jr. franchises in the UK? And if so, how can I take a bite out of that opportunity?”
If you’ve ever wondered about starting your own Carl’s Jr. UK franchise, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we discuss everything you need to know about this restaurant chain, as well as some additional insight on franchising.
Let’s get started!
The Carl’s Jr. Story
It all started with a hot dog cart in Los Angeles, California.
In 1941, Carl’s Jr. creator Carl Karcher and his wife named Margaret took their $15 in savings and borrowed $311 on their Plymouth. From there, they took this sum and purchased the hot dog stand.
They sold chili dogs, tamales, hot dogs, and soda. In a short amount of time, their popularity allowed them to grow, and soon they were operating four hot dogs carts around LA. They finally opened their first Carl’s Jr., then called Carl’s Drive-In Barbecue, in 1945.
It took about a year to add hamburgers to their menu — and the rest is chargrilled history.
Where did the “Jr.” come from? Carl eventually opened two more full-service restaurants, smaller versions of his first, earning them the title of “Junior.” By the end of the 1950s, there were four Carl’s Jr. restaurants.
By 1975, there were over 100 restaurants around California, and finally, in 1979, they opened their first out-of-state location in Las Vegas, Nevada.
All throughout the 2000s, Carl’s Jr. introduced new burger offerings that kept the customers coming in — Thickburgers, charbroiled turkey burgers, you name it!
There you have it — the inspiring success story of one couple making their way in LA. Now you’re probably still wondering, “Can I be a part of that story?”
Let’s move on to find out.
Does Carl’s Jr. Franchise in the UK?
CKE Restaurant Holdings, Inc., the parent company of Carl’s Jr., operates in 43 countries around the world. Is the UK one of them?
You’ll be pleased to know that yes — Carl’s Jr. does franchise in the UK! Not only have they, but they continue to offer new opportunities to grow there.
The UK, along with Germany, are two of the newest markets to be a part of the Carl’s Jr. growth project. They’ve recently expanded franchising efforts with a focus on these two countries. That means you, as a potential future franchisee, have the opportunity you’ve been waiting for available to you.
Here’s a brief overview of what you can expect as you enter into this franchising opportunity.
The application process
Carl’s Jr. outlines the application process in a reasonably straightforward way, so you know what you can expect to undergo. It typically goes as follows:
1. Apply for the franchising opportunity
2. Take part in a disclosure document exchange
3. Undergo a background check and financial review
4. Discovery day, or sourcing out potential locations
5. Franchise operations approval
6. Term sheet approval (all the critical legal documents considering terms and more — discussed in greater detail below)
7. Finalise the development agreement
The development process
Similarly, Carl’s Jr. outlines what the development process typically looks like once you’ve had your franchising application approved. The steps generally are as follows:
1. Secure the territory
2. Submit a real estate package
3. Sign a franchise agreement and pay any fees before construction of the new location
4. Undergo a 10-week franchise/senior management training within the restaurant
5. Develop the site
6. Hire and train the new crew for opening day
7. Grand opening!
No one said that opening a new franchise was easy-peasy. But thanks to Carl’s Jr.‘s extended experience in this realm, they’ve outlined both the application and development process in a simple and accessible way. This gives potential franchisees an excellent idea of what they can expect in the coming weeks, months, and years.
This is all excellent news for you, too.
It shows that Carl’s Jr. is ready, willing, and able to follow through with their plans. There won’t be any challenging back-and-forth discussions or indiscretion. Everything is upfront, transparent, and ready to go—all that’s left to do is apply.
Before and after
So, your application got approved! Now what? How will Carl’s Jr. help you succeed in your endeavours?
The fantastic news is they’ll be there every step of the way. Before you open, they’ll assist you with:
• Site selection
• Restaurant design (check out their prototype gallery for more insight)
• Equipment ordering
• Your 12-week franchisee/senior management training program
All this aid ensures you get started on the right food and are ready to operate a successful business. Once you’ve opened your doors, Carl’s Jr. helps with:
• Field support, which will be done by one of their many franchise business consultants
• Operations, in which they can help you streamline or optimize your process
• Franchise services, where someone is always available to answer questions
• Research and development (R&D)
• Marketing and advertising, where you will continually benefit from their paid marketing team. They will support your specific store with strategic advertising
Can you tell Carl’s Jr. has done this before?
If you open up a Carl’s Jr. UK franchise, you won’t be left alone. In fact, quite the opposite—you’ll be in great hands.
Minimum requirements to start a Carl’s Jr. franchise in the UK
Do you think you or your team are qualified to own and operate multiple Carl’s Jr. restaurants in the available marketplaces?
If so, it’s time to do something about it!
Carl’s Jr. is calling for individuals just like you to reach out to them for franchising opportunities. They can get you even more qualified to own and operate their establishments through thorough training.
Simply fill out a franchising application, track your progress (taking additional steps if required), and regularly talk to a member of their franchise development team for more insight.
Before you get started on the application process, however, let’s see if you’ve got what it takes.
According to the Carl’s Jr. restaurant chain, these are the requirements for getting started in this investment opportunity:
• Minimum financial requirements: £1,000,000 to £5,000,000
• Experience: Restaurant and/or hospitality experience is preferred, but not required
• Territory reservation fee: $10,000
• Franchise fee: An affordable $37,500
• Total investment required: Anywhere from $1,038,374 to $2,217,366 per unit developed
• Royalty fee (an ongoing fee, or percentage of gross sales, that you, as a franchisee, would pay to the franchisor): 5 per cent
• Advertising Promotional Obligation (APO): 4 per cent to 7 per cent
• Term of the franchise agreement: 20 years
• Management training: 12 weeks and $25,000
As you can see, becoming a franchisee can be a daunting process. It requires a lot out of people, far more than their passion or dedication — although it needs those to be present, too.
Do you have the time (12 weeks of training and two decades of franchising), or the budget to be a part of this popular restaurant chain? If so, the opportunity awaits.
If not, it may be time to look into other franchising opportunities in the UK.
Explore other excellent fast food franchising poportunities in the United Kingdom
If after all this, you’re still not sure if Carl’s Jr. is right for you, there are plenty of other opportunities with fast-food chains in the UK.
There are currently almost 40 businesses franchising there, including, but not limited to:
• Auntie Anne’s
• Burger King
• Dunkin’ Donuts
• Five Guys
And more. Here’s a bit of info about the above franchises.
Auntie Anne’s offers opportunities to open brand-new stores or to acquire an existing location. Their initial investment fee, concerning all equipment and construction, comes out to between £135,000 and £180,000.
For Burger King, the investment is quite higher, at about £800,000. Of course, with that investment, you’re getting a well-known name known for the world over!
The well-established baked goods business Cinnabon requires a total investment of about £139,200. They’re currently looking for both single- and multi-unit bakery franchises.
Dunkin’ Donuts is currently seeking investors for either a single outlet or a multi-store franchise, providing plenty of opportunities. Investments range from £193,203 (single outlet) to £1,200,000 (multi-store).
The gourmet burger company Five Guys is expanding all across the UK with help from franchisees like you. Their total investment is about £300,000, and many major banks are willing to provide funding.
You may want to consider another notable name, the world’s largest chicken shop chain, KFC. You’ve got even more options with this franchise, including drive-thrus, restaurants, food courts, and smallboxes (ideal for grab-and-go patrons). The minimum investment is typically £1,000,000.
And last, the world’s largest submarine sandwich chain, Subway. The total investment for this opportunity ranges from £85,570 to about £221,240.
Take a bite out of this chance
As you can see, the Carl’s Jr. franchise is an excellent opportunity, and it’s right here, waiting for you. If you’re ready to invest, they’re prepared to talk. There’s not much better than knowing the restaurant you want to franchise is wishing to be franchised by you.
Don’t let this opportunity slip away. Apply to be a franchisee with Carl’s Jr. today.
In the meantime, you can prepare yourself to be an even better candidate by studying up on franchising with What Franchise. We’ve got all the information you could possibly need to become a successful, professional, and profitable franchisee.
Scroll the entirety of our Business Advice tab for more fantastic insight on running a franchise, marketing and promoting one, and more!