Waffle House Franchise Worth the Buzz? (2024) by Vetted Biz

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Anna Marchesseault
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Published on 28 Mar 2022 Time to read 5 min read Last update on 8 Dec 2023
This article is based on a video originally recorded on Visa Franchise Youtube Channel

Do you love waffles so much that you would own your own Waffle House franchise?

Waffle House is an American restaurant chain that is mostly located in the South. Waffle House serves waffles, eggs, biscuits, hash browns, breakfast sandwiches, breakfast bowls, burgers, and more. It has a little over 2,000 locations across 25 states and is considered a Southern staple. This 24-hour diner was founded in Georgia and has around 400 restaurants in just that state.


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Waffle House Franchise in 2022

Although Waffle House is a franchiseit is extremely difficult to be a franchisee owner of Waffle House. To be a franchise owner you need to make connections within the company and there is an extremely long waitlist. Also, the Waffle House franchise is extremely expensive!

Waffle House Franchise Cost

The franchise fee can cost around $200,000 to $300,000. This does not include capital, which can cost between $600,000 to $1 million. Although, Waffle House make a large amount of revenue, which can translate to a large profit. The large profits cause this franchise to be very competitive, thus making it difficult to own a Waffle House. But don’t be distraught, there are still Waffle franchises that are similar to Waffle House that is similar to this business.

History of Waffle House Franchise

The first Waffle House opened in Avondale Estates, Georgia in 1955. It was founded by Joe Rogers Sr. and Tom Forkner where Rogers came up with an idea of fast food service with 24-hour service. Forkner suggested the name “Waffle House” since waffles were the most profitable item on their menu.

Who Owns Waffle House?

Waffle House is a privately held company and is owned by Joe Roger’s son, Joe Roger Junior.

The Waffle Experience Franchise

Don’t worry, there is an alternative to Waffle House, which is Waffle Experience. The Waffle Experience is a brunch restaurant franchise. The franchise serves salads, sandwiches, breakfast plates, fries, and of course waffles. The Waffle Experience is located in California, and it has four locations.

The Waffle Experience Franchise Fee

The initial franchise fee is $37,500 for a defined protected territory with the requirement of a minimum of 150,000 people or a radius of 5 miles.

Estimated Initial Franchise Fee

The estimated initial investment is $317,750 to $600,000. The majority of the fees come from the leasehold improvement, the kitchen equipment/furnishing, and the franchise location deposit. The leasehold improvements cost between $175,000 to $375,000 which represents a space of 1,800 sq. ft. to 2,800 sq. ft in an existing retail complex. Some factors that affect this cost are new construction, the condition of the existing building, size of the space, material costs, construction wages, and the geography of the location. Also, this cost assumes that the landlord will include costs of water, gas, and sewage services.

When choosing your location, it’s important to think about these factors, since they will significantly impact the total investment cost. The second cost is the kitchen equipment and furnishing cost, which ranges from $60,000 to $90,000. This is based on a one-time purchase, and you have the option to lease the equipment, which can be cheaper. Lastly, the franchise location rent and security deposit cost between $5,000 to $20,000. The rent/security deposit depends on where your restaurant is located, such as in a mall or an independent location. These costs are all dependent on where you decide to put your franchise, and some of these costs are flexible depending on what you decide for each item.

Additional Costs

Many ongoing costs vary or are percentages depending on your gross revenue. There is a Marketing and Technology fund fee which is 1% of your gross revenues per month. Other ongoing costs are seminars and training conferences which cost a maximum of $275 per person and an additional cost of travel and living expenses which range from $1,000 to $2,000. These seminars are periodic, and they are mostly in California, where their headquarters are located. But it could differ depending on the location they choose, so this would vary depending on where you are located. Lastly, there is a local advertising expense, which is 2% of your gross revenue monthly.

This will go to your marketing which will ultimately help you by gaining you more costumers thus making more money which is a useful expense.

Royalty Fee

6% of your gross revenues weekly.

Waffle House’s Expansion Plan

Unfortunately, Waffle House is not expanding on new franchises, only on existing franchises. But this could change in the future, so do not dismiss Waffle House immediately.


Waffle House is a popular franchise, but it is extremely expensive and difficult to get. Although there is an alternative which is the Waffle Experience. The Waffle Experience is a great option where you can own a brunch restaurant and have the flexibility to choose some of your costs.

Are you thinking about investing in a restaurant franchise, or interested in exploring more options? Make sure to check out Vetted Biz’s website for listings of other similar franchises in the Food and Beverage industry.

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