Blog / October 30, 2023 / Nate Pollak

Food franchise restaurant opportunities


Food franchise restaurant opportunities 

The allure of the food industry is undeniable. For consumers, there’s just something so captivating about those name brands we’ve come to know and love.

For restaurateurs, the food industry offers a market that’s always in demand. Franchise restaurants, in particular, present a unique opportunity to invest in established brands—tapping into proven business models, brand recognition, and loyal customer bases.

This article delves into some of the top opportunities for franchise restaurants, providing insights into both the costs and the potential for success.

Kona Ice 

A refreshing take on the traditional snow cone, Kona Ice offers Hawaiian-style shaved ice served from vibrant food trucks.

Initial investment – $160,725 
Number of outlets – Over 1,200 across the United States.
Standout features – Mobile, low-investment franchise with all-expense paid 3-day training program.

With Kona Ice, entrepreneurs can tap into a market of fast-growing franchise restaurants that are easy to deploy with minimal overhead costs. With their patented “Flavorwave” self-serve system, Kona Ice offers deliciously unique frozen treats that appeal to kids, adults, and health department standards.

Maui Wowi 

Blending the best of Hawaiian coffee and fruit smoothies, Maui Wowi offers a unique franchise opportunity that capitalizes on two booming industries.

Initial investment – $28,900 – $200,050 for mobile units.
Number of outlets – Operates under Kahala Brands, owners of 28 quick-service brands with some 2,900 locations in 28 countries.
Standout features – Flexibility to operate a storefront, go mobile, or focus on catering services. Additionally, a 20% off franchise fee for qualified military veterans. 

Franchisees can operate mobile units perfect for events, concerts, and high foot-traffic areas. Every cart carries a taste of the “Aloha Spirit” and a healthier alternative to traditional sugary smoothies.

Cooking in ghost kitchen

Ben & Jerry’s 

Serving premium ice cream since 1978, Ben & Jerry’s franchise restaurants are well known for their exceptional quality—without cutting corners on sustainable, socially responsible business practices.

Number of outlets – 558 units across the United States, with some international locations in Australia, New Zealand, and Western Europe.

Standout features – Commitment to sourcing non-GMO and Fairtrade ingredients. Seeks franchisees that align with their mission of sustainable economic growth.

The initial investment depends on the size of the setup you wish to franchise:

• $112,700 – $256,800 for kiosks.
• $162,800 – $309,800 for in-line scoop shops.
• $194,800 – $474,300 for full-size shops.

Investing in Ben & Jerry’s allows franchisees to operate a globally recognized brand known for its creative ice cream, playful flavor names, and unwavering commitment to making a difference in the communities it serves.


Those signature golden arches symbolize more than just fast food—they represent a legacy of success spanning over 83 years. Franchisees can expect high standards for eligibility, including a minimum of $500,000 in liquid assets and up to two years spent in training.

Initial investment – $1.3 million – $2.4 million.
Number of outlets – Over 38,000 locations globally, 95% based in the US.
Standout features – Comprehensive franchisee training, strong brand legacy, proven and refined business model.

Despite the heavy upfront investment, McDonald’s’ universal consistency, timeless menu, and effective marketing campaigns continue to rake in strong sales.


Pioneering the build-your-own sandwich model, Subway offers a fresh and healthy alternative to traditional fast food, with a comparatively lower bar to entry on the franchising side.

Initial investment – $207,000 to $470,000.
Number of outlets – Over 36,000 locations globally.
Standout features – With no fryers or broilers, Subway restaurants offer healthier meals, easier franchisee accessibility, and safer workplaces.

Subway’s emphasis on fresh produce and low prices has made it a go-to choice for health-conscious consumers on the move. Coupled with its affordable pricing strategy, Subway presents a promising opportunity for those looking to invest in a franchise that resonates with today's health-focused consumer base.

Factors to consider when choosing a franchise

Choosing the right franchise is crucial for success, and there are many factors that need to be considered. Entrepreneurs and restaurateurs seeking to invest in franchise restaurants should take the following into account: 

• Where is the venue’s location in relation to my target demographics? 
• What is the projected return on investment? 
• How much training and support is provided by the franchisor?
• What is the brand’s reputation and customer loyalty?
• Are there seasonal variables to account for, such as a drop in ice cream sales in winter? 

Although by no means a comprehensive list, these questions can drive restaurateurs to make more informed decisions when venturing into the lucrative realm of franchising.

Get franchising faster with CloudKitchens

Clearly, the restaurant industry offers lucrative opportunities. For aspiring franchisees aligned with the evolving trends of the market, success is well within reach.

One such trend that’s reshaping the future of franchising is ghost kitchens. By catering to a delivery-centric market, ghost kitchens minimize overhead costs and give you the agility to scale operations in weeks instead of months.

CloudKitchens is already partnered with some of the largest restaurant brands in the country, streamlining your franchising approval process. And while our expert project management team takes care of the permits and paperwork, you can focus on what you do best: growing your business and engaging with your customers.

Contact us to start your ghost kitchen journey today.


Own a Kona. Numbers.

Maui Wowi. Maui Wowi® Hawaiian Coffee & Smoothie Franchise Opportunity.

Ben & Jerry’s. Open a Franchise.

Entrepreneur. About Ben & Jerry’s.

McDonalds. Your First Steps on Your U.S. Franchisee Journey.

Investopedia. The Cost of Buying a McDonald's Franchise.

Investopedia. The Cost of Buying a Subway Franchise. 

Franchise Direct. 7 Often Overlooked Things When Choosing Which Franchise to Buy. 

DISCLAIMER: This information is provided for general informational purposes and we do not guarantee any specific results. We recommend that you consult with financial, legal, and business experts for advice on your specific idea or plan.