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What Are My Startup Costs?

A Gold Star franchise is an affordable and exciting business opportunity

Opening a Gold Star franchise is easy, with very low entry costs compared to other brands in the QSR restaurant sector. Our team will work with you to find the optimal real estate in your community, and then our build-out team will walk with you through every step of the process, from property lease or purchase to grand opening. Our royalties and marketing fees also are calibrated to be in line and or below market standards.

Here is a breakdown of our chili franchise startup costs:

Type of ExpenditureAmount for Free Standing BuildingAmount for Inline SpaceMethod of PaymentWhen DueTo Whom Payment is To Be Made
Initial Franchise Fee$5,000 to $30,000$5,000 to $30,000Cashier's CheckAt Signing of Franchise AgreementGold Star
Real Property and Site Work CostsSee Note 1See Note 1As ArrangedBefore OpeningLessor or Property Owner; Other Third Parties
Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment$160,000 to $200,000$160,000 to $200,000As ArrangedBefore OpeningApproved Suppliers
Building, Construction and Leasehold Improvements$450,000 to $650,000$275,000 to $375,000Note 4Note 4Note 4
Utility Deposits$1,000 to $3,000$1,000 to $3,000As ArrangedBefore OpeningSuppliers and Utilities
Architectural and Engineering Fees$7,000 to $15,000$7,000 to $15,000As ArrangedBefore OpeningApproved Suppliers
Initial Inventory$4,000 to $8,000$4,000 to $8,000As ArrangedBefore OpeningGold Star, Approved Suppliers
Insurance$1,000 to $3,000$1,000 to $3,000As ArrangedBefore beginning operationsInsurance Companies
Signs and Awning$18,000 to $28,000$6,000 to $12,000As ArrangedBefore OpeningApproved Contractors
Training$5,500 to $8,000$5,500 to $8,000As ArrangedBefore OpeningEmployees, Miscellaneous Vendors
Licenses and Permits$1,000 to $5,000$1,000 to $5,000As ArrangedBefore beginning operationsLicensing Authorities
Legal and Accounting$2,500$2,500As ArrangedBefore beginning operationsAttorney, Accountant
Office Equipment and Supplies$1,000$1,000As ArrangedBefore OpeningSuppliers
Computer Equipment (Hardware / Software / POS System)$7,000 to $15,000$7,000 to $15,000As ArrangedBefore OpeningApproved Suppliers
Grand Opening Advertising$5,000$5,000As ArrangedWithin 3 months of OpeningMiscellaneous Vendors
Additional Funds - 3 months$15,000 to $30,000$15,000 to $30,000As ArrangedAs IncurredGold Star Employees, Suppliers, Utilities, Insurers, Professionals, Etc
TOTAL$683,000 to $1,003,500$496,000 to $712,500

Gold Star is on the move. We are expanding outward from our Cincinnati roots and looking for enthusiastic franchise partners who want to bring our iconic chili and other handcrafted menu items, as well as our legendary customer service, to their communities. Ready to learn more? Click here and we’ll send over some detailed information and arrange a call so we can answer any questions you have.


Note 1: The information provided is estimated and is based on an average Restaurant size of 2,300 square feet (excluding Special Purpose Outlets) and not including the cost of land or site improvements. Estimates are provided for both a free-standing building or inline at a shopping center. Your actual investment will vary depending upon a variety of factors peculiar to your Restaurant, including location, local real estate market values, size and other physical characteristics, and your financial condition, business decisions and negotiating success and other factors. Unless otherwise stated all payments are nonrefundable. Gold Star does not finance any fees or expenses.

Note 2: See Item 5 of this disclosure document for Gold Star’s graduated franchise fee structure for multi-unit franchisees.

Note 3: The cost of equipment, furnishings and fixtures will vary depending upon the size, condition and location of the Restaurant, the amount of furnishings, equipment and fixtures required and price differences among suppliers. The information provided includes only standard fixtures and does not include other improvements, or construction or renovation costs. See Note 4, below.

Note 4: If you do not already own or lease an appropriate site, you must purchase or lease a site for the Restaurant. Typical locations for Restaurants are urban or other heavily populated areas. The typical Restaurant (not including Special Purpose Outlets) utilizes approximately 2,300 square feet. The typical Special Purpose Outlet utilizes approximately 600 to 800 square feet. Rent can vary tremendously (we estimate that minimum rent for a Restaurant (not including Special Purpose Outlets) is between $32,000 and $90,000 per year) depending on various factors, including the size, condition, and location of the leased premises, and cannot be estimated with any accuracy. If you purchase a site for the Franchise, the amount of land required will depend on various factors, including the size of the facility, the type of area, the availability of adjacent parking, etc. An estimate of the size of the parcel needed would be anywhere from ¾ acre to 1 acre with a building on the parcel, and the cost would vary tremendously and cannot be estimated accurately. Similarly, the costs of renovation or construction, and improvements, for purchased or leased premises also may vary tremendously and cannot be estimated with any accuracy.

Note 5: Gold Star does not charge a training fee for you and 1 attendee designated by you for 1-time enrollment in the initial training program but you must pay all wage and compensation obligations for each employee-attendee as well as each attendee’s travel, lodging, meals and other related or incidental expenses incurred in attending the training program.

Note 6: You must conduct a grand opening marketing and promotion program in compliance with Gold Star’s requirements. Gold Star requires that you spend a minimum amount of $5,000 for grand opening advertising and promotion. You must spend the designated amount within 3 months after you open your Restaurant. If you spend the designated minimum amount on grand opening marketing and promotion, in compliance with Gold Star’s requirements, you will receive a contribution from the Brand Building Fund in an amount up to $2,500. See Item 11, under the heading Brand Building Fund, for additional information.

Note 7: This estimates the additional funds which you will need on-hand for payroll and other working capital for the first 3 months of the operation of your Franchise. These figures are estimates and we cannot guarantee that you will not have additional expenses when starting the business. This estimate does not include any kind of owners’ draw, dividend or distribution. Your 14 additional costs will depend on various factors, including how much you follow Gold Star’s policies and procedures; your advertising and promotion efforts; your management skill, experience and business acumen; local economic conditions; the local market for our product; the prevailing wage rate; competition; and your sales. Gold Star relied on its over 50 years of experience in the restaurant business to compile these estimates. You should review these figures carefully with a business advisor before making any decision to purchase the Franchise.

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