The Strict Rule Chick-Fil-A Franchisees Must Follow

Business ownership seems desirable when you consider the freedom involved with building a company. Strip away some of those freedoms and you might find yourself switching up goals. Becoming a franchisee takes hard work, time, and money — unless your plan is to open a Chick-fil-A. In that case, you'll still need to put forward the time and work ethic, but the initial costs comes in at only $10,000. Though it sounds nice, becoming a franchisee for Chick-fil-A comes with its limitations.

Chick-fil-A franchise owners are prohibited from operating multiple locations, which isn't a common rule in the fast food industry. In fact, 42.3% of franchise owners are in charge of two to five locations (per Entrepreneur). On top of that, nearly 20% of franchisees own more than 50 stores, so Chick-fil-A's business model is limited to say the least.

The home of the chicken sandwich has its reasoning. According to a Chick-fil-A spokesperson, the rule is to ensure owners are actively involved in the store they work at. That is, if you even get to that point, which also isn't easy for hopeful applicants.

The selection process is not an easy one

A Chick-fil-A spokesperson says the rule for franchisees only owning one location is to ensure their attention isn't spread thin: "Chick-fil-A operators must be as comfortable rolling up their sleeves in the kitchen as they are shaking hands in the dining room," they said. Of course, you'll probably never own a Chick-fil-A franchise. Out of the 40,000 applications that come in each year, only 75 to 80 are chosen to open a restaurant

If you make it through the initial process, you'll have to partake in nearly 200 hours of classroom training, and many of your loved ones will be interviewed on your behalf. Those who are chosen as a franchisee must agree to several terms: you can't sell or transfer your store for any reason, and if you step out of bounds, the company can strip your title within 30 days.

Per the Chick-fil-A website, the company is looking for franchisees who "show evidence of personal financial integrity and stewardship, proven business leadership-and business acumen, an entrepreneurial spirit, a growth mindset, and strong character." The application page surely doesn't sugar-coat the work it will take, or how selective the decision-making process will be. But if these restrictions don't bother you, and you're okay with owning just one store, it can never hurt to try.