How much Five Guys franchise owners really make per year

We cover Five Guys pretty thoroughly over here at Mashed, and for good reason. The popular burger and fries chain is growing at a rapid rate, not just in its home country of the U.S., but also in the U.K., too (via Voxburner). Considering just how popular its burgers are and their commitment to using never-frozen beef and slicing their own potatoes, owning one has to be a solid investment, right? 

The short answer would be — yes. If you happen to be a Five Guys franchise owner, then you can expect to make a very healthy income. The tricky part, though, is getting the franchise.

Franchise owners make six figures

Five Guys makes it pretty clear to franchise owners that the company won't pinpoint an exact number on what owners can expect to make based on previous sales history, but that doesn't mean some of the data isn't out there (via Franchise Business Review). A franchisee who is on top of things can expect their store to make a nice amount of sales — up to $1.18 million annually.

Of course, sales don't equal income, and operators have to account for all those overhead costs like keeping the lights on and paying staff to sweep up peanut shells a hundred times a day. Five Guys also takes a gross sales royalty of 6 percent. The median income for a food franchise owner is around $126,866 a year, so we can reasonably expect a Five Guys franchisee to be somewhere around that. 

Before owners can make that kind of money with Five Guys, though, they first have to convince them that they're worthy of sitting at the table. 

You'll need big cash if you want to open a Five Guys

Buying a Five Guys franchise — or really any fast food franchise — isn't cheap. Opening one doesn't cost as much as a Wendy's or Chick-fil-A, but it's still a pretty penny. 

The franchise fee is $25,000, and franchisees can expect to make an initial investment between $306,000 to $641,000. This cost has only gotten more expensive as the chain's popularity has skyrocketed. In 2012, the franchise fee was $5,000 less, however, those who were interested were expected to already have a hefty net worth (at least $1.5 million) and liquidity of around $500,000 (via Forbes). Oh, and Five Guys doesn't help with financing. 

Franchisees operate more than 900 of Five Guys' restaurants, and that number is expected to keep growing as more applications are flowing in every day. While it does cost a lot to open one, the pay off is pretty good.