So the clamor for a Chick-fil-A in Wenatchee has no doubt been widely circulated.

But what would it take for a franchisee to actually open a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Wenatchee.  NerdWallet, the financial advice website has compiled the basics of franchising a Chick-fil-A location.

First off, owning a Chick-fill-A feels like operating or managing a Chick-fill-A restaurant versus owning one, according to many franchisees.  Chick-fill-A calls it's franchisees "operators", not owners and less than 1% of franchise applicants are accepted.

Chick-fil-A decides where the restaurants will be located and you can't even suggest you want one in Wenatchee.  They will decide when and if they want to come here  and they will own real estate and property.  Don't plan on your kids taking over the operation some day, you can't pass it down or sell a franchise.

Chick-fill-A has to be your full time interest with no outside obligation and you can only operate one franchise.  You're going to feel more like an employee/manager than a business owner.

Still interested?

The good news is one accepted, Chick-fill-A does not require any previous restaurant experience and the franchise fee is much lower than other competitors;

  • Chick-fil-A: $10,000
  • McDonald’s: $45,000

  • Taco Bell: $45,000

  • Chipotle: $20,000

  • Dunkin’: $40,000

  • Wendy’s: $40,000

That fee covers the majority of startup costs, including real estate, construction, and equipment.  But there are ongoing fees to lease equipment and the 15% cut of sales.  Sounds a lot like you are leasing a business operation with no equity but the franchise can still be very lucrative while you operate it.  Company revenue reached $6.4 billion worldwide in 2022.

Is Chick-fill-A Too Hands On?

NerdWallet says if Chick-fil-A is not the right fit, consider other franchise options.

Panera Bread

Panera has over 2,000 bakery-cafes across the United States and Canada.

Panera doesn’t offer single-unit franchises and franchisees are expected to open multiple locations within a certain timeframe. Panera franchisees need a net worth of at least $7.5 million plus access to $3 million in liquid assets, according to NerdWallet.


To open a McDonald’s franchise, you need to have at least $500,000 available in liquid capital. The McDonald's franchise fee runs you $45K and your initial investment can range between $1 million and $2.2 million.


Dunkin’s initial franchise fee ranges between $40K and $90K depending on location. The initial investment would be at least $96,000 and may reach $1.5 million.

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Gallery Credit: Tara Holley

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