The Real Reason It’s So Cheap to Open a Chick-fil-A

For them, it’s not about the money.

chick-fil-aJonathan Weiss/Shutterstock

Everyone who loves the famous Chick-fil-A sauce—this is the secret ingredient that makes it so addictive, by the way—will be jumping for joy when they learn that it’s one of the cheapest fast food chains to open.

Chick-fil-A has the eighth highest sales out of all fast-food chains in the United States, however, to open a franchise it will only cost you $10,000. To give you some perspective, it costs between 1 to 2.3 million dollars to open up a McDonald’s and that doesn’t include the $45,000 franchise fee and a slew of requirements you have to meet. On top of the low cost, Chick-fil-A pays for all startup costs and the buyer doesn’t have to meet a threshold for net worth or liquid assets. If you don’t have enough money to open a Chick-fil-A but still want to visit one to get a delicious lunch, try ordering one of the items off of their secret menu.

For the company, opening a new franchise isn’t about the money; it’s about making sure they chose the right candidate to better their business. Because Chick-fil-A has such a unique company culture and business model, they only accept about 80 applications out of the 20,000 they receive each year.

“We seek to find the very best business partners who find great joy in making other people’s days. They do so with a combination of great business acumen, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a passion for serving others,” Chick-fil-A spokeswoman Amanda Hannah told Business Insider. “Chick-fil-A operators must be as comfortable rolling up their sleeves in the kitchen as they are shaking hands in the dining room.”

So if you have $10,000 lying around and think you have what it takes to make it through their application process, apply. Too much of a commitment? Guess you’ll just have to stick to visiting your nearest chain to get your Chick-fil-A sauce fix. Next, read about the craziest things drive-through workers have seen on the job.

Morgan Cutolo
Morgan is the Assistant Digital Managing Editor at Reader’s Digest. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2016 where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. When she’s not writing for rd.com or keeping the 650+ pieces of content our team produces every month organized, she likes watching HGTV, going on Target runs, and searching through Instagram to find new corgi accounts to follow.