Earnings Claims of Top Franchises Revealed

Earnings Claims of Top Franchises Revealed

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Franchise Costs: Detailed Estimates of Great American Cookies Franchise Costs (2017 FDD)

by Franchise Chatter on November 15, 2015

in Cookie Franchise, Franchise Costs



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Great American Cookies Photo by RetailByRyan95

This post was updated on July 30, 2017 to reflect information from Great American Cookies’ 2017 FDD (Item 7).

Detailed Estimates of Great American Cookies Franchise Costs Based on Item 7 (Estimated Initial Investment) of Great American Cookies’ 2017 Franchise Disclosure Document

For a Traditional Store

1.  Franchise Fee:  $25,000



2.  Grand Opening Marketing:  $3,000 to $5,000

  • You must spend the required grand opening marketing and promotion amounts in the two weeks before opening your Store and the 6 weeks after opening the Store. Your cost may be higher based on the length of time you wish to run opening promotions.
  • The franchisor recommends spending $5,000 in a new market where there are no Great American Cookies Stores.

3.  Travel and Living Expenses While Training:  $1,000 to $5,000

  • This estimate is for the cost of attending initial training in Atlanta, Georgia or any other venue the franchisor designates.
  • The franchisor provides instructors, facilities, and materials for the initial training program at no charge. You must pay the travel and living expenses, wages, and other expenses your trainees incur during initial training.

4.  Cookie Ingredients:  $5,000 to $10,000

5.  Other Opening Inventory:  $5,700 to $15,150

  • You must have a supply of flavorings, garnishments, food and beverage products, small kitchen wares, cleaning supplies, paper and packaging supplies, beverage cups and lids, report forms, gift cards, and marketing and point-of-sale materials during your operation of the Franchise.
  • The initial costs of the gift card program range from $100 to $300.
  • If you are operating a co-brand Store, you will also have to purchase Marble Slab Creamery inventory.

6.  Architectural Fees:  $4,000 to $7,500

  • You also must employ and pay an architect or engineer to prepare a site plan and other construction documents.
  • Although the franchisor will provide you with prototypical plans and specifications at no additional cost to you, you must pay an architect or engineer to adapt these plans and specifications to city, state, and local building codes and to the specific site chosen for your Store.

7.  Furniture, Fixtures, Equipment, and Decor:  $90,000 to $120,000



  • These estimates include the estimated costs for necessary trade fixtures, such as display cases, counters and work tables, equipment such as ovens, refrigerators, beverage dispensers, coffee preparation and dispensing equipment, and small wares.
  • If you are operating a co-brand Store, you may be required to purchase additional fixtures and equipment.

8.  Signs:  $4,000 to $8,000

9.  Prepaid Rent and Security Deposit:  $2,500 to $5,000

  • If you do not currently own adequate space, you must lease the space for your Store. Typical locations are in enclosed shopping malls, but also may be located in other shopping centers, transportation centers, or entertainment venues.
  • A typical Traditional Store requires between 400 and 1,000 square feet of space.
  • You may be required to pay a security deposit under your real estate lease. Your lease also may require you to pay the last month’s rent in advance.
  • This estimate includes one month of rent, and is based on a combination of square footage and location.

10.  Leasehold Improvements:  $35,000 to $120,000

  • The estimates include construction costs (labor and material) for typical tenant improvements and remodeling necessary to prepare a site for operation of a Store. The estimates also include construction management costs, general conditions, builders’ risk/liability insurance, and financing costs.

11.  Utility Deposits:  $2,200 to $3,000

  • Deposits for utility services are typically required at the time the service is applied for, and may or may not be refundable.

12.  Professional Fees:  $1,000 to $6,000

  • The franchisor may require that you engage an attorney to review your lease or purchase agreement for the accepted site and supply the franchisor with reasonable documentation of this review.
  • The franchisor strongly recommends that you seek the assistance of professional advisors when evaluating this opportunity.
  • The estimates in this chart are based on professional fees in the State of Georgia.

13.  Computer System:  $2,500 to $5,000



  • This estimate includes the cost of purchasing the required computer hardware, software, inventory control system, and point of purchase system from approved suppliers.
  • You also must provide the Internet connections that the franchisor specifies.

14.  Business Licenses, Permits, Etc. (for first 6 months):  $1,500 to $2,500

  • You must maintain all required licenses and permits necessary to build and operate your Store.

15.  Insurance (3 months):  $2,500 to $3,500

  • The table contains the estimated cost of required insurance premiums for a 3-month start-up period; however, the cost of insurance varies.

16.  Additional Funds (3 months):  $8,000 to $12,000

  • This amount represents the range of your initial start-up expenses over the first 3 months of operation. These figures include estimated payroll costs. However, they do not include the salary for a Store manager, on the assumption that you will manage the Store.

17.  Totals:  $192,900 to $352,650

  • This total amount is based on the franchisor’s and its predecessors’ market research and experience opening and operating similar stores.

The following are the estimated initial investment ranges for the various other types of Great American Cookies stores:

  • Non-Traditional Store (400 to 800 square feet):  $160,050 to $279,850
  • Satellite (50 to 150 square feet in a shopping center or venue, but also will require a Traditional Store or Non-Traditional Store):  $82,400 to $174,144
  • Great American Cookies-Marble Slab Creamery Co-Brand Store (400 to 1,400 square feet):  $356,085 to $461,135

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