Franchise Restaurants Vs Independent Restaurant- Which is the Better Route?

Franchise Restaurants Vs Independent Restaurants- Which is the Better Route?

The most popular question that we often get from aspiring restaurateurs or even current restaurant owners is choosing between franchise restaurants vs an independent restaurant. For the first time restaurant owners it can get quite confusing; which is easier to operate, which one will give better returns, has minimal risk, etc. This article will tell you all you need to know about opening a restaurant business. 

Franchise Restaurants vs Independent Restaurant: Detailed Comparison

In this article, we will discuss the good and the bad of running franchise restaurants vs independent restaurants.

Running Franchise Restaurants

In Franchise restaurants, you are running someone else’s Brand. Everything is pre-decided, and you have to stick to the Brand rules. A Franchise Outlet is highly controlled, and most of the decisions are already made. You get a lot of help from the Franchisor in terms of employment training, supplies, etc. However, make no mistakes. Running Franchise restaurants also require a lot of efforts and management skills. There is a lot of demand from the main Brand to deliver consistent results. Regular audits are conducted to ensure that all the standards are met by the Outlet so as to keep up with the Brand image.


  • Franchise restaurants are easier to run for new and inexperienced restaurateurs as well.
  • Fewer risks are involved as the concept has already been tried and tested.
  • The Franchisor usually provides help to the Franchise in terms of staff training, supplies, equipment, marketing, etc.


  • The cost of acquiring the Franchise is high, and there is also a weekly or monthly Royalty fee.
  • The owner has little control over Franchise restaurants. Lack of creative freedom and decision-making power can be frustrating.

Running an Independent Restaurant

In an independent or standalone restaurant, you have the liberty of doing everything. You can choose a location that you like, decide the concept by yourself, serve what you want. You can implement any changes in your menu or theme all by yourself without any restrictions. The initial responsibility, however, is exponential.


  • Entire control is in the hands of the owner.
  • Low investments are needed.
  • Steep learning curve, especially for new restaurateurs.
  • All profits are pocketed by the owner.


  • There is a high failure risk, especially for first-time restaurateurs.
  • The business and operations can be consuming in terms of time and effort.
  • There is usually lesser operational efficiency due to lack of standard rules and policies.

Differences between Independent Restaurants and Franchise Restaurants

Investment comparison between independent restaurants and Franchise restaurants.

investment required for franchise restaurants

The Manpower, Kitchen Equipment, and Raw Material Supplies needed for independent restaurants and Franchise restaurants.

manpower, kitchen equipment, raw materials needed for franchise restaurants

The Menu, Marketing, and Brand Support received in the case of independent restaurants and Franchise Restaurants.

Franchise restaurants menu,marketing and brand support

The licenses and returns of independent restaurants versus that of Franchise restaurants.

Franchise Vs Independent Restaurants in terms of licensing and returns

Many experts believe that people who are from the Hospitality background such as the Chefs, Restaurant Managers, Hotel Management students, etc,  are more suited for running their independent venture, while first-time restaurant owners should go for the Franchise way. However, there are several examples of people from different backgrounds running their own restaurant pretty well.

Ultimately it boils to the question why you want to open a restaurant. If you are a great cook or have always dreamed of opening your own restaurant then Franchise is probably not the way to go for you. If you consider running a restaurant as an investment and treat it like just any other business, then running Franchise restaurants is a great idea.


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