HomeFood & Beverages FranchiseCan you buy a Cook Out Franchise? Cost, Alternatives, & Profit

Can you buy a Cook Out Franchise? Cost, Alternatives, & Profit

Imagine you are searching for a pioneering fast-casual restaurant business that not only has multiple locations operating but also caters to a wide range of mouth-watering cuisines, such as hamburgers, barbeque, and shakes.

Though you may find numerous brands, the Cook Out franchise is one such brand that stands out from the crowd. The chain has been operational for more than three decades and has established its presence in over 331 locations nationwide.

To elaborate more on this topic along with its franchise opportunity, we’ll cover the following topics in this article:

  1. What is Cookout, and does it offer franchises?
  2. If yes, how much does it cost to take up their franchises?
  3. How much profit margin can one expect?
  4. How much does Cookout make every year?
  5. What are the requirements and the best two alternatives to it?
Cookout franchise opportunities
  • Brand: Cook out
  • Founded: 1989
  • Key People: Morris Reaves
  • Industry: Food and Beverages
  • No. of outlet: 331+
  • Area served: US and other country
  • Franchise Fee: NA
  • Royalty Fee: NA
  • Marketing fund: NA
  • Model: Company-owned and operated
  • Initial Investment: $400,000 and $750,000

Overview of Cook Out franchise

Cookout is one of America’s most popular fast-casual restaurant chains and possesses a legacy of more than three decades in the industry. The founder, Morris Reaves, started his venture in the food business in 1989 with their first outlet in Greensboro, North Carolina.

The chain serves a variety of mouth-watering cuisines, including their trademark hamburgers, grilled pork, shakes, and much more.

Having opened their first outlet in Greensboro, the chain continued to expand their presence in multiple cities, which is now present in more than 331 outlets in over 10 states across the United States.

Most of the cookout locations consist of two drive-thru lanes and a walk-up window with no seating arrangement. However, a few of their locations offer seating arrangements where customers can enjoy an exceptional food experience.

With over 330 locations operating currently, you may wonder: does it offer franchises? Unfortunately, it doesn’t sell its franchises. The chain is a privately owned and managed chain, and they don’t have any plans to embrace it in the coming year.

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Key facts about the cookout

Sr No.TypePrivate
1Trade NameCookout
2IndustryFood and Beverage, Drive-thru
4Founders Or Parent CompanyMorris Reaves
5Corporate HeadquartersGreensboro, NC, United States
6Number of locationsOver 331+
7Area servedAcross several territories in the US
8ModelPrivately owned and managed
9Menu offeringHamburgers, grilled food, shakes, and more
10Annual Gross RevenueApproximately $125-$200 million

How is Cook Out positioned in the food franchise industry?

Since its establishment, Cookout has held a prominent position in the industry, and its self-owned approach has given them all the freedom to serve the best dining experience and track foot traffic at their outlets, enabling them to strategically expand their presence in other parts of the country.

If you look at their expansion journey, it has been quite consistent. On an average basis, they opened approximately 10 outlets every year, and having more than 330 outlets in just 33 years while maintaining positive cash flow is pretty impressive.

But will they embrace the franchise model in the coming years? We’ll learn more about this in the upcoming section.

Does Cook Out offer franchises?

Cookout is a solely company-owned American fast-casual restaurant chain that has concreted its presence in the industry with over 331 outlets. All of their outlets are primarily controlled and operated by the company itself, with zero locations franchised.

Generally, food businesses embrace the franchise concept in their early days or within a few years of operation, but Cookout is one such brand that has kept distance from opting for the franchising concept, and their plans to embrace it are unlikely in the near future.

How much does a Cook Out franchise cost?


The chain neither sells its franchises nor has any plan to sell any of their locations to individuals or businesses. Cookout has strategically managed to open multiple locations in these years and is expected to flourish in the same pattern.

Depending on its store size and build-up pattern, the franchise cost for Cookout could possibly range between $400,000 and $750,000 for a store size of at least 1500–2000 square feet.

The initial franchise fee for a single location may range from $35,000 to $40,000. The brand may also provide an extra discount to veterans and multi-unit owners on its franchise fee.

Additionally, the Cookout chain may also levy a royalty fee of 5–7% and a national marketing fund of 1-2%, which will be calculated based on the monthly gross sales.

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How much is the expected profit margin of the Cookout franchise?

As you know, Cookout isn’t a publicly traded company, and they neither sell their franchises nor disclose their financial reports to the public.

Cookout has single-handedly managed to expand their presence to multiple locations. All of their outlets are located at prime spots that serve similar menus through their drive-thru and restaurant-based setups.

While the chain boasts an enormous customer base that allows them to garner a healthy profit margin, the ongoing operational costs for every location can’t be overlooked.

Despite the fall during the pandemic, Cookout has managed to pick up its pace and has registered a pretty impressive revenue figure of $220 million in 2023 – as per data available at Kona Equity.

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What are the advantages of owning a Cook Out franchise?

  1. Affordable food options for everyone:
    • Cook Out serves a wide range of affordable cuisines that start at a price point of $2, and their variety of menus will allow you to serve something new to your customers every time they visit the restaurant.
  2. Three decades of expertise in operating the outlet:
    • Cookout possesses over three decades of experience in operating and expanding their outlet presence to multiple locations. As a franchisee, you’ll not only leverage the brand’s proven business model but also avoid the risk of starting a new business.
  3. Range of milkshakes:
    • Last but not least, you can’t simply ignore their 40+ varieties of flavorful milkshakes. It certainly draws significant customer’s to their drive-thru locations and restaurants.

Two best alternatives to Cook out franchise

You may be furiously searching for franchise opportunities with Cook Out, but their solely company-owned model may dishearten you, which will leave you with finding their competitors or at least alternatives to it.

Planet Smoothie Franchise

Planet Smoothie is an Atlanta-based smoothie restaurant. It has a business legacy of more than 27 years and boasts a presence of over 100 outlets countrywide.

Planet Smoothie is renowned as the third-largest smoothie store, and owning its franchise will merely cost an initial investment of $195,650 to $446,500.

The chain also offers multiple store options and significant room for expansion for every unit holder.

Read more: Get into the exciting details of Planet Smoothie: cost, profit, and more

Steak ‘n shakes franchise

Steak ‘n shakes can prove to be a viable food franchises if you have been looking for a company-owned franchises.

Gus Belt founded it in 1934 and since then they have serving a diverse range of burgers, milkshakes, and more. It is also a subsidiary unit of Biglari Holdings company.

The franchise cost for Steak ‘n shakes is JUST $10,000. More details in the article, do check that out.

Read more: Does Steak and Shake Franchise Really Cost $10000? – Cost & Profit

How to Buy a Cookout franchise?

Cookout is primarily a company-owned restaurant chain, and partnering with cookout isn’t possible currently. However, you can become one of their employee by filling in its application form.

If you are interested in learning more about its franchise opportunities, consider visiting its head office or visit its official website and place your query on the contact us form.

Wrap Up: The final thought

Cookout is undoubtedly the most popular food chain in the United States, and it boasts a strong customer base for its over 40 varieties of milk shakes, burgers, and barbeque.

However, owning one of Cook out’s location isn’t possible currently, as they don’t have any plan to sell its franchises in near future.

If you are seriously love their food and aspiring to become their partner, you need to look out for its alternatives.

Do check out the option mentioned in the article.

Want to explore more? Then check out below franchising opportunities.

Food & Beverages FranchiseBakery FranchiseHome ImprovementCar washReal Estate, and Tea & Café Franchise


Can you franchise a cookout?

Unfortunately, you can’t franchise any of cookout locations as all of their outlets are owned and operated by the company itself.

Who owns cook out franchise?

Cook out is a family-owned business and it is founded and owned by Morris Reaves.

FranchiseGoal Admin
FranchiseGoal Adminhttps://franchisegoal.com
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