Korean fried chicken is in all the rage and we have the Korean Wave to thank for it. From Kpop music to Kdramas, skin care, and fashion, what the Korean Wave has brought to the United States is also their wide array of food such as kimchi, bulgogi, and now, Korean Fried Chicken.
One brand that’s rapidly expanding across Asian countries like the South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines is Bonchon Chicken. Famous for their double frying technique in creating that crispy and juicy fried chicken along with their sweet and savory sauces, Bonchon Chicken is appealing to a wide range of customers.
How much does it cost to open Bonchon Chicken? To open this Korean fried chicken chain near your area, you’ll need a minimum liquid capital of $250,000 and a minimum net worth of $700,000. The investment range to expect to start this franchise is $472,279 to $1,162,172 and the franchise fee is $40,000.
But the big question is this. Will Bonchon Chicken resonate with consumers longterm in the United States? You’ll find my unbiased review of this franchise concept below, including the advantage and specific challenges this restaurant chain will face. Click here to take our 7-minute franchise quiz to be matched with an opportunity based on your interests.
Financial Requirements and Fees
Here are the basic financial requirements and fees to expect when franchising Bonchon Chicken:
|Fees / Expenses
||Minimum of $250,000
||Minimum of $700,000
||$472,279 to $1,162,172
Bonchon Chicken also accommodates Area Developers. This is for franchisees who wish to sign on for more than one restaurant. There is an Area Development fee that’s credited to the franchise fee. This fee is $10,000 per store. So if you decide to sign up for several franchises such as 3 stores, your fee amounts to $30,000. This fee is non-refundable. Do note that if you choose to sign up for several franchises, each store will have its own Franchise Agreement and that Bonchon Area Developers receive exclusive rights to territory.
Veterans can get a discount of $10,000 off of their first unit franchise. Other fees to note are the royalty fee which is 5% and ad royalty fee which is 1.5%. The term of the agreement to run a Bonchon Chicken franchise is 10 years and the franchise is renewable.
Average Sales / Revenue per Year
According to reports, Bonchon Chicken’s global sales reached $327,338,189. For their United States location, a traditional Bonchon Chicken store makes $1,578,339 in annual sales based on the 2022 numbers. They’ve seen a sales growth of 19.5% year-over-year, which is phenominal growth.
Bonchon Chicken Franchise Facts
||409 (122 U.S.A)
||Bonchon Korean Fried Chicken
Bonchon’s roots can be traced back to 2002 in the city of Busan, South Korea. Founder Seo Jinduk started the business by selling sauces to use on fried chicken. In 2006, he brought the sauces to the United States to sell to restaurants but decided to open a restaurant instead. Thus, Bonchon Korean Fried Chicken was born.
The name Bonchon translates to “my hometown”. The restaurant was first located in Fort Lee, New Jersey and grew to over 120 locations in the United States at present. Aside from America, Bonchon also expanded to Cambodia, France, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. In total, Bonchon has more than 400 international and domestic locations.
One of the many reasons for Bonchon’s popularity is the crispiness and juiciness of their chicken combined with the flavor of the sauce. And eventhough the chicken is saucy, it’s not soggy and it still remains its crispiness. The secret? Bonchon hand batters all their chicken and double fry them, a technique that makes the outside of the fried chicken still crispy and the inside juicy. They also hand brush the sauce instead of dunking them in the mixture. Bonchon also has a chef based in South Korea that develops all their recipes.
Bonchon offers wings, drumsticks, strips, and boneless fried chicken with choices of a spicy sauce or soy garlic sauce. And though they’re known for selling fried chicken, Bonchon actually offers more Korean food such as bulgogi, japchae, tteokbokki, bibimbap, and more.
An appealing spread from Bonchon Chicken.
To franchise Bonchon Korean Fried Chicken, complete the interest form here or call them at 631-538-0244. You’ll get an initial conversation with them via phone call once they receive your inquiry.
Reviewing of the Franchise Disclosure Document comes next. Once both parties have mutually agreed on the terms, interested franchisees can send their completed application for final review.
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A meeting with Bonchon’s operation executive follows afterward. Franchisees may then sign the Franchise Agreement, go through the process of securing the real estate, start your training as franchisee, and finally, witness and be a part of the grand opening of your Bonchon location.
Bonchon has several layouts for potential franchisees to choose from. For instance, their full-service dine-in restaurant requires a 2,000 to 3,000 sq ft area. Other layouts include a size for a food court set up though no specific area size was made public.
Bryan Shin is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Bonchon Korean Fried Chicken. Their headquarters is located in Dallas, Texas.
How Much Does Bonchon Chicken Make in Profit?
According to an unofficial estimate, a Bonchon franchise can make $414,202 in profit yearly. The profit margin is roughly around 26%.
Advantages of a Bonchon Chicken Franchise
Franchising Bonchon Korean Fried Chicken can bring about several advantages for you. Here are some of them you should know about:
Korean Fried Chicken
The popularity of Korean Fried Chicken has risen tremendously in the recent years. It seems customers can’t get enough on the double-fried chicken glazed in a variety of signature sauces differentiates it from many other chicken establishments, giving it a unique position in the market. Even Bonchon admits this. In a news report, Bonchon’s same-store sales were up 5% in the year 2022. You can explore the full menu with prices at Bonchon right here.
Training is very important when one is about to franchise a business. This ensures that you have the necessary skills to run the franchise from opening day and onwards. At Bonchon, training runs for 2 weeks at their Dallas headquarters. Training involves working with the supervisor and headquarters staff. Bonchon will make sure you are fully equipped with all the knowledge to run their restaurant successfully.
Globally Recognized and Enjoy
Bonchon is a name that’s well-known not just in the United States but in a lot of areas around the world. Fried chicken is also a menu that diners enjoy outside the United States.
Bonchon has plans to open 100 more units in the United States. Aside from physical stores, they’re also adding ghost kitchens to their future expansion. This goes to show that Bonchon has the foresight to continue expanding and making the business successful.
Challenges of a Bonchon Chicken Franchise
Bonchon poses some challenges if you decide to franchise with them. And like all other businesses, one must be able to expect these before you go ahead and sign that Franchise Agreement. Here are some of them:
Though it’s true that Korean fried chicken is a fan favorite, the industry is filled with big and small restaurants offering this cuisine. There’s Kyochon, BBQ Chicken, and Mom’s Touch. Bonchon will have to improve their technology and continue to expand in order for them to fight against these other Korean fried chicken brands.
Limited Sauce Flavors
For a brand that started because of their sauces, Bonchon has a limited number of sauce flavors to choose from. Their mainstay is their spicy and soy garlic sauce. Occassionally, they’ll release other flavors such as BBQ. But other fried chicken chains that aren’t necessarily Korean offer more flavors of sauces such as Wing Stop and Buffalo Wild Wings.
Limited Brand Awareness in the United States
If Bonchon wants to battle it out against other fried chicken businesses in the United States, they must be able to increase their number of locations and increase their brand awareness in the United States. In states like California and Virginia there is strong awareness for the restaurant. But in states like Nebraska as an example there is very little awareness of the concept and no locations.
Depending on where you plan to open in the United States, local diners may not be aware of what you serve and won’t be familiar with the brand. This means you’ll need to work harder as a franchise operator to get the word about the restaurant. Research the demand for Bonchon in your desired location. Consider factors like demographics, competition, and local taste preferences.
While growing, the number of Bonchon locations in the United States doesn’t come close to competitors KFC that operate thousands of units across the country. This is both an opportunity and a challenge from an investment perspective.
Is the Bonchon Chicken Franchise Right For You?
Determining if Bonchon – or any franchise – is the right fit for you requires careful consideration of several factors. Here are steps and considerations to help you evaluate if Bonchon is the right franchise opportunity for you:
Conduct a Self-Assessment:
Passion & Interest: Do you enjoy the food and service industry? Are you passionate about the products and services Bonchon offers? Do you think you would want to operate a restaurant for the next 5 – 10 years?
Skills & Experience: While not always necessary, previous experience in the restaurant or service industry can be beneficial. Consider if you have relevant management, marketing, or customer service skills.
Risk Tolerance: All businesses come with risks. Ensure you are comfortable with the potential risks involved in owning a franchise. If you choose the wrong location for a restaurant, it could cost you hundreds of thousands in investment losses.
Conduct Your Research:
Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD): Obtain and thoroughly review Bonchon’s FDD. It provides detailed information about the franchise, including costs, obligations, franchisee support, and more.
Talk to Current and Former Franchisees: Reach out to current and past Bonchon franchisees. Their firsthand experiences can offer valuable insights into the day-to-day operations, challenges, and potential rewards.
Double fried chicken.
What is an alternative Bonchon franchise?
One fried chicken chain you can franchise is Buffalo Wild Wings. Though they’re known as a sports bar as well, Buffalo Wild Wings is also quite popular for their wings with different flavors of sauces. This is a restaurant brand with much stronger brand awareness in the United States.
To franchise Buffalo Wild Wings, expect the initial investment to be around $2,466,500 to $4,604,800 and the franchise fee to be $25,000. To know more about Buffalo Wild Wings, read our full guide in franchising them here.
Has Bonchon Korean Fried Chicken caught your attention? I hope this guide was able to help you decide whether or not they’re worth researching further.