You’re not a true cookie aficionado monster if you haven’t tried Crumbl cookie. Crumbl is a gourmet cookie franchise company with more than 264 bakeries across 36 states. The company was co-founded by two cousins, Jason McGowan and Sawyer Hemsley in Logan, Utah in 2017. Crumbl Cookie began as a delivery service and continues to offer the service in all locations even with a brick-and-mortar presence.
How Much Does it Really Cost to Open a Crumbl Franchise? In order to open a Crumbl franchise, a total investment ranging from $227,666 to $567,833 is needed. The franchise fee is $25,000. If you want to reserve a territory for a multi-unit development, the up-front fee is $5,000 plus $20,000 multiplied by the number of units to be developed. Take our franchise quiz to find out if Crumbl is the best choice for you.
If you’re interested in buying a franchise with this gourmet cookie business, read on. In this report, I discuss the financial requirements associated with franchising Crumbl along with the benefits and challenges you’ll encounter as a franchise owner.
Financial Requirements and Fees
You should be familiar with the financial requirements and costs of purchasing a Crumbl franchise before you decide to invest. I’ve outlined the essential financial requirements and fees the chain requires to you understand the total cost to invest. Before get into the financial requirements, let me quickly define the financial terms you’ll encounter in this section.
- Liquid capital – refers to the entire amount of cash you will need on hand and is available to use at any time.
- Net worth – refers to the value of all your non-financial and financial assets minus the value of all your outstanding liabilities.
- Total investment – is the total capital or the total money you will need to put into the franchise overtime to get it up and running.
- Franchise fee – refers to the amount you must pay to the franchisor to use its brand and resources.
| Fees or Expenses
||$227,666 to $567,833
A minimum of $150,000 of liquid capital will be needed to open a franchise of this cookie chain. The total investment in this franchise could range between $227,666 and $567,833. Crumbl charges $25,000 for the standard initial fee, but franchisees interested in opening multiple Crumbl units will pay $5,000 plus $20,000 for each new franchise unit.
Below is a breakdown of the costs involved with franchising a Crumbl franchise:
|Initial Franchise Fee
||$4,000 – $6,000
|Premises Lease (3 months)
||$16,666 – $133,333
|Real Estate and Improvements
||$75,000 – $250,000
||$8,000 – $15,000
|Additional Funds (3 months)
|Equipment, furniture, fixtures, decor, and supplies
||$75,000 – $100,000
||$8,000 – $15,000
|POS system, computer hardware & software
||$3,500 – $8,000
||$6,500 – $15,000
|Misc. Opening Costs
||$1,500 – $2,500
The advertising payment for Crumbl are 2% of gross sales on a weekly basis. Furthermore, a discretionary fee is charged for marketing materials and payable upon request.
When you buy a franchise, you must understand the level of financial and time investment that will be required to be successful. You will need a lot of equipment, such as food, ovens, appropriate food disposal machines, venting systems, furniture, etc. Fortunately, one of the benefits of working with a franchise opportunity is that the company will outline the exact equipment you need to purchase and from each specific vendor. If you were to start an independent bakery instead, you would need to figure this stuff out yourself and weigh the pros / cons of each equipment purchase.
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Other franchise costs to consider include royalties and marketing fees. While the seemingly endless list of franchise fees may seem overwhelming, keep in mind that these are fees that are common to franchises. It’s a cost of doing business as the operator of a franchise opportunity.
Average Sales / Revenue Per Year
A recent report by Nation’s Restaurant News (NRN) listed the top 25 restaurant chains with the fastest growth measured by system-wide sales in the US, and Crumbl topped the list. In 2020, Crumbl generated $53.4 million in system-wide sales, a 93% increase over the previous year.
In 2019, the company averaged $1.3 million in total sales on average per store with a net profit of $284,00 per store. As a prospective franchisee, it’s good to see that this bakery concept has a strong per store profitability.
Crumbl recorded a loss in net income in 2018, which was the year they first began franchising. However, in the following year, the gourmet cookie chain made a comeback almost certainly due to increasing franchise growth and success. It is worth noting that since Crumbl is on the smaller and younger end of the Food and Beverage franchise category and systemwide revenues aren’t as high yet as other franchise concepts that have been around for decades and have thousands of units in some cases.
Crumbl Cookie Franchise Facts
Various flavors that Crumbl offers each week.
||Crumbl Franchising, LLC
Crumbl Enterprises (Parent Company)
||Food and Beverage Industry
||Cookie Industry, Bakery
Crumbl was founded in 2017 by Jason McGowan and Sawyer Hemsley as a side gig. Interestingly, the two founders had no background in baking. In fact, their cookie recipe was developed in an impressive way using the A/B testing. Having come from the tech sector, McGowan thought A/B testing their way to the perfect cookie was the best way to go.
Shortly thereafter, they began adding new flavors, leading to their concept of a rotating menu. Every week, Crumbl rotates their cookie line-up with Sawyer Hemsley approving the weekly flavors. The selection is based on customer requests, ingredient availability, visual presentation, and variation in flavors.
Crumbl originated with an amazingly delicious chocolate chip cookie and has expanded to over 170 flavors, including themed cookie lineups like breakfast cookies, such as waffle and berry crunch. Since its inception, the gourmet cookie chain has grown impressively with over 200 locations and racked up over a million followers on TikTok. Fresh baked cookies, after all, are the ideal share-worthy social media content.
How Much Profit Does A Crumbl Cookie Franchisee Make Per Year?
In Crumbl’s Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD), a subset of continuously operating franchises from 2019 is taken into account. The chain’s FDD shows that there were 14 franchises at the beginning of 2019 that were still operating at the end of the year. This is about 26% of the total franchised outlets that were operating at the end of the year.
The financial data of the 14 franchise locations shows that the average revenue of Crumbl’s franchise owners was $1,316,002 in the 2019 calendar year. Additionally, the average gross profit of the 14 locations was $595,825, and the average net profit was $284,047.
Advantages of Franchising Crumbl
Cookie display of Crumble Cookie featuring their unique savory flavors.
There are several factors to consider before embarking on a franchise venture. In addition to the financial requirements and profitability of the business, you should also look at other factors like training and longterm company stability. With that in mind, I’ve outlined the main competitive advantages of owning a Crumbl store.
Since the company’s inception four years ago, the company has experienced massive growth. It is truly incredible that all these stores have been opened in only four years.
As a matter of fact, more than 180 units have been launched since the pandemic started, and 8 to 10 new units are being unveiled each week at the time I write this. If those are not impressive enough, not a single one of the company’s locations have closed since the franchise concept became available. While this franchise is still new, this is promising.
New Flavors Weekly
Every Sunday, which is the store’s only day off, Crumbl announces the following week’s new set of cookie flavors. This rotating menu concept created by Crumbl has helped the chain make a buzz around its limited-edition cookies.
Having only four flavors a week is a clever marketing tactic and gets consumers excited about what the menu will be each week. Each cookie feels exclusive, so consumers feel the need to rush to the store to be able to try it before it disappears. Cookie lovers never go bored trying their unique flavors every week.
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If you have been active on the social media since 2020, you may have already heard about Crumbl. Over the course of one month, the chain has gained 800k followers on TikTok, the newest leading social media platform with 80+ million monthly with most users fitting into the 16 – 24 year old demographic.
Thanks to a carefully curated TikTok page, Crumbl reaches millions of viewers, many of whom have become loyal customers. Crumbl’s master of social media is without question one of its key competitive advantages. Social media websites like Instagram and TikTok are extremely visually driven and much of the content shared on these platforms is tied to food photos and videos.
Cookies in particular are a food item that has the potential to go viral. Combine this with a rotating menu of flavors and the company has no shortage of content to create and share. Most food businesses have little engagement on social media platforms. But Crumbl is different.
Crumbl provides income statements of the company’s operating and existing franchisees to help the prospective ones decide if the chain is worth investing in. But with the volume of sales the chain is getting, it’s easy to understand why they’re so transparent.
Low-Cost Franchise Fee
The franchise fee for a Crumbl Cookie location is $25,000 which is on the low-end for a Food and Beverage franchise. Additionally, Crumbl charges a lower franchise fee than one of its competitors, Scooped Cookie Dough Bar that requires an initial franchise fee of $29,900. I’d argue that Crumbl has a more recognized brand as well.
Challenges of Franchising Crumbl
Group of friends getting their picked flavors of Crumbl Cookie.
There are downsides to owning a Crumbl location that you should know about before filling out a franchise application. In order to assist you in your decision-making if this franchise is worth it or not, I’ve compiled a list of some of the challenges to expect.
Weekly Rotating Menu
Changing the menu each week may pose operational challenges. One of the disadvantages is that you must constantly retrain your staff for each new cookie, which is time-consuming and expensive. You also need to spend more time marketing and share the menu on social media. If you don’t enjoy social media marketing, a more traditional food franchise that relies more on national advertising campaigns may be more appropriate for you.
On the side note, a model like this works best for restaurants that have an adventurous customer base—people who are more willing to try new foods in comparison to people who just walk into a restaurant already knowing what they want to eat. As mentioned earlier, the target customer for Crumbl slants younger.
Both the employees and franchise owners may find it challenging to learn and retrain to accommodate the rotating menu each week. You may also end up having a large inventory in your storage facility and this may make the inventory management process more taxing, thus requiring more staff or higher paid staff.
Quality assurance is one of the operational challenges you may face as an owner of Crumbl. The constant change of menu may keep the customers interested, but in the process of frequent menu changes, the quality of the products might be compromised. The quality of the products might be overlooked just to accommodate the weekly rotating menu. Also, there are some weeks that the menu will generate less interest than others. It’s simply impossible to get a hit at every at bat.
Is this a fad?
Some food concepts are here to stay. While others come and go. A decade ago frozen yogurt shops were all the rage with younger consumers and social media. While some of these shops are still in business, this concept peaked years ago. Some critics wonder if Crumbl will experience a similar trajectory, especially if similar cookie bakeries start to pop up in the future.
Is the Crumbl Cookie Franchise Right For You?
Marshmallow-stuffed cookie of Crumbl Cookie for a gooey treat!
If you have the required resources and have an interest in starting a gourmet cookie shop then this business could be a good fit. If you’re thinking about purchasing a franchise, conduct a thorough self-analysis first. The myth of owning a franchise is that it’s an easy way to build a business using a proven concept. But that simply is not true! Although the franchise system will provide training and support, you must be ready to manage the business yourself and work hard to promote the store.
It isn’t uncommon for people to quickly purchase a franchise, only to discover later on that they don’t even enjoy having the business. In this situation, the saying “know thyself” certainly applies. It is best to purchase a franchise in a field that you will enjoy for at least the next 10 years. Knowing your passion and the type of businesses you might enjoy is crucial.
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How much do Crumbl Employees Make?
If you’d like to know how much Crumbl employees make, here are the salary averages sorted by job title at Crumbl:
||$10 per hour
||$12 per hour
||$14 per hour
||$12 per hour
||$45,317 per year
||$13 per hour
Crumbl Cookies employee hourly wages range from approximately $10 per hour for bakery clerks to $14 per hour for assistant managers.
Where can you find an application for a Crumbl Cookie Franchise?
If you are interested in becoming a franchise owner, you can submit your application on the chain’s official website. You may be asked to complete a form and provide personal information.
What are the menu prices at Crumbl Cookies?
Looking for the Crumbl Cookies menu and prices? You can find them in the listed table below. These are subject to change.
12 large warm gourmet cookies
6 large warm gourmet cookies
|Crumbl Water (Chilled)
||16 oz. – $2.18
|Milk -2% (Chilled)
||16 oz. – $2.18
|Milk – Chocolate (Chilled)
||16 oz. – $2.18
Why does Crumbl Cookies use an open-concept kitchen?
An open kitchen is a concept wherein a restaurant’s kitchen is open for customers to view publicly. Customers are able to see the back of the restaurant where employees can be seen cooking and preparing their meals. An open kitchen gives the customers a dining experience where the preparation may appeal to them.
Crumbl Cookies uses this concept. Their open-concept kitchen gives the customers a view of their cookie-making process. This allows their customers to see how clean their operations are as well as give them a dining experience that’s unique to Crumbl stores.
Why is Crumbl Cookie Closed on Sundays?
Crumbl is a popular cookie chain that’s not only known for their different flavors of cookies that change weekly but also for their long lines and cult following. So why would a cookie chain this huge close during Sundays?
Crumbl answers that for us in their Frequently Asked Questions page. According to them, they value their crew members and chose to give them one day off a week to “relax, unwind, and spend time with loved ones”. All Crumbl locations are closed every Sunday because of this. Crumbl Cookie’s store hours are Monday to Thursday at 8am to 10 pm and Friday to Saturday at 8am to 12am.
Does Crumbl Cookies have any Legal Issues You Should Be Aware of?
Before you decide to franchise Crumbl Cookies near you, it’s important to be aware of any legal issues the company may have. And sadly, Crumbl Cookies does have a few.
One legal issue that the cookie company is embroiled in is violating child labor laws. A federal investigation found that 11 Crumbl operators in 6 states allowed their minor employees who were 14 to 15 years of age to work more hours than the law allows. 46 minors were found to be working in what is considered by the law as a hazardous occupation.
Here is what Crumbl Cookies had to say:
“At Crumbl, we are committed to maintaining a safe and welcoming work environment for all of our franchisees and their employees. We take any violation of federal labor laws very seriously. We were deeply disappointed to learn that a small number of our franchised locations were found to be in violation of these laws.
We are actively working to understand what has occurred at these specific store locations and will take appropriate action to ensure that all of our franchisees are fully compliant with the law. We apologize to any of our franchisees’ employees who may have been affected by this situation and want to assure the public that we are committed to upholding the highest standards of integrity and compliance at every Crumbl location.”
Another lawsuit that Crumbl is involved in is one that they filed themselves. Back in 2022, Crumble sued small cookie competitors claiming that they stole their design and packaging ideas.
The two cookie competitors were Dirty Dough and Crave. Both cookie brands have locations in Utah and Florida.
Dirty Dough owner and founder Bennett Maxwell called the accusation a “silly situation” and placed billboards with the words “Cookies so good we’re being sued.” They also released an ad where 2 men shutdown a kid’s lemonade stand because they were selling cookies. Crave’s co-founder Trent English had this to say to the lawsuit: “Our branding is black and gold. (Crumbl’s is) pink and black. Their logo is … a chef wearing a hat. Ours is two overlapping cookies. I don’t really see any confusion at all. I think most people can tell us apart just fine.” As of the time of this writing, the “cookie war” is still ongoing.