I used to live within 5 miles of 3 Farmer Boys locations in Southern California. My favorite menu item at Farmer Boys is the sausage breakfast burrito. As an added bonus, restaurant coupons were regularly mailed to my house, making a breakfast, lunch or diner pretty cheap. While I used to ordered in the dining room area, the drive-thru became convenient once I had kids and realized how difficult getting in and out of a vehicle could be.
How much does it cost to open a Farmer Boys? You’ll need liquid capital of $300,000 to $450,000 and a net worth ranging from $800,000 to $1,000,000 to qualify. You can expect the total investment to be around $1,200,000 to $2,100,000 with a franchising fee of $45,000.
If you’re thinking about joining the Farmer Boys franchise, I break down what I view as the advantages and disadvantages of the business. Here’s what you need to know before becoming a franchisee. You can also find your ideal franchise by taking our 7-minute quiz.
Financial Requirements and Fees
Here are Farmer Boys updated franchise fees and financial requirements:
|Fees / Expenses
|$300,000 to $450,000
|$800,000 to $1,000,000
|$1,200,000 to $2,100,000
Most of the financial details to franchise Farmer Boys are found on their website. However, the franchise fee was not disclosed but was published at Entrepreneur.com. Other fees to note are their royalty fees at 5% and ad royalty fees at 3%.
Farmer Boys also offer third-party financing for those who are still interested in franchising, but need financial assistance.
Average Sales / Revenue per Year
Farmer Boys annual sales are not disclosed. However, Restaurant Business Online reports that Farmer Boys’ sales in 2020 reached $187 million which rose from their 2019 sales that were recorded to be $179 million. These are fantastic top-line revenue numbers considering the challenges franchise owners faced last year.
No doubt, the strong revenue numbers were supported by drive-thru service. Farmer Boys are also open for the three meals of the day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) meaning you’re open most of the day for customers. This provides more time to generate revenue, but can also lead to staffing challenges.
Farmer Boys Franchise Facts
|Farmer Boys Food, Inc.
|Food and Beverage
Hailing from Cyprus, the Havadjias brothers moved to California where in 1979, they bought Astro Burger in Torrance. This was the start of their efforts in owning a business in the United States.
In 1981, the Havadjias brothers started the first Farmer Boys in Perris, California. Since they grew up working on the farms, the five brothers knew what it took to serving fresh meals from farm to table with burgers as their main food item.
By 1995 and with over 8 family-owned Farmer Boys, the brothers opened the restaurant for franchising. Currently, the Havadjias brothers have all returned to Cyprus now but they have homes near the Farmer Boys headquarters in Riverside, California. Chris Havadjias is chairman of the board.
Farmer Boys’ bestseller is burgers. The franchise serves 100% USDA freshly ground burger beef that’s never frozen, antibiotic-free beef, and hormone-free. Their burgers are well-known that it has won them numerous Inland Empire Hot List award for Best Burger. The Farmer’s Burger won in 2012, 2013, and 2014 while their Natural Avocado Bacon Cheeseburger won in 2012 and 2013. Their Big Cheese also won an award in 2012.
Other items on the menu are sandwiches and wraps. Their zucchini fries and giant onion rings are also quite popular. Farmer Boys also serve breakfast all day long which includes pancakes, French toasts, breakfast burritos, and omelets.
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One of the things Farmer Boys take pride in is that burgers are made to order. This ensures customers don’t have a stale burger patty that’s been sitting around for a couple hours. Farmer Boys admits they’re not as fast in serving food as compared to a fast food joint due to the preparation. But they guarantee that the food will be served “hot and fresh.”
The burger joint also sells healthy options such as veggie burgers, salads, and even grilled chicken. Most items on the menu are also customizable. For instance, you can choose different dressings, opt for a different kind of cheese, or none at all. You even choose to change the type of bun you want for your burgers. Farmer Boys also has catering options if you’re planning a party.
While the original restaurant in Perris is no longer there, Farmer Boys at present is found in more than just one place. To this date, the restaurant chain has almost 100 branches in California, Nevada, and Arizona. Their preferred locations for a possible Farmer Boys are corner lots that can accommodate a drive-thru setup.
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However, they can still consider a site that doesn’t have any drive-thru capabilities but this depends on several factors. The company also prefers a demographic with strong daytime crowd of more than 10,000 residents within a one mile radius. Their preferred residential population is more than 15,000.
Farmer Boys requires experience if you are to franchise one of their units. These include having restaurant experience whether it’s on a manager, owner, or franchisee level. They also require you to have the ability to manage a kitchen and some understanding of business related matters such as hiring and customer service. Above all, the desire to work within their proven system is a must.
How Much Do Farmer Boys Make in Profit?
There is no official and definite data on how much does Farmer Boys make in profit. However, according to their website, Farmer Boys claims that they have seen a strong growth of their sales since 2011.
While we don’t know how profitable Farmer Boys, we can look toward similar concepts like burger joints to get a sense of profitability. According to Quora, you can expect to profit 5% – 15%. Using this ballpark number as a guide the restaurant chain likely generated $9,250,000 – $27,750,000 in profits last year. This is a whole lot of burgers!
Advantages of a Farmer Boys Franchise
Farmer Boys comes with its own set of advantages when you decide to franchise this burger chain. Below are some of them you can expect:
Farmer Boys is all about training you in preparing for your restaurant. When you’re approved to become a Farmer Boys franchise owner, the company offers a 12-week training program for you and your team of employees which includes running the business and preparing the food so you’re good to go on your grand opening day.
It’s not just the training but Farmer Boys is also going to provide continuous support by offering ongoing consultations. A consultant from the Farmer Boys will periodically visit you to help you if you have any concerns. You’ll also be invited to meetings, seminars, monthly franchisee conference calls, special training events, and participate in an annual franchise convention. This way, you’re updated with the latest trends in the fast-casual restaurant industry.
As a franchise owner, you’ll get to enjoy a few perks for being a part of the Farmer Boys’ family. This includes getting discounts from food suppliers and key equipment. Such discounts can help you get big savings from your royalty fees.
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We mentioned above how Farmer Boys already has an extensive burger menu and some healthy options. That’s not all. They also serve fish, fried chicken burgers, and pastrami and club sandwiches. It’s like there’s an option for everyone who dines at Farmer Boys, therefore, making everyone feel welcome. There’s something for a diverse set of tastes in your family whether you’re craving a salad, wrap, or sandwich.
The farm-to-table experience is part of the mission to be a fresh fast-casual restaurant upholds. Their buns are locally baked. Their orange juice is freshly-squeezed. All of their ingredients are fresh from the farm that’s sourced from local suppliers. You’ll be proud as a potential franchise owner to be a part of this family. You’re not only building your own business, but supporting local food producers too.
Challenges of a Farmer Boys Franchise
This guide is all about bringing both pros and cons in franchising Farmer Boys to you and this section is listing some of the challenges you can expect when you apply to operate this franchise.
Locations and Expansion
As stated above, Farmer Boys only have locations around California, Nevada, and Arizona. That leaves a big part of the country untapped and unaware of the brand. They’ve been around for 40 years but the expansion seems kind of slow compared to other concepts. Part of the challenge is keeping the supply chain local. By venturing too far beyond the borders of their current regions, the company would need to develop a new set of farms to partner with.
However, the company has confirmed they plan to expand into new markets. Let’s hope we get to see more Farmer Boys locations around the U.S. soon.
In 2013, Farmer Boys unveiled that their new mascot for their brand was a scarecrow. And though the message is clear that since a scarecrow is known to protect a farmer’s crops from pests such as birds, and that Farmer Boys’ scarecrow will also act as their “Head of Security.” You have to admit that the imagery can be quite creepy for some and looks like bad marketing. It’s on brand though, we’ll give them that.
A big menu provides a lot of diversity for guests. But it also means more work training staff. You’ll also want to consider if you really want to operate a restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Most Farmer Boys locations open at 6 a.m. and close at 10 p.m, every day of the week. Considering staff needs about an hour before opening for prep and another hour after closing for cleanup there’s only a few hours a day no one will be in the building.
This can start to weigh on you from an operational standpoint since you’ve got to consider staffing from morning to night. You’ve also got to make sure you’ve got enough inventory for breakfast and dinner. This sort of round the clock management isn’t for everyone.
If you don’t want to run a food business around the clock there are simpler restaurants to manage. Take for example Raising Cane’s. Raising Cane’s has an extremely small menu serving delicious chicken fingers, dips, fries, and Texas toast. They aren’t open until 11 p.m. in most locations either. Looking for an alternative concept that’s easier to manage is worth considering.
Is the Farmer Boys Franchise Right For You?
If you’re into franchising a classic fast-casual restaurant with burgers to be proud of, Farmer Boys could be the right business for you. Farmer Boys has a simple set up, a very supportive team and training program to get you started, and a menu that’s appealing to all sorts of people. They’re also involved with the local community by supporting and donating to the Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital. What more could you ask for in an opportunity?
What is an alternative Farmer Boys franchise?
Still open for other burger joint alternatives? Try Fuddruckers. They’re also a fast-casual chain that offers customizable burgers and started in San Antonio, Texas. They also use 100% USDA beef, freshly baked buns, and fresh ingredients. For a healthier option, they also offer veggie burgers, grilled chicken burgers, and salads. Fuddruckers currently has over 100 locations and is available for franchising in Central, South, and North America.
The franchise fee to operate a Fuddruckers is $35,000. Capital investment is $400,000 and they require a royalty fee of 5% per unit. The total investment to franchise a unit is $490,000 to $1,560,000
We hope this breakdown on Farmer Boys helped. Not only are they a burger place but they offer several other items as well. I hope you’ll have your own branch of serving a critically acclaimed The Farmer’s Burger too.