Sadly, during the pandemic, Vapiano took quite a hit and many restaurants closed. They’ve managed to open a few locations at present and even improved their QSR (quick service restaurant) system. So if you want to franchise Vapiano and bring them to a location near you, you can.
However, there is a catch: Vapiano only has a limited list of countries they’re interested in franchising at the moment. If the country of your choice isn’t on the list, you may still inquire with them and Vapiano will determine if the region qualifies. The worst the company can say is “no.”
How much does it cost to open a Vapiano? The financial requirements vary from country to country. But in the United States, it is known that the initial investment range is between $1.179 million to $2.012 million. The franchise fee is $45,000.
Get to know more about this global chain of Italian restaurants by reading through this guide on how to franchise Vapiano, what to expect, and how the business is performing right now. Complete this 7-minute franchise quiz to be matched with an opportunity that aligns with your skills and investing budget.
- Financial Requirements and Fees
- Average Sales / Revenue per Year
- Vapiano Franchise Facts
- How Much Does Vapiano Make in Profit?
- Advantages of a Vapiano Franchise
- Challenges of a Vapiano Franchise
- Is the Vapiano Franchise Right For You?
Financial Requirements and Fees
These are the unofficial financial requirements to operate Vapiano in the United States:
|Fees / Expenses||Financial Amount|
|Total Investment||$1.179 million to $2.012 million|
Not much is known regarding the requirements for the liquid capital and net worth of interested franchise applicants due to Vapiano wanting these applicants to inquire directly with them. It is also not known how much the financial requirements are since it varies from country to country.
As for the length of agreement, Vapiano could grant you a 20-year contract to franchise with them.
Average Sales / Revenue per Year
In 2020, Vapiano was reported to file for bankruptcy protection and was planning to ask help from the German government for their financial problems.
Vapiano Franchise Facts
|Total Units||190 (Globally)|
|Industry||Fast Casual Restaurant|
|Subsector||Food and Beverage|
Vapiano opened in October 2002 in Hamburg, Germany at the “Hohen Bleichen”. The name originated from an Italian proverb “Chi va piano, va sano e va lontano” which means “If you have an easy-going and relaxed approach to life, you’ll live more healthy and longer”. After two years of opening, the founders opened Vapiano for franchising which has led to them being located in Australia, Austria, Columbia, Bahrain, Dubai, France, Egypt, United Kingdom, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Netherlands, Romania, Qatar, Spain, Ukraine, the United States and more.
The menu at Vapiano consists of antipasti, salads, pasta, pizza, and dolci. Pasta is considered a main best seller. They offer different pasta options such as fusilli, campanelle, linguine, and tagliatelle. All of these are made from durum wheat semolina and are made fresh daily.
Their pizza options range from a classic Margherita to a calzone. Vapiano has also recently started to transition to pinsa making for their pizza, which is a process of pressing down the dough with your fingers to create an airy and lighter texture. This pizza is often described as having a “cloud-like” crust.
The restaurant’s concept in ordering and dining has been known to be on the digital side. Since Vapiano started in 2002, they made use of Radio Frequency Identification cards (RFID) as part of their order system. Upon entering the restaurant, customers would receive an RFID card that they’ll use to order their meal directly from the chef. Once the meal and drinks are prepared, the meal would register on the system. After dining, the card is given to the host for billing.
But that system has a bit of a downside to it and one of them was the long line of people ordering directly from the chef. And since the pandemic required protocols to be put in place such as social distancing, Vapiano needed to change the way their system worked.
At present, they’ve changed their RFID card system to using a QR code instead. This process involved customers scanning a QR code which will then load the Vapiano app. By using the app, customers can order from a menu and still customize their meals all while already being seated at their tables. After finalizing their order, guests can check out and pay. Orders then register on the chef’s side which they will prepare. The final step is for servers to deliver food to the customers.
To franchise Vapiano, you can kick off the process by completing the form here. You can choose from a list of countries that Vapiano is open to franchising. If the country is not on the list, you can choose the option for “Other Country”. You will get to discuss more of why you’re choosing that certain country once you talk to a Vapiano representative.
What Vapiano is looking for in a franchisee are the following qualities:
- A clear passion for Vapiano
- Visionary and entrepreneurial thinking
- Positive leadership and motivational skills
- Team-oriented attitude
- Hands-on approach and the ability to quickly acquire new knowledge
- Willingness and ability to work as an entrepreneur and at the same time to be part of a larger system
- Well-established network of local partners, authorities and opinion leaders for support and guidance
- Keen understanding of the local culture
- Desire and ability to build up a successful brand in your market
- Solid background in business development
- Operational experience in hospitality
What Vapiano gives in return are the following:
- A proven and successful restaurant business
- An internationally recognized brand
- A unique corporate identity with growing international recognition
- Long-term growth perspective with 20-year contracts
- Outstanding product quality and value
- A modern and stylish design by world-famous architects
- Professional support in location scouting and evaluation
- Professional support in construction, recruitment and training, marketing and all areas necessary for a sound entrepreneurial structure
- A dedicated international marketing concept
- Continuous system improvements
- A trustworthy and helpful franchisor committed to transparency and partnership
Vapiano has over 190 branches globally. In the United States, there used to be 6 locations. But it seems that most Vapiano in the United States have closed since the pandemic. Some have renamed their restaurants while some are closed to this day. Others unfortunately have closed permanently. Nevertheless, Vapiano has still included the United States on their list of countries that are available to franchise their restaurant.
At present, Vapiano’s Chief Executive Officer is Alan Laughlin. Their headquarters is located at Cologne, Germany.
How Much Does Vapiano Make in Profit?
The last known gross profit recorded for Vapiano was in 2019 which was 76.28 million euros based on their ending period of September 30 in 2019. It’s unclear if the company has maintained these revenue figures come out of the pandemic.
Advantages of a Vapiano Franchise
You’re probably wondering what are the pros to look forward to in franchising Vapiano? Here are some of them you can expect.
As mentioned above, the concept for Vapiano is technological driven. This takes into consideration the convenience and time it takes for food to be made so that the only thing left for customers to do is to enjoy the food. On the chef’s end, the organized system allows them to cook the food depending on the guest’s customization. In addition, the system also allows orders to arrive to the guest’s table in a correct order: beverages first, appetizers next, then mains, and desserts.
Franchising Vapiano means that you could be more technological driven and advanced than most restaurants which gives you an edge over offering a unique dining experience to customers.
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At Vapiano, everything is made to order. The meals are not pre-made to re-heat. Everything is cooked once a customer places their order. What’s more is that their pizza dough is made in house, their pasta is made from scratch, and everything is made just how the customer wants it so you’re sure that the meal is not frozen or already cooked beforehand.
A restaurant that prioritizes freshness of ingredients and cooking everything that’s made to order means that the food is of high quality and you as a potential franchise owner can be proud of that.
Vapiano is found in several countries all over the world. And with this fact, it just shows how successful their business model can be. A restaurant that also has a global presence means more people know about them. In addition, having several locations around the world can bring about bigger revenue.
Challenges of a Vapiano Franchise
Does a stable business like Vapiano bring challenge? Yes. All businesses will have their set of challenges from time to time. Here are a few you can expect when you franchise Vapiano.
We’re well aware that we praised Vapiano’s technological advancement on their dining system but it’s also admittedly confusing if you’re a customer who is not used to dealing with a QR code system. Let’s face it, some people like the comfort of getting to order their food from an actual menu and talking to a server. And even before the QR code system, which is now considered a better solution than the RFID card one, the reviews for dining at Vapiano was not received pleasantly. A customer even said that the system was “stupid”.
Even the managing director Craig Goslin said that the system lost them almost £140,000 in revenue in 2019 due to customers not being able to pay after the meal and just leaving since the RFID card was supposed to be handed to the host to pay.
The QR code may be getting positive responses these days with customers paying already via the app. But this system could still be considered confusing to a lot of people. There are still plenty of customers that don’t use QR codes on a regular basis and can get frustrated at the point of payment.
Unstable At Present
As mentioned above, Vapiano planned to file for bankruptcy protection in 2020 due to the pandemic but also because they were already suffering from financial problems since 2019. They’ve managed to pick themselves back up at present but a lot of restaurants have closed and there’s no news yet of opening new locations soon in the United States. This is not the typical environment of high-growth you’re looking for with a restaurant concept.
Vapiano may have a unique dining experience to offer but they’re not the only Italian chain of restaurants that serve delicious pizza and pasta. You have Panera and the ever popular Olive Garden. It’ll take a lot of marketing strategies to open Vapiano back in the United States to compete with other restaurants.
Is the Vapiano Franchise Right For You?
If you think you have a good location for a Vapiano and that the unique dining experience can be a hit in your area then go for it. But do keep in mind that this chain of restaurants is currently just picking themselves back up from the pandemic so there are plenty of unknowns with the longterm business model. Do consult with your financial adviser if you’re still uncertain.
What is an alternative Vapiano franchise?
An alternative franchise you can get into is Panera. They’re known for selling freshly baked breads, sandwiches, bread bowls, and pizza. They also use clean and fresh ingredients making them a formidable competitor in the fast casual restaurant industry.
To franchise Panera, expect to invest between $1,117,000 to $3,464,000. The franchise fee is $35,000. To learn more about franchising Panera, check out our full guide here.
I hope this guide in franchising Vapiano was helpful and offers preliminary information about franchising this chain of restaurants in your area.