What is a Franchise REALLY Worth? How to Value any Franchise.

We are indebted to Business Brokerage Press for the following article and information. Business Brokerage Press is the most respected and authoritative source of small business pricing guidelines available.  They may be reached at http://www.bbpinc.com.

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From the October newsletter of Business Brokerage Press:

From the upcoming 2013 Business Reference Guide, we have listed franchises with a “quick” rule of thumb, or range, usually expressed as a percentage of sales. For many of them we have based it on quite a few actual sales; others may have been based on just a few; and, in some cases, just one where we felt it was appropriate. They can be a good starting point for pricing the business.

Many of the franchises are well known while others are very new with just several units. By the time this goes to press, some of the franchises may have folded, sold or merged. We try to keep this as up-to-date as possible. We could use your help. To contribute to our ever-growing list, just complete the franchise resale form on our web site. Please also email tom@bbpinc.com if you find that a franchise has disappeared or merged, etc. Obviously the big changes such as Mail Boxes to UPS Store will be caught by us or by our researchers (hopefully).

Keep in mind that rules of thumb are just that. Every business is different and rules of thumb will never take the place of a business valuation or even an opinion of value. Rules of thumb are also not intended to create a specific value or to be used for an appraisal. But, they will give you a quick ballpark idea of what the business might sell for with everything else being equal. A rule of thumb will tell you whether a seller is in the ballpark when he or she tells you what they think their business is worth or what they want to sell it for.

For up-to-date information and for those companies where the number of units is not shown, track down their web site. Read the footnotes where indicated.

FRANCHISE LIST – A thru C:

A number in parentheses beside a franchise indicates a note at the end of the list.

Ace Cash Express 1.25

Ace Hardware stores (1) 45%

Adam and Eve 35%

Andy on Call 25%

Aero Colours 70%

All Tune & Lube 20 – 25%

AlphaGraphics 60 – 65%

Allegra Printing 60 – 65%

American Poolplayers Association (APA) (2) 140%

Andy OnCall 25%

Arctic Circle 40%

Atlanta Bread Company 25 – 30%

Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream 45 — 50%

Batteries Plus 30 – 35%

Beef O’Brady’s 22%

Ben & Jerry’s 35 – 40%

Between Rounds Bagel Deli & Bakery (3) 40 – 45%

Big Apple Bagels 35 – 40%

Big City Burrito 55 – 60%

Big O Tires  – 35%

Black Jack Pizza 45 — 50%

Blimpies 45 — 50%

Boba Loca 30%

Bresler’s Ice Cream 35 – 40%

Bruster’s Ice Cream 50%

Budget Blinds (4) 45 – 50%

Burger King 40%

Camille’s Sidewalk Café 30 – 35%

Carl’s Jr 40 – 50%

Cartridge World 30 — 35%

Carvel Ice Cream/Restaurants 55%

Car X Auto Service 35 – 40%

CertaPro Painters 45%

Chester’s International 45%

Cheeburger Cheeburger 35 — 40%

Chick-Fil-A 60 – 70%

Closets by Design 50%

Closet Factory 50%

Cold Stone Creamery 30%

Conroy’s Flowers 55 – 60%

Cost Cutter’s Family Hair 55 – 60%

Coverall Cleaning Systems (5) 2–3 times mo. sales

Culligan Dealerships 80 – 120%

Curves for Women (6) 35 — 40%

(1) Sales seem to indicate that smaller sales bring a higher multiple (50% +) than stores with sales over a million, which seem to bring lower multiples. Price is plus inventory which may be the cause of lower multiples for larger stores.

(2) $1,000 to $1,800 per team in sales; selling price – $2,000 to $2,500 per team

(3) 3 – 4 times earnings

(4) 2 times annual EBIT, plus inventory & equipment

(5) Master/Area developer – Sell for 3 to 5 times earnings plus some blue sky for size and potential of market (some cases).

(6) Prices for Curves for Woman seem to be all over the place. Some sales have been reported at 75+% of sales. One sale reported was 1.31 times sales for four units.

__________

FRANCHISE LIST – D thru L:

A number in parentheses indicates a note at the end of the list.

Dairy Queen 45 — 50%

Deck the Walls 35 – 40%

Del Taco 90%

Dick’s Wings and Grill 35%

Dollar Discount Stores 20%

Domino’s Pizza 50 – 55%

Dream Dinners 45%

Dr. Vinyl 75%

Dry Cleaners USA 55%

Dunkin’ Donuts (7) 75 – 80%

Eagle Transmission Shops (8) 40%

Environment Control 42%

Fantastic Sam’s (9) 35 – 40%%

Fast Fix (Jewelry) 80 – 85%

Fast Frame 32%

FasTrac Kids 45%

Fast Signs 42 – 46%

FedEx Ground 65 – 70 %

Firestone Tire Stores 35%

Floppy’s Mouse Club 70%

Foot Solutions 60%

Framing & Art Centers 60%

Friendly Computers 30% — 35%%

Friendly’s Restaurant 40%

Geeks on Call (Australia) 60%

General Nutrition Centers 40%

Godfather’s Pizza 28%

Goin’ Postal 30 – 35%

Goodyear Store (Business Opportunity) 35%

Grease Monkey 50%

Great Clips 1 – 1.5 SDE

Great Harvest Bread Co. (10)

Great Steak 50– 55%

Grout Doctor 85 — 90

Hallmark Cards 40%

Harley-Davidson Motors (11) 87%

Heavenly Hams 30 — 35%

Home Helpers 35%

Home Team Inspection 35%

Honest 1 Auto Care 70 %

House Doctor 24%

Hungry Howie’s Pizza & Subs 35%

Huntington Learning Center 60%

i9 Sports 65 – 70%

Iceberg Drive Inn 40 – 45%

Jani-King 26-5 — 30%

Jersey Mike’s Subs 50%

Jiffy Lube 50%

Jimmy Johns 65 — 70%

Johnny Rockets 75%

Jon Smith Subs 20%

Juice It Up 24%

Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) 30 – 35%

Kuman Math & Reading Centers 80 – 90%

Kwik Kopy (printing) 50 – 60%

Lady of America 45 — 50%

Laptop Xchange 85 — 90%

Lenny’s Subs 15%

Liberty Tax Service 40%

Lil’ Dino’s Subs (12) 64%

Little Caesar’s Pizza 55%

Logan Farms (honey-glazed hams) 30%

(7) Dunkin Donuts shops now sell for 75 – 125% of annual sales, depending mainly on geography. It’s about 125% in New England, 100% of sales in the Mid-Atlantic States, and lower in the South and Midwest. There really is not a Dunkin Donut market in the West. A sale in Colorado was reported that sold for 22% of sales.

(8) Eagle is a Texas based franchise http://www.eagletransmission.com. They are the strongest transmission franchise in the Dallas area with 21 locations and are a minor player in Houston and Austin. The attraction is the royalties at 4% in Dallas and 6% Houston and Austin, and the training is “hands on” locally.

(9) These stores sell for maximum 2 times SDE versus $120,000 to $150,000 + for new. 10 to 12 sales have been reported at 2 times SDE for absentee owner stores (most are) and 2 times SDE + manager’s salary of owner operated.

(10) 3.3 – 3.4 times SDC

(11) Netted $2,100,000 and seller retained 20% of ownership

(12) One sold for 80% of sales, but it was located in an office building with vending rights.

__________

FRANCHISE LIST – M thru Z:

A number in parentheses indicates a note at the end of the list.

MAACO Auto Paint 40%

MaggieMoo’s Ice Cream (13) 32%

Maid Brigade 45%

Mama Fu’s 30%

Marble Slab Creamery 45 — 50%

Martinizing 60%

McGruff’s Safe Kids ID System 52%

Meinke Car Care Center 30 – 35%

Merry Maids 45%

Midas Muffler 35 – 40%

Minuteman Press 65%

Molly Maid 40%

Money Mailer 40 – 45%

Mountain Mike’s Pizza 27%

Moto Photo 72%

Mr. Gatti’s Pizza 25 – 30%

Mr. Jim’s Pizza 35 – 40 %

Mr. Payroll 1.3%

Mr. Rooter Plumbing (14)

Mrs. Fields Cookies 68%

Murphy’s Deli 50%

Music Go Around 40 %

My Favorite Muffin 30 — 35%

Nathan’s Famous 100%

Nature’s Way Café 45%

Natural Chicken Grill 25 – 30%

New York Pizzeria 35 — 40%

Obee’s Soup/Salad/Subs 55 — 60%

Oil X Change 30%

Once Upon A Child 25%

Orange Julius 32%

Original Italian Pie 35 — 40%

OXXO Dry Cleaners 65%

Pak Mail 50%

Panera Bread 35 – 40%

Papa Johns PIzza (18)

Papa Murphy’s Pizza 35 – 40%

Parcel Plus 25%

Petland 57%

Pillar to Post – Home Inspection 40%

Pizza by George 50%

Pizza Factory (15) 35%

Pizza Inn 47%

Planet Beach 35 — 40%

Play It Again Sports 40 — 45%

Precision Tune Auto Care 36%

Pump It Up 30%

Purrfect Auto 50 – 55%

Quaker State Lube 50%

Quizno’s Classic Subs (16) 25 — 30%

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers 32%

Reniassance Executive Forums 75%

Rocky Mountain Chocolate 65 – 70%

Rita’s – Ices, Cones, Shakes 80 – 1.3%

Roly Poly Sandwiches 34%

Safe Ship 40%

Samurai Sam’s Teriyaki Grill 50%

Sarpino’s Pizza 50%

Sears Carpet & Upholstery Care 30%

Senior Helpers 40 – 45%

ServiceMaster Clean 55 – 60 %

Serv Pro 90%

Shell Rapid Lube (Business Opportunity) 50%

Signarama 55 – 60%

Sir Speedy (printing) (17) 55 – 60

Smart Box 48%

Smoothie King 40 – 45%

Snap Fitness 40%

Soup Man (Original) 30%

Subway (18) 65 – 70 %

SuperCoups 40 – 45%

Superior Inspection 1.3%

Swisher (restroom hygiene service) 75%

Taco John’s 31%

Tan USA 60 – 65%

TCBY 40 – 45%

The Maids 40 – 45%

Togo’s Eatery 60 – 65%

Topz Healthy Burgers 40%

Tropical Smoothie Café 55 — 60%

Two Men and a Truck 43%

U Save (auto rental) (18) 10 – 15%

UPS Stores 40 – 45%

Valpak Mailers 3 SDE

Valvoline Instant Oil Change 50%

We the People 86%

Wild Birds Unlimited 30 – 35%

Wine Kitz (Canada) 55%

Wingstop Restaurants 33%

Wireless Toyz 45 — 50%

Worldwide Express 50 – 55%

Your Office USA 60%

You’ve Got Maids 60%

Ziebart International (auto services) 42%

Zoo Health Club 20%

(13) One MaggieMoo’s Ice Cream & Treatery sale was reported at 92%, three years old, great location, growth at 15% approx a year; but only 15% down payment

(14) 1 – 4 times SDC plus hard assets. The number between 1 – 4 depends on several factors such as the owner operating a truck, etc.

(15) Pizza factory has approximately140 units in the 10 Western States.

(16) Two sales in the Western states were reported at 99% of sales and another at 65% of sales. However, two sales in the lower Midwest were reported at 38% and 40%. One sale in New York was reported at 48% of annual sales, another in Massachusetts at 51% and one in Nevada at 45%.

(17) One sale was reported at 70% of sales.

(18) “As a former multi-unit Subway franchisee and a Development Agent, now a business broker Subway stores, there are many different formulas I have seen. 30 to 40 weeks sales, or 60 to 70% of sales is a popular one. Actual sales price depends on supply and demand and is closer to 70% of sales in So. CA.”

“On stores with gross sales of $300,000 to $500,000, multiple of 40% of annual sales. On stores with sales of $500,000+, multiple of 50% of annual sales. Franchisor would like 30% as a down payment on resales.”

“I would suggest for Subway, in New England and maybe all of New England, due to the high number of pizza restaurants, Subways tend to sell for a much lower of percentage of sales than 47% — sometimes as low as 20 – 25%.”

(19) Price does not include cost of vehicles, and revenues do not include auto sales.

#    #     #

William Bruce is a business broker and appraiser who subscribes to the Business Brokerage Press publications.  He consults nationally on issues involved in business transfers and valuation.  He may be reached at WilliamBruceOnline@gmail.com or (251) 990-5934.  His business brokerage website may be viewed at www.WilliamBruce.net.

 

About William Bruce

President, American Business Brokers Association / Business Broker and Accredited Business Intermediary assisting business buyers and sellers with the transfer of ownership since 1986 / Author: How to Buy a Business.
This entry was posted in Business Valuation & Appraisal, Buying or Selling a Business, Franchises and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

51 Responses to What is a Franchise REALLY Worth? How to Value any Franchise.

  1. Pingback: How to Use Rule-of-Thumb Guidelines to Estimate the Value of a Business | William Bruce on Business: A Discussion

  2. William;

    This is a very interesting list. How stable are these ratios?

  3. Ok, for the franchises you have followed the sales ratios are reasonably constant?

  4. Pingback: What is a Restaurant or Bar Worth? How to Estimate Value. | William Bruce on Business: A Discussion

  5. Jolly says:

    I’m specifically interested in for a GNC store, been open for 10+ years.

  6. ray twal says:

    any information about Baja Fresh will be appreciated

  7. Vij says:

    Interesting article, what would you suggest are the valuation guidelines for a Pump It Up or a Monkey Joe?

    • Hello and thanks for dropping in. My best reference source says an existing Pump It Up franchise is worth approximately 30 percent of annual sales. I can’t find anything on Monkey Joe. I’m guessing that since it’s a similar operation to Pump It Up, the valuation formula would be about the same.

  8. Thakur Sahab says:

    Any information The Goddard daycare franchise? Thank you

  9. Chris Manley says:

    How about The Cleaning Authority?

    • Chris, I’m not familiar with The Cleaning Authority and couldn’t find a reference citation for valuation. If it’s similar to The Maids, they are valued at 40 to 45 percent of annual revenue.

  10. Pingback: The Best and Worst Franchises to Buy | William Bruce on Business: A Discussion

  11. Nicole Vasko says:

    Looking into a Once Upon a Child franchise. What is the annual average revenue? And also, what is an existing Subway that has an annual gross of 500,000 worth selling for?

    • I’m not familiar with Once Upon a Child. Their FDD would probably give you the information you’re looking for. Subway restaurants will appraise for 2 to 3.5 times discretionary earnings.

  12. Sean says:

    I’m considering buying a Murphy’s Deli that’s 12 years old and does a little over $400k per year in sales. By your rule of thumb, $200k is a good place to start negotiations. (That would be about 1.5 times SDE) Sound right? Any other key factors to drive up value?

    • Sean, thanks for stopping by. The updated pricing guidelines for Murphy’s Deli are: “50 percent of annual sales plus inventory.
      Multiples have ranged from 40 percent to 60 percent.”

      Variables affecting value are location in a good demographic area with good highway visibility and easy access. Also, the growing or declining revenue and profits of the specific restaurant, and the lease. I couldn’t find any lease benchmarks for lease expense specifically for Murphy, but in general lease expense in restaurants should be within two points on either side of 8 percent of total revenue.

      Good luck on the venture.

  13. MICHAEL CONDRASKY says:

    Looking at existing UPS Store. 5 year average revenues are 312,000.00 and average 5 year cash flow is about 51,600.00. Store just sign new franchise agreement and as updated the store. Owners are downsizing, they owned 4 at one time. They now have 3. What is a good starting point?

    • Michael, UPS Stores are valued at approximately 35 to 40 percent of annual sales plus inventory or 2 to 3 times discretionary plus inventory. Be sure to get the complete records of the store including tax returns and also the Federal Disclosure Document from the franchisor. Good luck with the business.

  14. beda de los reyes says:

    There is a new franchise Potato Corner that just opened roughly 2008. One franchisee is looking into selling as they have full time jobs and are not able to focus on the business. Gross sales is $350K. What would be a good starting point?

    • I couldn’t find any valuation guidelines specifically for Potato Corner, but I think about 3 times the correctly calculated discretionary earnings (cash flow) would be a good starting point. Good luck with the sale.

  15. WIlliam says:

    Considering a Moe’s Southwestern Grill franchise but do not see any valuation guidelines here. Franchise is based in NE and is roughly 4 years old with sales approaching $1.5M. Any feedback would be welcome.

    • William, I’m familiar with Moe’s as there are a couple here in this area. But I can’t find any valuation guidelines for the franchise. Who would be considered their closest franchise competitor in menu and operational aspects. Perhaps I could find some valuation information on a close competitor that might help.

      • William says:

        Perhaps Qdoba would be a competitor that you are more familiar with. Chipotle certainly is too but not a franchise.

      • William, unfortunately I couldn’t find any valuation formula on Qdoba either. In the absence of any specific formula, I always fall back on 2.5 to 3.5 times the correctly calculated discretionary earnings plus the value at cost of inventory (food and liquor/beer).

  16. Dave says:

    any thoughts on mom & pop restaurants with sales around $700,000? good location, seasonal in Michigan from April through October.

  17. Amy says:

    Any insight into a Bricks 4 Kidz franchise? The current franchisee has had it a year and sales were about 100k with 45k net earnings. Should the franchise fee be included in the valuation? How about tax write offs?

    • Amy, I couldn’t find any valuation formulas for resale of existing Bricks 4 Kidz franchises. The franchisor’s website lists the total initial start-up cost of a new franchise in a range between $34,000 and $51,000. I think probably the value of an existing franchise which has been in business for only a year would be around two times the correctly calculated discretionary earnings, including any franchise transfer fee due the franchisor. Hope this helps.

  18. John says:

    I’m interested in buying an existing Baskin Robbins. Annual sales is about $485K. What is a starting price to buy this franchise?

    • John, thanks for stopping by. My most authoritative resource says an existing Baskin-Robbins franchise is worth somewhere in the range of 46 to 56 percent of annual revenue. Hope this helps.

  19. Trish says:

    Hi. Do you know what the gross profit multiplier would be for a Zeppe’s pizza? I didn’t see it on this list. Thank you.

    • Trish, my authority contains the following valuation rules-of-thumb for pizza shops: “35 percent of annual sales plus inventory for independent shops, 38 percent of annual sales plus inventory for franchised or chain pizza shops, 1.5 to 2 times SDE; plus fixtures, equipment and inventory.”

  20. Jim says:

    I am exploring franchise opportunities regarding home health care. Their seems to be a growing Franchise list out there and was wondering if you have a current list of the key players in this industry, and any pitfalls I should be aware of?

  21. Peter says:

    Hi William,

    I am looking at a Dominoes pizza franchise in Australia, with turnover approx 1.5 mil. Location is a tourist industry seasonal town which has a projected down turn over the next two yearts. What formula would you use? and do you have anything other to note.

    Thank you in advance.

    Regards, Peter

    • Peter:

      Thanks for dropping by. My most authoritative resource gives the following valuation formula for Dominoes Pizza:

      “45 percent of the first $400k in annual sales, 50 percent of the next $100k ($400k to $500k) in annual sales, then 55 percent of the next $250k in annual sales ($500k to $750k)”

      Hope this helps. Good luck with your acquisition.

      ~William

  22. Camilo says:

    Hi I’m looking at jon smith subs. I need information if its worthy to buy a franchise.

    • Camillo, an existing Jon Smith Subs location is valued at approximately 20% of annual revenue if — big if — the bottom line discretionary earnings will support that valuation. As far as a start-up, take a look at their Federal Disclosure Document to see if they make an earnings claim (Statement 19 in the FDD) for their franchisees. Good luck with your venture. ~William

  23. Nate diggity says:

    Hi there, I’m interested in purchasing a Firehouse sub shop in southern California. Yearly gross is about 1 Mil. Gross. Any insights of what a good purchase price would be? Thanks so much!

    • Nate, I couldn’t find a valuation formula specifically for Firehouse, which by the way, is one of my favorite sub sandwiches. Subways will appraise for 50 to 60 percent of annual revenue, Blimplies at approximately 45 to 50 percent and Jersey Mikes at 50 percent. Hope this helps. If you need a formal, documented written appraisal let me know. ~William

  24. Jessie Eagen says:

    Hi William. We have a DQ Grill & Chill. If we calculate the business at 50% of gross sales do we add the value of the equipment on top of that? As well as inventory? It does $1,000,000 a year in sales which would put the business value at $500,0000 so do we then add the depreciated value of the equipment on top of the $500,000? The depreciated cost of the equipment is around $350,000. Thank you! Jessie

    • Jessie, My most authoritative reference source gives the valuation of Dairy Queens as 45 to 50 percent of annual revenue. Only inventory and the realty, if owned, should be added, not the furniture, fixtures and equipment.

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