Why You Can’t Buy a Starbucks Franchise and What To Buy Instead

You can’t buy a Starbucks franchise but you can invest in something similar

Starbucks has done an excellent job of creating a café’ culture in the United States and as Americans, we now expect to have a café in our neighborhoods. We love our lattes and espresso drinks and we look for a cozy place to meet friends, escape the office or just hang out and get some work done.

Specialty coffee is undergoing a steady growth spurt that shows no signs of slowing down and the lines at just about every local Starbucks are around the corner. Sounds like a fabulous franchise to own, right?

Unfortunately, Starbucks stuck to the corporate owned path for expansion and raised capital so they could own all of their stores. They do have a license program for hotels and non-traditional locations but sadly, they don’t sell franchises and if you want one, you are out of luck.

What to do?

We recommend researching a complimentary coffee business that thrives in the same trade area – even across the street – from a Starbucks. Have a few Starbucks in your community? Chances are you are sitting on a good opportunity to open your own coffee franchise.

The good news? Opening a smaller, more boutique coffee franchise is often less expensive than a Starbucks would be and comes with financing options, training and ongoing support. There are several growing coffee brands you can research and some of the best ones are the ones that you haven’t heard of.

We’re fans of Just Love Coffee, which offers a café franchise offering that showcases some award-winning specialty coffee and a unique food menu that increases daily sales. Founded in 2009, Just Love has been growing rapidly since it began franchising and has a goal of getting to 200 locations in the next five years.

It takes advantage of two important trends: the increasing demand for fair trade and organic, locally roasted coffee and brunch-inspired breakfast foods. Both are underserved in most markets and with Just Love Coffee, you get two businesses that operate together to post sales numbers much higher than other, similar coffee franchise opportunities.

Just Love Coffee Beans

How do you buy a Just Love Coffee Franchise?

If you were to open a Starbucks franchise, you might have to have well over $1million in working capital, roughly the same as a Dunkin Donuts or Tim Hortons franchise would cost. With a Just Love Coffee franchise, total investment starts in the mid $200s and owners typically have $50-80,000 in working capital and take out an SBA loan, use home equity or borrow from their 401K.

Visit the franchise information website for Just Love Coffee and download the information report. If you like what you see start a conversation with a franchise recruiter and see if you are a fit.

Opening a coffee franchise that can compete with Starbucks in your market might be easier than you think, even though you can’t buy a Starbucks!

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