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Franchise VS Independent Restaurant: Which Is Easier to Manage?

Franchise vs. independent restaurant—it’s difficult to objectively admit that one type of restaurant is easier to manage than the other. Each type has its own pros and cons, and which one will be better suited for you will depend on your unique situation. That said, managing a restaurant franchise tends to be easier. Let’s get into it.

For those of you who are aspiring restauranteurs, there are two routes you can take. You can start your very own independent restaurant, or you can acquire an already-established restaurant franchise.

Now, this decision is not an easy one to make because investing in a restaurant is an expensive venture, and it comes with its fair share of risks. Therefore, you should base your decision on your goals, concept, and budget.

So, if you’re still unsure which direction you should head toward, this article will help you determine whether franchise or independent restaurant management is for you. 

What You Need to Know About Independent Restaurant Management

If you’re looking to start your very own restaurant, you should know that managing it has its own caveats. While starting an independent restaurant is a great way to share your idea with the world, navigating through the multitude of potentials risks is ultimately your responsibility.

Here’s what you need to know about managing an independent restaurant. We’ll start with the positives first. 

More about managing a restaurant here. 


  • Requires Low Investments
  • One factor that makes independent restaurant management relatively easy is that it does not require a lot of investment—compared to purchasing a restaurant franchise, of course. You can start your own restaurant in a small space and let the business take off before investing in expansion.
  • You Have Full Control Over Everything
  • Another factor that makes an independent restaurant easy to manage is that you don’t have to cater to the ideas and demands of other managers or stakeholders. You have complete control over the restaurant’s aesthetic, its menu, the location, and much more.
  • You Pocket All Of The Profits
  • As an independent restaurant owner, you get to keep all of the profits your restaurant makes. You can use this money to grow your business and hire more personnel to help manage it.
  • You Have The Opportunity To Learn A Lot
  • People learn from their mistakes, and as a new independent restaurant owner, you’re bound to make quite a few of them. However, you can learn what works and doesn’t work and then use that knowledge to manage your restaurant more effectively.


  • Great Risk Of Failure
  • The restaurant industry is a competitive one. So, making your restaurant stand out from the rest and eventually becoming successful can be a gamble. Therefore, you will have to try and come up with unique ideas, pick effective marketing strategies, and put in a lot of time and effort in business operations to avoid those risks. Doing all of that can make managing an independent restaurant a lot harder than you may have first surmised.
  • Possibility Of Operational Inefficiency
  • Typically, new independent restaurants don’t have standard rules and policies to keep them running efficiently. This automatically can make restaurant management more challenging.

What You Need to Know Managing an Outlet of Chain Restaurants

The second option you can consider is purchasing and managing an outlet of chain restaurants. This option can be a relatively more expensive one, but it typically poses fewer risks.
Here’s what you need to know about managing a franchise restaurant. 


  • Relatively Fewer Risks
  • Managing an outlet of a franchise restaurant comes with significantly fewer risks than starting your own from scratch. This means that you won’t have to go above and beyond to prevent these risks from surmounting into a loss. Thus, theoretically, it’ll be a lot easier to manage a franchise restaurant.
  • Easier To Run For New Restauranteurs
  • When you purchase a franchise restaurant, everything is set up for you. Therefore, if you’re new to the industry, you will have a foundation to work from, making managing significantly simpler than starting anew.
  • The Franchisor Will Provide Resources
  • Purchasing an outlet of chain restaurants means you’ll still be working under the franchisor. In most cases, the franchisor provides outlet owners with the necessary resources to run the restaurant effectively. These resources include staff training, equipment, supplies, marketing budgets, and so on.


  • Acquiring A Franchise Is Expensive
  • Acquiring a franchise restaurant typically costs a lot more than starting an independent restaurant. This is especially true if the franchise is popular. In addition to that, you will have to pay a royalty fee for running a franchise outlet. Thus, these costs can make limit the number of resources you can put into making restaurant management easier and more effective.

If you want to know more about franchising read this other post here.

Last Few Words

If we were to give a definitive answer on the franchise vs. independent restaurant debate, we’d say that running a franchise restaurant is typically easier. However, that is not always the case for all restauranteurs.

If you’re looking for restaurant franchise opportunities, try to find one that fits into your budget. You will also have to spend money on keeping the business thriving, in addition to the resources from the franchisor. In addition to preventing growth, limited resources can be a source of stress, which can make management a lot harder. On the other hand, you can only run an independent restaurant effectively if you make a well-thought-out business plan from the start.

To learn more about anything and everything that has to do with the restaurant industry, check out our blog section. You’ll find various restaurant trade secrets, and you can seek professional assistance from one of our experienced restaurant consultants.

The Franchise Restaurant Business and Thrive in a Specific Location | Restaurant Keys Consultants

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About the Author

Massimo’s career has grown up through the restaurant world, starting as a waiter through to high-end restaurant openings within an operational management capacity. This depth of experience has allowed him to understand the business from both a guest’s needs to what a team needs, giving him the benefit of an all-rounded view and approach to problem solving.