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How Do Franchisors and Franchisees Make Money?

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How Do Franchisors and Franchisees Make Money?

How Do Franchisors and Franchisees Make Money?

Franchising is a business model that allows for a symbiotic relationship between franchisors and franchisees. It is essential to grasp how revenue is generated and distributed within this dynamic to comprehend the financial aspects of the franchise relationship. In this article, we will explore how franchisors and franchisees make money and understand the distinct revenue streams that contribute to their respective financial success.

Franchisor Revenue Streams:

Franchisors generate revenue through various avenues that stem from their role as the brand owner and provider of the franchise system.

The Primary Sources of Revenue for Franchisors:

  1. Franchise Fees: One of the primary sources of revenue for franchisors is the franchise fee. This upfront payment is made by the franchisee to the franchisor for the privilege of joining the franchise system. The franchise fee varies widely depending on the brand, industry, and level of support offered by the franchisor. It compensates the franchisor for the provision of training, access to the franchise system, brand recognition, and the initial set-up assistance provided to the franchisee. This grants franchisees the right to operate under their established brand.
  2. Royalty Fees: In addition to the franchise fee, franchisors typically receive ongoing royalty fees from their franchisees. These fees are usually calculated as a percentage of the franchisee’s sales and are paid at regular intervals (e.g., weekly or monthly). Royalty fees are essential for the franchisor as they represent a continuous and reliable stream of revenue. These funds are reinvested to support the franchise system, provide ongoing support and training to franchisees, and drive marketing initiatives to enhance brand visibility.
  3. Product or Service Sales: In some franchise systems, the franchisor may sell products, supplies, or proprietary software directly to their franchisees. These sales generate additional revenue for the franchisor and offer franchisees the advantage of sourcing their essentials directly from the brand owner. Franchisors may also offer training programs, specialized tools, or add-on services for which they charge a fee, further contributing to their revenue stream. It is important to note that the franchisor cannot profiteer from franchisees in terms of products and services sales, this is stipulated in the Competitions Act. However, franchisors need to offer the products or services at a market related fee and only cover their procurement and distribution costs of the product or service offering.
  4. Transfer and Renewal Fees: Franchisors may also earn money through transfer fees when a franchisee sells their franchise to a new owner. These fees help cover the costs associated with facilitating the transfer of ownership and ensuring that the new franchisee meets the franchisor’s qualifications. Additionally, renewal fees are charged to franchisees when they renew their franchise agreements after the initial term. These fees ensure that the franchisor continues to receive revenue from existing franchisees.
  5. Advertising and Marketing Fees: Franchisors may require franchisees to contribute to advertising and marketing funds. These funds are used to develop national or regional marketing campaigns, promote the brand, and enhance overall brand recognition. Franchisees usually contribute a percentage of their sales towards these fees, enabling the franchisor to drive effective marketing initiatives. This isn’t an actual revenue stream for the franchisor as the fund is governed by the Consumer Protection Act, the money is kept in a separate account and purely spent on marketing the franchise brand. The franchisor benefits as the brand value increases.

Franchisee Revenue Streams:

Franchisees generate revenue primarily through their day-to-day operations within the franchise system.

The Primary Sources of Revenue for Franchisees:

  1. Sales Revenue: The primary source of income for franchisees comes from sales generated through their franchise unit. This could include revenue from product sales, services, or fees charged to customers. Franchisees are responsible for driving customer demand, delivering quality products or services, and ensuring customer satisfaction to maximize their sales revenue.
  2. Additional Revenue Streams: In some cases, franchisees may have opportunities for additional revenue streams. This could include upselling or cross-selling complementary products or services, offering extended warranties, providing maintenance contracts, or diversifying their offerings to cater to specific customer needs. These additional revenue streams can contribute to the overall financial success of the franchisee.


In the franchise relationship, both franchisors and franchisees generate revenue through different channels The franchisor’s financial success is underpinned by multiple revenue streams derived from franchise fees, royalty fees, advertising and marketing contributions, product or service sales, and transfer and renewal fees. These income sources enable the franchisor to provide ongoing support to franchisees, invest in brand development, and drive marketing efforts to enhance brand recognition and growth. Franchisees, on the other hand, generate revenue through sales and potentially through additional revenue streams. Understanding these revenue streams is vital for both franchisors and franchisees to set realistic financial expectations, make informed business decisions, and work collaboratively to ensure the long-term success of the franchise relationship.


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Comments (2)

  • Nompumelelo Masilela
    15 August 2023 at 17:58 Reply

    I would like to know if McDonald can help me to franchise as I do not have funds. But I do have a business idea and I stay where McDonald’s highly in demand

    • Sasha-Lee de Bod
      2 October 2023 at 13:11 Reply

      Hi Nompumelelo, most franchisors generally have a own contribution requirement of at least 50% of the total investment. Most financial institutions will not fund more than the balance of 50%. The requirement for investment is also important because generally these businesses cannot afford to repay a 100% loan therefore the business could be over-indebted and fail. You would need to make contact with the franchisor, for them to give you further information about what it takes and what is needed to be a franchisee of their brand. Each franchise has its own profile for the franchisees that they are looking for and they know what they can train you on.

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