Houlihan's vs Zaxby's Franchise Comparison

Below is an in-depth analysis and side-by-side comparison of Houlihan's vs Zaxby's including start-up costs and fees, business experience requirements, training & support and financing options.

Start-Up Costs and Fees

 
Houlihan's Franchise
Zaxby's Franchise
Investment $1,600,000 - $4,300,000 $343,200 - $695,200
Franchise Fee $40,000 $35,000
Royalty Fee 4% 6%
Advertising Fee - 2.87%-5%
Year Founded 1972 1990
Year Franchised 1994 1994
Term Of Agreement 20 years -
Term Of Agreement 20 years -
Renewal Fee $5K -


Business Experience Requirements

 
Houlihan's Franchise
Zaxby's Franchise
Experience
  • Industry experience
  • General business experience
  • Must live in same market being developed
  • Prospective Franchisees must meet the following criteria to be considered: Collective net worth of at least $1,000,000, with liquid assets greater than $500,000 (liquidity being defined as cash or any asset that could be converted to cash within ten business days). Ability to satisfactorily pass background checks for the following: reasonable credit worthiness, no criminal convictions, no history of extensive litigation, and satisfactory motor vehicle report. Willingness of all investors to personally guarantee any obligations that are required under the license agreement. Willingness to make a commitment to this venture within 60 – 90 days of signing a license agreement. Belief that guest service is of critical importance in restaurant operations.

    Financing Options

     
    Houlihan's Franchise
    Zaxby's Franchise
      In-House/3rd Party In-House/3rd Party
    Franchise Fees No/Yes -/-
    Start-up Costs No/Yes -/-
    Equipment No/Yes -/-
    Inventory No/Yes -/-
    Receivables No/Yes -/-
    Payroll No/Yes -/Yes

    Training & Support

     
    Houlihan's Franchise
    Zaxby's Franchise
    Training - The initial training program is eight weeks long, consisting of a one-week orientation phase at Zaxby's Franchising, Inc.'s training center, three two-week phases at a training restaurant and the final one-week phase back at ZFI's training center. Ongoing support and training updates, in addition to other business development practices - including onsite inspections - are conducted regularly throughout the franchise system.
    Support Meetings, Field operations/evaluations, Purchasing cooperatives -
    Marketing Co-op advertising, Ad slicks, Regional advertising -
    Operations Franchisees required to buy multiple units/master licenses

    Number of employees needed to run franchised unit: 78

    Absentee ownership of franchise is allowed. (80% of current franchisees are owner/operators)

    -

    Expansion Plans

     
    Houlihan's Franchise
    Zaxby's Franchise
    US Expansion Yes Yes
    Canada Expansion No -
    International Expansion No -

    Start-Up Costs and Fees Mobile

    Investment
    Houlihan's Franchise
    $1,600,000 - $4,300,000
    Zaxby's Franchise
    $343,200 - $695,200
    Franchise Fee
    Houlihan's Franchise
    $40,000
    Zaxby's Franchise
    $35,000
    Royalty Fee
    Houlihan's Franchise
    4%
    Zaxby's Franchise
    6%
    Advertising Fee
    Houlihan's Franchise
    -
    Zaxby's Franchise
    2.87%-5%
    Year Founded
    Houlihan's Franchise
    1972
    Zaxby's Franchise
    1990
    Year Franchised
    Houlihan's Franchise
    1994
    Zaxby's Franchise
    1994
    Term Of Agreement
    Houlihan's Franchise
    20 years
    Zaxby's Franchise
    -
    Renewal Fee
    Houlihan's Franchise
    $5K
    Zaxby's Franchise
    -


    Business Experience Requirements

    Experience
    Houlihan's Franchise

  • Industry experience
  • General business experience
  • Must live in same market being developed
  • Zaxby's Franchise
    Prospective Franchisees must meet the following criteria to be considered: Collective net worth of at least $1,000,000, with liquid assets greater than $500,000 (liquidity being defined as cash or any asset that could be converted to cash within ten business days). Ability to satisfactorily pass background checks for the following: reasonable credit worthiness, no criminal convictions, no history of extensive litigation, and satisfactory motor vehicle report. Willingness of all investors to personally guarantee any obligations that are required under the license agreement. Willingness to make a commitment to this venture within 60 – 90 days of signing a license agreement. Belief that guest service is of critical importance in restaurant operations.

    Financing Options

      In-House/3rd Party
    Franchise Fees
    Houlihan's Franchise
    No/Yes
    Zaxby's Franchise
    -/-
    Start-up Costs
    Houlihan's Franchise
    No/Yes
    Zaxby's Franchise
    -/-
    Equipment
    Houlihan's Franchise
    No/Yes
    Zaxby's Franchise
    -/-
    Inventory
    Houlihan's Franchise
    No/Yes
    Zaxby's Franchise
    -/-
    Receivables
    Houlihan's Franchise
    No/Yes
    Zaxby's Franchise
    -/-
    Payroll
    Houlihan's Franchise
    No/Yes
    Zaxby's Franchise
    -/Yes

    Training & Support

    Training
    Houlihan's Franchise
    -
    Zaxby's Franchise
    The initial training program is eight weeks long, consisting of a one-week orientation phase at Zaxby's Franchising, Inc.'s training center, three two-week phases at a training restaurant and the final one-week phase back at ZFI's training center. Ongoing support and training updates, in addition to other business development practices - including onsite inspections - are conducted regularly throughout the franchise system.
    Support
    Houlihan's Franchise
    Meetings, Field operations/evaluations, Purchasing cooperatives
    Zaxby's Franchise
    -
    Marketing
    Houlihan's Franchise
    Co-op advertising, Ad slicks, Regional advertising
    Zaxby's Franchise
    -
    Operations
    Houlihan's Franchise
    Franchisees required to buy multiple units/master licenses

    Number of employees needed to run franchised unit: 78

    Absentee ownership of franchise is allowed. (80% of current franchisees are owner/operators)

    Zaxby's Franchise
    -

    Expansion Plans

    US Expansion
    Houlihan's Franchise
    Yes
    Zaxby's Franchise
    Yes
    Canada Expansion
    Houlihan's Franchise
    No
    Zaxby's Franchise
    -
    International Expansion
    Houlihan's Franchise
    No
    Zaxby's Franchise
    -

    Company Overviews

    About Houlihan's

    Houlihan's has been known for exceptional food at an affordable price since we entered the casual dining segment in 1972. Our menu features a great mix of contemporary pop American cooking - classic dishes reinvented in a fresh modern way and brought to the table with simple, stylish plating and presentations. And then there's the bar. It's always the best place to feel the great energy of Houlihan's. Our bar strategy unites pop culture, trendy premium brands, the newest drinks and vendor insights for a winning combination, resulting in an enviable liquor mix.

    To help us more quickly expand to new markets and trade areas, Houlihan's is seeking sophisticated restaurant operators with experience building out entire markets. At this time, we are not pursuing single-site franchise agreements.

    Our ideal candidate to become a franchise market developer is a successful full-service, multi-unit operator with expertise in one or more large markets (e.g. the top 75 MSAs in the United States). We are seeking entrepreneurial organizations that can thrive in our flexible franchise environment, while having access to growth capital and capital reserves, but experiencing growth constraints with their current restaurant concept(s).

    About Zaxby's

    Zaxby's Franchising, Inc., actively seeks highly qualified individuals be become licensees. Prior business experience, financial qualifications, motivation, team spirit and a track record of personal success are all important factors in our evaluation process. Prospective licensees must meet the following criteria to be considered: Collective net worth of at least $700,000, with liquid assets greater than $400,000 (liquidity being defined as cash or any asset that could be converted to cash within ten business days). Ability to satisfactorily pass background checks for the following: reasonable credit worthiness, no criminal convictions, no history of extensive litigation, and satisfactory motor vehicle report. Willingness of all investors to personally guarantee any obligations that are required under the license agreement. Willingness to make a commitment to this venture within 60 - 90 days of signing a license agreement. Belief that guest service is of critical importance in restaurant operations.
    The Zaxby's Mission Statement - Consistently Create Encore Experiences That Enrich Lives One Person At A Time - recognizes the value of all individuals.

    ZFI is committed to developing a diverse community of licensees and, in that regard, the Zaxby's franchise opportunity is open to all qualified applicants, regardless of age, gender, race or ethnicity.

    The total investment necessary to begin operation of a Zaxby’s franchised business is $343,200 to $695,200. This includes $40,200 to $45,000 that must be paid to the franchisor or its affiliates. In addition, if you enter into a Multi-Restaurant Development Agreement to develop more than one Zaxby’s restaurant, you must pay the franchisor a fee of $17,500 for each Zaxby’s restaurant scheduled for development and subsequently must pay an additional $17,500 upon execution of the License Agreement for each Zaxby’s restaurant, which amounts are credited towards the initial franchise fee for each restaurant.

    #148 in Franchise 500 for 2021.  Not in Franchise 500 for 2020.