Published on 13 Jan 2023 Time 7 min read Last update by 14 May 2024

Does Jollibee Own Smashburger Franchise?

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Jollibee is a Filipino multinational company based in Pasig, Philippines. After its massive success in the Philippines, it started buying brands in other countries. In October 2015, Jollibee announced that it was acquiring a 40-percent stake in Smashburger. In December 2018, Jollibee went on to acquire 100 percent of the shares in Smashburger, gaining full control of the American hamburger chain. Keep reading to find the complete history of Jollibee and Smashburger Franchise metrics.

Jollibee History

In 1975, Tony Caktiong and his family opened a Magnolia ice cream parlor in Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines. When food items became more popular than ice cream, the family decided to convert the ice cream parlor into a fast food restaurant, which became the first Jollibee outlet in 1978. Jollibee was initially named “Jolibe,” but changed its name to “Jollibee.”

Jollibee was able to withstand the entry of McDonald’s in the Philippines in 1981 by focusing on the specific tastes of the Filipino market, which differed from the American fast food company. The first provincial Jollibee outlet opened in Barangay Dau of Mabalacat, Pampanga. The first Jollibee store overseas, in Taiwan, opened in 1986 but is now closed. Jollibee continued to expand and set up outlets both within the country and abroad. In 1995 Jollibee introduced the Burger Steak to its menu. In 2021 Jollibee announced that they planned to open 509 stores in the U.S. and Canada.

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Tony Caktiong: Jollibee Founder

Tony Tan Caktiong is a Filipino billionaire businessman. He is the founder and chairman of Jollibee Foods Corporation, and the co-chairman of DoubleDragon Properties.

In early 2006, Jollibee Foods Corporation bought out the remaining shares of its partners in Greenwich Pizza Corporation, equivalent to a 20% stake, for P384 million in cash. As of August 2008, Tan Caktiong’s Jollibee has a total of 1,480 stores worldwide including Jollibee, Red Ribbon, Chowking, Greenwich, Manong Pepe’s, and Mang Inasal.

As of November 2015, Forbes estimated his net worth at US$4.1 billion.


Smashburger is a fast-casual hamburger restaurant chain founded in Denver, Colorado. As of 2022, it had more than 219 corporate and franchise-owned restaurants

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How Is Smashburger Franchise Positioned in the Food and Beverage Industry?

The Food and Beverage industry in the USA accounts for 13% of all manufacturing employment in the country. Around 1.46 million people get employed in this industry. Food franchises make up 36% of the total franchise establishments in the U.S. and it is expected to create 1.6 million more jobs by 2027. The annual growth rate in the industry is around 2% and the EBITDA multiplier is around 3x.

How Much Is a Smashburger Franchise?

The initial Smashburger Franchise Fee is $40,000. You have to pay this upfront fee when opening a Smashburger franchise

Smashburger Franchise Cost

The estimated total investment necessary to begin the operation of a Smashburger Franchise ranges from $941,860 – $2,017,426. The following costs are part of the upfront costs included in the initial investment for a Smashburger. Many of these are one-time fees that are needed to launch the franchise. Review the chart below to see how much it costs to buy a Smashburger franchise in 2022.

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Estimated Initial Investment

Type of expediture Amount To Whom Payment Is To Be Made
Low High
Initial Fees $40,000 Us
Leasehold Improvements $711,600 $1,126,426 Landlord/Suppliers
Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment $75,800 $329,700 Suppliers
Signage $8,300 $33,600 Suppliers
IT, POS System $17,800 $45,200 Suppliers
Three Month’s Rent $12,000 $77,000 Landlord
Security Deposit, Business Licenses $1,560 $50,000 Landlord, Suppliers, Professional Svc, Firms
Opening Inventory and Suppliers $15,000 $20,000 Suppliers
Grand Opening Advertising $10,000 Suppliers
Training Expenses $21,400 $184,200 Suppliers and Employees
Grand Opening Assistance $0 $30,000 Us
Miscellaneous Opening Costs $500 $5,000 Suppliers, State Agencies and Employees
Professional Fees $5,000 $15,000 Supplier Professionals
Insurance Premiums – 3 Months $10,000 $20,000 Insurance Carrier
Liquor Licensing $1,400 $9,800 Suppliers and Government Agency
Lease Review Fee $1,500 Us or Our Affiliates
Additional Funds – 3 Months $10,000 $20,000 Suppliers and employees

Smashburger Franchise Requirements

Smashburger requires that you have a proven track record in the restaurant industry with access to $500,000 liquid assets and a net worth of $2M.


Owning a Smashburger Franchise Requires Ongoing Fees

Royalty: 5.5% of Gross Sales

Marketing Fee: Currently 2.25% of Gross Sales, but up to 4% of Gross Sales

Local Marketing: Up to 3% of Gross Sales (currently this requirement is not imposed)

Local Advertising: Up to 3% of Gross Sales

How Much Do Smashburger Franchise Owners Make?

Number of Mature Traditional Restaurants Average # of Units Exceeding Average Median Highest Lowest
172 System Wide Mature Restaurants $1,096,864 69 (40.1%) $1,031,282 $3,383,195 $270,664
114 Affiliate-Owned Mature Restaurants $1,177,810 44 (38.6%) $1,103,973 $3,383,195 $580,920
58 Franchisee-Owned Mature Restaurants $937,764 25 (43.1%) $893,714 $2,570,517 $270,664

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2021 Smashburger Median Franchise Sales: $1,031,282

Initial investment (midpoint) %Profit margin of median franchise sales Estimated Profits Time to recoup investments
$1,479,643 10% $103,128 16 years
15% $154,692 11 years
20% $206,256 8.5 years

Based on the median sales provided by Smashburger’s franchise locations, at an average of a 15% profit margin it will take around 11 years to recoup your investment. This is longer than other franchise opportunities. You may not get a 15% profit margin, which would elongate getting a return on your investment.

Many factors affect the sales, costs, and expenses of your Franchised Store, such as the Franchised Store’s size, geographic location, menu mix, and competition in the marketplace; the presence of other Food and Beverage stores; and the extent of market penetration and brand awareness that Smashburger stores have attained in your market. Also, the quality of management and service at your Franchised Store are major factors.

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Is the Smashburger Franchise Profit Worth the Franchise Cost?

To assign a valuation multiple for Smashburger franchises, we leverage estimates from DealStats, a database of acquired private company transactions sourced from U.S. business brokers and SEC filings. We reviewed the larger franchise industry as well as selling price multiples for larger systems where more transaction data is available.

Under $5 Million Net Sales

  • Estimated Selling Price = Net Sales * 0.55

When you go to sell a Smashburger franchise based on the median multiple of .55 and net sales in 2021 of $1,031,282, it would sell for $567,205. This is significantly lower than the midpoint investment of $1,479,643.

The more franchises you own, the more earning potential you have as private equity firms become interested in your business instead of individual owner-operators.

Smashburger (Franchisor) Income Statement Key Insights

Years ended December 31,
2021 2020 2019
Royalty Fees $5,828 $5,397 $8,484
Franchise Fees 351 1,299 1,619
Total Revenue 6,179 6,696 10,103
Servicing expense- affiliate 5,771 6,263 9,538
Intellectual property licensing expense – affiliate 182 198 301
Bad debt expense 104 129 48
Total costs and expenses 6,057 6,590 9,887
Interest (expense) income 46 (4) 1
NET INCOME $168 $102 $217

Smashburger is a very profitable business for the franchisor with retained earnings of $168,000 in 2021. Compared to $217,000 in 2019, they saw a decrease of 23% from 2019 to 2021. This is a good indication of high growth as a company overall.

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How Many Smashburger Units Have Opened and Closed?

Outlet Type Year Outlets at the Start of the Year Outlets at the End of the Year Net Change
Franchised 2019 127 116 -11
2020 116 98 -18
2021 98 91 -7
Company-Owned 2019 196 161 -35
2020 161 115 -46
2021 115 128 13
Total Restaurants 2019 323 277 -46
2020 277 213 -64
2021 213 219 6

Over the last three years, the company has been in decline. Both franchising units and company-operated stores have decreased. Over the last three years, franchises have closed at a rate of 12 units a year. This is an indicator that these stores may not be performing well. Or their franchise term is up and they are not renewing it.


Smashburger is a franchise that exists in an industry that is already seeing very intense competition from brands like KFC, McDonald’s, and Popeye’s. As such, it might be difficult to break in and that can be seen in the franchise numbers.

While this may be the business for you, make sure also to check out other companies offered on Vetted Biz and in the Food and Beverage industry.

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