4 Korean Brands Offering Franchises in the United States

4 Korean Brands Offering Franchises in the United States

The American market is known for embracing a wide range of products and services, providing a platform for international brands to flourish. This is precisely why a lot of companies aspire to expand their businesses into the United States. 

The continued “Hallyu” or Korean wave is extending the reach of the Korean culture across the United States. This blog post will introduce you to 4 brands from Korea with franchises in the US. Please note, Waldrop and Colvin PLLC is not affiliated with any of the brands contained in this blog post. If you are considering a franchise opportunity, you should engage franchise legal counsel.  

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Waldrop & Colvin is a franchise law firm and they help business owners (franchisors) and entrepreneurs (franchisees) evaluate franchise opportunities so they can make informed decisions. You can learn more about franchising and franchise law by exploring their site (Overview of federal franchise law and State-by-State franchise requirements).

Paris Baguette

Paris Baguette Cafe is a familiar Korean brand often making cameo appearances in popular Korean dramas and movies, this bakery-café chain offers pastries, sandwiches, coffee, drinks, cakes and more.  Paris Baguette opened its first store in South Korea in 1988. At present, Paris Baguette has 3,500 stores in South Korea alone, and over 480 stores globally, the United States included.

Paris Baguette Franchises in the United States

Paris Baguette can be found in the following states:  Arizona, California, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. 

Paris Baguette Initial Investment

A franchisee should expect to invest between $652,565 to $1,750,900 to launch their own Paris Baguette cafe. This is based on what Paris Baguette Family Inc. estimates it will cost a franchisee to launch and run their own cafe for the first three months according to its 2023 Franchise Disclosure Document (“FDD”) which is on file with the NASAA electronic filing depository. 

Paris baguette Franchise Fee

According its 2023 FDD, the initial franchise fee for a single Paris Baguette Cafe is $50,000. There is a reduced fee if you open additional cafes, the initial franchise fee for the second and subsequent cafes being $40,000.

Paris Baguette Royalties And Other Ongoing Fees

As of 2023, Paris Baguette collected 5% of weekly gross sales as ongoing royalty fees. Additional fees to be paid to the franchisor can be found in Item 6 of Paris Baguette’s current FDD. 

Caffe Bene

Dubbed to be a coffee giant in South Korea, this coffeehouse chain offers espresso drinks, hot and cold beverages, pastries, sandwiches, waffles, gelato, and more.

Caffe Bene was founded in South Korea in 2012. At present, Caffe Bene has over 1,600 stores worldwide, including in the United States.

Caffe Bene Locations in the United States

Caffe Bene can be found in the following states:  California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey and New York, and Texas

Caffe Bene Initial Investment

According to Entrepreneur.com, a prospective buyer should expect to invest between $414,500 to $899,600 to launch their own Caffe Bene store. 

Caffe Bene Franchise Fee

According to a 2022 post on Entrepreneur.com, the initial franchise fee for a single Paris Baguette Cafe is $35,000. We were unable to locate a current FDD using public resources. 

Caffe Bene Royalties And Other Ongoing Fees

As of 2023, Cafe Bene collected 6.9% of gross revenue as ongoing royalty fees. Additional fees to be paid to the franchisor can be found in Item 6 of Caffe Bene’s current FDD.

bb.q Chicken

The letters “bb.q” in this restaurants name represents an acronym for “best of the best quality” and this restaurant chain is popular for offering Korean fried chicken paired with a variety of its signature sauces ranging from sweet and savory to spicy. 

The brand has gained popularity for offering a healthier alternative to traditional fried chicken by incorporating olive oil into the cooking process.  

The first bb.q Chicken was opened in Seoul, South Korea in 1995.  Since its formation, bb.q Chicken has become an international hit.  They have grown to over 3,500 locations worldwide across 57 countries. As of December 31, 2022, there were 126 locations in the United States. 

bb. q Chicken Franchises in the United States

b.b.q can be found in various states across the United States, including: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia and Washington. 

bb. q Chicken Initial Investment

A prospective buyer should expect to invest between $375,000 to $788,000 to launch their own bb.q Chicken restaurant. This is based on what BBDOTQ USA, Inc. estimates it will cost a franchisee to launch and run their own restaurant for the first three months according to its 2022 Franchise Disclosure Document (“FDD”) which is on file with the NASAA electronic filing depository. 

bb. q Chicken Franchise Fee

According its 2023 FDD, the initial franchise fee for a single bb.q Chicken restaurant is $35,000. 

bb. q Chicken Royalties and Other Ongoing Fees

As of 2023, b.b.q Chicken collected 5% of gross sales on a monthly basis as ongoing royalty fees. The current royalty fee and any additional fees to be paid to the franchisor will be disclosed in Item 6 of bb.q Chicken’s current FDD. 

Bonchon

Another well known chicken centric restaurant in South Korea is Bonchon. The name “Bonchon” translates to “my hometown” in english.  The Bonchon restaurant chain is renowned for the double-fry technique it uses.  However, they offer more than double fried chicken. The menu items extend to other Korean-inspired dishes like bibimbap and Korean tacos, along with various starters, sides and desserts. 

Bonchon was founded in Busan, South Korea in 2002. Since its formation, Bonchon has grown to over 400 international locations.  Over 120 of these locations are located in the United States. 

Bonchon Locations in the United States

Bonchon locations can be found in the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington

Bonchon Initial Investment

A franchisee should expect to invest between $652,565 to $1,750,900 to launch their own Bonchon restaurant. This is based on what Bonchon Franchise LLC estimates it will cost a franchisee to launch and run their own restaurant for the first three months according to its 2023 Franchise Disclosure Document (“FDD”) which is on file with the NASAA electronic filing depository.

Bonchon Franchise Fee

According its 2023 FDD, the initial franchise fee for a single Bonchon restaurant is $40,000. To incentivize its existing franchisees to open restaurants in 2023, 2024, and 2025, Bonchon offers a development incentive programs where the initial franchise fee may be reduced to $20,000 for the first full 12 months of operations.

Bonchon Royalties And Other Ongoing Fees

As of 2023, Bonchon collected 5% of weekly gross revenues as ongoing royalty fees. Additional fees to be paid to the franchisor are found in Item 6 of Bonchon’s FDD.

Korean Concepts available through franchising

The purpose of this blog post is to introduce you to Korean brands franchising in the United States. The information contained in this post was compiled based off of publicly available documents, and it may not be current by the time you find our post.  Franchises are sold in the United States through disclosure of a franchise disclosure document. If you are interested in a franchise and meet the franchisors criteria, they will provide a current copy of the FDD used to offer franchises in your state.  This document will contain many disclosures and will include a copy of the franchise agreement. Working with a franchise attorney to evaluate a franchise opportunity is essential. 

Meet the Author:

Christine Bontuyan is a lawyer in the Philippines and she is based in Cebu City. She earned her Juris Doctor degree in 2020. Apart from handling civil and criminal cases in the Philippines, Christine serves as a paralegal for reputable US law firms. She previously served as an elected public official in the Philippines, as the Sangguniang Kabataan Chairperson of Barangay Talamban, Cebu City from 2018 to 2023.

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