Q:

How do you buy a Starbucks Coffee franchise?

A:

Quick Answer

Starbucks does not have franchisees in any markets except Britain and France, as of 2015, and the company is not currently recruiting franchisees in those two markets. Starbucks required prospective European franchisees to have liquid assets of at least 500,000 euros (roughly $700,000 USD) and secure their own financing, making franchise ownership unrealistic even for most individuals living in the correct market, assuming Starbucks ever begins recruiting franchisees again.

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Full Answer

All Starbucks stores in North America are company-owned. The company lets smaller businesses or individuals sell Starbucks-branded merchandise through licensing agreements but retains 100 percent ownership in the Starbucks-affiliated portion of the operation. Starbucks also allows joint venture schemes, similar to the deal that brought the company into Barnes and Noble stores.

Starbucks required European franchisees to own a multi-site business and have experience in the food and beverage industry. It also required that each franchisee plan to open 20 stores within five years of opening the first one, so prospective Starbucks franchisees had to be very wealthy to pass the application process. Starbucks gave approved franchisees help selecting optimum locations as well as targeted marketing assistance for their areas and extensive training on how to run a Starbucks.

A company called Taste Holdings Ltd. procured exclusive rights to open Starbucks locations in South Africa and several other African countries in 2015, with the first stores scheduled to open in 2016. The deal is a licensing agreement lasting for up to 25 years, which is essentially a franchise agreement on a larger scale.

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