Cousins Subs Franchise Costs, Fees & Owner Salary (2023)









June 13, 2024


Cousins Subs

a franchise?

Cousins Subs

Cousins Subs is a notable franchise in the fast-food industry, specializing in grilled and deli-fresh submarine sandwiches. The company's ethos, centered around the belief in better quality and service, is evident throughout its operations and product offerings. Founded in 1972, Cousins Subs has established a strong presence with a focus on providing high-quality, fresh ingredients in their sandwiches, setting them apart from competitors in the crowded fast-food landscape.

Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Cousins Subs has grown significantly since its inception, now boasting a robust franchise model that extends its reach beyond its original location. The franchising arm of the company offers comprehensive support and a well-defined structure to potential franchisees, highlighting the brand's commitment to mutual success and community involvement.

The focus on leadership, culture, and a clear set of criteria for franchising ensures that each franchisee is well-equipped to uphold the brand's standards and contribute positively to the Cousins Subs family.

Cousins Subs differentiates itself from competitors through a combination of high-quality ingredients, unique menu offerings, and a community-oriented approach. The brand's dedication to supporting local communities and engaging in charitable activities further strengthens its position as a socially responsible and preferred choice among consumers.

How many

Cousins Subs


are there?

In 2022, there were
outlets in
the United
States, of which
are franchises, and
are corporate-owned.

What are the

Cousins Subs



Advertising fee

5% - 8%

Initial Franchise Fee ($25,000)

The initial franchise fee for a Cousins Subs franchise is $25,000. This fee is considered fully earned and non-refundable when paid. If you are an existing franchisee, you may purchase additional franchises for Cousins Subs Shops during the term of the Franchise Agreement. The initial franchise fee for additional franchises is $17,500 for each additional franchise you purchase.

Royalty Fee (6% of Gross Sales)

Franchisees are required to pay a weekly royalty fee equal to six percent (6%) of the Gross Sales of the Shop for the immediately preceding week (Reporting week is Sunday through Saturday).

Advertising Fee (2% to 5% of Gross Sales)

Franchisees are obligated to contribute towards advertising and marketing efforts. This includes a contribution of 2% of Gross Sales to the Advertising and Development Fund, which can be increased to 5% of Gross Sales.

Note: The fees presented here can be found in the Item 5 of the Franchise Disclosure Document. For a complete list of all the fees borne by the franchisee, please consult the Franchise Disclosure Document.

How much does

it cost

to start a

Cousins Subs


It costs between
to start a
Cousins Subs

The franchise requires an initial investment that covers various aspects of setting up and running the business. These expenditures include the initial franchise fee, leasehold improvements, equipment and small wares, seating packages, initial inventory, and several other costs.

The total estimated initial investment for opening a Cousins Subs franchise ranges from approximately $444,700 to $954,500. This comprehensive investment ensures that franchisees are well-equipped to start their business journey with Cousins Subs.

Type of Expenditure Amount
Initial Franchise Fee $25,000
Leasehold Improvements $185,000 - $390,000
Equipment and Small Wares $135,000 - $190,000
Seating Package / Millwork $30,000 - $75,000
Initial Inventory and Supplies $6,000 - $18,000
Point of Sale System / Technology $10,000 - $30,000
Architectural Fees $9,000 - $52,000
Rent $3,000 - $15,000
Lease and Utility Security Deposits $0 - $15,000
Insurance $700 - $1,500 Monthly Installment
Training $2,500 - $15,000
Store Marketing Fee $10,000
Lease Addendum Review Fee $0 - $5,000
Signage $8,500 - $63,000
Additional Funds – 3 months $20,000 - $50,000
Total estimated initial investment $444,700 - $954,500

Note: The table above provides a snapshot of the main costs associated with starting the most common franchise format (as disclosed in the Item 7 of the Franchise Disclosure Document). For a complete overview of all the expenses involved with the various formats offered by the franchisor, please consult the Franchise Disclosure Document.


Cousins Subs



to its


Cousins Subs

Training Program: Cousins Subs provides a comprehensive training program designed to ensure franchisees are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to operate their establishment.

Who Needs to Attend: The franchisee or its designated managers are required to complete Cousins Subs' initial training program.

Training Content: The program covers essential topics for running the establishment, including sales techniques, product orientation, accounting procedures, food preparation, and operations management.

Location and Duration: Training is conducted at Cousins Subs' corporate office in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, and at designated training facilities. The duration is a minimum of 25 days, although the specific number of days depends on Cousins Subs' opinion of the franchisee and their managers' experience and needs.

Training Expenses: While Cousins Subs provides the initial training program for the franchisee's designated managers, franchisees are responsible for personal travel, accommodation, and other costs while attending training.


Cousins Subs




Franchisees do not receive an exclusive territory. They might face competition from various sources, including other franchisees, outlets directly owned by the franchisor, and other distribution channels or competitive brands overseen by the franchisor.

Franchisees operate from a specific approved location, and the territory is dependent on this location. If the approved location is at a Non-Traditional Location, the territory will consist only of that Non-Traditional location.

Additionally, there are certain exclusions from the territory, and other than the limited exclusivity granted, the franchisor and its affiliates retain all other rights within the territory. This includes the right to use, franchise, or license other persons to use the Marks and System for the operation of other businesses, even within the franchisee's territory.

Can a

Cousins Subs


be run as

a passive


Cousins Subs does not mandate that the franchisee personally supervise the franchised business. However, there is a stipulation that the business must be overseen either by the franchisee or by two full-time designated managers who have met the franchisor's requirements.

The Cousins Subs franchise model provides some flexibility in terms of management. While the franchisee does not have to personally oversee the daily operations, there is a requirement for active supervision, either by the franchisee or by two designated full-time managers.

This suggests that while there's room for delegation, the franchise isn't designed to be a purely passive investment.

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