Great American Cookies Franchise Costs, Fees & Owner Salary (2023)









May 2, 2024


Great American Cookies

a franchise?

Great American Cookies

Great American Cookies, recognized for its delightful array of gourmet cookies and the iconic Cookie Cake, was established in 1977 in Atlanta, Georgia. The inception of this beloved franchise was inspired by a generations-old family chocolate chip cookie recipe, setting a new standard for gourmet cookie sales within shopping centers across the nation. The chain began its franchising journey in 1978.

From its humble beginnings with a single store and recipe, Great American Cookies expanded its footprint throughout malls in the United States, diversifying its product line to include a variety of cookies, brownies, and their signature Cookie Cake, thereby cementing its status as a leader in the snack food industry.

The brand's philosophy has never been about becoming the largest cookie company but about baking the finest cookies imaginable. This commitment to quality and pride in service have propelled Great American Cookies to the forefront of the snack food industry. Each cookie and brownie is crafted from meticulously tested recipes and premium ingredients sourced from their batter facility in Atlanta, Georgia, ensuring the highest quality in every bite.

Great American Cookies is a part of the FAT Brands Family, which extends its reach to Bahrain, Guam, and Saudi Arabia. The franchise continues to share the joy of cookies with customers worldwide, inviting them to partake in the simple delight that a well-made cookie can bring.

How many

Great American Cookies


are there?

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

What are the

Great American Cookies



Advertising fee


Initial Franchise Fee ($25,000)

The Initial Franchise Fee is $25,000. This fee is fully earned by the franchisor when paid and is non-refundable.

Royalty (6% of total net sales)

Franchisees are required to pay a weekly royalty of 6% of Net Sales. Net sales include all gross sales from the franchise location, less sales tax and use tax.

Advertising (4% of Net Sales)

Franchisees must make a weekly contribution to a national advertising fund. This contribution is in addition to the 2% of total net sales which franchisees must spend on local advertising. The franchisor reserves the right to increase the amount of the fund contribution up to 4% of net sales.

In addition to contributing to the national advertising fund, franchisees must also spend 2% of net sales during each calendar quarter on local advertising and promotion of their restaurant.

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

Great American Cookies


It costs between
to start a
Great American Cookies

Great American Cookies offers franchise opportunities for individuals to establish and operate retail restaurants selling cookies, brownies, and related food items and beverages under the "GREAT AMERICAN COOKIES" mark. Depending on the type of restaurant and its location, the investment varies:

  1. Traditional Restaurant: Estimated initial investment ranges from $282,500 to $412,150.
  2. Non-Traditional Restaurant: Estimated initial investment ranges from $195,800 to $337,150.
  3. Satellite: Estimated initial investment ranges from $110,350 to $211,811.
  4. GREAT AMERICAN COOKIES-MARBLE SLAB CREAMERY Co-brand Restaurant: Estimated initial investment ranges from $385,185 to $512,135.

For each of these franchise opportunities, there are specific fees that must be paid to the franchisor or its affiliates, which can range from $25,000 to $50,000.

The following tables show the complete breakdown:

Initial Investment for a Traditional Restaurant

Type of Expenditure Amount
Franchise Fee $25,000
Grand Opening Marketing $3,000 - $5,000
Travel and Living Expenses While Training $1,000 - $3,000
Cookie Ingredients $5,000 - $10,000
Other Opening Inventory $5,700 - $15,150
Architectural Fees $7,000 - $12,500
Furniture, fixtures, equipment and decor $91,000 - $121,000
Signs $4,500 - $9,500
Prepaid rent and security deposit $2,500 - $5,000
Leasehold improvements $115,000 - $165,000
Utility deposits $2,200 - $3,000
Professional Fees $1,000 - $6,000
Point of Sale Systems (POS) and related technology $7,600 - $14,000
Business licenses, permits, etc. (for first 6 months) $1,500 - $2,500
Insurance (3 months) $2,500 - $3,500
Additional Funds (3 Months) $8,000 - $12,000
Total $282,500 - $412,150

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.


Great American Cookies



to its


Great American Cookies

To ensure franchisees are well-prepared for success, Great American Cookies has developed a comprehensive training program. This program is designed to provide franchisees with the knowledge and skills necessary to operate their restaurant in alignment with the brand's standards.

Key aspects of the training program include:

  • Operational Techniques: Franchisees are trained in the best practices for running their restaurant efficiently.
  • Equipment Training: The program covers the use of all required equipment, ensuring franchisees know how to use and maintain their tools effectively.
  • Computer Training: Franchisees receive training on the necessary computer hardware and software, ensuring they can manage orders, inventory, and other essential tasks digitally.
  • In-Restaurant Training: Beyond theoretical knowledge, the training includes hands-on sessions in a restaurant setting.
  • Employee Training: Franchisees are guided on how to train their employees, ensuring the entire team meets the brand's standards.
  • Ongoing Training: Great American Cookies offers continuous operational training programs to keep franchisees updated with the latest standards and practices.


Great American Cookies




Franchisees of Great American Cookies do not receive an exclusive territory. Under the Multi-Unit Restaurant Agreement, franchisees are granted the right to develop and operate a specified number of Restaurants in a designated Development Area. This can be on a "Non-exclusive" basis or a "Protected Rights" basis.

For those operating on a non-exclusive basis, there is no exclusivity granted, and the franchisor retains all rights, including the right to own, operate, and franchise other stores under the "GREAT AMERICAN COOKIES®" name or any other associated trademarks at any location.

The Development Area and the rights provided to the franchisee are non-exclusive, and the franchisor reserves the right to conduct any business activities, under any name, in any area, regardless of its proximity to the franchisee's location.

Can a

Great American Cookies


be run as

a passive


It's essential to be actively engaged in the store's operations. While franchisees are not required to personally supervise the store, there are specific requirements for management.

If a franchisee does not personally supervise the store, a manager, assistant manager, or shift leader who has successfully completed Great American Cookies' training program must directly oversee the store "on premises."

This manager is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the store, including the oversight of food product preparation and personnel supervision. The manager must also commit at least 40 hours per week to overseeing the store's operations.

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