Thai Express Franchise Costs, Fees & Owner Salary (2023)









April 11, 2024


Thai Express

a franchise?

Thai Express

Thai Express, a leader in the Thai cuisine segment, began its journey in 2004. Thai Express began franchising in 2004, the same year it was founded. The brand quickly established itself within the Canadian market and has since expanded to hundreds of locations worldwide, becoming a significant player in the fast-casual dining sector specializing in Thai cuisine.

The brand's rapid growth is attributed to its unique position in the fast-casual dining sector, offering authentic Thai food prepared fresh and fast. With its roots in Canada, Thai Express has become a prominent name in the industry, boasting hundreds of locations not only in Canada but also expanding internationally​​​​.The headquarters of Thai Express is part of the MTY Group, a Canadian company known for its successful management and expansion of multiple franchise concepts.

The MTY Group has played a crucial role in the franchising and operational success of Thai Express, supporting its expansion and ensuring the brand's consistent quality and service across all locations​​. For entrepreneurs interested in the Thai Express franchise, the opportunity offers a chance to be part of a growing brand with a significant presence in the quick-service restaurant market, especially for those passionate about bringing authentic and affordable Thai cuisine to their communities​​.

How many

Thai Express


are there?

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

What are the

Thai Express



Advertising fee


Initial Franchise Fee

The Initial Franchise Fee for the Thai Express franchise is established at $30,000. This one-time payment grants franchisees access to the brand, business model, and comprehensive support to start their business. It's due upon signing the franchise agreement and is non-refundable.

Local Marketing Expenses

Franchisees are required to spend an amount equal to 2% of Gross Sales monthly for local advertising marketing campaigns. Additionally, in regions with two or more franchisees, participation in a Local Advertising Cooperative is required, contributing a minimum of $250 towards joint regional and local public relations and advertising programs​​.

Marketing Fund Contributions 

The document mentions the possibility of increasing Marketing Fund Contributions to 4% of Gross Sales, subject to a vote by at least 75% of the franchisees in the system​​.

Marketing Initiatives

A specified Marketing Fee of $10,000 is allocated for Grand Opening Marketing, aimed at effectively launching the franchise with robust promotional activities. This upfront investment is crucial for establishing a strong market presence.

Transfer Fee Policy

A Transfer Fee of $15,000 is applicable for franchisees wishing to transfer their franchise rights, covering the administrative workload involved in transitioning the franchise to a new owner.

Renewal Fee Guidelines

At renewal, franchisees are required to pay 50% of the prevailing Initial Franchise Fee, allowing them to continue their operation under the Thai Express brand for an extended period.

Royalty Fee

Franchisees are required to pay a royalty fee equal to six percent (6%) of Gross Sales during the term of the agreement​​.

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

Thai Express


It costs between
to start a
Thai Express
Type of Expenditure Amount
Initial Franchise Fee $30,000
Electricity, Water, Gas, Telephone and Landlord’s Deposits $7,000 to $10,000
Lease Deposit plus three months’ rent $17,500 to $52,500
Store Design Fees and Plans $10,000 to $17,000
Permits $1,000 to $3,000
Landlord Capital Contribution / Construction Chargeback $0 to $0
Store Construction, Leaseholds and Fixtures $140,000 to $315,000
Exhaust $40,000 to $80,000
Equipment Package $120,000 to $200,000
Furniture $20,000 to $45,000
Signs $7,000 to $20,000
Menu Box $10,000 to $17,500
Opening Uniform Package $700 to $1,200
Small Wares $10,000 to $12,000
Opening Promotion and Advertising $750 to $5,000
Grand Opening Marketing fee $10,000 to $10,000
Security system (does not include monitoring cost) $0 to $3,000
Training Attendance $500 to $2,500
Total $454,050 to $876,700

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.


Thai Express



to its


Thai Express

The franchisor provides a comprehensive training program for franchisees, which includes both "In-Store Training" and "New Owner Training." The training program is structured as follows:

In-Store Training

  • Duration: Approximately 160 hours
  • Focus: Practical, hands-on training in a store setting

New Owner Training

  • Duration: Approximately 40 hours
  • Focus: Operational and managerial aspects of running a Thai Express franchise

The training is mandatory for the franchisee and their Designated Manager. It covers various aspects of the business operation, including system standards, food preparation, customer service, and management practices. The program is designed to ensure that franchisees are well-prepared to meet the brand's standards and successfully operate their Thai Express franchise.


Thai Express




The Thai Express franchise agreement specifies that the franchise is granted for a specific location, identified as the "Licensed Location" in the Franchise Agreement. Franchisees are required to operate exclusively from this Licensed Location and must obtain written permission from the franchisor before relocating their Thai Express Restaurant.

The franchise agreement prohibits franchisees from conducting business from any site other than the Licensed Location without written consent from the franchisor, which includes restrictions on unapproved catering or delivery services and the use of other distribution channels, including the Internet, for sales outside of the Licensed Location.

Importantly, the franchise agreement clarifies that franchisees will not receive an exclusive territory. This means franchisees may face competition from other franchisees, from outlets owned by the franchisor or its affiliates, or from other channels of distribution or competitive brands controlled by the franchisor.

Can a

Thai Express


be run as

a passive


The Thai Express franchise agreement requires substantial involvement from the franchisee in the day-to-day operations of the franchise. If the franchisee is an individual, they must personally supervise the operation of the Thai Express Restaurant at the licensed location. Individual franchisees are also required to attend and satisfactorily complete the franchisor's training program.

In cases where the franchisee is a corporation, partnership, or other business entity, the shareholders or partners are not required to personally supervise the restaurant's operations. However, at least one of the shareholders or partners must attend and satisfactorily complete the franchisor's training program.

Additionally, the franchise agreement mandates that the Thai Express Restaurant be under the direct, on-site supervision of a Designated Manager who has successfully completed the franchisor's training program.

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