Cinnabon franchise

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Cinnabon operate quick-service bakeries that sell their world famous fresh-baked cinnamon rolls, plus a range of other cakes and pastries and beverages. 

Cinnabon business details

Launched in Seattle, Washington in 1985, Cinnabon are now headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. They have offered franchise opportunities since 1986. Cinnabon claims to be the world’s largest seller of cinnamon flavoured pastries. They rank #49 in the list of world’s biggest fast food retailers, behind other global bakeries. At the end of 2023 the company had 22 outlets across the UK. They operate in 57 countries worldwide.

Cinnabon at a glance:

  • UK stores: 22
  • Required Investor net worth: £300,000
  • Required investor liquid cash: £120,000
  • Min. investment: £255,000 (full bakery)
  • Max. investment: £657,000 (full bakery)
  • Standard franchise term: 20 years

Can I start a Cinnabon franchise?

You’ll need a minimum net worth of £300k, liquid cash of £120k and be prepared to spend close to £700k to get a full Cinnabon bakery off the ground. (Although you may start a simpler Express Cinnabon location for as little as £60,000). The company prefers franchisees who have previous experience in running a business or hospitality and they say they’re seeking franchise-owners who are ‘people orientated’, (which means you genuinely care about your customers and your team). Although franchisees are not required to manage the daily operations of their store, Cinnabon does not recommend this opportunity for candidates seeking a remote investment.

How much does a Cinnabon franchise cost?

Cinnabon offer six types of franchise and they each come with different set-up costs. Franchisees can expect to spend anywhere from £255,000 to £657,000 to open a ‘full bakery’ location – which ranks as moderate to high

Types of Cinnabon franchise:

  1. Full Bakery: A bakery where the franchisee produces and sells a full range of Cinnabon products. Full bakeries are typically in-line or kiosk locations.
  2. Express Bakery: A bakery where the franchisee produces and sells a limited selection of Cinnabon products. Express bakeries are typically located inside another restaurant, food service facility, or business approved by the franchisor.
  3. Concession Bakery: A bakery location at a fair, show, market, or other special event in a concession trailer or food truck where franchisees produce and sell a limited range of Cinnabon products.
  4. Auntie Anne’s Co-Branded Bakery: A full bakery where franchisees produce and sell a range of Cinnabon products in conjunction with those products authorised to be sold under the Auntie Anne’s franchise system.
  5. Carvel Co-Branded Bakery: A full bakery where you produce and sell a range of Cinnabon products in conjunction with those products authorised to be sold under the Carvel franchise system.
  6. Swirl Bakery: A Carvel Co-Branded Bakery that operates under the “Cinnabon Swirl” mark and trade dress and offers a unique menu that offers traditional Carvel and Cinnabon products in addition to hybrid menu items that combine products and ingredients from both brands.

The initial franchise fee is £30,500 for a full bakery. Military veterans may be eligible for a £10,500 discount off this fee.

After opening, you are required to pay an array of ongoing fees and charges. They include:

  • Royalty fee: 6% of net sales
  • Advertising contribution: 2.5% or 3% of net sales
  • Local marketing obligation: At least 1% of net sales spent per quarter
  • Promotions: Actual cost of promo materials and any installation costs
  • On site training and assistance: £250 per trainee per day
  • Additional support/consulting: £500 per day plus expenses per consultant
  • Carvel product training fee: Up to £750 total
  • Plan review: £1,000 per set of drawings
  • Remote location baking license fee: £3,000 per year
  • Refresh/remodel design fee: £1,200 to £6,000
  • Transfer fee: 50% then current franchise fee
  • Credit card fee: 2.5% to 5% per transaction
  • Loyalty app fee: £51 per month

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Estimated key costs to open a Cinnabon franchise (Full bakery option):

Key Costs GuideLowHigh
Franchise fee£30,500£30,500
Construction and build out costs£100,000£300,000
Equipment package£45,000£108,000
Menu board, graphics, interior signage£2,000£13,000
Exterior signage£2,300£15,000
Computer system£7,400£27,400
Grand opening marketing£2,500£7,500
Legal and accounting fees£5,000£10,000
Security deposits£0£15,000
Opening inventory£5,000£8,000
Travel and living expenses during training£3,100£5,100
Additional costs – first three months£15,000£33,000

Are Cinnabon franchises profitable?

Yes. Cinnabon say that gross revenues (full bakery in an enclosed mall) average £720,000 per year. Other sources say average revenues (full bakery) are £637,000 per year. Allowing for a 15% margin on these figures, Cinnabon franchise owners may collect net profits of £108,000 or £95,000 per year. This ranks as good and is above the average UK franchise owner income (all franchises) of £60k per year.

What is the failure rate for a Cinnabon franchise?

The failure rate for a Cinnabon franchise is 4% in year one, rising to 15% by year three. This ranks as moderate to high

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What are the franchise territory policies for Cinnabon?

Franchisees may manufacture and sell approved products at retail only from the specific bakery location that Cinnabon has accepted. The company does not grant franchisees any exclusive territory or other territorial rights other than the right to sell approved products at retail from the bakery. However, if franchisees operate a co-branded bakery in a streetside location, while they will not receive an exclusive territory, they will receive a territory with limited protected rights.

What franchise resources does Cinnabon offer?

Cinnabon support for franchisees includes:

  • Training: Required trainees must attend and successfully complete to the management training program prior to the opening of the bakery. All individuals attending the management training program must be at least 18 years old and must have management experience as a restaurant owner and/or operator. All or certain portions of the management training program may, in the franchisor’s discretion, be conducted online or in person. Currently, the classroom training is conducted through online modules and on-the-job training is conducted at a certified training location. Cinnabon also recommends that the primary contact or at least one of the managers attend the opening of another franchisee’s bakery before a franchisee opens their own bakery. The company may, from time to time, conduct conferences, conventions, programs, webinars, teleconferences, or training sessions on any matters related to the system.
  • Marketing support: Cinnabon provides promotional and other marketing support for their franchisees.
  • Third-party financing: Cinnabon provides no financial support for investors seeking franchise funding. You may be able to obtain economical and flexible funding solutions from the many independent funders who provide business loans to franchise operators.

Why should you start a Cinnabon franchise?

Depending on the type of Cinnabon franchise you select, you can get into this franchise for little money, although starting a full-blown bakery could be significantly more expensive. Overall, you gain the backing of a global brand, a much-loved product range, and the potential for good profits. The only downsides are the lack of a passive investment opportunity and a high failure rate – one in seven Cinnabon franchises do not make it past year three. 

What is the process for starting a Cinnabon franchise?

It begins with an application. Start the process today.

Secure franchise funding with Swoop

Starting a new franchise can be an exciting opportunity, but it’s easy to get lost in a maze of business loan applications that can make funding your new bakery business like too much hard work. Instead, cut out the hassle and cut to the chase. Swoop has the best lenders for the best franchises across the UK. Just tell us what you need and leave the rest to us.

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Written by

Chris Godfrey

Chris is a freelance copywriter and content creator. He has been active in the marketing, advertising, and publishing industries for more than twenty-five years. Writing for Barclays Bank, Metro Bank, Wells Fargo, ABN Amro, Quidco, Legal and General, Inshur Zego, AIG, Met Life, State Farm, Direct Line, insurers and pension funds, his words have appeared online and in print to inform, entertain and explain the complex world of consumer and business finance and insurance.

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