4 Top American Burger Restaurants in the UK

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burger chain franchises

Many of the UK’s most well-known burger chains originated in the US. American burger restaurants like McDonald’s, Burger King and Wimpy have seen great success on British soil, but how can you benefit from their profitability? Let’s take a closer look at their franchise models.


Although the hamburger was originally created in the 1800s Hamburg (hence the name), beef patties have been served up in a bread bun by American business owners since the early 1900s. The burger is now considered one of America’s classic dishes and consumers eat them three times a week there on average. As a result, almost 50 billion burgers are sold every year in the US, contributing $73 billion (£55 billion) to the economy.

But it’s not just America serving up tasty burgers; the indulgent meal option has also found a place in the hearts of us Brits. We flock to classic America burger restaurants up and down the country, so investing in a restaurant chain brought over from the US is likely to be a profitable move.

Why start an American burger business?

  • Brits have welcomed the burger with open arms, and American burger chains can be found up and down the country.
  • You can choose the franchise to suit you. Most American burger chains offer fast food, but there is also a variety of mid-range burger restaurants delivering a casual dining experience, and high-end options with more expensive dishes.
  • While there has been a move towards healthier and more environmentally friendly foods in recent years, burgers are still incredibly popular among consumers. You can safeguard your business by making sure you offer dishes for those with dietary requirements and an interest in animal welfare and the sustainability of their food.

American burger restaurant franchises to consider

If you want to appeal to customers with a love of the classic American burger, investing in a US franchise is one of the best steps you can take. In fact, some of the biggest franchises out there are American burger restaurants, so you’ll benefit from a solid business model, huge customer base and incredible brand reach.

Here are four of the best American burger restaurants to invest in:

1. McDonald’s

McDonald’s is widely considered to be the most successful fast food brand out there. With a brand value far exceeding £75 billion, this restaurant chain has branches all over the world, and more than 90 percent of them are managed by franchisees.

  • Becoming a McDonald’s franchisee: The fast food brand is looking for investors who want to set up a business within 45 minutes of where they live. You’ll need to apply on your own, rather than with a business partner, and be prepared to sign a 20-year franchise agreement. You should also have good communication skills, financial acumen and a customer-centric approach.
     
  • How much you need to invest: McDonald’s is a world-famous brand, and the set-up costs reflect its position as a leading fast food outlet. The amount you pay will vary depending on the type of business you launch and its location. McDonald’s says the cost of buying the franchise rights and equipment for a 10-year period was between £350,000 and £1.85 million for 80 percent of restaurants in 2018.
     
  • What you’ll get for your investment: You’ll immediately be enrolled onto an extensive training course lasting at least 26 weeks. McDonald’s makes sure you’re set up with an impressive supply chain and provides a fully equipped restaurant, which you’ll be expected to maintain and refurbish when necessary. You’ll also benefit from good returns, as 80 percent of McDonald’s franchisees achieved sales between £1.5 and £4.3 million in 2018/19.

2. Burger King

Another leading fast food chain, Burger King has an extensive franchise network, with 15,500 franchised stores and just 71 company-owned stores. In the US, the franchise serves 54 million customers per month.

  • Becoming a Burger King franchisee: To join the famous US brand, you’ll need to be passionate about what you do and happy to put in hard work to see rewards. Burger King only wants to recruit investors who are dedicated to the growth of the brand, so you’ll need to be committed to the burger franchise.
     
  • How much you need to invest: Burger King’s investment cost reflects its impressive brand reach, so you’ll need to part with around £800,000 in total to get your restaurant up and running.
     
  • What you get for your investment: Once you’re on board, you’ll get the chance to take part in a 15-week training scheme and benefit from in-restaurant coaching. You’ll even be able to take individual training programmes for managers and operators.

3. Wimpy

Wimpy has an extensive history as an iconic American burger restaurant chain. It’s been up and running since 1934 and arrived in the UK in 1954. Wimpy accommodates a range of dietary requirements and became the first burger chain to include meat-free burgers on its menu in 1985. Now, it’s a global brand and known for its delicious burgers across the world.

  • Becoming a Wimpy franchisee: Those looking to benefit from Wimpy’s worldwide franchise model should have prior managerial experience and good business judgement. You can find out more by heading to Wimpy’s franchise website.
     
  • How much you need to invest: You’ll need £220,000 to open a 60-seat, 1,200-square-foot restaurant, and £80,000 to launch a 500-square-foot express unit.
     
  • What you get for your investment: A two-week training scheme will brief new recruits on the Wimpy model, providing franchisees with all the tools and know-how to lead their business to success.

4. One Delivery

This franchise isn’t an American burger restaurant, but it does deliver food made by American burger chains to customers across the UK.

One Delivery was established in 2013 and now operates more than 100 franchise branches across the UK. It delivers dishes from independent and chain restaurants, as well as famous fast food outlets such as McDonald’s, Burger King and KFC. Customers can enjoy their favourite food in the comfort of their own home in more than 65 cities, from Cardiff and Brighton to York, Leeds and Aberdeen.

  • Becoming a One Delivery franchisee: Across its network of franchises, One Delivery handles over £1 million worth of orders every month, which means you could make up to £50,000 in revenue after two years. Learn more on our One Delivery profile page here on Point Franchise.
     
  • How much you need to invest: This delivery business has one of the lowest minimum investment requirements of any franchise on our site. Prices start at just £495 – but bear in mind you will have to pay £1,995 in franchise fees in order to access the tools and support provided by the franchisor. However, you’ll still pay a total of less than £2,500, which makes One Delivery a highly affordable franchise.
     
  • What you get for your investment: You’ll be treated to a comprehensive induction scheme, which gives you access to a training programme and a dedicated franchise manager to support you throughout your time with the franchise.

Find out more

You only need to look at some of the biggest restaurant chains in the UK to see just how much US brands have influenced the food scene here. There are plenty of franchises to choose from if you’re keen to start a fast food business; just take a look at all the franchise options open to you.

>> Read more articles on the Burger sector

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