Does Hard Rock Cafe Franchise?

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hard rock cafe

Hard Rock Cafe is known across the globe for serving fresh, handmade, classic American cuisine and holding the most valued collection of rock‘n’roll memorabilia.

Hard Rock Cafe

Hard Rock Cafe boasts an impressive portfolio of more than 181 cafes, 25 hotels and 11 casinos across 75 countries - making Hard Rock International (HRI) a globally recognised brand. The multinational, themed restaurant chain owns a vast collection of music memorabilia which is showcased in its locations all over the world. On top of this, Hard Rock Cafe has a fashion line and music-related merchandise, including branded t-shirts, caps, hoodies, pint glasses and much more, all of which you can view on their award-winning website. There are also Hard Rock Live performance venues in Hollywood, Las Vegas and many more vibrant US cities.

Is Hard Rock Cafe a franchise?

HRI owns the global trademark for all Hard Rock brands and owns, operates and franchises Hard Rock Cafe outlets in influential cities like New York, San Francisco, London and Dubai. It also owns, licenses and manages hotels and casinos across the globe. There are cafe franchise and development opportunities available and if you head to its website you can explore the maps to discover the regions where it is looking for franchisees. There are available regions in areas of the Caribbean, North America, Central America, South America, Asia, Pacific Rim, Africa, India, the Middle East, Ireland, France and Portugal. Unfortunately, the company isn’t looking for any franchisees in the UK, potentially because they are focusing more on their international expansion for now. However, watch this space for any available opportunities in the future.

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What do you need to invest?

HRI is on the lookout for experienced multi-unit operators who are passionate about the brand. They should have a proven track record of success in the target market and should be dedicated to the growth of the brand. When prospective franchisees apply, they will be reviewed on their management experience, industry experience, knowledge of the target market and business acumen.

Industry experience relates to casual dining, quick service, full service fine dining, retail sales, bar and nightclub, live music, supply chain management, customer service, hotel experience and support infrastructure.

On top of these requirements, investors will need to have a net worth of at least $2,000,000 and liquidity of $1,000,000. These need to be backed up by the relevant financial statements.

What is the recruitment process?

Interested applicants will submit a franchise questionnaire which HRI will examine. If candidates demonstrate sufficient experience in the hospitality industry and fulfil the other necessary requirements, they will reach the next stage where HRI will get in touch with the applicant and they will chat on the phone or meet in person. Then, a formal franchise application will be completed so HRI can complete their due diligence process. They will also fill out a franchise disclosure document and a market study analysis template. After this, the applicant must sign a Letter of Intent and pay a non-refundable fee of at least $20,000 to secure an exclusive territory as part of the ‘No Shop’ period. This is also the stage where HRI will perform background checks. After these have been completed and the interested candidate has successfully qualified, the final legal franchise agreements will be signed.

Hard Rock Cafe Franchise Cost

An upfront fee is paid to secure an exclusive region to operate in – this fee varies based on the size of the territory, length of agreement and how many locations are involved. The standard Hard Rock Cafe franchise site fees are $350,000 - $750,000. In terms of ongoing fees, five percent of all food and beverage gross receipts are to be paid monthly, as well as ten percent of all of the merchandise gross receipts. You will also need to pay a memorabilia lease payment of ten percent of the assessed memorabilia value. To cover marketing costs, one percent of gross receipts are also paid each month to a global marketing fund. The agreement is a ten-year contract with the option to renew.

There is a more detailed breakdown of the investment costs on the Hard Rock Cafe website, however, to give a little bit more of an idea: the design and engineering will cost between $150,000 and £300,000, based on the market and amount of work required; the general construction will cost between $1,500,000 and $3,200,000; and the computers and POS system will cost between $100,000 and $120,000. Combining all of the different costs, the lower estimate of the total investment is $2,995,000 and the higher estimate is $4,910,000, not including contingencies and working capital.

Similar Opportunities

Take a look below at two of our best burger franchise opportunities, Loaded Burgers and Rocket’s.

Loaded Burgers

Loaded Burgers is food franchise that offers top quality burgers. There are currently outlets in Stoke Newington, Ilford and Liverpool but the company is eager to further its international expansion. Franchisees will have access to a comprehensive training programme to ensure franchisees are knowledgeable on all aspects of the business. If this sounds like an opportunity you want to stick your teeth into, a minimum investment of £25,000 and a total investment of £150,000 is required. The franchise fees are £15,995.


Rocket’s is a burger brand that operates in the fast-casual sector. It was founded in Ireland in 1989 and since then, the company has expanded to 49 restaurants across Ireland, Northern Ireland and Spain, with over half of these being owned by franchisees. In order to invest, interested applicants will need to make an investment of £170,000 and a total investment of £200,000. The franchise fees are £40,000.

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