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2023 Franchise 500 Rank
#8 Ranked #5 last year
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Initial investment
$2.3M - $5.8M
Units as of 2022
871 21.8% over 3 years

From their juicy burgers to their cheese curds to their frozen custard, Culver's covers many of the fan-favorites. Part of Culver's famous menu includes their signature ButterBurgers® and fresh frozen custard. Is your mouth watering yet? Let's bite into this delicious franchise. 

Culver's runs on an owner-operator restaurant model. The franchise is based on four principles: hospitality, quality, freshness, and service to the community. All Culver's franchisees are expected to make sure every customer leaves happy. Since opening the first Culver's in 1984, the franchise has grown to more than 750 restaurants in 25 states. 

Why You May Want to Start a Culver's Franchise

If you are a hands-on type of person, want to be engaged in the business, and strive to lead by example, then a Culver's franchise may be the right place for you. All franchisees are expected to act as owner-operators. That means you are in the restaurant full-time working alongside your employees. Culver's is not a place where the franchise and operator watch the goings-on from afar. Absentee ownership is not an option.

To be part of Culver's team, you should make sure you’re financially ready for an initial investment made up of a franchise fee and other startup costs. In addition, ongoing fees will include advertising, royalty, or renewal fees. Franchisees will also need to meet the company's set liquid capital requirements. 

What Might Make a Culver's Franchise a Good Choice?

With small-town roots, Culver's wishes to be a place for the whole family. Looking to provide a space that always makes you feel welcome, Culver’s can bring you a hearty burger along with a heartfelt smile. The Culver's experience may be one of a kind, as they serve up delicious food in a family-friendly atmosphere. Being able to franchise a Culver's allows you the opportunity to bring together your community.

Culver's also seeks to assist you every step of the way. When you are opening your restaurant, you are likely to receive training, help with ordering your equipment, and assistance with hiring your crew. Before your grand opening, a Culver's opening team will come to your location and remain with you for some weeks to ensure your opening goes smoothly. 

How to Open a Culver's Franchise

Before making any financial commitment or signing an agreement, you must perform your due diligence and establish if this is the right opportunity for you. If you feel that opening a Culver's franchise is the right decision for you, submit an inquiry form. Speak to existing franchisees and ask questions directed to the Culver's team.

You also may want to reach out to an attorney or financial advisor to ensure that you have the financial stability to open a Culver’s franchise.

As you decide if you want to open a Culver's franchise, make sure you explore your local area to see if a Culver's would do well in your community. If there are many other restaurants that serve fan-favorites such as burgers and custard in your area, then you may want to reconsider your decision. If all goes well, you can start serving up that better brand of fast-casual food. 

Find Your Perfect Franchise

Company Overview

About Culver's

Parent Company
Culver Franchising System LLC
Rick Silva, CEO
Corporate Address
1240 Water St.
Prairie du Sac, WI 53578

Business Overview

Franchising Since
1988 (35 years)
# of employees at HQ
Where seeking

This company is offering new franchisees throughout the US.

# of Units
871 (as of 2022)

Information for Franchisees

Here’s what you need to know if you’re interested in opening a Culver's franchise.

Financial Requirements & Ongoing Fees

Here’s what you can expect to spend to start the business and what ongoing fees the franchisor charges throughout the life of the business.

Initial Franchise Fee
Initial Investment
$2,301,000 - $5,788,000
Net Worth Requirement
Cash Requirement
$500,000 - $750,000
Veteran Incentives
$10,000 off franchise fee
Royalty Fee
Ad Royalty Fee
Term of Agreement
15 years
Is franchise term renewable?
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Financing Options

Some franchisors offer in-house financing, while others have relationships with third-party financing sources to which they refer qualified franchisees.

Third Party Financing
Culver's has relationships with third-party sources which offer financing to cover the following: franchise fee, startup costs, equipment, inventory, accounts receivable, payroll

Training & Support Offered

Franchisors offer initial training programs and a variety of ongoing support options to help franchisees run their businesses.

On-The-Job Training
550 hours
Classroom Training
172 hours
Ongoing Support
Meetings & Conventions
Grand Opening
Online Support
Security & Safety Procedures
Field Operations
Site Selection
Proprietary Software
Franchisee Intranet Platform
Marketing Support
Co-op Advertising
Ad Templates
National Media
Regional Advertising
Social Media
Website Development
Email Marketing


Additional details about running this franchise.

Is absentee ownership allowed?
Can this franchise be run from home/mobile unit?
Can this franchise be run part time?
# of employees required to run
Are exclusive territories available?
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Franchise 500 Ranking History

Compare where Culver's landed on this year’s Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.

Additional Rankings

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The information on this page is not intended as an endorsement or recommendation of any particular franchise or business opportunity by Entrepreneur Media. Our listings and rankings are solely research tools you can use to compare opportunities. Entrepreneur stresses that you should always conduct your own independent investigation before investing in a franchise or business opportunity. That should include reviewing the company’s legal documents, consulting with an attorney and an accountant, and talking to former and current franchisees/licensees/dealers.
Updated: December 12th, 2022