Skip to Content

How to Start a French Fries Business

French Fries Business

A French fries business is a type of food business that specializes in selling French fries. French fries, also known as chips or finger chips, are a popular snack food that is made from deep-fried strips of potatoes. A French fries business may sell a variety of French fries, such as curly fries, shoestring fries, or sweet potato fries.

Some French fries businesses may also offer toppings or sauces to go with the fries, such as cheese, gravy, or ketchup. French fries businesses can take different forms, including food trucks, fast food restaurants, or standalone kiosks. In 2023, the global French fries market is expected to be worth $23.5 billion USD.

Worldwide sales of frozen French fries are expected to reach $371 million by 2033, growing at a 4.5% CAGR from 2023 to 2033.

Steps on How to Start a French Fries Business

1. Conduct Market Research

To conduct market research for a French fries business, first, define the target market, then study consumer demands and preferences, then analyze the competition, and lastly evaluate market trends and prospects. To get insights into customer behavior and market demand, it is critical to collect data from multiple sources, such as surveys, interviews, internet reviews, and industry reports.

To design a good business plan, the study should concentrate on elements such as pricing, location, recipe, services, and marketing tactics.

a. Who is the Target Market for French Fries Business?

The target market for a French fries business can vary depending on the location and type of business. However, some common target markets for French fries businesses include:

  • Children and teenagers
  • Fast food enthusiasts
  • College students
  • Sports fans
  • Tourists
  • Late-night snackers.
b. Is French Fries Business a Profitable Business?

Yes, the French fries business is a profitable business and it is on record that the business is thriving in the Southern United States from North Carolina, south to central Florida, as far north as Ohio, and west to Mississippi.

c. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry?

No, there are no existing niches when it comes to the French fries business.

d. Who are the Major Competitors?
  • McDonald’s
  • Burger King
  • Wendy’s
  • KFC
  • Five Guys
  • Shake Shack
  • Chick-fil-A
  • Arby’s
  • Checkers/Rally’s
  • Sonic Drive-In
  • Hardee’s
  • In-N-Out Burger
  • Jack in the Box
  • Carl’s Jr.
  • White Castle
  • Del Taco
  • Taco Bell
  • Popeyes
  • A&W
  • Dairy Queen.
e. Are There County or State Regulations or Zoning Laws for French Fries Businesses in the United States?

Yes, there may be county or state regulations or zoning laws for French fries businesses in the United States. The specific laws and regulations will vary depending on the location and the type of business, but some common requirements may include:

  • Food safety regulations: All food businesses in the United States are required to follow food safety regulations set by federal and state agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA).
  • Business licensing: French fries businesses may need to obtain a business license from their local or state government in order to operate legally.
  • Zoning laws: Zoning laws determine what types of businesses can operate in specific areas, and may restrict the location of French fries businesses in certain zones.
  • Building codes: French fries businesses may need to comply with building codes that dictate the size, layout, and safety features of their facilities.
  • Employment laws: French fries businesses must follow federal and state employment laws, such as minimum wage and overtime requirements, workplace safety standards, and anti-discrimination laws.
f. Is There a Franchise for the French Fries Business?

Yes, there are franchise opportunities for the French fries business and some of them are;

  • McDonald’s
  • Five Guys
  • Chick-fil-A
  • Checkers/Rally’s
  • Arby’s
  • Potato Corner
  • Wingstop
  • Carl’s Jr.
  • A&W
  • Jack in the Box
g. What Do You Need to Start a French Fries Business?
  • A Feasibility Report
  • Business and Marketing Plans
  • Business Licenses and Permits
  • Restaurant Facility
  • Insurance
  • EIN (Employer Identification Number)/Federal Tax ID Number.
  • A Corporate Bank Account
  • Employees
  • Commercial Kitchen
  • Ingredients and Packaging Materials

2. Choose a Memorable Business Name

When looking to start a business, before you can begin to file the necessary documents with the constituted authorities or start your website, it is necessary that you come up with a name that you will be recognized with. It is essential that the name you come up with can easily be pronounced, is unique and easily memorable.

Some of the catchy business name ideas suitable for a French fries business are;

Creative French Fries Business Name ideas
  • French Heaven
  • Frigorie Fries
  • Fries Factory
  • Flora Shawl Fries
  • French Fries Shack
  • Food Fantastic
  • Snacks Frenzy
  • Magic Wendy® French Fries, Inc.
  • Golden Fry
  • Finicky Foods
  • Frizzy Fingers
  • Fill Time
  • French House
  • Food and Snacks
  • Fry Master
  • Felicia Moore® Frenc Fries, Inc.
  • Mercy Foods
  • Fries Chef
  • Fries Queen
  • The Fry Guys.

3. Register Your Business

a. What Type of Business Structure is Best for the French Fries Business?

The best business structure for a French fries business depends on several factors, such as the size of the business, the number of owners, the level of personal liability the owners are willing to take on, and the tax implications of the different business structures.

However, we usually recommend limited liability company. An LLC is a hybrid business structure that offers the flexibility of a partnership while providing limited liability protection for its owners. An LLC can have one or more owners, and the owners are not personally liable for the business’s debts or liabilities. This type of business structure is often used for small to medium-sized businesses.

b. Steps to Form an LLC
  • Choose a Name for Your LLC.
  • File Articles of Organization.
  • Choose a registered agent.
  • Decide on member vs. manager management.
  • Create an LLC operating agreement.
  • Comply with other tax and regulatory requirements.
  • File annual reports.
c. What Type of License is Needed to Open a French Fries Business?
  • General Business License
  • Zonal Permits
  • Signage Permit
  • Proof of ownership, proper identification, and vehicle license
  • Proof of district-issued food manager identification card
  • Food purchase record storage and record keeping
  • Depot, commissary, or service support facility meets vending unit operation needs
  • Copy of license for the service support facility and/or a recent inspection report.
d. What Type of Certification is Needed to start a French fries Business?

You don’t need any certifications to start a French fry business.

e. What Documents are Needed to Open a French fries Business?

These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own French fries business in the United States of America;

  • DBA
  • EIN
  • Business and liability insurance
  • Federal Tax Payer’s ID
  • State Permit and Building Approval (For your kitchen and parking)
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Food Handlers’ License
  • Business License
  • Business Plan
  • Employment Agreement (offer letters)
  • Operating Agreement for LLCs
  • Insurance Policy
  • Online Terms of Use
  • Online Privacy Policy Document
  • Contract Document
  • Company Bylaws
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
f. Do You Need a Trademark, Copyright, or Patent?

Whether a French fries business needs a trademark, copyright, or patent depends on the specific circumstances of the business.

A trademark protects a business’s brand name, logo, and other identifying features. If a French fries business has a distinctive name, logo, or other branding elements, it may benefit from registering a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to protect its brand identity.

A French fries business may create original content, such as recipes or marketing materials, that could be protected by copyright. However, it’s important to note that copyright protection doesn’t extend to the underlying recipe or method of making French fries.

If a French fries business has developed a novel method for making French fries or a new type of French fry machine, it may be eligible for patent protection.

4. Cost Analysis and Budgeting

a. How Much Does It Cost to Start a French Fries Business?

The cost to start a French fries business can range from several thousand dollars for a small operation to several hundred thousand dollars for a larger, more established business. For example, the cost of rent and utilities will depend on the size and location of the business.

A French fries business operating out of a food truck or small kiosk may have lower rent and utility costs than a brick-and-mortar location

b. What are the Costs Involved in Starting a French Fries Business
  • Business registration fee
  • Equipment and Supplies: French fries businesses require specific equipment such as fryers, refrigerators, freezers, and preparation tables, as well as supplies such as potatoes, oil, and seasonings. The cost of the equipment and supplies will depend on the scale of the business.
  • Location: The cost of the location will vary depending on whether it’s a food truck, kiosk, or brick-and-mortar store. A food truck or kiosk might have lower rent costs than a brick-and-mortar location.
  • Licenses and Permits
  • Supplies
  • Employees’ salaries
  • Marketing and Advertising
  • Insurance
  • Legal and Accounting Fees.
c. What Factors Determine the Cost of Opening a French Fries Business?
  • The size of the French fries business
  • The choice of location
  • The required licenses and permits
  • The cost of hiring and paying a business consultant and attorney
  • The cost of branding, promotion, and marketing of the French fries business
  • The cost for furnishing and equipping the French fries business – commercial kitchen inclusive
  • The cost of insurance policy covers
  • The cost of registering the business
  • Cost of recruiting and training your staff
  • The cost for the purchase and customizing of uniforms.
  • The cost for the grand opening of the business
d. Do You Need to Build a Facility? If YES, How Much Will It Cost?

Whether or not you need to build a facility for your French fries business will depend on the type of business you are planning to operate. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Food truck or kiosk: If you plan to operate a French fries business out of a food truck or kiosk, you may not need to build a facility. However, you will need to outfit your truck or kiosk with the necessary equipment and supplies.
  • Brick-and-mortar store: If you plan to operate a French fries business out of a brick-and-mortar location, you will likely need to build a facility or renovate an existing space. The cost of building or renovating a space will depend on the size and location of the building, as well as the scope of the renovations.
e. What are the Ongoing Expenses of a French Fries Business?
  • Ingredients and serving materials
  • Gas
  • Utility bills (internet subscriptions, phone bills, signage, and software renewal fees et al)
  • Salaries of employees
  • Trucks maintenance
  • Insurance
  • Marketing costs
f. What is the Average Salary of your Staff?
  • Chief Operating Officer (Owner) – $38,000 Per Year
  • Manager – $30,000 Per Year
  • Kitchen Staff – $26,500 Per Year
  • Attendants – $26,100 Per Year
  • Cleaners -$24,000 Per Year
g. How Do You Get Funding to Start a French Fries Business?
  • Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
  • Raising money from investors and business partners
  • Sell shares to interested investors
  • Applying for a loan from your bank/banks
  • Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from the government, donor organizations, and angel investors
  • Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends.

5. Write a Business Plan

a. Executive Summary

Magic Wendy® French Fries, Inc. is a start-up French fries business that will offer high-quality, delicious fresh French fries to customers in the Dallas, Texas area. Our business will be primarily focused on operating a food truck, but we will also explore other opportunities to expand our business, including catering and opening a brick-and-mortar location.

Our team has extensive experience in the food industry and is passionate about providing exceptional customer service. We are confident that our unique and delicious French fries, combined with our commitment to quality and service, will set us apart from our competitors.

We plan to generate revenue through a combination of food sales, catering services, and partnerships with local businesses and events. We will leverage social media and other marketing channels to promote our business and attract customers.

b. Products and Service
  • French fries
  • Drinks, water, and other snacks
c. Mission Statement

Our mission at Magic Wendy® French Fries, Inc. is to provide our customers with the highest quality, freshest, and most delicious French fries available. We are committed to using locally-sourced potatoes and the best ingredients to create a unique and memorable French fries experience. We strive to exceed our customers’ expectations through exceptional service and a passion for food.

Vision Statement

Our vision at Magic Wendy® French Fries, Inc. is to become the go-to destination for French fries in the Dallas, Texas area. We aim to establish a strong brand reputation for quality, innovation, and customer service.

d. Goals and Objectives

The goals and objectives of a French fries business are to prepare and serve healthy French fries and drinks to patrons.

e. Organizational Structure
  • Chief Operating Officer (Owner)
  • Manager
  • Kitchen Staff
  • Attendants
  • Cleaners

Marketing Plan

a. SWOT Analysis
  • High-quality and fresh French fries using locally-sourced potatoes
  • Unique and innovative flavors and toppings
  • Passionate and experienced team with a focus on exceptional customer service
  • The mobile business model allows for flexibility and low overhead costs
  • Strong potential for growth and expansion through new locations and partnerships.
  • Limited brand recognition and awareness
  • Dependence on seasonal demand and outdoor events
  • High competition in the food industry, particularly in the fast-food sector
  • Need to continuously innovate and differentiate our offerings to stay competitive
  • Dependence on a reliable and affordable supply chain of high-quality ingredients.
  • Growing demand for high-quality and innovative food options
  • Expansion into catering services and private events
  • Partnerships with local businesses, events, and festivals
  • Online ordering and delivery services to reach a wider customer base
  • Franchise opportunities to expand the business across the country.
  • Economic downturns and fluctuations in consumer spending
  • Changing consumer preferences and tastes in food
  • Increasing competition from established and new players in the market
  • Stringent regulations and health standards in the food industry
  • Potential supply chain disruptions and food safety concerns.
b. How Do French Fries Businesses Make Money?

French fries businesses make money by selling French fries, drinks, and other snacks et al.

c. Payment Options
  • Credit or Debit Card
  • Cash
  • Electronic Payment Systems such as PayPal or Venmo
  • Checks
  • Bank Transfers.
d. Sales & Advertising Strategies
  • Utilize the food truck as a mobile billboard to advertise the business. Strategically park the truck in high-traffic areas, such as busy streets, parks, and outdoor events, to maximize visibility and attract customers.
  • Use social media platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, to promote the business, engage with customers, and showcase new menu items and promotions. Leverage social media influencers to reach a wider audience and increase brand awareness.
  •  Collaborate with local businesses, such as breweries, wineries, and concert venues, to offer French fries as a complementary snack option. This will increase brand exposure and generate additional revenue.
  • Offer catering services for private events, such as weddings, corporate events, and birthday parties. This will increase brand exposure and generate additional revenue streams.
  • Set up an online ordering system and delivery services to reach a wider customer base. Partner with food delivery apps, such as Grubhub and Uber Eats, to increase brand visibility and attract new customers.
  • Implement a loyalty program to incentivize repeat customers and generate customer loyalty. Offer discounts, free French fries, or exclusive promotions to reward frequent customers.
  • Collect customer email addresses and send out regular newsletters and promotions to keep customers engaged and informed about new menu items and special deals.
  • Set up a referral program to incentivize customers to refer friends and family to the business.
  • Offer discounts or free French fries to customers who refer new business.

Financial Projection

a. How Much Should You Charge for your Product/Service?

The price of French fries can vary depending on the location, type of restaurant or food service establishment, and portion size. Generally, the price of French fries in the US ranges from $2 to $6 for a regular-size serving, depending on the establishment and location.

Some establishments may offer larger or smaller portion sizes, and prices may be higher or lower accordingly. In addition, premium or specialty French fries with unique toppings or dipping sauces may be priced higher than traditional French fries.

b. How Much Profit Do French Fries Business Owners Make a Year?

Generally, according to industry estimates, a small to medium-sized French fries business can generate a profit margin of around 20-30% on average, which can translate to anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000 or more in net profit per year, depending on the volume of sales and expenses.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that profitability can also be affected by factors such as seasonality, market demand, and business growth strategies.

c. What Factors Determine the Amount of Profit to Be Made?
  • The capacity of the French fries business
  • The location the French fries business is covering
  • The management style of the French fries business
  • The business approach of the French fries business
  • The advertising and marketing strategies adopted by the French fries business.
  • The number of years the French fries business is in business
d. What is the Profit Margin of a French Fries Business?

Generally, a small to medium-sized French fries business can expect to have a profit margin of around 20-30% on average. This means that for every dollar generated, the business can expect to earn 20-30 cents in profit.

e. What is the Sales Forecast?

Below is the sales forecast for a French fries business. It is based on the location of the business and other factors as it relates to such startups in the United States;

  • First Fiscal Year: $340,000
  • Second Fiscal Year: $430,000
  • Third Fiscal Year: $450,000

6. Set Up your Shop/Office

a. How Do You Choose a Perfect Location for a French Fries Business?
  • The demography of the location
  • The demand for French fries in the location
  • The purchasing power of businesses and residents of the location
  • Accessibility of the location
  • The number of French fries shops, and snack retail outlets in the location
  • The local laws and regulations in the community/state
  • Traffic, parking, and security et al
b. What State and City are Best to Open a French Fries Business?
  • New York City, New York
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Los Angeles, California
  • San Francisco, California
  • Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
  • Austin, Texas
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Denver, Colorado.
c. What Equipment is Needed to Operate a French Fries Business?
  • French Fry Cutter
  • Deep Fryer
  • Oil Filter Machine
  • Heat Lamp
  • Kitchen Utensils such as tongs, slotted spoons, and spatulas to handle the fries.
  • Prep Tables
  • Refrigeration Units
  • Point of Sale (POS) System
  • Safety Equipment such as gloves, aprons, and safety goggles to ensure the safety of your staff.

7. Hire Employees

Whether or not to hire employees for a new French fries business depends on various factors such as the scale of the business, the owner’s skills and availability, and the level of demand.

If the business is small-scale and the owner has the necessary skills and time to manage all aspects of the business, it may not be necessary to hire employees. However, as the business grows and demand increases, it may become difficult for the owner to manage everything alone.

In such cases, it can be beneficial to hire employees to help with tasks such as food preparation, cooking, cleaning, customer service, and administrative tasks. Hiring employees can also help to increase productivity, improve customer service, and allow for the business to scale up and meet demand.

8. Launch the Business Proper

Organizing a launch party when opening a French fries business can be a great way to generate buzz and excitement around the new venture. A launch party can help to attract potential customers, create a positive first impression, and build brand awareness.

a. What Makes a French fries Business Successful?
  • Choose a good location, and a good menu to launch the business
  • Hire only competent, hardworking, and trustworthy staff
  • Throw an open house grand party before officially opening the French fries business
  • Be deliberate with your marketing sales approach
  • Encourage the use of word of mouth to promote your French fries business
  • Leverage all available online and offline platforms to promote your French fries business
b. What Happens During a Typical Day at a French Fries Business?
  • The business is open for the day’s work
  • The facility and equipment are cleaned and ready for business
  • French fries and other drinks are prepared
  • Customer requests are taken and they are attended to
  • Marketing/website upkeep
  • Supply ordering
  • Administrative duties
  • The business is closed for the day.
c. What Skills and Experience Do You Need to Build a French Fries Business?
  • Good culinary skills
  • Customer services skills
  • Interpersonal skill
  • Good Accounting and bookkeeping skills
  • Business management skills
  • Work experience in a French fries shop or fast food industry
  • Experience in managing people
  • Experience in business administration
  • Experience in handling relevant software.