Non-Traditional Franchise Locations and Why You Should Choose them

fast food chain franchise concept

fast food chain franchise conceptWhen you’re setting up a food franchise, the obvious choice is to have them in malls, plazas, and other high-pedestrian volume aras. For this reason, however, there is a lot of competition, as well as higher fixed costs such as rent. So why not try to find success that is off the beaten path?

The Non-Traditional Franchise Location

A non-traditional franchise location goes beyond the usual strip mall in favor of alternatives like office cafeterias, college campuses, hospitals, and even military bases. Having fast food franchises provide the opportunity to penetrate the captive markets there easily.

The Advantages

Non-traditional franchise locations often have lower rental costs than traditional ones, and can spur your growth. This is because they offer smaller spaces that aren’t as contested as your usual strip mall. In a place with premium real estate like New York City, for example, a retail space in the financial district could set you back $369 per square foot, and that’s with the prices already falling.

A non-traditional location is a great starting point if you’re getting into the franchise business. If your business takes off, you’ll have a chance to expand and open a bigger location somewhere else.


Because you’re starting a business in an uncommon location, you have to modify your business practices accordingly. For example, if you open a franchise store in a university campus, you have to take into account the long vacations between semesters.

The same goes for resorts. The seasonal nature of their business means that you’ll have peak seasons in the summer (or winter if it’s a ski resort), but don’t expect earnings to be that high on regular, off-peak days.

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What to Look For in a Location

You might be going against the grain with your site, but it doesn’t mean that you have to choose a completely remote area. High foot traffic is still necessary for your business to succeed. You just have to focus on a specific audience to cater to.

One of the best locations you can get is an office building, especially if you’re planning to franchise fast food or a cafe. There’s always demand for a quick bite and a brew in the office, with the added benefit of having higher turnover. If your franchise is centered on fresh juices and other cold drinks, set up shop in a water park.

Having a non-traditional location is a great springboard for new franchisees. Their rental and maintenance costs are often more affordable. And with an established brand supporting your business, you’ll have a great start to franchising success. Once you find your rhythm, you can branch out to other traditional or non-traditional locations. If you’ve successfully set up in a college, or office, and have gotten used to the quirk of each location type, put up a branch elsewhere– before you know it you’ll have a franchise empire in no time!