Franchise: Qdoba Mexican Grill

Franchising Since: 1997

Headquarters: Colorado

Number of Units: 638

About the Franchise

With Qdoba, you’re not buying a franchise from an investment company. You’re buying from a restaurant company with more corporate owned and managed restaurants than many fast, casual chains have in their whole systems.


To Qdoba, the real key is food. It’s the wide variety of delicious flavors at Qdoba that bring new customers in and loyal customers back, and franchisees benefit from that single-minded focus.

Financial Assistance

No direct or indirect financing is offered by the franchisor.

Term of Agreement and Renewal

The term of the franchise agreement is 10 years and can be renewed for another 10 years, subject to certain requirements. 

Breakdown of Costs

The following information is compiled from the Franchise Disclosure Document of Qdoba Mexican Grill (2015). The FDD will provide you with in-depth information regarding the costs and expenses you can plan to incur when developing a Qdoba Mexican Grill franchise.

Franchise Fee: $30,000

The Franchise Fee is for one franchise entered into under a Franchise Agreement. The standard Franchise Fee for individual restaurants is $30,000; the standard Franchise Fee for restaurants opened under the Development Agreement is $20,000 (after credit of the $10,000 Development Fee).

Development Costs, Plans, Legal Fees, Permits: $26,000 to $39,000

Costs incurred for the development of an interior architectural and design plan will vary depending on the services provided and the professionals selected by you. You may also incur legal fees for assisting in negotiating leases and advice on issues relating to the opening of your units.

Leasehold Improvements: $ 231,000 to $305,000

The cost of leasehold improvements will vary depending on the facility selected and the region or market you are in. These leasehold improvement costs assume that the space will already include the requirements described in Qdoba’s standard landlord work letter. If the space is delivered AS-IS, the leasehold improvement costs will likely be higher. 

Furnishings, Fixtures and Equipment: $240,000 to $280,000

You must lease or purchase the following items, among others:  signs, kitchen equipment package and smallwares, display stands, interior decor package (tables; chairs; accessories; paneling; lighting; ceiling, window, and floor treatments; and artifacts), and decorations. 

Signage: $18,000 to $30,000

IT and Other Systems: $20,000 to $32,000

Systems include the following items that you must lease or purchase:  phones, point of sale register and computer equipment, security system, safe, Q card system, music system, and cable. –

Opening Inventory: $7,000 to $10,000

You will be required to purchase certain recipe items as specified by Qdoba, which constitute key components of the System. Also included in this number are the opening food inventory, uniforms, linens, smallwares, first aid supplies, office supplies, initial cleaning supplies, gift certificates, menus and other printed items, and opening cash drawer.

Travel and Living Expenses While Training: $1,000 to $6,000

After the site is approved but before the restaurant is opened, the franchisor will provide an initial training program for the designated operating partner, the general manager, and one other person employed in the restaurant. This estimate includes expenses for 3 trainees.

Misc. Pre-Opening Expenses: $10,000 to $16,000

Grand Opening Advertising (at traditional sites): $5,000

Insurance: $4,500 to $8,000 (excluding several types of coverage)

These figures are estimates for general liability coverage only. They exclude costs for property insurance, builder’s risk insurance, workers compensation insurance, business automobile insurance, earthquake and flood insurance, and other types of insurance, due to the great variation in such costs. 

Liquor License: $600 to $4,000 (varies depending on location) 

Real Property Lease/Purchase Costs: Varies depending on location

The cost to purchase or lease real estate will vary depending on factors such as the location of the property, the condition of the local real estate market, the ability to negotiate favorable terms of sale or lease, current economic conditions, etc. 

Additional Funds (3 months): $30,000 to $50,000

The amount of additional funds you will need will depend on the time necessary to achieve cash flow to cover operating expenses. This amount is the minimum recommended for a 3-month contingency.

TOTAL ESTIMATED COST (excluding real property costs): $623,100 to $815,000

These figures are estimates in setting up a Qdoba Mexican Grill franchise and operating it for three months. It is possible to exceed costs in any of the areas above.