Believe it or not, the time is now to open a franchise bagel shop. The bagel business is large and in charge, and bagels are the preferred breakfast choice of champions. (Sorry, Wheaties.) Whether you are heaping on the cream cheese or prefer an eggs-and-bacon-sandwich concoction in the morning, a franchise bagel store is a great place to get your bagel fix for the day.
If you are interested in opening a franchise bagel shop, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will look at the history of the bagel, how bagel business plans are taking over the market, and what to keep in mind as you consider franchises that are for sale.
Bagel Business Plans: Why should you open a franchise bagel shop?
Before we get into specific locations, let’s talk bagel business plans: why should you open a shop? What are the benefits?
First, bagels are, for the most part, independent. No, we don’t mean independent like your sister who-don’t-need-no-man. We mean that bagels are a stand-alone food group. You may like a cup of coffee alongside your bagel, or prefer a variety of condiment concoctions, but generally, bagels are a one-hit wonder. Whether you are open for breakfast and lunch, or just breakfast, most of your customers won’t come to your shop for a salad — they are coming for a great bagel experience. This kind of niche market is rare and thriving in today’s culture. You don’t have to be up and knowledgeable about every new lunch option out there, because you can just focus on one thing: bagels. If you expand your focus to coffees or cream cheeses, great! But otherwise, you have a tried and true product when it comes to bagels.
Secondly, franchises offer a lot of security that doesn’t come with an independent brand. We could write a whole book about the benefits of opening a bagel franchise, but we don’t quite have time for that. One of the biggest advantages is name recognition. This is a huge benefit to opening a franchise. When your customers already know and trust your brand, you have the upper hand in a huge way when it comes to marketing and momentum. When you don’t have to worry about establishing your reputation, and you can focus more specifically on knowing your individual customers and community, you have preserved valuable time and energy to use in ways that will serve your customers well.
Instead of giving you three of the best places break ground on your bagel shop right away, here are three of our best tips for opening a franchise bagel shop. As you use these tips and research, your coordinates will narrow as you pick a location for your bagel home.
- Where is the market saturated? Do you want to tap into a town or community that already has several bagels shops, or do you want to start somewhere that doesn’t have an established bagel presence?
- What kind of customers are you looking for? Are you looking to serve families with classic bagel flavors and combos, or do you pride yourself on being a boutique bagel experience? Do you want a storefront with seating for the community to bring the whole gang around, or do you prefer a more refined experience with specialty coffee connoisseurs only?
- Is there a franchise brand already established? Where are there bagel franchises already known and loved? The advantage of a known name can make or break the presence of a bagel shop in your community, so this type of research could be helpful as you pick a location.
Where should you start?
So now that you are convinced that bagels are the way to go, where do you start? Where are the best locations to open a bagel franchise in the United States of America?
While bagels are popular all over the US, some places have higher consumption rates than others. Unfortunately, these states will also have a rather saturated market in comparison to those where the consumption rates are smaller.
This makes sense, of course, and there’s no right or wrong when it comes to picking the place for your new bagel shop. Let’s take a look at the downsides and upsides of picking a state filled with bagel lovers.
- You will never be short on customers.
- You will be able to expand and sell a wider variety of bagels, as there will be demand for it.
- You will have a good idea of what the people want in a given area prior to setting up shop.
- You will always have competition right on your heels.
- If there are too many shops in a given area, both yours and the competitors’ sales will suffer.
- You may have to lower your prices to match or beat the competition.
- You will have to rival not only smaller shops but bigger chains.
That said, opening up a bagel shop in an area that is known for loving bagels is probably a safer bet than just going in blind. Some states love different types of things and bagels may not strike their fancy. If you choose the wrong place, you risk running into trouble.
So what are the states or cities with the highest bagel consumption rates? Let’s take a look!
This should come as a surprise to exactly no one. New York is densely populated, and at least a half of the population is madly in love with all sorts of bagels. Tourists do not leave New York without trying some of the famous bagels – and some of those could be yours.
The upside of New York is that you will never struggle to sell bagels. The downside is obvious – there are many, many people with the same idea as you who are looking to do exactly that.
This may be less expected than New York, but if you consider that many people spend the winter in Florida, you will find that many of those people will know a good bagel.
Florida, like New York, is a very safe bet due to the tourists and locals that appreciate bagels all year round. The upside is that the competition may be a bit less fierce than in New York, making it a good spot if you’re just starting out.
Closing out our list is the Midwest, namely the Chicago suburbs. Known for their love of bagels, people of Illinois do not turn their nose up at both traditional options and those that like to experiment.
The market is semi-saturated in this area, making it a decent spot for first-time bagel shop owners.
It is a great time to be a bagel lover, and an even better time to be a bagel business owner. We hope these tips were helpful as you pick the best place for your bagel business to grow and thrive. Good luck and happy franchising!
I just sold my Poolroom/Bar and am strongly thinking about a bagel shop and would like to know what are the advantages of going with you and the approximate start up cost
I live in California, in a city that’s a good mix of middle and upper middle class families. There are no bagel shops in town and the closest one is about 7 miles away. I am very interested to hear what the startup costs are and also would love to have a conversation about the advantages of going with you… Finally, after reading the article about the ideal locations, would like to know your opinion about the possibility of opening a profitable and successful Bagel shop in my town.
I visited your Ocean city location for the first time this past weekend and I fell in love with your bagels. I live in the Northern Virginia area. I am interested to know if you thought of opening a franchise location in the Northern Virginia area. I will love to hear from you.