Top 15 Restaurant Franchises in Australia

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In our bid to help you keep tabs on the franchise business opportunities in Australia, today we have curated for you a list of the top 15 restaurant franchises in Australia.

We are continuing this series of lists with the spirit to give you a leg up in your endeavors to own a small business.
This series of top franchises in Australia will hopefully serve you in two ways:

But before diving into the list though, let’s have an overview of the food and restaurant industry in Australia.

This will give you a fair idea of the profit and growth prospects of the restaurant industry.

Overview of the Australian Food & Restaurant Industry

While restaurants were one of the most severely hit businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic for the last couple of years, the downtrend is finally subsiding.

When compared to the year 2021, the current year saw a 5.7% increase in restaurant business taking the number of total restaurant businesses in Australia to beyond 28000. (Source: IBISWorld)

In the current year (2022), revenue in the Australian Food market is nearing US$82.93 billion and is projected to grow annually by 4.47%. (Source: Statistica)

Another projection estimates the Australian food and agribusiness industry to be worth AU$250 billion by the year 2030 if the growth rate remains close to 2.4% per annum. (Source: CSIRO)

One important piece of information that we would like to give our readers here is regarding the category-wise expenditure ratio in the restaurant business.

The Australian restaurant industry is labour intensive, which means that the business is more reliant on HR than on capital.

Here is a breakdown of the major costs involved (as a percentage of the revenue earned) in the restaurant business in Australia (Source: IBISWorld).

  • Labour wages – 26%
  • Purchases – 37.8%
  • Rent & Utilities – 11.7%

After laying out basic information on the restaurant industry for you, Let’s now dive right into the list of the top 15 restaurant franchises in Australia.

While the line between fast food and not-so-fast food restaurants is blurring quite rapidly, we’ve tried to include only those restaurant chains in the list which focus on providing a great dining out experience to their customers with fresher ingredients and well-prepared meals.

Taco Bill

Taco Bill - Top Restaurant Franchises in Australia

Key Information

Founded in 

1967

Headquarters 

Queensland, Australia

Franchising Units

30+

Franchising Costs

$252,000 – $580,000 (Source: Franchise Small)

Overview of the Restaurant

Taco Bill is the oldest restaurant chain serving traditional Mexican cuisine in Australia. The restaurant is named after its owner Bill Chilcote whose interest in Mexican food peaked when he married his Mexican wife whose family owned food bars and canteens.

The restaurant serves a wide range of Mexican food including nachos, tacos, tortillas, quesadillas, fajitas, and burritos.

It was the first restaurant to introduce now-so-loved Mexican dishes in Australia. (Source: Restaurant’s Official Website)

The restaurant was founded in 1967 on the Gold Coast and provided only takeaway food.

From those small beginnings, the restaurant has now quite an extensive presence in the country and boasts more than 30 franchises.

The restaurant claims to prepare fresh food daily and aims to appeal to people of all age groups.

The restaurant’s official site offers a dedicated page for those interested in owning one of their franchises.

La Porchetta

La Porchetta - Top Restaurant Franchises in Australia

Key Information

Founded in 

1985

Headquarters 

Victoria, Australia

Franchising Units

48

Franchising Costs

$600,000 (Source: Official Website)

Overview of the Restaurant

La Porchetta (pronounced as la por ketta in Italian) is one of the biggest Italian cuisine restaurant chains in both Australia and New Zealand.

The restaurant began in 1985 when Italian-born Rocco Pantaleo and Felica Nania bought a pizza parlour with the same name.

The fame of the authentic Italian pizza parlour soon spread far and wide and the restaurant currently has around 48 franchises in both Australia and New Zealand.

The restaurant claims to recreate the Italian homemade food experience in its restaurants and aims to remain authentic to its Italian roots.

The restaurant advertises the following features to attract franchisees:

  • Complete training for running the restaurant
  • Flat fee system
  • Proven system that works with continuous Head Office support

To fulfill its promise of serving only fresh food, the restaurant franchises have different menu options based on the availability of fresh ingredients.

Grill’d

Grill’d - Top Restaurant Franchises in Australia

Key Information

Founded in 

1985

Headquarters 

Victoria, Australia 

Franchising Units

150+

Franchising Costs

Starting from $546,000 plus GST 

(Source: Official Website)

Overview of the Restaurant

Grill’d is an Australian-owned causal dining restaurant chaining which now has a global presence and boasts more than 150 franchises.

The restaurant has come to be recognized as the one championing various causes including supporting various local communities based on its customers’ votes and evolving its menu based on sustainability goals.

In pursuit of its proclaimed aim of sustainability, the restaurant introduced plant-based meat-tasting burgers in November 2019 on a “Meat Free Day”. (Source: Good Food)

The restaurant’s local community support program named ‘Local Matters’ is a unique corporate social responsibility program that has contributed over $6 million to local organizations and projects. (Source: Restaurant’s Official Website)

Grill’d was the first Australian restaurant to go plastic-free in 2018. (Source: Hospitality Magazine)

The brand strongly proclaims not to be a fast food merely because it serves burgers. The restaurant calls its burgers “guilt-free”, which is quite an interesting marketing strategy.

For its franchisees, the restaurant makes “solid business acumen” and “great interpersonal skills” a prerequisite for owning its franchise. (Source: Restaurant’s Official Website)

Jamaica Blues

Jamaica Blues - Top Restaurant Franchises in Australia

Key Information

Founded in 

1992

Headquarters 

New South Wales, Australia 

Franchising Units

101

Franchising Costs

$200,000 – $265,000 (Source: Franchise Small)

Overview of the Restaurant

Jamaica Blues is a cafe chain franchise owned by the Foodco Group, which operates small coffee shops in more than six countries including New Zealand and Australia. It is a sister company of Muffin Break owned by the same brand.

The restaurant is named after the Jamaica Blue Mountains which are regarded as the home of the best coffee in the world. (Source: Restaurant’s Official Website)

The cafe was launched in 1992 in Miranda, Australia, and is mostly located in residential areas, malls, airports, and hospitals. With coffee being its signature item, the restaurant also serves a wide variety of drinks, sandwiches, breakfast items, and full meals.

The restaurant claims to serve only fresh and locally sourced ingredients while carefully perfecting the process of procurement, roasting, and preparing the best coffee possible.

The cafe promises world-class training for its franchisees, both at the launch of the franchise and throughout the operation of the business.

Guzman y Gomez

Guzman y Gomez - Top Restaurant Franchises in Australia

Key Information

Founded in 

2006

Headquarters 

New South Wales, Australia 

Franchising Units

151

Franchising Costs

$1 million – $1.5 million (Source: Official Website)

Overview of the Restaurant

One of the fastest-growing restaurant franchises in Australia, Guzman y Gomez, or simply GYG, was launched in 2006 and now operates over 150 restaurants in the country.

Not only this, but the restaurant also has an international presence.

The restaurant was launched by Steve Marks, a New Yorker and ex-hedge fund manager, who felt poorly about the quality of Mexican food in Australia.

So, he decided to launch his own Mexican cuisine restaurant by joining forces with his New Yorker friend, Rober Hazan.

The restaurant is named after two of Marks’ childhood friends.

The philosophy behind the restaurant was to provide its customers with the convenience of fast food while not compromising on the high-quality taste.

The success of GYG is truly exceptional and is reflected by its huge employee strength (almost 7,000 as per the official website) and global presence (more than 170 restaurants worldwide).

The restaurant has an ambitious goal of adding 40 restaurant franchises per year and provides quite detailed information for its prospective franchisees on its website.

Muffin Break

Muffin Break - Top Restaurant Franchises in Australia

Key Information

Founded in 

1989

Headquarters 

New South Wales, Australia 

Franchising Units

189+

Franchising Costs

$250,000 – $500,000 (Source: Home Loan Experts)

Overview of the Restaurant

Another one of the Foodco Group’s ventures, Muffin Break is an Australian bakery cafe franchise known for its sweet and savoury bakery products.

Muffin Break originated in Canada in the 1970s and was later acquired by the Foodco Group in the 1980s.

The first Muffin Break cafe was launched in Australia in 1989 in Coolangatta, Queensland.

The cafe now boasts more than 189 Bakery franchises in Australia and around 300 stores globally, claiming to be one of the leaders in the category of bakery-cafes.

The cafe chooses to locate itself in shopping centres, airports, train stations, and predominantly in children’s play centres.

It has a licensed partnership with Crocs Playcentres. (Source: Cafe’s Official Website)

Despite being a bakery cafe, Muffin Break also serves its customers gluten-free, dairy-free, low fat, and Wright Watchers ® endorsed products.

Bucking Bull

Bucking Bull - Top Restaurant Franchises in Australia

Key Information

Founded in 

1999

Headquarters 

Brisbane, Australia 

Franchising Units

40

Franchising Costs

$150,000 – $400,000 (Source: Official Website)

Overview of the Restaurant

Bucking Bull is known for its slow-cooked beef, pork, and lamb meat products.

Founded in 1999, this Australian restaurant franchise business claims to be Australia’s favorite boutique carvery – a buffet or restaurant offering cooked meat that is carved as requested.

The restaurant promises to locally grow all of the products it sells in its restaurants.

For this purpose, the restaurant claims to work with the country’s leading suppliers to source Australia’s finest beef, pork and lamb products. (Source: Restaurant’s Official Website)

The restaurant doubles down on its serving experience by offering corporate catering services for weddings, family functions, meetings, parties, and official events.

To its prospective franchisees, the restaurant offers a robust and well-recognized franchise system with award-winning best practices models.

The restaurant promises to train its franchisees on

  • Delivering high-quality products at lower cost
  • Recruiting 12 KPIs to grow profits
  • Keeping a loyal customer base

Hog’s Breath Cafe

Hog’s Breath Cafe - Top Restaurant Franchises in Australia

Key Information

Founded in 

1989

Headquarters 

Cleveland, Australia

Franchising Units

47

Franchising Costs

$800,000 – $1 million  (Source: Home Loan Expert)

Overview of the Restaurant

Known for its 18-hour slow-cooked Prime Rib steak and Curly Fries, Hog’s Breath Cafe is in business since 1989.

And while championing the best meat dishes, it still caters to the needs of vegetarian customers as well to provide a wholesome experience to all family members regardless of their food preferences.

The restaurant, while remaining true to its traditional roots, claims not to shy away from experimenting with modern dishes and fresh ingredients.

For its franchisees, the restaurant offers a distinct culture, unique business philosophy, and world-class training and ongoing support.

Mad Mex Fresh Mexican Grill

Mad Mex Fresh Mexican Grill - Top Restaurant Franchises in Australia

Key Information

Founded in 

2007

Headquarters 

Sydney

Franchising Units

70

Franchising Costs

$375,000 – $450,000 (Source: Top Franchise

Overview of the Restaurant

Mad Mex Fresh Mexican Grill, or simply Mad Mex is an Australian-origin multinational food chain serving Mexican cuisine with the convenience of fast food.

Mad Mex was voted the best Mexican restaurant nationwide in the Lifestyle Food Awards. (Source: Restaurant’s Official Website)

The owner puts out an interesting philosophy behind its restaurant on its official website. As per their claim, the owner wanted to provide their customers “a fast meal with home-cooked quality, made entirely of real ingredients”.

The restaurant claims to use only the smallest amount of preservatives, oil, and sugars while not compromising on the taste factor.

For its franchisees, the restaurant offers a “full-service” franchise by providing support for finding the right site, training, and assistance in recruiting the team and helping with IT solutions.

Oporto

Oporto - Top Restaurant Franchises in Australia

Key Information

Founded in 

1986

Headquarters 

New South Wales, Australia

Franchising Units

180

Franchising Costs

$350,000 – $700,000 (Source: Official Website

Overview of the Restaurant

A subsidiary of Craveable Brands, Oporto is a Portuguese-theme restaurant that specializes in Portuguese-style chicken and burgers.

After its founding in 1986, Oporto’s first franchise was launched in 1995 and was soon named the fastest-growing franchise in Australia. (Source: Wikipedia)

With quite a large presence within the country, the brand also boasts more than 100 restaurants globally and looking to expand its business to the hitherto untouched middle eastern region as well.

The restaurant boasts only flame-grilled chicken (never fried) which is always fresh (never frozen).

For its franchisees, the restaurant offers complete support which requires you to have no prior experience of any sort to become eligible for owning their franchise.

Roll’d

Roll’d - Top Restaurant Franchises in Australia

Key Information

Founded in 

2012

Headquarters 

Melbourne, Australia

Franchising Units

125+

Franchising Costs

$400,000 to $500,000  (Source: Franchise Direct

Overview of the Restaurant

Roll’d is an Australian-based fast fresh-food chain that specializes in Vietnamese cuisine.

The restaurant is not your average fast food chain but comes with a unique experience of dining out, which as per their website believes in “elbows on the table, sauce on the chin and going back for seconds, thirds and fourths. Even fifths [serving]”.

The restaurant was launched by three co-founders of Vietnamese origin in 2012. Within 4 years of its launch, the restaurant had expanded to over 50 stores in 2016.
The restaurant currently has more than 125 franchises operating in the country.

In 2021, Roll’d announced a partnership with supermarket chain Coles to bring ready-made grab & go meals and a range of other popular items to store shelves across Australia. (Source: Wikipedia)

Appealing to investors for the sale of its franchise, the restaurant advertises the following reasons:

  • Fresh and healthy Vietnamese food
  • Easily transportable food
  • Scalable model
  • Innovative systems and processes
  • No major competitors

Cibo Espresso

Cibo Espresso - Top Restaurant Franchises in Australia

Key Information

Founded in 

2000

Headquarters 

Victoria, Australia 

Franchising Units

28

Franchising Costs

$110,000 – $250,000 (Source: Franchise Gator

Overview of the Restaurant

Cibo Espresso is an Italian-style cafe and coffee shop franchise that was founded in 2000 in Adelaide, South Australia.

The cafe delivers traditional Italian food made with local ingredients in an Italian environment.

The restaurant’s website narrates a compelling story of its four cofounders with each having different culinary expertise.

The four founders included an Italian chef, an artisan pasticcio, a restaurant manager, and a “handsome barista”.

The cafe promises the ambiance of a truly authentic Italian experience in their cafes.

The cafe has more than 28 franchises in South Australia only but now plans to further expand interstate as well. (Source: Wikipedia)

Cafe’s official website provides available franchise information to investors looking for a ready-to-run franchise opportunity.

Cold Rock Ice Creamery

Cold Rock Ice Creamery - Top Restaurant Franchises in Australia

Key Information

Founded in 

1996

Headquarters 

Melbourne, Australia 

Franchising Units

120

Franchising Costs

$110,000 and upward (Source: Commercial Real Estate

Overview of the Restaurant

Well, this is a twist in the list, isn’t it?

An ice cream parlour?

Yes. We thought it appropriate that with so much talk of the meat and roasted chicken, adding a one-of-a-kind ice cream franchise will be a welcome addition.

The parlour was launched in Australia in 1996 and currently has a 120-plus strong network of franchises throughout the country.

Cold Rock sells its ice cream as cups, cones, loaded shakes, or ice cream cakes. It offers its customers over 30,000 combos to choose from. (Source: Official Website)

The ice cream products are made from milk sourced from within Australia and the restaurant claim to be the largest 100% Australian-owned and operated ice cream and treats business.

Noodle Box

Noodle Box - Top Restaurant Franchises in Australia

Key Information

Founded in 

1996

Headquarters 

70

Franchising Units

Victoria, Australia 

Franchising Costs

$200,00 – $250,000 (Source: Official Website

Overview of the Restaurant

Noodle Box is an Australian-based multinational stir-fried noodle quick-service restaurant chain.

Noodle Box claims to be Australia’s most loved noodle brand with 70+ franchises across the country.

The restaurant aims to deliver the tastes and ambiance of bustling Southeast Asian hawker street markets through its authentic dishes.

In October 2015, Noodle Box took over the Wok in a Box noodle QSR network, thereby turning it into Australia’s largest noodle-based QSR with more than 100 restaurants across the country. (Source: Wikipedia)

Noodle Box advertises the following features for its prospective franchisees:

  • Individual business support and training excellence
  • Establish an iconic Australian brand
  • Affordable franchise model in high-profile locations

The Coffee Club

The Coffee Club - Top Restaurant Franchises in Australia

Key Information

Founded in 

1989

Headquarters 

Queensland, Australia

Franchising Units

300

Franchising Costs

$450,000 and upward (Source: Franchise Small

Overview of the Restaurant

The Coffee Club is an Australian multinational coffeehouse-style cafe chain with an expanded restaurant-style menu and full table service.

The cafe was founded in 1989 with the aim to provide “an excellent coffee”.

The founding of the cafe was inspired by two friends’ search for a late-night coffee place in Brisbane which had ended in disappointment. The pair (Emmanuel Kokoris and Emmanuel Drivas) decided to launch their own coffeehouse which rested on the Greek concept of ‘philoxenia’ meaning hospitality to strangers. (Source: Queensland Business Leaders)

Five years after the launch of their first cafe, in 1994 the franchise operation of the cafe was launched which has now expanded to more than 300 franchising units internationally.

That finished our list of the top 15 restaurant franchises in Australia. We hope that you enjoyed the information provided in the list.

Stay connected for more such lists in the future as well.

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