Costa Vida is a fast-casual Mexican restaurant franchise chain that was founded in 2003 in Utah. The franchise offers fresh, made-to-order dishes that are inspired by the coastal cuisine of Mexico. With over 100 locations in the United States and internationally, Costa Vida has become a popular choice for customers seeking out healthy and delicious Mexican food options. The franchise prides itself on using only the freshest ingredients, with no artificial preservatives or additives. 

According to Grand View Research, Mexican food is one of the fastest-growing segments in the fast-casual restaurant industry, with a projected annual growth rate of 6.1% from 2021 to 2027.

Costa Vida Franchise

What is the Costa Vida?

Costa Vida is a fast-casual Mexican restaurant chain that offers made-to-order dishes inspired by the coastal cuisine of Mexico. The franchise was founded in 2003 in Utah and has over 100 locations in the United States and internationally. Costa Vida prides itself on using fresh, natural ingredients and offers a variety of customizable menu options, including burritos, tacos, salads, and more.

Costa Vida’s menu includes a variety of burritos, tacos, salads, and other Mexican-inspired dishes, all of which are customizable to suit individual tastes and dietary preferences. The company is committed to sustainability and social responsibility and actively partners with local organisations to support communities in need.

Whether you’re a fan of traditional Mexican food or looking to try something new, Costa Vida offers a unique and flavorful dining experience that is sure to satisfy you.

Is Costa Vida a Franchise Opportunity?

Yes, Costa Vida operates as a franchises and is actively seeking new franchisees to help expand the Costa Vida. The franchising model offers a range of benefits to franchisees, including a proven business model, comprehensive training and support, and access to a well-established Costa Vida with a loyal customer base.

Facts That Nobody Told You About Costa Vida

  1. Costa Vida is committed to sustainability and social responsibility and actively partners with local organisations to support communities in need.
  2. The franchise has donated over $1 million to various charitable organisations over the years.
  3. Costa Vida has received numerous awards and accolades for its food and service, including being named the best Mexican restaurant by Utah Valley Magazine and the best Mexican chain by USA Today’s 10Best.

Costa Vida Franchise Review and Information

Industry Type Fast-Casual Restaurant
Sub Category Mexican Cuisine
Year Established 2003
Company Name Costa Vida
Founder/Management Head JD Gardner
Franchising Started 2004
Employees at Company H.O Not available
Franchise Expansion Plan Domestic and international expansion
Number of Units 100+
Number of Franchise Units 100+
Social Media Handles Facebook
Company Office location  Lehi, Utah

Costa Vida Franchise Requirements

To become a Costa Vida franchisee, there are several requirements that potential candidates must meet. Here are some of the key requirements

  • Experience: While restaurant or franchise experience is preferred, it is not mandatory. Costa Vida looks for franchisees who have a strong work ethic, are customer-focused, and possess excellent leadership and management skills.
  • Territory: Costa Vida is actively seeking franchisees in the United States and internationally. Specific territories and locations are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
  • Training: Franchisees are required to attend a comprehensive training program that covers all aspects of operating a Costa Vida restaurant, including food preparation, customer service, and management.  
  • Franchise Agreement: Potential franchisees must review and sign a franchise agreement that outlines the terms and conditions of operating a Cost restaurant. 
  • Franchise Fees: Franchisees must pay an initial franchise fee of $35,000 per restaurant, as well as ongoing royalties of 5% of gross sales and a marketing fee of 2% of gross sales.
Costa Vida Franchise

How much does a Costa Vida franchise cost

Franchisees must have a minimum net worth of $500,000 and liquid assets of $150,000 per restaurant.

How much does it cost to franchise a Costa Vida in the United States?

The cost to franchise a Costa Vida restaurant in the United States can vary depending on various factors, such as location, size of the restaurant, and other associated costs. However, according to Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) as of 2021, the estimated initial investment range to open a Costa Vida franchises is between $467,500 to $1,263,000.

Costa Vida Franchise Price and Costs
Costa Vida Franchise Fee $35,000
Costa Vida Franchise Cost $467,500 – $1,202,500
Royalty Fee 5%
Advertising Fee 2%
Term of Agreement 10 years
Is franchise term renewable? Yes
Renewable Franchise Fees 50% of current franchise fee

How much do Costa Vida franchise owners make?

The earnings potential for a franchise owner of Costa Vida can vary based on several factors such as location, sales volume, operational costs, and other variables. Costa Vida does not publish earnings or profit projections for its franchisees.

However, as per the 2021 Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD), the average annual gross sales for a Costa Vida restaurant was approximately $1.5 million. Actual results can vary significantly from this figure depending on factors such as location, competition, marketing efforts, and local economic conditions.

What is Costa Vida franchise profit?

I will analyse the Costa Vida franchise profit and years to recoup the investment (ROI).

AUV Estimated Annual Profit (12.5%) Estimated Annual Profit (15%) Estimated Annual Profit (18%)
$ 1,524,173 $190,522 $228,625 $ 274,351
Recoup mid-point$ 8,35,000 4.3 years 3.6  years 3.0 years

The estimated Costa Vida franchise profit is in the range of $190,522 to $274,351 and it will take 3.0 to 4.3 years to recoup the investment. 

According to industry standards, getting a return on the franchise investment will not take a very long time.

Costa Vida Training to Franchises

Here’s an overview of the training program for Costa Vida franchisees:

  • Initial Training: Costa Vida franchisees will receive approximately 9-12 weeks of initial training, including both classroom and hands-on experience at a designated Costa Vida training restaurant. The training covers all aspects of operating a Costa Vida restaurant, including food preparation, customer service, marketing, and financial management.
  • Ongoing Support: Costa Vida provides ongoing support to franchisees through various means, including regular field visits, ongoing training opportunities, and marketing support.

Costa Vida Operations to Franchises

  • Operations Manual: Costa Vida provides a comprehensive operations manual that covers all aspects of operating a Costa Vida restaurant. This manual is updated regularly to reflect changes in the industry and best practices.
  • Marketing Support: Costa Vida provides marketing support to franchisees, including a range of advertising materials and promotional campaigns.
  • National Marketing Fund: Franchisees contribute to a national marketing fund, which is used to develop and implement national advertising and marketing campaigns to promote the Costa Vida Costa Vida.

How is Costa Vida Territory Granted to Franchises

Costa Vida grants its franchisees an exclusive territory in which to operate their restaurants. The size and location of the territory are determined based on a variety of factors, including population density, competition, and market demand. The specific terms of the territory are outlined in the franchise agreement.

What is the Franchise Term of Agreement and Renewal?

The initial term of the agreement for Costa Vida is 10 years, with the option to renew for an additional 10-year term. The renewal terms are subject to negotiation between the franchisor and franchisee and are based on various factors, including the franchisee’s performance and compliance with the terms of the franchise agreement.

Does Costa Vida provide Financial Assistance to Franchises?

Costa Vida does not provide direct financing to its franchisees, but it does offer assistance with obtaining financing through third-party lenders. The franchisor has relationships with several lenders who are familiar with the franchises system of Costa Vida and can provide financing options tailored to the needs of franchisees. Additionally, Costa Vida offers guidance on creating a business plan and financial projections to help franchisees secure financing.

Costa Vida Franchise

Pros & Cons of owning a Costa Vida Franchises

Pros of owning a Costa Vida

  1. Established Costa Vida: As a well-known and established Costa Vida, Costa Vida has a strong customer base and Costa Vida recognition that can help attract customers to your location, 
  2. Training and Support: Costa Vida provides comprehensive training and ongoing support to its franchisees, which can help you navigate the challenges of running a restaurant and maximize your chances of success.
  3. Menu and Food Quality: Costa Vida is known for its fresh and authentic food, which can be a selling point for customers looking for healthy and high-quality meal options.
  4. Marketing and Advertising: Costa Vida provides support for local store marketing campaigns, as well as national advertising campaigns, which can help drive traffic to your location.

Cons of Owning a Costa Vida

  1. High Initial Investment: Starting a Costa Vida requires a significant upfront investment, including intial fees, equipment costs, and other expenses, which can be a barrier to entry for some potential franchisees.
  2. Royalty and Advertising Fees: Costa Vida charges ongoing royalty and advertising fees, which can cut into your profits and make it more challenging to achieve profitability.
  3. Limited Flexibility: As a franchisee, you must adhere to Costa Vida’s established policies and procedures, which can limit your ability to make changes or adapt to local market conditions.
  4. Competitive Industry: The restaurant industry is highly competitive, with many established and emerging players competing for customers’ attention and dollars. 

What is Costa Vida franchise reviews

Overall, Costa Vida franchises reviews have been positive, with many franchisees praising the company’s training and support, as well as the quality of the food and the Costa Vida’s strong customer base. Some negative reviews have mentioned high startup costs and ongoing fees.

Costa Vida Franchise Rankings

According to Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 rankings for 2021, Costa Vida’s was ranked #288 overall and #39 in the Fastest-Growing Franchises category. In the Mexican food franchise category, Costa Vida’s was ranked #6.

Franchise Deck Analysis and Overview

The analysis and overview of Costa Vida would examine the company’s history, Costa Vida positioning, market trends, and growth potential. It would also assess the company’s financial performance, franchisee support and training, marketing and advertising strategy, and competitive landscape.

Potential Risks to consider before investing in a Costa Vida franchises

Some potential risks to consider before investing in a Costa Vida’s franchise include the competitive nature of the restaurant industry, ongoing royalty and advertising fees, high initial investment costs, and limited flexibility in terms of adapting to local market conditions. It is important for potential franchisees to conduct thorough due diligence and carefully evaluate the potential benefits and drawbacks before making a significant financial commitment.

Is the Costa Vida Franchise Profit Worth the Cost?

Whether the Costa Vida’ franchise profit is worth the franchise cost will depend on a number of factors, including the individual franchisee’s financial situation, management skills, market conditions, and the overall performance of the business.

Costa Vida Franchise Success and Failure Rate

The below table will highlight the Costa Vida’s franchise success and failure rate for 3 years. This will supplement your decision-making process.

Year Format Start End Change
2017 Franchise Owned 67 71 +4
Company Owned 16 23 +7
2018 Franchise Owned 71 69 -2
Company Owned 23 26 +3
2019 Franchise Owned 69 58 -11
Company Owned 26 39 +13

Competition Analysis of Costa Vida Franchises

Costa Vida Cost to Franchise Franchisee Fees Royalty + Ad fees Expected Profit Recoup of Capital FD Rating
Costa Vida  $467,500 – $1,202,500 $35,000 5%+2% $1.5 million 3-4.3 years 3.8/5
Chipotle Franchise $1,000,000 – $2,500,000 $25,000 8.0% 3 – 5 years 3/5
Qdoba Franchise $454,750 – $1,376,500 $30,000 5.0% 2 – 4 years 3.5/5
Moe’s Southwest Grill Franchise  $451,200 – $1,092,000 $30,000 5.0% 2 – 4 years 3.5/5
Taco Bell Franchise  $525,100 – $2,659,400 $45,000 5.5% + 4.25% (ad fee) 2 – 4 years 4.1/5
Del Taco Franchise  $496,000 – $1,962,500 $35,000 4.0% 2 – 4 years 4/5

The Franchise Deck rating for the Costa Vida’s franchise is 3.8/5.0.

Costa Vida Franchise


Conclusion: Is the Costa Vida franchise worth it?

Based on the information provided, it appears that Costa Vida can be a profitable franchise opportunity for individuals with the necessary capital and willingness to commit to the company’s training and operational standards. However, as with any business investment, there are potential risks and drawbacks to consider, such as the initial investment cost, ongoing royalty and advertising fees, and competition in the market.

Entrepreneurs who want to open a franchise in the category  franchise opportunities categories can look at

  1. Chipotle FRANCHISE
  2. Qdoba FRANCHISE
  3.  Moe’s Southwest Grill FRANCHISE
  4.  Taco Bell FRANCHISE 
  5.  Del Taco FRANCHISE
  6.  Taco John’s FRANCHISE
  7. Cafe Rio Franchise
  8. Oakberry Acai Franchise
  9. Paris Baguette Franchise
  10. Harold’s Chicken Franchise
  11. Chilli’s franchise
  12. Skyline Chili Franchise
  13. Paris Baguette Franchise
  14. Poki Bowl franchise
  15. Frutta Bowl Franchise



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Is the Costa Vida franchises profitable?

According to industry data and franchisee testimonials, Costa Vida can be a profitable franchises for those who are willing to put in the effort and adhere to the company’s proven systems and procedures. However, profitability will depend on various factors such as location, competition, local market conditions, and management skills.

  1. Can you make money owning a Costa Vida?

Yes, franchises owners can make money owning a Costa Vida if they effectively manage their operations, control costs, and consistently deliver high-quality food and customer service.

  1. Is a Costa Vida a franchises?

Yes, Costa Vida is a franchises that offers opportunities for entrepreneurs to open their own Mexican grill restaurant using the company’s established business model and Costa Vida name.

  1. How much is a Costa Vida franchises?

The initial investment cost to open a Costa Vida’s franchise ranges from $442,500 to $1,102,000, including the franchise fee. However, the exact cost may vary depending on factors such as location, restaurant size, equipment, and other related expenses.

  1. How do Costa Vida franchises make money?

Costa Vida franchises make money by selling food and beverages to customers. They generate revenue by offering a variety of menu items at competitive prices, implementing effective marketing strategies, managing inventory, and providing excellent customer service.

Published On: April 14th, 2023 / Categories: Blog, Food Franchise Opportunities /

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