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Is White Castle A Franchise ?

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White Castle, primarily located in New York and the Midwest state, is a famous fast-food restaurant chain. The signature item offered by them is a square tiny hamburger, which was originally sold for a mere 5 cents apiece, and is made of 100% USDA beef. Because of its small size, a customer generally tends to order and consume multiple burgers.Most of their restaurants are open 24 hours of the day, although a few tend to close at around 1:00 AM on weeknights. Additionally, freezer sections at many grocery stores are known to contain products by White Castle.I know you will ask me Can you buy a White Castle franchise ?I will answer your question in this article on can you franchise white castle.

What is the history of White Castle?

Walter A. Anderson was a cook at the first White Castle situated in Wichita, Kansas in 1921. He, the next year, joined hands with Edgar Waldo Ingram to turn White Castle into a chain. Ingram bought out Anderson in 1933 from the company and ended up relocating the headquarters to Columbus, Ohio.

White Castle franchise

Is White Castle a Franchise Opportunity?

It must be noted that White Caste does not franchise, instead, it has various subsidiaries that are owned privately. The fast-food restaurant chain expands deliberately and carefully with the use of earmarked earnings when it comes to the construction of funds. It tries to geographically not to stretch too far away from the company’s resources.

It is a restaurant that tends to be credited with the invention of modern fast-food restaurants. When beef ended up losing its favor with Americans as a result of safety reasons, White Castle created a sterile-appealing, clean restaurant to ease such concerns. In addition, Walter Anderson is known to have thought of the concept of the kitchen assembly line as well as the hamburger bun. This allowed food to be served to a customer more quickly and efficiently.  

  White Castle Information 
Industry TypeFood Franchise Opportunities
Sub CategoryBurger Franchise Opportunities
Year Established1921
Company NameWhite Castle System, Inc.
Founder/Management HeadWalter AndersonBilly Ingram
Franchising StartedDoes not franchise
Employees at Company H.O10,000
Franchise Expansion PlanNone as of now
Number of Units377
Number of Franchise UnitsDoes not franchise
Social Media HandlesFacebook 
Company Office location   Columbus, Ohio
Areas servedThe MidwestLas VegasOrlandoNew York metropolitan areaScottsdale, Arizona
Products servedHamburgersFrench friesBreakfastMilkshakesSoft drinks

White Castle franchise

Can a person buy a White Castle franchise?

Opening a franchise of such a nostalgic restaurant chain seems to be a perfect idea, but hold your horses! The corporation unfortunately prefers to maintain its fast-food legacy as a private operation and fails to sell its franchises to potential franchisees.

It is not that the company wishes to keep its restaurants out of reach of to-be entrepreneurs. Instead, the primary desire of White Castle is to provide extra food of high quality coupled with a locally tailored menu to its customers. This necessitates that their restaurants must be located close to their sources of raw materials that are being used by them for production.

But hey, we do have good news for you. The company fails to offer a franchise program at the moment and expresses no intention of doing so anytime soon. Additionally, it does not sell public stock as well. Despite this, there still exists a possibility to do business with them. Continue reading to know and discover how you can partner with White Castle.

White Castle franchise

White Castle Franchise and Financial requirements and fees

White Castle fails to provide franchise opportunities as stated above, because of which there is no relevant financial information available for a potential franchisee. However, there still exists a way to work with them.

The company has a real estate acquisition process on its website and they might still work with you if you have land to provide them. In the process, White Castle has explained that they are looking for land areas that range somewhere between 20,000 to 40,000 sq. ft. in selected markets. Apart from this, an average income of $55,000 coupled with a population of more than about 35,000 people living in a 2.5-mile radius is required. Another option that can be suggested to a potential franchise in the online leaflet is that any owner of a convenience store who wishes to use his extra space can consider renting a leased White Castle; this will not operate as a franchise.

While White Caste does not franchise its business, if a person properly meets the criteria of the burger joints, the company might do business with him. Further information can be collected from their website.

Average sales or revenue per year

White Castle does not share official data on their system about their average annual sales per unit or wide annual sales, but we have learned that it netted an estimated profit of $12 million from a revenue of approximately $612 million back in 2013. A recent financial analysis updated in June 2021 discovered that White Castle had a revenue of more or about $738.3 million.

Pros and Cons of White Castle

White Castle, as provided above, fails to permit franchising. The closest the company has gone to a franchise agreement is with their limited license partnership under strict maintenance and control.

But what if you were given a chance to operate a franchise in the future? What can be the potential advantages and disadvantages of owning such a fast-food chain? Let’s look into some pros and cons of a White Castle franchise below.

A)   Pros

  • Top-class environmental initiatives
  • Oldest burger chain nostalgia
  • Loyal customer base
  • Castle shares

B)   Cons

  • Tough competition
  • Smaller chains

Estimated cost of White Caste if it was a franchise

The White Castle franchise cost is estimated to range between $374,050 to $245 million. This tends to include the costs associated with stocking the menu, purchasing equipment, and setting up the restaurant.

The White Castle franchise fee for a store might go up to $30,000. Further, to be approved as a potential franchisee, a person is required to have liquid assets worth $250,000 along with about $1 million as his net worth. Upon being approved as a franchisee, it might take around 18 months or so to open a new White Castle location.

Franchise Alternatives of White Castle 

There are many franchise alternatives to White Castle, including Burger King, Wendy’s, and Sonic. These restaurants offer similar menus and atmosphere, making them great options for those looking for a quick and easy meal.

Other franchise alternatives to White Castle hamburgers,some of the most popular include Mcdonald’s, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, and Shake Shack. All of these restaurants offer delicious hamburgers and fries, and they are all very popular. In-N-Out Burger is not franchising  well-known for its high quality burgers and fries. Five Guys Burgers and Fries is another popular franchise, and its burgers are especially popular. Shake Shack is a popular restaurant for its burgers and shakes. All of these restaurants offer great food and great franchise opportunities. 

If you are interested in becoming a franchisee of one of these restaurants, have a look at the analysis 

Franchise Alternatives of White Castle
Franchise BrandCost to FranchiseFranchise FeesRoyalty + Ad feesExpected ProfitRecoup of CapitalFD Rating
Sonic Franchise$1,242,200 to $3,537,700 $45,0005%3.25%13%14.5 years3.5/5.0
Burger King Franchise$1,790,800 – $4,194,700$50,000
16% 8 to 12 years3.8/5.0
Five Guys Franchise$306,200 to $641,250. $25,000    6%$136,344 to $272,6884 to 6 years  4.1/5.0
Wendy’s franchise$2-$3.5 million$40,000    4%$ 330490 to $ 4406538 to 12 Years
Whataburger franchise$0.5 to $1.5  million$59,5008%$94,000 to $122,6006 to 9 years    3.9/5.0


Customers tend to enjoy burgers from White Castle long before the introduction of Wendy’s, McDonald’s, or Burger King into the market. The distinctive buildings of White Castle adorned towns early back in 1921 when it was discovered by Billy Ingram. To this day and age, after about a hundred years, this restaurant owned by the Ingram family is still going on successfully.

Unfortunately, White Castle fails to be a franchise. This chain of hamburgers is owned privately; the reason behind the same is most likely a result of maintenance of close control over their stores.

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

  1. Whataburger franchise
  2. Mcdonald’s Franchise
  3. Burger King Franchise
  4. Burger Village Franchise 
  5. Hardee’s franchise
  6. 5 guys franchise
  7. Wayback burger franchise 
  8. Wendy’s Franchise
  9. In and Out franchise 
  10. Sonic Franchise
  11. Jack in the Box  franchise 
  12. Mr.Beast franchise
  13. Fat Burger Franchise


1)    Is White Castle right for you?

If a person meets the criteria laid down by the company and additionally possesses the required resources as per their real estate acquisition process and is willing to invest 100% of his efforts, time, and money into owning the restaurant, then he can surely form a business relationship with this fast-food chain.

2)    How does White Castle make money?

White Castle does not earn money solely from their chain of restaurants, but also from selling packaged frozen goods and frozen hamburgers. White Castle Distributing, Inc. is one of its subsidiaries that supplied frozen hamburgers from White Castle to supermarkets all across the country.

3)    Is the White Castle a franchise?

It is not a franchise yet, but that does not necessarily mean it never will be. According to its growth rate, it can be a potentially profitable investment for people. In addition to this, it is a recognized and well-positioned fast-food chain in the US and other parts of the world. As a result of its excellent treatment of employees and corporate culture, many people wish to be involved with the company.  

4)    What do you consider to be a White Castle franchise?

You must assess whether or not the company is the best business opportunity for you. It is highly selective about the markets it chooses to move into, so a potential franchisee must assess if he has what it takes to fulfill the criteria of the company. Before deciding, it is important to weigh the challenges and advantages to analyze whether your investment will be a failure or a success.

3 thoughts on “Is White Castle A Franchise ?”

  1. White Castle is a great franchise for anyone wanting to start a business in the fast food industry.
    Their iconic slider burgers have been a fan favorite since 1921.
    White Castle offers a variety of meals, from classic hamburgers to hearty breakfast sandwiches.
    The franchise has also recently added vegetarian and vegan options to their menu.
    White Castle has a wide selection of sides, including crinkle-cut fries, mozzarella sticks, and onion rings.

  2. The franchise has locations in nearly every state, making it convenient for customers to visit.
    White Castle is known for its welcoming atmosphere and friendly staff.
    The franchise is a great way to get a quick and tasty meal on the go.
    White Castle is dedicated to using fresh and high-quality ingredients in their burgers.
    With their low prices, White Castle is a great option for anyone on a budget.

  3. White Castle is a great franchise for anyone wanting to start a business in the fast food industry.
    Their iconic slider burgers have been a fan favorite since 1921. White Castle offers a variety of meals, from classic hamburgers to hearty breakfast sandwiches.
    The franchise has also recently added vegetarian and vegan options to its menu.
    White Castle has a wide selection of sides, including crinkle-cut fries, mozzarella sticks, and onion rings.

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