The 10 biggest burger franchises in the Australian market


The 10 Biggest Burger Franchises In The Australian Market On Franchise Buyer

The new crop of home grown, gourmet burger chains are undeniably sexy franchise businesses in the market.

But how are the brand location numbers playing out across the country in this fast-moving niche?

If you think about it, it's really not that long ago, when the only dedicated burger franchise offering you'd see in a shopping centre, was a McDonald's in the food court.

Wow, how quickly this has changed in the past several years! 

It's definitely an attractive niche and on the wish list no-doubt, for many dreaming of a business.

We created this list to help make your research and decision making process easier. We'll update as the market changes, and as we get more information for you.

1. McDonald's - 1,000+ locations (AU)

After hitting the Australian market in the early 70's, McDonald's has been a staple in the market since. For so long, its burgers mainly competed with Hungry Jacks and the corner milk bar burger. With the explosion in local specialty burger chains, arguably the global giant 'blinked' more recently with the Create your taste, hand crafted burger range, which has been withdrawn. 

  • CEO = Andrew Gregory
  • Headquarters located = Sydney, NSW
  • Franchising Since = 1971 (first in Australia)
  • Investment = $2mil (approx) 
  • Initial Franchise fee = $60,000
  • Ongoing Fees = 4% advertising fee & 5% royalty fee & monthly rental fixed base+
  • Training = 12 months (min) (full time, unpaid)

Social Media Presence 

  • facebook = 80,591,352 (global) followers
  • Instagram = 159K followers
  • Twitter = 32.5k followers
  • LinkedIn = 1,230,277 (global) followers

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2. Hungry Jacks - 420+ locations 

Hungry Jacks (aka Burger King in the USA), has been a permanent presence in the Australian market basically since the arrival of McDonald's. 

The brand has a high proportion of company owned and run outlets, with a lower % of stores owned and operated by franchise partners.

  • CEO = Chris Green
  • Headquarters located = Sydney, NSW
  • Franchising Since = 1971
  • Investment = $2.6mil (approx) 
  • Initial Franchise fee = TBA
  • Ongoing Fees = TBA
  • Training = TBA

Social Media Presence 

  • facebook = 663,733 followers
  • Instagram = 63.3K followers
  • Twitter = 11.8k followers
  • LinkedIn = 15,719 followers

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3. Oporto - 172 locations

Owned by multi-brand operator, Craveable Brands, which also operates the Red Rooster and Chicken Treat brands. 

With the vast majority of stores located in NSW, the brand is focusing on growth in the QLD, VIC and WA markets in 2020. The brand has also had expansion into Singapore and Sri Lanka recently as well.  

  • CEO = Helen Moore
  • Headquarters located = Chatswood, NSW
  • Franchising Since = 1986 (brand started)
  • Investment = $450k - $900k
  • Initial Franchise fee = $50,000
  • Ongoing Fees = 4-6% advertising fee & 6% royalties
  • Training = 10-12 weeks

Social Media Presence 

  • facebook = 144,176 followers
  • Instagram = 13.7K followers
  • Twitter = 2,475 followers
  • LinkedIn = 2,365 followers

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4. Grill'd Healthy Burgers- 136 locations

Launched in 2004, the brand has always positioned itself heavily as 'the healthy burger' option in comparison to the burger competition. 

Interestingly, this is another brand with a high ratio of corporate run stores, and this number of appears to be growing with the % of franchise owned locations shrinking. The founder, Simon Crowe remains MD in the business.

  • CEO = Adam Stapleton and Simon Crowe (MD)
  • Headquarters located = Melbourne, VIC
  • Franchising Since = 2004 (first opening)
  • Investment = $555,590 to $885,700
  • Initial Franchise fee = included in investment cost
  • Ongoing Fees = TBC
  • Training = TBC

Social Media Presence 

  • facebook = 169,406 followers
  • Instagram = 48.7K followers
  • Twitter = 15.8k followers
  • LinkedIn = 11,721 (global) followers

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5. Burger Urge - 27 locations

The chain has just a handful of locations outside the QLD market as it pushes interstate to NSW and VIC. With the new appointment of CEO Shawn Kerr in Sept 20, the brand is gearing up for growth both domestic and internationally.

  • CEO = Shawn Kerr
  • Headquarters located = New Farm, QLD
  • Franchising Since = 2012
  • Investment = $250k - $500k
  • Initial Franchise fee = $30k
  • Ongoing Fees = 3% advertising fee & 6% royalty fee
  • Training = 12 weeks

Social Media Presence 

  • facebook = 66,915 followers
  • Instagram = 27,2K followers
  • Twitter = 273 followers
  • LinkedIn = 753 followers

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6. Carl's Jr - 23 locations

A brand to watch with a product offer that looks nicely balanced for the Australian market, and with some authentic Americana mixed in. After what seemed a tentative push initially into the Australian market, the number of locations being added seems to have quickly accelerated.

Already operating in over 30 countries, sights are set on up to 300 locations in Australia over 10-15 years. At the time of writing, the brand is often announcing new openings through VIC in the midst of the covid crisis.  Keep an eye on this brand.

  • CEO = Jason Maker
  • Headquarters located = TBA
  • Franchising Since = 2016 (arrived Australia)
  • Investment = $1,038,374 - $2,217,366 USD
  • Initial Franchise fee = $37,500 USD & Territory Reservation Fee $10,000 USD
  • Ongoing Fees = 4%-7% advertising fee & 5% royalty fee
  • Training = 12 weeks

Social Media Presence 

  • facebook = 95,413 followers
  • Instagram = 16.4K followers
  • Twitter = 5,705 followers
  • LinkedIn = 1009 followers

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7. Huxtaburger - 9 locations

Stores spread across VIC, WA and NSW and positioned as a premium burger offer, the brand is also looking to expand into NZ. Three hospitality 'legends' launched the brand off the back of their awarded restaurant in 2011.

Claiming they 'started Melbourne's burger craze back in 2011', the brand certainly has a premium feel, look and exclusive approach to it.

  • CEO = Jason Geriesi (COO)
  • Headquarters located = Collingwood, VIC
  • Franchising Since = 2011 (first store) franchised from 2016
  • Investment = starts from $250k - $550k
  • Initial Franchise fee = $60,000
  • Ongoing Fees = 1% advertising fee & 6% royalty fee
  • Training = 12 weeks

Social Media Presence 

  • facebook = 15,001 followers
  • Instagram = 24K followers
  • Twitter = 5,816 followers
  • LinkedIn = 418 followers

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8. PATTYSMITHS Handcrafted premium burgers - 9 locations

An interesting offer to the market with the brand owned by ConceptEight, which also operates Noodle Box, Wokinabox, Alabama Wings, and Supreme Leader (Korean Krispy Chicken). 

While operating the burger concept as the core part to the franchise, Concept Eight are also integrating other brands into some of the same locations where appropriate, as co-brand, and or operating as 'dark kitchens' for food delivery services for multiple food offers.

A growing approach to getting the most out of the investment of an owner into their franchise. Another brand to watch.

  • CEO = Grant Lee
  • Headquarters located = Abbotsford, VIC
  • Franchising Since = 2018
  • Investment = $250k - $300k approx
  • Initial Franchise fee = $30,000
  • Ongoing Fees = 3% advertising fee & 7% royalty fee + $150 mth licence fee
  • Training = TBA

Social Media Presence 

  • facebook = 5,967 followers
  • Instagram = 13.6K followers
  • Twitter = 2,242 followers
  • LinkedIn = 71 followers

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9. Milky Lane - 9 locations

Burgers with a point of difference with the addition of cocktails and deserts. Self-described as a 'designer burger place', the brand aims to impress as much with it's environment and atmosphere, as it does it's burgers and broader offer.

A very much on-trend, impressively presented brand, where by observation, it seems no detail is over looked for it's contribution to the brand persona.

  • CEO = Pete Haselhurst (MD)
  • Headquarters located = Sydney, NSW
  • Franchising Since = 2016 (started)
  • Investment = $250k - $650k
  • Initial Franchise fee = $70,000
  • Ongoing Fees = 2% advertising fee & 6.5% royalty fee
  • Training = 12 weeks

Social Media Presence 

  • facebook = 157,132 followers
  • Instagram = 167K followers
  • Twitter = NA
  • LinkedIn = NA

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10. Ze Pickle - 5 locations

Another brand that has taken the premium burgers mixed cocktails, craft beers, music and original designs per location. Of note the franchise has been started by three guys (Aaron, Nathan and JD), who were previously franchise owners of another successful food brand, and felt it could be done differently.

No staff uniforms, preferring individuality to shine through. Started on the Gold Coast, and has spread wider to locations in Brisbane and Noosa thus far.

  • CEO = founders - Nathan Zuckerman, Aaron Wilson, Joey Day
  • Headquarters located = Burleigh Heads, QLD
  • Franchising Since = 2012 (founded)
  • Investment = $350k - $500k
  • Initial Franchise fee = included in investment
  • Ongoing Fees = 2.5% advertising fee & 7.5% royalty fee
  • Training = TBA

Social Media Presence 

  • facebook = 41,200 followers
  • Instagram = 47.2K followers
  • Twitter = NA
  • LinkedIn = NA

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Note: And of course, please contact the brands direct for the most up to date information, as while we've done our best to be as accurate as possible, we know some of this information can be a moving target at times unfortunately!