What to Look For When Buying a Restaurant Franchise

September 2022

Whether you’re hoping to buy a restaurant franchise for the first time or the fifth, the goal is always the same: success. It may seem like a simple goal, but new restaurants have always struggled to survive, much less thrive, because the food industry can be a real challenge! 

That’s what makes buying a restaurant franchise an expert move. With a proven business concept and plan, you know you’re starting the game with a winning hand.  

Fried portabella mushrooms served with caesar dipping sauce - Buying a Restaurant Franchise

The key to choosing your restaurant franchise is a combination of finding the right niche, knowing your strengths, and of course, selecting the right partner. A popular, accessible niche is a must-have in today’s hyper-focused restaurant market. Buying a restaurant franchise with a strong appeal in your area guarantees your customer base will be interested. And of course, any restaurant franchise is only as valuable as the partners who developed it. 


With all these elements in place, you’ll be well on your way to a successful business, even before you open your doors.


Choosing a Niche When Buying a Restaurant Franchise

It’s no secret that hyper-focused restaurant concepts are thriving. Defining your niche is often the first step in opening a restaurant, simply because you can’t be all things to all people. While broad appeal is key to success, the restaurant franchise you buy should have a distinct identity – a niche – that makes it easy to define and identify.

Having a clearly-defined niche helps you define your business, and attracts customers. Diners want to know what they’re getting when they eat out, and your niche will make that clear to them. When buying a restaurant franchise, ensure you’re choosing a concept that your customers will gravitate towards.

Choose A Popular Restaurant Niche

In Barrel House’s case, we’ve designed a concept that incorporates three top trends for restaurants – classic cocktails, specialty burgers, and comfort food. Our guests know exactly what kind of experience they will have in our restaurant: quality, upscale food and drinks, a comfortable atmosphere for everyone, excellent customer service, and a work culture that keeps our staff and franchise owners happy to be at work.

New Cocktails from Barrel House - Buy a Restaurant Franchise with a Full Bar

While Barrel House may have broad appeal, it’s a well-defined restaurant concept with a proven track record of success – which is exactly what you should be looking for when buying a restaurant franchise!

Buy a Restaurant Franchise Your Market Will Love

We’ve specifically chosen our niche – upscale tavern – because we know just how much customers love it. Barrel House’s accessible, delicious menu and comfortable atmosphere make it a great fit for just about anyone. When buying a franchise, a well-defined niche with limited appeal will hurt you in the long run. Our franchises offer a perfect fit for your community’s customers.

Find a Franchise with a Dish or Drink for Every Palate

The wide variety of food and drink options at Barrel House means you’ll have something for any kind of customer – from picky eaters, to vegetarians, to foodies who want to try something new and exciting, there’s a Barrel House dish for everyone. Our full bar serves beer on tap (including local brews), classic cocktails, wine, and seltzers, so everyone can match their dish with a favorite drink. A good food franchise will appeal to every diner, and Barrel House delivers!

Buy a Restaurant Franchise Designed for the Midwest

When buying a restaurant franchise, you should always consider your location – not just which street corner to build on, but what kind of customer you’ll be serving. The United States are huge, and even if a specialty food is trending on the east coast, the majority of your customers will be looking for something a little more accessible. There’s a reason we’ve made our home here in the Midwest – our customers love classic comfort foods, like our specialty burgers and beloved apps.

As a matter of fact, what we refer to now as “comfort food” was invented in the Midwest. Our menu is full of family favorites, familiar flavors, and new twists on old classics. It’s no wonder Barrel Houses are thriving in the home of comfort food!

A Barrel House restaurant patio with shade umbrellas - Buy a Restaurant Franchise with a Patio

Barrel House is On the Cutting Edge

Barrel House also incorporates both of 2022’s biggest restaurant trends – bars and patios. Bar seating is up a whopping 225% in 2022. The isolation of the pandemic has reminded customers how much they love the hustle and bustle of bar seating, and Barrel House’s bar and grill model is poised to deliver. 

From the beginning, we’ve included a patio in every Barrel House business model. We’ve always loved outdoor seating for the ambiance and flexibility it provides, and now that 82% of diners want the option to eat outside, Barrel House has become the perfect choice for lunch or dinner.

A Restaurant Franchise Where Everyone Will Feel Welcome

The broad appeal of an upscale tavern serving comfort food is biggest strength. This flexible concept makes Barrel House the best choice for meals of all kinds. It’s perfect for a business lunch, a pit stop while traveling with the family, a birthday dinner, drinks and apps before a big night out, and more. 

Though the atmosphere is steps above a sports bar, and more relaxed than a fine-dining establishment, customers are just as comfortable stopping by in jeans as they would be in a shirt and tie. 

With food and drink choices for all, familiar flavors done right, and the atmosphere customers crave, when you buy a Barrel House franchise, you can rest assured you’re choosing a model your customers will want to choose, too.

Partnerships Are Key When Buying a Restaurant Franchise

When you buy a restaurant franchise, you get the best of both worlds – you run your own business, but you also get the benefit of a tried-and-true business plan designed by the experts. In many ways, choosing a franchise is as much about the parent company as it is about the restaurant concept itself. 

At Barrel House, we know that a good partnership makes or breaks a business’s success. That’s why, when you invest in Barrel House, we invest in you.

What to Avoid When Buying a Restaurant Franchise

A bad franchise partnership can go one of two ways – new owners can feel unsupported, or they can feel suffocated. In opening Barrel House restaurants throughout the region, we’ve found that when owners receive great training and support, they can run an incredible business. We’re committed to a partnership with our owners that works for everyone.

How Barrel House Supports Franchise Owners

We start with a comprehensive business plan that’s proven its worth in restaurants over and over again. We pair that with supportive training on every aspect of running the restaurant, from choosing a location, to buildout, to supply chain, to staffing, and of course, our We Care™ culture

franchise bar and grill

You’ll also be included in our regional advertising and marketing – after all, the success of any Barrel House helps every location with brand recognition and repeat customers.

Types of Restaurant Franchises to Buy

At the moment, we even have a variety of franchise opportunities available. If you’d like to bring Barrel House to a new city in the Midwest, we’d love to help! We also have existing restaurants throughout Iowa ready for an owner to step in – which saves you the trouble of finding real estate, buildout, construction, and hiring initial staff. 

Whatever kind of business owner you’d like to be, when you buy a restaurant franchise with Barrel House, you’ll step into a strong partnership based on support and respect.

How You Should Choose Your Restaurant Franchise

Choosing a high quality restaurant franchise is all about research. But if you can find an opportunity that combines a well-defined concept, strong support in your community, and a good partnership, then you’ll be well on your way to running a successful business.

At Barrel House, we’re committed to making that research process as easy as possible. If you have any questions, we invite you to read through our FAQs, or simply contact us for more details. Our franchise team has the answers and experience to help you decide whether buying a Barrel House franchise is the right choice for you.