How Much Does It Cost to Open a Cava Franchise in the USA?


Are you dreaming of owning your own business and bringing the delicious flavors of the Mediterranean to your community?


Look no further than Cava, a rapidly growing fast-casual restaurant chain that has taken the United States by storm.

With its fresh ingredients, customizable bowls, and innovative menu options, Cava has become a favorite among health-conscious foodies across the nation.

However, before diving headfirst into the world of franchising, it’s crucial to understand the financial commitments involved.


How Much Does It Cost to Open a Cava Franchise in the USA?

How Much Does It Cost to Open a Cava Franchise in the USA


In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down the various costs associated with opening a Cava franchise in the USA, helping you make an informed decision about whether this exciting opportunity is right for you.

Quick Answer: How Much Does It Cost to Open a Cava Franchise in the USA?

The total cost to open a Cava franchise in the USA typically ranges from $500,000 to over $1,000,000.

This includes:

  • Initial franchise fee: $40,000 – $50,000
  • Real estate and leasehold improvements: $250,000 – $600,000
  • Equipment and furnishings: $150,000 – $300,000
  • Initial inventory and supplies: $20,000 – $40,000
  • Marketing and advertising: 2-3% of gross sales
  • Additional costs like professional fees, insurance, permits, training, and working capital.

For a personalized budget estimate tailored to your specific location and needs, it’s best to contact Cava’s franchise development team.

They can provide more detailed information and guide you through the process of opening a Cava franchise.

The Appeal of a Cava Franchise

Cava has quickly established itself as a leader in the fast-casual dining industry, thanks to its focus on fresh, healthy ingredients and Mediterranean-inspired flavors.

By becoming a Cava franchisee, you’ll have the opportunity to:

  • Be part of a growing brand with a strong reputation.
  • Offer a unique and health-conscious menu to your community.
  • Benefit from Cava’s extensive training and support system.
  • Tap into a proven business model with a track record of success.

Initial Franchise Fee

The first major cost to consider when opening a Cava franchise is the initial franchise fee. This one-time payment grants you the right to operate under the Cava brand and access their proprietary systems, training, and support.

The initial franchise fee for a Cava restaurant ranges from $40,000 to $50,000.

This fee covers:

  • The right to use the Cava brand name, logo, and trademarks.
  • Access to Cava’s proprietary recipes, operational systems, and business practices.
  • Comprehensive training for you and your management team.
  • Ongoing support from Cava’s experienced franchise team.

Real Estate and Leasehold Improvements

Securing the perfect location for your Cava franchise is crucial to its success. The cost of real estate will vary depending on factors such as the size of the space, its location, and local market conditions.


On average, real estate costs for a Cava franchise can range from $250,000 to $600,000.

Once you’ve secured your location, you’ll need to transform the space to meet Cava’s brand standards and operational requirements. This process, known as leasehold improvements, can include:

  • Interior and exterior renovations
  • Installation of kitchen equipment and plumbing
  • Dining area set up and decor
  • Signage and branding elements

The cost of leasehold improvements will depend on the condition of the space and the extent of the work required.

Equipment and Furnishings

To operate your Cava franchise effectively, you’ll need to invest in high-quality equipment and furnishings.


This includes:

  • Kitchen equipment (e.g., ovens, refrigerators, prep tables).
  • Point-of-sale (POS) systems and technology.
  • Dining room furniture and fixtures.
  • Serving equipment and utensils.
  • Storage solutions and shelving.

The cost of equipment and furnishings for a Cava franchise typically ranges from $150,000 to $300,000.

Initial Inventory and Supplies

Before opening your doors to the public, you’ll need to stock your restaurant with the necessary ingredients, supplies, and packaging materials.

This initial inventory will include:

  • Food ingredients and pantry staples.
  • Beverage supplies and equipment.
  • To-go containers and packaging.
  • Cleaning supplies and chemicals.
  • Office supplies and administrative materials.

Expect to spend between $20,000 and $40,000 on your initial inventory and supplies.

Marketing and Advertising

To attract customers to your new Cava franchise, you’ll need to invest in marketing and advertising efforts. As a franchisee, you’ll be required to contribute to Cava’s national marketing fund, which supports brand-wide initiatives and campaigns.

The typical marketing fee for a Cava franchise is 2-3% of your gross sales.

In addition to the national marketing fee, you may also choose to invest in local marketing efforts to build brand awareness and drive traffic to your specific location.


This can include:

  • Grand opening promotions and events.
  • Local print, radio, or television advertising.
  • Social media and online marketing campaigns.
  • Community involvement and sponsorships.

Additional Costs to Consider

In addition to the major expenses outlined above, there are several other costs to keep in mind when budgeting for your Cava franchise:

  • Professional Fees: You’ll likely need to engage the services of attorneys, accountants, and other professionals to assist with the legal and financial aspects of setting up your business. These fees can vary widely depending on the complexity of your situation and the rates charged by the professionals you work with.
  • Insurance: As a business owner, you’ll need to obtain various types of insurance to protect your investment and mitigate risk. This can include property insurance, liability insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, and more. The cost of insurance will depend on factors such as the size of your restaurant, your location, and the coverage limits you choose.
  • Permits and Licenses: Before you can open your Cava franchise, you’ll need to obtain the necessary permits and licenses from local, state, and federal authorities. These may include a business license, food service permit, health permit, and others. The cost of these permits and licenses can vary depending on your location and the specific requirements of your jurisdiction.
  • Training and Travel: As part of the franchise onboarding process, you and your management team will need to undergo comprehensive training at Cava’s corporate headquarters or a designated training center. This may involve travel and lodging expenses, as well as the cost of the training itself. Budget for these expenses accordingly.
  • Working Capital: It’s essential to have sufficient working capital on hand to cover the day-to-day expenses of running your Cava franchise during the initial months of operation. This can include payroll, rent, utilities, inventory, and other ongoing costs. The amount of working capital you’ll need will depend on factors such as the size of your restaurant, your projected sales volume, and your operating expenses.

Financing Your Cava Franchise

While the total cost of opening a Cava franchise can be substantial, there are several financing options available to help you make your dream a reality.

These may include:

  • Personal Savings: Many franchisees use their savings to cover a portion of the startup costs associated with opening a Cava franchise. This can demonstrate your commitment to the business and may be viewed favorably by lenders.
  • Small Business Loans: The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a variety of loan programs designed to help entrepreneurs obtain the financing they need to start or expand their businesses. SBA loans often feature competitive interest rates and longer repayment terms compared to traditional bank loans.
  • Franchise Financing: Some financial institutions offer specialized financing programs for franchisees, which may include loans for equipment, real estate, and working capital. These programs may have more flexible underwriting criteria and repayment terms than traditional business loans.
  • Investors: In some cases, franchisees may choose to bring on investors to help finance their Cava franchise. This can include family members, friends, or professional investors who believe in the potential of your business.

Total Estimated Cost

Based on the expenses outlined in this guide, the total estimated cost of opening a Cava franchise in the USA can range from $500,000 to over $1,000,000. Here’s a breakdown of the potential costs:

Expense Category Estimated Cost Range
Initial Franchise Fee $40,000 – $50,000
Real Estate and Leasehold Improvements $250,000 – $600,000
Equipment and Furnishings $150,000 – $300,000
Initial Inventory and Supplies $20,000 – $40,000
Marketing and Advertising 2-3% of gross sales
Professional Fees Varies
Insurance Varies
Permits and Licenses Varies
Training and Travel Varies
Working Capital Varies

Keep in mind that these are estimates, and your actual costs may vary depending on your specific location, market conditions, and other factors.

It’s essential to work with Cava’s franchise development team and your financial advisors to create a detailed budget and financial projection for your franchise.

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Opening a Cava franchise in the USA can be a rewarding and lucrative venture for entrepreneurs passionate about bringing healthy, Mediterranean-inspired cuisine to their communities.

However, it’s crucial to understand the significant financial commitment involved in launching and operating a successful franchise.

By carefully considering the costs outlined in this guide and working closely with Cava’s franchise development team, you can create a solid foundation for your business and set yourself up for long-term success.

With the right planning, preparation, and execution, your Cava franchise can become a thriving part of your local dining scene, delighting customers and creating opportunities for growth and prosperity.


As you embark on this exciting journey, remember to seek guidance from experienced professionals, stay true to Cava’s brand values and operational standards, and remain committed to providing exceptional service and quality to your customers.

With dedication, hard work, and a passion for Mediterranean flavors, you can build a successful Cava franchise that makes a lasting impact on your community and your financial future.

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