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Frequently Asked Questions

Ready to learn more about the Tom & Chee franchise opportunity? Here are answers to common questions about franchising with us

If you don’t see the answer to your specific question on this list, please give us a call using the number on this page or fill out a form to download our Franchise Information Report and learn more.

What is Tom & Chee?

Tom & Chee is the nation’s premier grilled cheese franchise with more than 12 locations in seven states. Founded in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio, in 2009, Tom & Chee began as a pop-up business to serve hungry winter holiday shoppers who flock to the city’s ice skating rink and other festivities. The word about Tom & Chee’s delicious handcrafted melts and tomato soup quickly spread, and soon Tom & Chee opened its first restaurant location in Cincinnati.

The word spread even faster after a successful appearance on Shark Tank propelled the brand to the national stage, and the franchising operations took off. In 2017, GSR Brands, a 50+ year old family franchise company, bought Tom & Chee, simplified the business model, significantly improved training and invested in a new menu and restaurant design. The brand is now ready to grow far beyond its foothold in the Midwest.

Do you serve more than grilled cheese and tomato soup?

Yes. While we’re nationally beloved for our inspired take on grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soups, Tom & Chee offers an imaginative menu that caters to all diets and lifestyles. We offer handcrafted elevated melts, veggie sandwiches, salads, homemade soups and of course, our deliciously decadent grilled cheese donuts!

What are my total start-up costs?

Tom & Chee’s entry point is well below the average QSR restaurant brand. The total cost to invest in a Tom & Chee franchise ranges from $302,700 to $456,500. For more information, see the costs and fees page or download our Free Franchise Report.

Do I have to have restaurant operations experience?

No. Many Tom & Chee franchise owners come to us from other business backgrounds. Some managerial experience is recommended, but our comprehensive onboarding and training program will teach you everything you need to know about running a successful Tom & Chee franchise restaurant in your community.

What makes a good location?

Tom & Chee restaurants do well in mixed residential and commercial locations with a large amount of foot and vehicle traffic. Our development team will work with you to assess any locations you may have in mind, as well as perform the market analytics to identify new properties that would work well.

Can I purchase an existing Tom & Chee franchise?

Yes. Because Tom & Chee has been around for more than a decade, there may be an opportunity to buy an existing Tom & Chee franchise location. Reach out to us, and we’ll discuss options with you as well as those for opening a new Tom & Chee franchise location.

May I own multiple units?

Yes. Once a franchise owner has gotten their Tom & Chee franchise up and running, we are happy to discuss scaling up to more properties.

In addition to owning multiple locations, Tom & Chee also offers the rights to develop an entire territory. Click here and we’ll send over some detailed information and arrange a call so we can answer any questions you have.

What are my initial franchise fees?

There is a $30,000 initial franchise fee for the first location, and then a $15,000 fee for the next two to four locations and a $5,000 for each additional location after the fifth (this is waived if an existing franchise owner is relocating an existing restaurant within their territory). For multi-brand franchises (3 or more) there is a $10,000 initial franchise fee.

What are the continuing franchise fees?

There is an ongoing royalty fee, which is paid weekly and breaks down as follows: 5% of weekly gross revenue.

Is there an advertising fee?

Yes, it is 1-3% of weekly gross sales, and is paid weekly alongside the continuing franchise fee.

What are the terms of the franchise agreement?

The agreement is in force for 10 years, with an option for an additional 10 years.

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