Interested in owning your own I Heart Mac & Cheese?
I Heart Mac & Cheese is currently franchising across the country!
We invite you to learn more about our concept, our business, and our incredible franchise support:
The I Heart Mac & Cheese restaurants are family-friendly neighborhood restaurants that serve macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese, salads, tomato soup and other tasty beverages and food items. Consumers can customize their macaroni and cheese or grilled cheese with a variety of toppings, cheese and proteins and their selections are cooked in our state-of-the-art quick cooking ovens that deliver a quality hot product in a matter of a few minutes. We only use high-quality cheeses, proteins, and vegetables. We provide our franchises with all the tools and support necessary to achieve consistency and success.
We are a unique franchise concept in the restaurant industry since there are no fryers or hood systems necessary. There is a low investment requirement for opening a restaurant. The I Heart Mac & Cheese concept is flexible and can be opened in a small space such as a mall kiosk or food court. Shopping malls, sports venues, areas close to colleges and universities, and high traffic pedestrian areas are ideal locations for our restaurants.
Mac and Cheese Holdings, LLC has proudly undertaken an initiative to focus on employing people with special needs in each of our corporate restaurants. We encourage this practice to aid in the growth, education and welfare of those members of our society with disabilities or special needs. By employing an individual with a disability or special need, you are helping these people to overcome obstacles to independence and reach his or her personal goals. Providing employment in this nature allows these individuals to discover their new strengths, abilities and skills and offers them a chance at achieving success in their lives. Both you as an employer and the individual with the disability or special need will find joy and fulfillment by encouraging a nurturing working environment.
As part of our chef-inspired concept, we have taken traditional gourmet dishes and turned them into specialty macaroni and cheese creations such as Cuban pulled pork mac and cheese, buffalo chicken mac and cheese, and Philly cheese steak mac and cheese. The creativeness of our mac and cheese creations are only limited by our customer’s imaginations as they build their own specialty combinations. All macaroni and cheese dishes can be created as grilled cheese sandwiches as well. Of course, they are also served with our delicious tomato soup.
Our restaurants are family-friendly, have a kid’s menu, and we do catering for birthday parties or other private events.
Our food service line is set up to be user-friendly so customers can select the bread or pasta of their choice, their cheese, protein, and vegetable selection and watch their creation go through our conveyor ovens.
Our décor is a combination of modern farmhouse chic and whimsy, designed to be comforting and create smiles. We invite all guests to take selfies in front of our selfie wall and share them to social media.
We aim to provide all our franchises with the latest technology and support to allow them to be successful in their operations.
Fast Casual Model
Building an I Heart Mac & Cheese franchise is fairly simple compared to most fast casual restaurant concepts as there is:
- NO need for a hood system in most municipalities
- NO need for grease traps in most municipalities
- NO need for gas lines since all of the equipment utilized in the restaurant is electric
The utilization of electrical equipment for cooking instead of fryers, gas stoves and other hazardous, fume or flame producing equipment allows for easier and safer operation as well as flexibility on choice of franchise location.
Build out costs vary depending on location, size and décor choices. We estimate the total initial investment to open a franchise to range from $197,500-$325,000.
Requirements and Training
We have negotiated with national suppliers of FF&E for ease of ordering and to keep costs in line. We provide each franchisee with full documentation of what is required to open the restaurant, including but not limited to:
- Guides on Permitting and Planning
- Equipment Requirements
- Small Wares Needs
- Furniture Requirements
- Recipes and Procedures
- An Operations Manual
We provide a 6-day intensive management training and staff training program and ongoing support to the franchisees.
Franchises are currently available in the following states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming
Who is the ideal Franchise partner?
Our ideal partner is some who is goal driven with a history of building successful teams or successful in prior business operations.
What is the initial investment requirement?
The initial investment requirement including the franchise fee, initial construction build out, and opening advertising ranges from $197,500-$325,000. There are a number of varying factors including décor, equipment, and finishing touches.
What is the franchise fee?
$35,000 franchise fee per restaurant.
What are the royalty and advertising fees?
Royalty fees are 5% of Gross Sales. 1% of Gross Sales will contribute to the national brand fund. At least 1% of Gross Sales must be used for local advertising, internet, and social media marketing. If the Company establishes a Co-Op advertising campaign amongst a variety of regional franchises, a cooperative advertising contribution will be required. Each franchisee must spend a minimum of $3,500 for its Grand Opening Advertising campaign to promote their opening.
Do I need to have prior restaurant experience?
Prior restaurant experience is not required but it is preferred.
Do I need to work in my franchise as an Owner?
While we expect our franchisees to be actively involved in the operation of their businesses, it is not necessary that they are the manager of one of their locations. Typically, our franchisees sign up for multiple locations and hire restaurant managers to manage the individual locations. Then they manage the overall business.
How many employees do I need to hire?
Typically our locations only need 15 or so employees to be fully staffed. This is a combination for full time and part time employees. This is a very simple operation, and you can typically handle a line out the door with a minimal number of employees and give great guest service.
How large of a restaurant do I need to open?
The average space needed to run a franchise is between 1600-2000 sq ft. The restaurant can be constructed in a smaller location if necessary.