From Time To Time, Bakery Owners Decide To Sell.
Purchasing an existing bakery may be the perfect route for you to become a Great Harvest franchisee. When current owners decide to sell, we help facilitate the process for both buyer and seller. Although we're always sad to see franchise owners leave Great Harvest, we welcome the arrival of new franchisees (who bring new ideas and loads of enthusiasm with them)!
What are the advantages of purchasing an existing Great Harvest location?
Purchasing an existing Great Harvest store (also known as a "resale" or “transfer”) can present numerous advantages for the buyer, including:
• Inheriting an established customer base
• Brand recognition
• Generating cash flow from day one
• Equipment savings relative to buying all new machinery
• Trained team of employees
• A known location
• Recognized ties within the community
• Access to a multi-store expansion program just for resale buyers
Why are these bakeries for sale?
Franchisees sell their stores for all sorts of reasons. The top reasons bakeries change ownership are: retirement, lifestyle fit, and unforeseen personal predicaments (read more about that here). Do some bakeries fail? Some have, but it’s less common than other reasons for selling. Where failure occurs, it is almost always related to financial mismanagement (read more about contributing factors to failure here). For this reason, Great Harvest encourages accurate and timely financial reporting in order to catch any problems early on and reduce the likelihood of failure.
What do I need to know about purchasing an existing bakery for sale?
The application and approval process for someone purchasing an existing bakery is very similar to that of opening a new store. The major differences are listed below:
• Bakery Financials: All financial information (including price) must come from the seller. Since the "for sale" status of a Great Harvest bakery franchise is typically confidential, we ask that you not call the store directly. Instead, for bakery owner contact information, please contact us here.
• Liquid Cash Needed: If pursuing a bank or Small Business Administration (SBA) loan, a typical requirement is 20% of the purchase price from liquid, unencumbered cash.
• Initial Fee: Transfer transactions do not vary by territory size. Instead, there is a flat $20,000 fee. A laptop computer is not included with this fee.
• Training: Each store must have a designated Bread Company operator, who will attend our three-week training program and complete the Great Harvest University (GHU) online coursework.
The remaining training (which is required for the main Bread Company operator) includes:
o 5 days of Made-To-Order School in Montana;
o 5 days of hands-on production training during Baking Fundamentals School in Montana;
o 5 days of Bakery Cafe School in Montana;
o A minimum of five days of seller training in the store being purchased.
For further information about pre-opening training and support, visit our training page. After the transfer of ownership has taken place, we will send a trainer to spend two to seven days with you at the purchased location, and follow-up with a second week of on-site training approximately three to five weeks after the initial training. Further training and ongoing post-tracking support are also included.
• Timing: The average length of time to complete the purchase of an existing Great Harvest bakery is three to six months.
• Continuing Fees: Buyers may sign our current Franchise Agreement with a 5% Royalty and 2.5% Marketing Fund Fee or assume the seller's Franchise Agreement. For more details, please contact us here.
How does the multi-store expansion program for resale buyers work?
Two of the smartest ways to invest with Great Harvest are by purchasing an existing bakery and taking advantage of our multi-store Hub & Spoke model. That’s why we are excited to offer a new incentive program that makes it easier for new Great Harvest owners to do both.
Here’s why it’s a big deal:
- Get a turnkey store at a great price
- Save big on reduced franchise fees for additional stores
- Use our cost-effective Hub & Spoke model to own your market
- Enjoy reduced fees for the life of your stores
It all adds up to greater savings and more profit potential. Crunch the numbers and see for yourself!
The details: When you buy an existing Great Harvest location with a Legacy Agreement, you can turn it into a Hub and add Spoke stores with minimal franchise fees (learn more about our Hub & Spoke model here). For each additional store inside your territory, you pay $10,000 in franchise fees or $15,000 each for stores outside of your territory.* You will also enjoy a 4% royalty rate (instead of our standard 5%) and will be able to take advantage of the services that come with the additional 2% marketing and technology fee you will pay. This reduced royalty rate is good for the life of your bakery, and is transferable.
To be eligible, you must open your second store within 24 months of purchasing an existing location. If you wish to take advantage of this program for three or more stores, each new store must be opened within 15 months of the previous store (in succession).
Program participants will follow Great Harvest’s guidelines for menu, marketing, design, and POS/technology applications in the new store(s). With each additional franchise agreement, you get one seat for the main Bread Company operator to attend Great Harvest University, additional in-person training, a tracker, site selection analysis, and lease negotiation assistance. Additional in-person support is available for store location evaluation and opening for a nominal charge, if desired.
*This offer is only available for resale stores with a Legacy Agreement at this time.
To see a complete list of existing Great Harvest bakery franchises for sale, please use the form below.