Criteria & Process

When you invest in a Nathan’s franchised location, you benefit from over 100 years of brand power and consumer loyalty. With more than 200 restaurants in the USA and all over the world, the iconic power of the Nathan’s brand is ideal for traditional and non-traditional locations. Offering modular designs for speed to market, retrofit packages to covert an existing location, as well as custom build, Nathan’s can fit into virtually any location. From kiosks and inline restaurants to freestanding units, we have a design that will fit your needs. Once the location is in place, the Nathan’s team brings unparalleled marketing, training, operations and field support to keep your restaurant up to date and supported.


Current geographic availability for franchised sites in all 50 U.S. states, Puerto Rico and many international markets. Ask your Nathan’s Famous Development Representative for details. Site Approval Package, including a proforma and break even, to be completed prior to awarding of site.


  1. Complete an application
  2. Introductory call with Franchise Development Team
  3. Receive and review the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD)
  4. Perform due diligence
  5. Attend Discovery Day – Meet the Nathan’s Famous Executive Team
  6. Review and approval by Nathan’s Famous
  7. Execute Franchise Agreement
  8. Preliminary site selection
  9. Finalize site selection & submit package for approvals
  10. Construction and build-out
  11. Nathans Famous 11 Day Training Program
  12. Grand Opening

our criteria

Q & A

Nathan’s Famous is looking for business minded individuals that have a passion for the Nathan’s brand and love craveable and memorable food. We are currently seeking multi unit operators and area development agreements.

1. What are the financial qualifications to become a Nathan's franchisee?

That depends largely on the size of the restaurant and the menu that is selected. Generally, our preferred criteria is a net worth of $1,000,000 and liquid capital of $500,000 for a free-standing unit w/ drive thru or inline unit w/ drive thru.

2. Does Nathan's Famous provide financing?

Not directly. Nathan’s Famous can provide you with a list of lending institutions whose business it is to provide financing for franchise opportunities.

3. How long does it take to open a new Nathan's location?

From the time of site approval, it has been our experience that the time frame is generally 3-4 months for an existing facility and 6 – 8 months for new construction. 

4. Have I seen different types of Nathan's restaurants and different sizes?

Nathan’s restaurants vary in size from 100 square feet to free­standing restaurants. Mall food court units are typically 500-900 square feet with an estimated initial investment of $277,000 to $660,000; in-line shopping center restaurants with drive thru are 1,700-2,500 square feet with an estimated initial investment of $277,000 to $660,000, and free-standing restaurants are 2,000-3,000 square feet with an estimated initial investment of $441,000 to $1,100,000.

5. Have I also seen different menus in restaurants?

Yes. Nathan’s is unique with its variety menu concept. You have the ability to expand or contract the Nathan’s menu depending upon marketing needs or space limitations.

6. What are the franchise fees and royalties?

Franchise Fee: $30,000
Royalty Payments: 5.5% of Annual Gross Sales
Marketing Contribution: 2.0% of Annual Gross Sales

7. How much money does it take to open a Nathan's restaurant?

*Estimated Initial Investment
Food Court or In-Line $277,000 to $660,000
Free-Standing W/Drive-Thru $441,000 to $1,100,000

8. Can I convert an existing restaurant to Nathan’s?

Nathan’s is perfect for converting an existing underperforming restaurant location into a viable business. Nathan’s flexible restaurant design and menu makes a conversion an attractive, cost effective. new sales and profit opportunity.

Contact Us

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One Jericho Plaza, Second Floor

Jericho, New York 11753

Phone: 1-800-NATHANS ext. 306