Why is Starbucks not a franchise

Starbucks as a franchise 2021: Everything about Starbucks franchises and license partnerships

Pros and Cons - Open a Starbucks Franchise

  • With a Starbucks franchise, franchisees receive usage rights for an established brand so that they can benefit from their brand awareness in marketing.
  • The design and marketing concept prescribed by the coffee house has been tried and tested. It goes hand in hand with a high recognition value.
  • Since you advertise with other franchisees and the franchisor, the advertising costs for you as an entrepreneur are reduced.
  • Before you open a franchise, the franchisor will support you in choosing a location and analyzing your potential customers.
  • The alternative to a Starbucks franchise in Germany is a license partnership that gives you more individual freedom of choice and design.
  • Starbucks does not issue any individual franchise partnerships in Germany or in German-speaking countries.
  • If you decide to open a Starbucks franchise abroad or from another coffee house in Germany, expect an entry fee of at least 5,000 euros.
  • The total investment in franchising is between 200,000 and 300,000 euros.

Starbucks is not a franchise in Germany

The answer to the question, "Is Starbucks a franchise?" Depends on your home country. If you are thinking about opening a branch of the provider as a franchisee in German-speaking countries, you will encounter resistance: In Germany, a catering giant from Poland is providing the Master licensee of Starbucks locations This is Amrest.

The company is also the master franchisee in Austria for the retail company specializing in coffee products. For this reason (as of 01/2021) you have not been able to open a Starbucks store as a franchise in Austria or Switzerland either.

Rumors persist that Starbucks is considering offering its business concept as a franchise in Europe. In a few countries, including Great Britain, the company already issues franchise agreements. The costs for a Starbucks franchise depend on the country.

Starbucks' licensing system

The company's licensing system deals with the Licensing to franchise partners and with license partnerships.

The Starbucks licensing system states that Starbucks does not franchise you as a sole proprietor. However, there is Opportunity for master licenses for entire countries. These master licensees are large hospitality companies.

Some of them work with their own franchise partners, for example in Great Britain. The franchisees open their own Starbucks stores there.

Furthermore, the coffee house also awards License partnerships in Germany and Austria. With these you can have a Open a licensed Starbucks Coffee House.

Open Starbucks Coffee House

Although Starbucks does not offer franchise partnerships in Germany, there is an opportunity to participate in the company's success. To do this, you open a Starbucks as a license partner. The company refers to this alternative to the franchise as "Licensed Starbucks Coffee Houses". As a license partner you benefit from:

  • a strong brand with high customer acceptance,
  • an individually adaptable coffee house design,
  • the Starbucks food and beverage offering,
  • the Starbucks equipment in its own equipment and furnishings package,
  • Support and training from the licensor,
  • seasonal offers.

Starbucks takes care of that ongoing transfer of specialist knowledge. For this purpose, you will receive a visit from one of the employees at your location who will give you valuable tips. The company's exclusive food and beverage offering includes coffee beans and a large selection of merchandise products.

In order to find out the costs for a Starbucks license, it is advisable to contact the company. There is no general answer to the question of costs.

What is the difference between a licensed Starbucks store and a franchise?

Licensed Starbucks Store

At a licensed Starbucks store, the licensor gives you the rights to Intellectual Property Rights to use. This is the Trademarks of the protected brand, in the case of Starbucks. By granting a license, the coffee house grants you the right to sell its own branded products. Nevertheless, the influence on you as a licensee remains small.

There are no service or marketing concepts in a license partnership. Starbucks will train you in all aspects of the license. Nevertheless, you appear under your own name and design your store according to your taste. These Individuality is different from a franchise.


With franchising there is one uniform marketing concept. This goes hand in hand with a binding character for everyone and binds those involved to the system. It thus ensures a uniform brand presence. The majority of the Franchisors like Subwayor the Kamps bakery supports the partners right from the start. For example, they impart system-specific knowledge to them in training courses. As a franchise partner, you have one own company name, however, appear uniformly under the umbrella of the Starbucks brand. The external presentation corresponds 100 percent to the concept of the coffee house.

Franchisees are supported by franchisors during the opening time. Although this is unusual in a licensing partnership, you can benefit from a similar service when you open a Starbucks store.

Who is franchising worthwhile for?

Although the Starbucks franchise system is limited to a few countries, it makes sense for future entrepreneurs to find out more about this type of company formation. Franchising models exist in various industries. In addition to food franchises such as BackWerk and Coffee Fellows, there are also beauty franchises such as Yves Rocher.

Franchising is suitable for founders who want to build their success on a strong brand name. By the Right to use an established brand you benefit from a leap of faith with your customers. In order to use the business concept from the franchisor, you need a Entry fee between 5,000 and 20,000 euros.

Furthermore, you have to expect one-time acquisition costs for the inventory and the office equipment. On average, they amount to Investment costs for franchising between 20,000 and 150,000 euros. Not every franchisor requires pure equity to cover these costs.

May come a bank loan as franchise financing, for example a Entrepreneur loan, in question. Consequently, it is advisable if you qualify for a loan when opening a franchise.

Finance a franchise like Starbucks abroad

For franchisees who are not negative about moving to the UK, there is a chance to make their Starbucks franchise dream come true.

To do this, you need capital in A minimum of £ 500,000. Remember that many franchisors are exclusive Franchisees with equity accept. In that case, money from loans or subsidies is not suitable for franchising.

So first find out about all aspects of the Establishment and financing of the franchise company Your choice. If you don't have the equity to open a Starbucks branch overseas, the Business start-up within Germany an alternative to another franchise.

See here which loans are available for start-ups:

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more on the subjectLoan for founders read about it in our article.

Requirements for opening a Starbucks franchise abroad

Starbucks has been awarding franchise agreements in Great Britain since 2013. According to StatistaStarbucks ran 995 stores in the UK in 2019. The majority, 653 locations, were franchise branches.

The remaining The company operates 335 Starbucks locations independently. Over the past ten years, the number of these self-managed branches has steadily declined. The reason: Because of the many advantages, Starbucks increasingly relied on franchisees.

As a franchisor, the retail company benefits from:

  • the well marketable business concept of high returns,
  • the monthly income through the revenue sharing,
  • fast international marketing with low risk,
  • low investment costs.

If you are interested in a Starbucks franchise in Great Britain as a potential franchisee, it is worth taking a look at the financial aspects.

The costs and the necessary requirements include:

  • good communication skills and leadership skills,
  • significant experience in gastronomy,
  • Performance and resilience to operate several locations at the same time if necessary,
  • the willingness to open up to 20 new stores within five years and
  • fluent knowledge of English.

Should you find that you do not meet one or more of these conditions, please take a critical look at your wish to open a Starbucks franchise abroad.

An alternative is to get a other company than franchisor to consider.

Further alternatives for franchising in Germany

Since Starbucks does not award franchise partnerships in Germany, it is worth taking a look at coffee house alternatives. These include, for example Coffee Fellows. This is a café giant that celebrated its market entry in 1999. With currently (as of: 01/2021) more than 230 café shops in Germany it is one of the market leaders among the coffee houses in Germany.

As with Starbucks, customers will find various coffee specialties, sweet and savory snacks in the branches. The company uses its own roasting processes for the coffees, which ensure a unique taste. Unlike Starbucks, Coffee offers fellows Franchise partnerships throughout Germany at.

In the single franchise model, the coffee house is looking for founders who will initially open a new location in Germany. For this purpose, the company offers you a branch from the real estate portfolio. Alternatively, interested parties bring their own property into the system.

The franchise partners independently finance shop fitting and furnishing. The franchise headquarters actively supports the implementation of the Coffee Fellows concept. The requirements for a Coffee Fellows franchise consist of:

  • an entry fee of 15,000 euros (7,500 euros from the second location)
  • a franchise fee of five percent of net sales,
  • a marketing contribution of two percent of net sales.

The total cost is one Investment volume of 200,000 to 300,000 euros. In order to cover the costs, the franchisor demands equity of 80,000 euros.

A second alternative to a Starbucks franchise is one Franchise partnership with the Coffee Shop Company. This works with a coffee house concept that is similar to that of Starbucks. Founded in Vienna in 1999, the company offers customers coffee enjoyment in a Viennese ambience. In order to benefit from brand awareness as a franchise partner, an entry fee of 25,000 euros is required.

The total investment amount depends on the selected franchise module. she lies between 150,000 and 300,000 euros. You would have to bring half of the investment amount with you as equity. You can also expect running costs such as the advertising fee of one percent of net sales.

A brief overview of Starbucks as a company

The Starbucks Coffee House was created in 1971 as a small retail store in Seattle. It gained importance because it traded in the world's best coffee beans. The name of the now world-famous company is reminiscent of the seafaring romance of the first coffee traders. It is derived from the novel character Starbuck, the helmsman from Herman Melville's classic Moby Dick.

The love of the sea is also symbolized by the coffee house's logo. It showed a at the beginning of the logo search Mermaid with two flippers. When the company went public, the two fishtails disappeared. Although the Starbucks logo has changed over time, it retains its romantic character to this day. This mood can be seen in branches of the coffee house through:

  • large and comfortable armchairs,
  • dimmed light and
  • soft relaxation music.

The stimulating atmosphere allows customers to relax with a delicious coffee, chat with friends or do their work on the laptop. Regardless of which Starbucks location you visit, the vibe stays the same. This makes the brand go with one high recognition value hand in hand.

FAQ: You have questions - we have the answers


The Amrest Holding is behind the name AmRest. The company kicks in for Starbucks locations in several European countries as a master licensee. With more than 900 branches in twelve countries, it is one of the most popular in Central and Eastern Europe largest independent operator of system catering chains represent.

Before Amrest around 150 Starbucks locations in Germany took over as a licensee, the catering giant acted as the exclusive master licensee of Starbucks for:

- Hungary,
- Czech Republic,
- Romania,
- Poland and
- Bulgaria.

If a company specializing in coffee does not meet your needs, there are alternatives Franchisor in the food sector, such asDunkin Donuts franchise. The company has more than 52 types of donuts and a strong brand.

Alternatives would be a Domino’s franchise or a Burger King franchise. You will receive part of the necessary start-up capital, for example, through a Loans for young entrepreneurs.

No, with them licensed Starbucks Coffee Houses they are not franchises. However, the company grants licenses for a Starbucks formation under your name. You benefit from several advantages: The licensor continuously provides you with the knowledge you need to run your location successfully. In addition, you get access to the exclusive drinks and food range of the coffee house.

For a Starbucks franchise opened in the UK, the total cost is 50,000 to 200,000 euros. With a Starbucks license partnership, expect similar costs.

You need enough Capital for the site rental or the purchase of the corresponding business space as well as for the purchase of the inventory and the equipment of the store. Since you are looking for a own design concept set up, you actively influence the costs. To do this, use one as an example Entrepreneur loan.

The license partnership is the alternative to the Starbucks franchise in Germany

Starbucks does not have a franchise partnership in Germany. If you're looking to start a career as a franchisee, look for alternatives. These include coffee houses such as Coffee Fellows.

If you dream of having your own Starbucks store, come a license partnership as an alternative to the franchise with the company in question. With this you benefit from several advantages such as individuality. As a license partner, you are not bound by the marketing concept of the umbrella brand. The Starbucks license partnership is suitable for founders who want to sell the exclusive branded products in their own design concept.

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