Steak 'n Shake Franchise

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Detailed Information

Capital Required
$250,000 - $2,135,000

Liquid Capital

Net Worth

Financing Assistance
Available Via Third Party

Training and Support

Existing Units


Famous For The Original Steakburger & Hand-Dipped Milk Shakes!

Steak 'n Shake has developed tremendous brand strength and an extremely loyal following since its founding in Normal, Illinois, 1934. Today, this 77 year-old classic American brand which pioneered the concept of premium Steak Burgers and hand-dipped milkshakes recently revitalized its franchising program and is seeking single and multi-unit operators to expand its network of nearly 500 QSR locations, in 22 states.

Building upon its current best-in-class string of 10 consecutive quarters of positive same store sales growth despite the Great Recession, Steak 'n Shake offers potential franchisees a wide range of investment and best-in-class aesthetic design options, including Steak 'n Shake Signature, a new smaller-footprint format, well-suited for shopping centers. Steak 'n Shake Signature offers a low investment option, and a more simplified operation.

Territories in the Western, upper Midwestern, Southern and Northeastern states are mostly or completely available. The company is actively seeking single and multi-unit operators, continually adding new stores across the United States as well as internationally.

Company History

Steak 'n Shake was founded in February, 1934 in Normal, Illinois. Gus Belt, Steak 'n Shake's founder, pioneered the concept of premium burgers and milkshakes.
For over 75 years, the company's name has been symbolic of its heritage. The word "steak" stood for Steakburger. The term "shake" stood for hand-dipped milkshakes. Gus was determined to serve his customers the finest burgers and shakes in the business. To prove his point that his burgers were exceptionally prime, he would wheel in a barrel of steaks (including round, sirloin, and T-bones) and grind the meat into burgers right in front of the guests. Hence arose the origin of their famous slogan,

"In Sight It Must Be Right."

After 77 years, Steak 'n Shake continues their tradition of serving the country's best, freshest, and tastiest burgers and shakes.
Steak 'n Shake posted one of the strongest sales performances in the restaurant industry during 2010. In addition, it was the recipient of NRN's Golden Chain Award. With an average unit volume approaching $1.6 million, the company posted an increase in same-store sales of 7.5% which was on top of a 4.1% increase in 2009. Steak 'n Shake has clearly become the dominant brand in the premium burger and milkshake segment.

Total Number of Units: 489
Franchised Units: 76
Year Established: 1934
Franchising Since: 1939
Awards: NRN's Golden Chain Award 2010

Benefits of Owning Your Franchise

Steak 'n Shake, under the ownership of Biglari Holdings, have succeeded in attaining exceptional, industry-leading financial results.
This commitment to quality spawned Steak 'n Shake's now famous slogan - "In Sight It Must Be Right." Following in Gus' unique footsteps, Steak 'n Shake continued to showcase the high-quality ingredients of his famous Steakburgers, hand-dipped milkshakes and shoestring fries for all guests to enjoy.
For more than seven decades, the Steak 'n Shake brand has built a cult following with IMPRESSIVE RESULTS:
  • More than 275,000 guests served daily
  • 100 million Steakburgers served annually
  • 50 million milkshakes enjoyed each year
If you are interested in investing and operating the best premium burger and milkshake brand, Steak 'n Shake is the business for you! Actively seeking single and multi-unit operators.

What's Offered:

  • Brand strength and longevity
  • A range of investment options
  • Strong unit economics, proven and profitable
  • Unmatched systems and support
  • Striking new designs and high-performing operations
  • Extraordinary customer value and quality
Steak 'n Shake achieved exceptional results -
one of the best in the restaurant industry -
in fiscal 2010.
  • Increase in company same-store sales of 7.5%
  • Company revenues of nearly $700 million
  • Company average unit volume of nearly $1.6 million

Franchise Requirements:

Steak 'n Shake has two alternatives to build out a new restaurant, each spotlighting a range of investment options and floor plans:

1) Free Standing Building:
  • Square Footage - 3,400 square feet with drive-thru
  • Land - Approximately one acre
2) Steak 'n Shake Signature
A new format that provides prospective franchisees with the opportunity to own a Steak 'n Shake at a less costly investment, smaller footprint, and a more simplified operation centered on signature menu items - This new rapid counter service model is ideal for shopping centers:
  • In-Line 2,000 square feet / Signature menu with more than 50 seats
  • Non-Traditional 500-800 square feet / Signature menu with common area seating (E.g. food court, airport)

Financial Investment

Steak 'n Shake is seeking qualified single and multi-unit operators. They are selective in awarding franchisee agreements to those with specific qualifications:
Investment Range
Free Standing
Steak 'n Shake Signature Steak 'n Shake Signature Non-Traditional
Total Initial Investment:

$1.2 million-
$1.75 million

$650K-$1.1 million $450K-$800K
Franchise Fee: $40K $25K $25K
Liquid Capital Required: $500K $500K $400K
Net Worth Required: $1.5 million $1 million $1 million
Financial Assistance: No No No
Start-Up Capital: $42K-$200K $42K-$200K $42K-$200K

Steak 'n Shake Classic Restaurant Site Condition/Location Requirements:

Model 1: Typically 3300-3600 square footage
Model 2: Typically 2000-2500 square footage
Electrical, Gas Service, Telephone, Plumbing, Fire Sprinklers, Fire Alarm, Domestic Water Service, Sewer Lines


"Opening a Steak 'n Shake restaurant in a shared building will allow us to manage costs more effectively. The Menu of Venues provides us with unprecedented flexibility to be more creative in our site selection while reducing our overhead."
- Phillip McIntosh; Franchisee - Oklahoma City, OK
"The training provided by Steak 'n Shake was fantastic. Managers were sent to training prior to the store opening and if they felt they needed more education, the company sent managers to other stores for extra experience."
- Wayne Robinson - Rome, GA
"The Steak 'n Shake training and support team is fantastic. They jumped in when we needed assistance or additional training and backed off when we were able to move forward on our own within the system. There are always challenges in opening a new restaurant, but with each hurdle, we felt strong support from the Steak 'n Shake brand. Overall, our organization has been ecstatic with the Steak 'n Shake process."
- Joe Mangano - Fredericksburg, VA
"By becoming part of the Steak 'n Shake franchise system, I am aligned with a brand that helps franchisees secure their future and I do not worry about the turmoil of the future economy. My son and other family members have also joined the company to secure their own futures. I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit and working with Steak 'n Shake has helped me to accomplish my goal of owning my own franchise."
- Paul Ledgard - Kansas City, KS


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