Originating in Taiwan in the 1980s, bubble tea quickly caught on across the globe as a refreshing beverage and photogenic snack loved by people young and old. Also known as boba tea or milk tea, it has become common to find at least one bubble tea shop in nearly every city. If you enjoy working in the service industry with a popular product that requires comparatively little initial investment, starting a bubble tea franchise may be just the job for you. This article will offer details on bubble tea franchising and provide details as to which of the many options out there are considered the best of the bubble tea franchises.
Why Start a Bubble Tea Business?
If you already have a favorite bubble tea brand, why not become an official ambassador of that brand and make some money from a franchise of your own? Even if you are not that knowledgeable about bubble tea brands, becoming a bubble tea franchisee represents an excellent way to start a business quickly and easily.
Franchises usually launch more smoothly than independent businesses and franchise operators typically enjoy more help getting off the ground than an entrepreneur who tried to build the same business alone. With bubble tea's rich track history of popularity, there won't be the same kinds of worries that you might face if you were generating a new product that you couldn't be sure would sell.
The bubble tea market size has been steadily increasing across the globe for years and is expected to reach $3.39 billion by the end of 2027. This means that starting a bubble tea franchise now lets you in on a portion of those predicted profits and gives you a good indicator of how successful your new bubble tea shop can expect to be.
What Goes Into Becoming a Bubble Tea Franchisee?
Before you get to enjoy your new bubble tea shop's grand opening, there are some important business points to consider. The first of those is your store's potential location. Before you pay the initial franchise fee to get started, do some research on your area to find out if your bubble tea shop will be the first store of its kind in your region or if your customer base is likely to already be familiar with your product.
For example, the population density and abundance of commerce in New York City means that most of the potential customers you will get will be there to compare the quality of your tapioca pearls to the next shop down the street. By contrast, if you live in rural Texas, you may be the first tea store featuring boba for miles. Assessing your location allows you to determine how much advertising you are likely to have to do, what your competition might look like, and where best to look for real estate for your own bubble tea shop.
Once you've had a chance to learn about your local market and decide the most advantageous place for your store front, gathering start-up funds to launch your business properly is next. Some bubble tea franchises have a business model that offers internal financing for prospective buyers, but those that do not will require the new franchisee to secure the necessary investment funds independently.
The total investment for most bubble tea franchise opportunities includes a training fee and upfront coverage of equipment costs and advertising. Most franchises will expect the buyer to have a designated amount of liquid capital on hand, as well.
For any franchise to be in compliance with federal law, the franchise must present the interested buyer with a Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). The FDD allows the potential buyer to have a full understanding of the expectations of the relationship between himself or herself and the franchise company prior to making any contractual obligations.
The FDD will outline specific details like the parent company's established royalty fee and how often the buyer will be expected to pay it. New bubble tea franchisees sign a franchise agreement that then makes the relationship described in the FDD legally binding.
What Are the Best Bubble Tea Franchises?
The total investment and level of support that new franchisees can expect from the parent company will vary widely from brand to brand. It is crucial to investigate each business opportunity fully and carefully read the FAQ and Disclaimer sections on the bubble tea franchise websites of companies that interest you. Everything from the unique type of customer experience offered by each franchise to the mandatory square feet for storefronts should be weighed before you make a decision.
The best bubble tea brand is ultimately a matter of personal preference, but each franchisee should choose a company that matches closely with his or her own personal work style, budget, and career goals. The following sections will lend further details about getting started with five of the most popular bubble tea franchises.
Bubbleology gives potential franchisees the option to choose between hosting a kiosk within the local market or having a traditional brick-and-mortar storefront. Beyond excellent bubble tea products, Bubbleology also specializes in photography-worthy desserts. The company does generally expect that potential franchisees have some experience in the restaurant or retail fields prior to purchase, as well as a demonstrable passion for the brand.
Bubbleology cost considerations:
- Total investment - $163,000 to $284,000
- Liquid capital - $100,000
- Franchise fee - $30,000
- Royalty fee - 5%
- Marketing fee - 1%
Gong Cha is one of the most recognized brands of bubble tea in the world and boasts more than 1,500 locations worldwide. With an emphasis on high-quality ingredients and inventive blends, Gong Cha centers its customer experience around originality. Interested franchisees must attend a 14-day training session in New York along with a designated store manager. The length of time between completing the franchise agreement and actually opening the tea shop is roughly four to eight months.
Gong Cha cost considerations:
- Total investment - $177,430 to $335,400
- Liquid capital - $150,000
- Franchise fee - $41,500
- Royalty fee - 4.5%
Sharetea is a company that prides itself on accessibility and fun. This tea shop pairs a family-friendly and welcoming atmosphere with a wide selection of creative drinks. As such, Sharetea's franchise application is one of the most straightforward in the business. Sharetea even offers a downloadable franchise kit to help interested buyers with their early research, pre-made marketing plans, and in-house purchasing support to assist franchisees with financing.
Sharetea cost considerations:
- Total investment - $360,000 minimum
- Liquid capital - $100,000
- Franchise fee - $22,500
- Royalty fee - 5%
Kung Fu Tea
Kung Fu Tea provides customers with a well-rounded experience that includes bespoke merchandise and an incredibly diverse list of made-to-order drinks. New Kung Fu Tea franchisees route their success along the company's proven 10-step program and mentors are present to support new business owners even after their franchises are established. Additionally, Kung Fu Tea encourages partnerships with approved third parties so that franchisees can benefit from multi-pronged revenue streams and customers can get the most for their money.
Kung Fu Tea cost considerations:
- Total investment - $124,050 to $428,050
- Liquid capital - $140,000 to $422,000 (traditional storefront), $123,000 to $275,000 (nontraditional storefront)
- Franchise fee - $37,000
- Royalty fee - 4%
Bee & Tea
Bee & Tea specializes in honey-based tapioca pearls and an attractively modern design with plenty of room for franchisee creativity. Featuring a full menu of quick Asian-style meals and snacks, Bee and Tea offers more than boba for a wide range of potential customers of all age groups. Bee and Tea provides a highly streamlined franchise experience with a wealth of knowledge presented upfront so franchisees can make smart decisions about how to customize their own stores.
Bee & Tea cost considerations:
- Total investment - $150,000
- Liquid capital - $50,000
- Franchise fee - $40,000
- Royalty fee - 6%
Skynova Can Help With Your Bubble Tea Franchise
The only thing more abundant than the host of great tea franchise opportunities out there is the amount of paperwork that goes into building any successful business. Thankfully, Skynova is here to help. Whether you are a new tea franchisee who needs help with invoicing or a veteran business owner looking to better your accounting system, Skynova has the software you need. Check out Skynova's business templates and other helpful tools today to build a better bubble tea franchise tomorrow.
Notice to the Reader
The content within this article is meant to be used as general guidelines and may not apply to your specific bubble tea franchise purchasing situation. Always consult with certified business professionals both inside and outside your franchise field of interest before making a contractual decision about starting a bubble tea franchise business.