How to buy a Zambrero franchise

Opening your own franchise can be incredibly lucrative. Find out how you can become a Zambrero franchisee here.

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Zambrero is a Mexican fast-food restaurant franchise from Australia. The Zambrero chain, originally founded in Canberra, now boasts over 150 restaurants Australia-wide and over 50 more worldwide across New Zealand, Ireland and the US. 

Zambrero has been globally recognised as one of Australia’s fastest growing franchises. It is also a humanitarian business, donating a meal for every meal purchased to someone in need in the developing world with its Plate4Plate program.

How does a Zambrero franchise work?

A Zambrero franchise works much like any other franchise. If you want to own a Zambrero restaurant, you will have to become a Zambrero franchisee. A franchisee effectively purchases a license from the Zambrero corporation in exchange for the use of its branding, customer base, products and operational structure. Franchisees must also pay a percentage of the business profits to the corporation.

Unlike some other franchises, Zambrero restaurants are also purchased with their locations. This means that you cannot start your own location. However, there are a wide range of Zambrero restaurant shapes and sizes up for grabs across Australia. These include:

  • Kiosks. These are the smallest of the Zambrero restaurants and can usually be found in shopping centres.
  • Strip restaurants. These are larger dine-in premises usually found on high streets. 
  • Drive-thrus. These restaurants are a combination of walk-in and drive-thru, found in various locations.
  • Bespoke. Zambrero sites can also be found to meet bespoke market needs in a series of locations, including university campuses and CBD areas.

What do I need to do to become a Zambrero franchisee?

In order to become a Zambrero franchisee, you will need to:

  1. Have the appropriate investment amount
  2. Commit to a 7-year lease (2x 7-year leases are also available)
  3. Commit to a 5-day induction program in the Sydney Support Office
  4. Receive full in-restaurant training

How much does it cost? 

The cost of becoming a Zambrero franchisee will depend on the size and location of the restaurant that you wish to run. Zambrero has a franchise fee of up to $30,000, but total initial investments range from $350,000 to $450,000.

What are the pros and cons of a Zambrero franchise?

Some pros and cons of becoming a Zambrero franchisee, rather than opening a restaurant business from scratch, include:


  • Lower start-up costs. Opening your own restaurant usually takes considerably more investment than opening a franchise.
  • Location provided. You do not need to source the location of a Zambrero restaurant, they are either pre-existing or will be new builds selected by the company.
  • Training. You do not need to have pre-existing restaurant or business training to open a Zambrero franchise. Training is provided for you.
  • Brand recognition. There’s no need to build up brand recognition, as you would have to to do if you started your own business from scratch.
  • Proven formula. The Zambrero restaurant method has been proven to work.
  • Marketing. Zambrero takes care of its own marketing, so you don’t need to plug your brand, as you would with your own business.
  • Help and support. Ongoing business support is provided.
  • Easy restocking. All stock is ordered directly from the Zambrero website, so there’s no need to source your own suppliers.


  • No design freedom. All aspects of the restaurant are designed by Zambrero’s own design team. There is little room for creativity.
  • Predetermined menu/suppliers. You do not have the freedom to change the items on the menu set out by Zambrero, or the suppliers you use.
  • Predetermined pricing. Pricing is set by the company, not by you.
  • Long lease term. The minimum lease term for Zambrero is 7 years.
  • No guarantees. Franchising gives no guarantee of business success, despite its many positive aspects. Franchisors also do not have to renew an agreement at the end of the franchise term.
  • Contractual obligations. Buying a franchise means entering into a formal agreement with your franchisor.
  • Lack of control. The bad performance of other franchises, which is out of your control, may affect your franchise's reputation.
  • Sharing profits. Buying a franchise means the ongoing sharing of profits with the franchisor.

How do I apply to become a franchisee?

In order to become a Zambrero franchisee, you will have to register your interest on Zambrero’s official website. This will consist of a short application form requiring the following information:

  • Your name, email address and phone number
  • Your investment range
  • Why you are interested in the franchise
  • Your state

Once you have registered your interest, you will enter into a step-by-step process to open your own Zambrero franchise. 

  1. Application form. You will need to submit your application form and confidentiality deed and pay the refundable $2,000 deposit. You will start to work with your Development Agent from this point.
  2. Getting to know you. Zambrero’s Franchise Recruitment Team from Zambrero’s Support Office will be in touch with you and arrange a call or meeting to get to know you better.
  3. Due diligence. During this time you will be given the opportunity to review Zambrero’s draft documents so that you are fully informed prior to making a decision.
  4. Approval. Once you are happy to proceed and your application has been approved, you will be required to sign some legal documentation.
  5. Site selection. You will work with your Development Agent to find the best location for your Zambrero restaurant.
  6. Design. Once your location has been found, Zambrero’s in-house design team will start work to get the restaurant set up.
  7. Training. From here you will enter into your 5-day induction training in the Sydney Support Office. After this, you will be subject to in-restaurant one-on-one training leading up to your opening.
  8. Restaurant opening. You’re ready to open your Zambrero restaurant.

How do I finance my Zambrero franchise?

Not many prospective franchisees have the start-up money ready to go when opening a franchise, so most people will require some form of business finance. Business loans can come in many shapes and sizes, and from banks and non-bank lenders alike.

Prospective franchisees should be aware that lenders may be more likely to give a loan to a franchisee than to an entrepreneur setting out with their own business plan. This is because operating under an established brand name makes you much less of a financial risk.

You may want to consider some of the following business loans:

  • Unsecured business loan. An unsecured business loan might be appropriate for your circumstances if you don't own (or don't wish to use) an asset, such as commercial or residential property, as loan collateral. These loans are available up to $500,000.
  • Secured business loan. If you're a homeowner or you own other assets that equate to the value of your loan, you can use them as security on a loan. Secured business loans are usually easier to acquire and have lower rates and fees than unsecured loans, as they pose less risk to lenders.
  • Business line of credit. This type of business finance is a revolving line of credit that you can draw down from if and when you need. A business line of credit has the benefit of being more flexible than other loans, and you only pay for the funds that you use. Lines of credit can be a particularly useful type of loan for ongoing business costs. They are available up to $1 million in both secured and unsecured options.

How do I apply for finance?

To apply for a business loan, you can simply click “Go to site” on any of the above lenders. This will take you directly to the lender’s website, where you can start an online application or request a consultation.

In order to qualify for business finance, you must:

  • Be aged 18 or over
  • Have an active ABN/ACN
  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident

Before applying for a loan, it’s a good idea to compare your franchise finance options carefully to find the best loan for your circumstances.

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