10 Bubble Tea franchise opportunities in 2023

Bubble tea or boba tea is a popular drink that originated in Taiwan. It usually contains tea, milk, tapioca balls, and sometimes other additives. Several franchises are available in the United States for entrepreneurs interested in building a business around this beverage. Here are a few to consider.

What is a Bubble Tea franchise?

A bubble tea franchise is an independent company that sells bubble tea, but uses a franchise model. This means that the larger brand is owned by the corporation, but the individual store is owned by the local franchisee. The franchisee pays a fee and royalties for the use of the brand’s business systems.

Why you should consider a Bubble Tea franchise

If you’re looking to start a business in 2023, here are some reasons why you should consider a bubble tea shop franchise:

  • Stand out in a crowded beverage industry: Bubble tea is a unique offering in many American cities. While many of these businesses also offer other specialty beverages such as coffee and tea, a bubble tea shop is likely to get noticed.
  • Build brand recognition: Thanks to franchisees in other markets around the country, some people are probably already familiar with the major bubble tea brands. So you shouldn’t work so hard to build trust and recognition.
  • Getting Started Quickly: Franchises offer proven systems and support for tasks such as site selection and training. So you don’t have to invent these elements yourself.
  • Access to proven business systems: Once launched, they also provide support for marketing materials, inventory, and equipment purchases.
  • Extend your offer: Bubble tea shops also often offer additional food and drink options. This can be the perfect way to enter the world of beverages with a small shop.

bubble tea franchise

Top Bubble Tea franchises

If you’re ready to start your bubble tea business, there are plenty of brands offering new franchise locations across the US. Here are some of the best bubble tea franchise opportunities you might want to consider.

1. Kung Fu tea

Kung Fu Tea is a popular brand with over 2,002 stores across the United States. The company offers a ten-step process for opening your own bubble tea shop. They offer many store models, from traditional storefronts to those located in airports and shopping malls. Initial costs range from $140,000 to $422,000 for a brick-and-mortar store.

2. Tapioca Express

Tapioca Express currently has approximately 29 franchise locations in the United States, mostly on the West Coast. The company provides a wide range of startup support services, from site selection to employee training. It costs around $200,000 to $527,000 to get started.

3. Gong Cha

Gong Cha is a bubble tea franchise that was originally introduced in Taiwan. The shops offer fresh tea from Taiwan and tapioca pearls made from the finest ingredients. Currently, the company is looking for new franchisees in many states, mainly in the Northeast. Estimated startup costs range from $177,430 to $335,400 for a single unit.

4. Bubbleology

Bubbleology is a small franchise that offers boba, waffles, and various fruit-flavored milk teas. The brand is looking for experienced retail operators to develop exclusive territories across the United States. The company currently has only a handful of locations, so there are plenty of open territories available, with estimated upfront costs ranging between $205,850 and $458,950.

5. Sharetea

Sharetea offers a variety of drinks including traditional tea, milk tea, mixed drinks and fruit juices. The company was founded in 1992 and has more than 150 stores across North America. Start-up costs vary and start at around $300,000.

6. Tea soothes

Koi Tea offers a bubble tea franchising opportunity for people with experience in the foodservice and/or retail industry. Each boba shop offers a variety of tea drinks as well as roll ice cream and other treats. The initial investment ranges from approximately $200,000 to $500,000.

7. Ding tea

Ding Tea is a global brand offering franchise opportunities in the US. The company simply requires franchisees to be at least 20 years old, have some business experience, and have a passion for the tea industry. The initial investment ranges from approximately $123,000 to $422,000.

8. CUPP bubble tea

CUPP Bubble Tea is a British brand of bubble teas. There are currently no US locations. However, the company offers an international franchise master program for those interested in opening their first bubble tea franchise in a new country. Costs for a new store start at £80,000. But international franchises are likely to incur additional costs as they are responsible for entire territories.

9. Bamboo

Bambu is a dessert and tea franchise offering boba tea, coffee and exotic fruit smoothies. There are several locations spread across the country, but there is still room for growth in many markets. Initial investment ranges from $137,000 to $321,000.

10. HTeaO

HTeaO was originally launched in Texas in 2009. The stores focus on flavored iced teas, mixed drinks and coffee. And the initial investment ranges from $289,200 to $859,000.

How to choose the best franchise to start your bubble tea business

If you’ve decided that a Bubble Tea franchise is right for you, there are plenty of companies to consider. Here are some tips on how to make the best decision for your goals.

Consider your budget

How much money do you need to spend on the franchise fee and other start-up costs? Many companies also require new franchisees to have a certain net worth to cover ongoing costs until the store becomes profitable.

Research your local market

What bubble tea shops already have a location in your area? If you can offer something new, your franchise can stand out more. Additionally, if you are interested in possible expansion through multi-unit development, consider a brand with a lot of open territory nearby.

Look at support systems

Each franchise system offers different types of support, from marketing to help with designing store layouts. Think about the parts of running your business where you most need help, and consider opportunities that provide help in those important areas.

Immerse yourself in finance

In addition to your initial investment, research ongoing expenses for each franchise along with potential earnings. Each model should include financial data in the franchise disclosure documentation.

How much does it cost to start a Boba tea franchise?

Each Boba tea franchise has its own costs, which also vary by location. However, most brands estimate the initial investment to be between $200,000 and $500,000. You probably won’t find many bubble tea shops looking for franchises under 10,000, or even franchises under 20,000. A few franchises that offer a kiosk or mobile model can come close to the franchise range of under 50,000.

Is the Bubble Tea franchise profitable?

As with almost every industry, some bubble tea franchises are profitable and others are not. However, this business model can certainly generate significant revenue. Many franchise owners report profit margins of 20 to 30 percent. Check out the list above to see some of the most profitable franchises in the bubble tea industry.

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