What makes UpFresh Kitchen one of the best franchises to own in 2022?

by | Jul 28, 2022 | General | 0 comments

UpFresh Kitchen is an established brand that has a reputation for quality.  Our customers tell us that the quality and the taste of our food is second to none.  Great tasting food is not an accident– it has been a key part of our business model from the very beginning.  As founder Levi Barbee has said, “If it doesn’t taste good, it doesn’t matter.”  We know that in order to keep our customers we need to provide a high-quality meal that tastes great so that they will keep coming back every week.  At UpFresh, we make eating healthy easy!

We offer a profitable business model that includes multiple robust revenue streams.  An UpFresh franchise is not just a one-trick pony– our full-scale model includes meal prep, restaurant, and catering.  In addition to our in-store offerings, we support off-site sales through our grab-and-go coolers and community partner pickup locations.  In short, we have many revenue streams that allow franchisees to grow their business within their territory.  All of these factors combine to make UpFresh Kitchen one of the best franchises to own.

A restaurant and meal prep franchise concept with low startup costs

An UpFresh Kitchen franchise has lower startup costs than other franchise concepts. This is especially true when compared to concepts with similar revenues. Our startup cost relative to our revenue is extremely good. We start by providing training and support from an experienced team.  Support begins the moment you sign your franchise agreement, so you are sure to have plenty of startup assistance.  This includes help with site selection, build out specs for your space, ongoing training, as well as on-site support at your location for your grand opening.  Our goal is to provide you with the tools and support you need to succeed.

Our proprietary tools increase profit and simplify complex operational tasks

Our advanced ordering technology and streamlined procedures help set UpFresh apart from other franchise opportunities. One of the key factors that sets us apart is our industry-leading technology tools, which keep our operations smooth and reduce overall labor costs. An example of this is our proprietary technology that helps us with our food ordering.

One thing that is unique to UpFresh is that with our meal prep business, which is a huge percentage of our sales and the largest line of revenue, we get paid for our meals before we ever have to purchase ingredients.  Part of our technology offering allows us to reduce waste by calculating what foods need to be ordered with the click of a button.  We have done all the research and development to let you know exactly how much food products you need based on the quantity and the distribution of meals that you sell.  You will be able to order that food and see precisely how much you need with the click of a button, so you won’t run the risk of making costly mistakes with food costs.

Work-life balance for both employees and franchisees.

We have attractive operating hours and reasonable staffing needs. Many restaurants and food service businesses struggle to keep staff.  At UpFresh this is less of a problem because, with our model, there is no working till three o’clock in the morning like a lot of other franchise examples including bar and restaurant concepts.  Many food service concepts require employees to work into the wee hours of the morning.  The UpFresh business model provides a better work-life balance for both the franchise owner and their employees.

The UpFresh Kitchen business model is built for the future.

Our future-proof business model helps make UpFresh Kitchen one of the most profitable franchises available today.  UpFresh is an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a concept that is built for the future.  We strive to stay on the cutting edge of what the customer will want next. A good example of this is providing a plethora of ways to get our meals.  Customers can pick them up in our store, or they can pick them up from one of our community partner pickup locations, or they can even purchase them from one of our smart kiosk coolers.   (Think of smart vending machines that have fresh meals in them.)  We advise our franchisees on local businesses to target such as hospitals, airports, large gyms, and other places that have a large amount of people who would be interested in purchasing our meals. We are always looking into the future, and our franchisees each have a protected territory within which to grow that business.

The UpFresh Kitchen Mission

Our mission is to make healthier, crave worthy food options convenient, affordable and accessible to all.  So healthier– of course that’s our core.  We want to offer healthier food options, but we also want them to be crave worthy.  Again, as Levi says, “If it doesn’t taste good, it doesn’t matter.”  This is why our menu includes popular options like chicken bacon ranch flatbread, a cheeseburger Salad - Steps top section imagebowl, fresh salads with strawberries, apples, pecans and fresh cut lettuce.  These are all crave worthy options– it’s not just plain chicken and plain vegetables.

At UpFresh we offer food options that meet a variety of different tastes and preferences. These are not plain jane meals– we offer meals that are healthier, delicious options that our customers crave and will return to again and again.

Our customers can have these meals delivered to their homes, pick them up at our store, buy them from a smart cooler kiosk, or pick them up from one of our community partners.  Accessibility is an important key to our multi-prong approach.

As is affordability– we want to offer the highest value in meal prep, and at an affordable price that is accessible to all.  Our vision is to be the first and best choice for healthier food in communities throughout the nation.

So, wherever you’re located, when people think of healthy food, we want to be the first thing that comes to mind.  We also want them to confidently be able to say that UpFresh Kitchen is the best choice for healthier food in their community.

Startup Assistance

From the time that you sign your franchise agreement, UpFresh is there to help.  We start by helping you through the process of choosing a location.  We have detailed specs for the build-out of your commercial space.

Operations Guidance

We provide our franchisees with initial and ongoing training not only at our headquarters but also on-site at their location.  Prior to grand opening, franchisees are provided with a confidential detailed operations manual that includes all of the information needed to run the business.  This is really the lifeline of the UpFresh Kitchen business. Chances are that the answers to most questions can be found in that operations manual.  Franchisees also have access to help by phone and email, as well as through periodic site visits.

Integrated Technologies

Our industry-leading point-of-sale back-of-the-house accounting systems and online ordering lead to a streamlined operation with a flawless customer experience.

Menu Development

When trying to eat healthy, customers want a wide variety of different options.  We provide a simple, easy-to-follow menu with proprietary recipes from our corporate kitchens. To our franchisees, we provide the necessary connections to suppliers that ensure the quality, safety, and consistency of food remains consistent at all UpFresh Kitchen locations.

Marketing your franchise

We provide franchise guidance in professional marketing, and assist with social media, local public relations, and also web presence.

As a franchisee, you will have branded UpFresh Kitchen marketing program materials and campaigns to launch and maintain your business.  As an example, we’ll provide you with digital media that you can use for your social media.  If you need menus printed or flyers, we are constantly developing those.  We can help distribute to you so that you’re not having to do this on your own.

Plus, we provide ongoing phone and email support and visits from our corporate team.  We will consult with you in the areas that are most important to your success.

UpFresh Kitchen Franchise Owner Profile

We believe that the ideal UpFresh Kitchen franchise owner is someone who does live the lifestyle and that understands the importance of eating healthy.  It’s important that our customers see you as a reflection of our brand.  Unlike a bar, pizza place or burger place, we focus on healthier foods and our customers expect our franchisees to be a reflection of our brand.

It’s also important that you are community-minded; that you can be connected in your community and possess the skills to develop and maintain community relationships to network within your community.  You should be able to add partner pickup locations and to grow your business within your community.

We are looking for leaders.  Our owners must have the personality traits and professional skills to lead and develop a team in order to grow and manage your business.  You can’t run your business on your own, and you really wouldn’t want to anyway, so we are looking for someone who has the skills necessary to develop their teammates.  You must be willing and able to be present in daily operations.  You should be devoted to leading this business.

This is not a passive income opportunity– we are looking for franchisees who want to be present in the business.  Last but not least, potential candidates need to be financially positioned to invest in opening a franchise.  Having adequate capital is essential to success.

Our two franchise models: Full scale and Meal Prep

Full-Scale Franchise Model

UpFresh Kitchen offers two different franchise models.  The first is our full-scale model which combines our restaurant and meal prep service as well as catering. In addition to meal prep services, the full-scale model provides two additional lines of revenue through restaurant service and catering.

In addition to our robust meal prep business, some of the features of this model is that the larger store can serve more customers with additional offerings resulting in a potential for increase in revenue. The full-scale model enables franchisees to attract a larger customer base to bring in potential customers that might not have been interested in the meal prep service had they not come in and tried the food first.

The full-scale model provides a greater retail presence– having the ability for someone to come in and eat in your store allows you to grow your business and your brand awareness in your community faster. It also maximizes the use of space and the equipment, allowing you to achieve maximum potential revenue.

There are only a few more pieces of equipment required to operate the restaurant, however you will need a larger building size.  Approximately 1,400 to 2,000 square feet should suffice.

Healthy Meal Prep Franchise Model

meal assembly franchises

The second franchise model is the meal prep model, which focuses on growing the largest and most profitable line of revenue through delivery, community partner pickup locations, and our smart cooler kiosks.  Of the UpFresh services, meal prep is the most efficient and most profitable line of revenue.  This is true because all the meals are paid for in advance.

As a healthy meals franchise owner you will be able to manage your food costs so that there’s relatively zero waste and, because we get paid for our food before we have to produce it, you will be able to manage your labor on your meal prep very effectively.  The meal prep model has smaller space requirements– with this model less capital is required because of the smaller build-out and lower equipment needs.

With the prepared food franchise model your staffing requirements will be significantly less, and operational efficiencies make it simpler to manage.  With this in mind, the meal prep only model may be suited for someone who is looking for a slightly more passive opportunity.

The meal prep operation will still require you to be present, but with this model there are typically only two days a week that are all-hands-on-deck.  The other days can generally be completed with just a few other employees and will not require the level of skill needed for those two real heavy labor days.

The meal kit franchise model offers reduced utility costs– your building size will be quite a bit smaller than the square footage required by the full-scale model.

Training and Operations

As a franchisee you will be part of a system, and it is vital that you adhere to our policies and procedures to maintain communication and uphold our system standards.  We will provide you with tools and training to help you succeed and uphold our brand’s reputation for quality.

Those who invest in a franchise will see the value in being a part of a system. We want to make sure that our franchisees want to follow that system, so that the UpFresh Kitchen brand will continue to stand for excellence.  If you are someone who wants to reinvent the wheel or who would like to do things on your own, then franchising may not be a good model for you.

We want to make sure that we have franchise locations that are consistent throughout our system. Now it doesn’t mean that we don’t want and value your feedback, because we do!  But we would like to work with franchisees who want to follow a system and who want to be a part of something that is uniform across the board. When you do have feedback and ideas that you’d like to bring to the table, we have processes in place to facilitate the communication.  Ultimately, we will make changes based on the needs of our franchisees, but at the same time we are looking for franchisees that want to be a part of a system.

As a franchise owner you will have checklists for everything– we’re big believers in checklists.  We have checklists for site selection, during the construction process, to manage your inventory, for hiring, training, grand opening, and also for operations.  We are very proud of every employee who works for you, including yourself. You will have a checklist every day when you open, and every day when you close.  You will also have a checklist to follow during the operations to ensure that you don’t forget important steps for food safety, opening your business, etc.  All of these combine to make UpFresh one of the best franchises to town for beginners.

UpFresh offers training at our headquarters followed by on-site training at your location leading up to the grand opening.  We provide franchisees with ongoing training manual updates and direct access to our corporate training team.

More about our business model

Meal Plans

Meal plans represent our largest line of revenue. Our meal prep service is what makes us unique. Orders are paid for in advance, the streamlined process makes producing thousands of meals possible in a day’s work with minimal staffing.


Our restaurant serves bowls, salads, wraps, flatbreads, and smoothies.  These are sure to impress, and make a great introduction to UpFresh Kitchen meal prep. When people think of healthy food, they generally have low expectations.

UpFresh Kitchen customers are often blown away by the taste and the quality of our food.  They are impressed by the realization that they don’t have to sacrifice taste in order to have a healthy nutritious meal.  And best of all, UpFresh Kitchen franchise owners can experience the satisfaction that comes with being part of one of the healthiest franchise restaurants in the United States.

Grab & Go

We have grab-and-go meals that are available for purchase as an impulse buy, and many of our restaurant customers will take grab-and-go meals home with them– and then they start ordering meal prep home delivery.  If they are located within your region, even though they may not visit the restaurant regularly they can still order meal prep meals to eat throughout the week.

Community Coolers

Our community partner program involves gyms and fitness centers, hospitals, wellness centers, corporate office buildings– places that have a need for healthy food and people that are on the go.  This is an opportunity to grow your meal prep program while increasing your loyalty and brand awareness.

You will be able to develop relationships and have coolers available throughout  your community, so that customers can order meal prep for pickup at convenient strategic locations within your territory.

Our community partner plan creates high customer retention because the employees at each partner facility (trainers, etc.) will remind customers to order your meal prep.  This is super convenient for customers– they can pick up meals from a location they already visit on a regular basis.


On the catering front, we have boxed lunches and many other offerings such as salad bars, wrap trays, and more.  Our catering customers include doctor’s offices, hospitals, orthodontists, and other like-minded people like us that want to serve healthy options to their employees.

Site selection, space and equipment requirements

We will provide all of the information you need when it comes to the layout of your space and the equipment required to operate a successful UpFresh Kitchen franchise.

The restaurant meal prep model is 1,400 to 2,000 square feet, while our meal prep-only model is 1,000 to 1,400 square feet.  The ideal location will be located in a strip center with some retail traffic.

If you don’t already have relationships with commercial real estate brokers, general contractors and so forth, we can absolutely refer you to our network of vendors.  These are vendors that have provided us with great service in the past.

If you are able to find a second-generation restaurant that has existing and suitable food systems, HVAC, and possibly some of the infrastructure such as plumbing and electrical, that will save you update costs.  We have a relationship with an architect who will help design the layout of your space and will provide you with the required architectural plans and specifications to get your store built out.

You also have the option to use our relationships with other vendors for construction management and bidding, if you don’t already have those necessary relationships in place.

UpFresh Kitchen is a franchise opportunity with exceptional value

Let’s talk about the value that is built into every UpFresh Kitchen franchise.  UpFresh Kitchen is like five businesses in one.  Multiple robust revenue streams including meal planning, grab and go, restaurant services, community coolers and smart kiosks, and of course catering.

How much does an UpFresh Kitchen franchise cost?

The total investment range will vary, mainly according to the amount that it will cost you to build out your space.  Factors include the type of location, whether it has been a restaurant in the past, whether it has suitable HVAC systems in place, and the amount of the tenant improvement allowance (if any) that your landlord will provide to build out the space.

The typical initial investment falls in the $300,000 – $400,000 range for the meal prep only model and will be slightly higher than that if you choose to do the full model.  UpFresh Kitchen is a relatively low-cost franchise with high profit potential.

All of this information will be detailed in our franchise disclosure document, where all of this is outlined and shows how franchise costs are allocated between equipment, the build out of your space versus, initial food costs and rent payments, and more.

How much can I make as a franchisee?

Many people would like to know how much revenue can be made by owning an UpFresh Kitchen franchise. This of course will depend on a number of factors including the model you choose, market conditions, and how well you manage your system. Our 2022 Franchise Disclosure Document provides detailed information about potential revenue and profit, as well as a breakdown of estimated initial investment and ongoing costs.

The Franchise Disclosure Document demonstrates how a gross profit margin of 63.7% can be achieved.  This places UpFresh among the most profitable franchises to own.  Our high rate of return is made possible by the systems, daily checklists, proprietary ordering technologies, training, and ongoing support that are bundled with every UpFresh Kitchen franchise.

What are the next steps?

Are you ready to learn more about this unique and one-of-a-kind opportunity?  The next step will be to request the UpFresh Kitchen Franchise Disclosure Document and complete the full franchise application.  If we both agree that it is a good idea to move forward, we will schedule a call to discuss territory options and then invite you to a discovery day at our corporate   headquarters.  Here you will meet our team, taste our food, and get a better understanding of what it takes to operate an UpFresh Kitchen franchise.

If we agree that you will be a good fit for our program, the next step will be to present you with our franchise agreement.  Once that is signed, we will immediately start working with you on site selection and preparation for launch.  The time from signing an agreement to grand opening is usually around 6-9 months.

To start the process, call us today at (980) 399-5926 or email us at franchise@upfreshkitchen.com.

UpFresh Kitchen is changing the way people think about healthier food!

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