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Become a Black Bear Diner Franchisee

Black Bear Diner is composed of a close-knit group of franchisees that we consider to be extended parts of our family. Being a franchisee comes with a lot of responsibilities, but the rewards are practically unlimited. Take a look at a few of our franchisees below to see what’s possible when you join us. Then, scroll down for our application process and training procedures, and if you feel that it’s a good fit, we say give it a whirl.

Meet Some of Our Franchisees

Meet Some of Our Franchisees

Seattle Area Franchisee

Danny and Darshana Banwait

Danny and Darshana Banwait made the leap from Engineering careers in Silicon Valley to become independent restauranteurs in the Seattle market. With 3 Black Bears now open and a 4 coming along, they are excited to continue to grow with BBD, oh, and also grow their family with Danny having his hands full with 3 little girls!

Colorado Spring Franchisee

Lucas and Allyson Farnham

Lucas and Allyson Farnham moved to Colorado Springs, CO from Portland, OR in 2011 driven by the opportunity to acquire an existing Black Bear Diner.  With both of them graduating from Colorado College, in Colorado Springs, and with Lucas’s long background in restaurant operations, they felt it was the perfect opportunity.  In November 2015 they opened their second Black Bear Diner location in north Colorado Springs.  With their own team growing (son Garret was born in Colorado Springs) they plan to continue to open additional locations in Colorado in the near future.

Central Valley, California Franchisee

Bob and Amy Rose

Bob Rose is an industry veteran with 50+ years of experience in restaurant leadership and development with large brands, and in the development of his own brand. Twelve years ago, he partnered with Black Bear Diner as our second franchisee: over the years has built six units in Central California with plans for at least two more in Fresno.  In 2016, Bob was joined by his daughter, Amy, as she continues to build the family business.


What are the steps to becoming a Franchisee?

• Get to know Black Bear Diner. Read the website and, when possible, visit a few of our locations.
• Fill out the Franchise Inquiry Form.
• We will contact you and discuss your interest in Black Bear Diner.
• We will send you the FDD and application to fill out, in order to provide (and receive) further information.
• You will be scheduled to meet our founders and leadership team at our support center in Redding, California.
• You will sign either the franchise agreement or development agreement, and pay the initial fees.
• Finally, you’ll build your future! After locating a potential new site, the site will be evaluated for approval, and training will be scheduled.
• Upon completion of construction, you’ll be open for business. Welcome to the team!

What is the royalty?

The royalty at Black Bear Diner is 4.5% of net sales, paid weekly.

What is the marketing fee and what does it provide?

Currently, the marketing fee is 1% of net sales.

This fee covers marketing expenses for the overall brand — including, but not limited to, traditional major media support and digital marketing support (social media, eClub support, Grand Opening support, graphic design services, in-store promotional materials, etc.). We also provide ongoing consultation in support of your local marketing efforts.

How much money do I need to be a Black Bear Diner franchisee?

We do not have fixed financial requirements. We look at each prospective franchisee on an individual basis. There are many factors to consider. For instance, what type of building are you converting or constructing; are you developing one restaurant or multiple restaurants? After you complete the financial portion of the application, we will discuss whether or not you meet our requirements.

How much does it cost to build a Black Bear Diner?

The cost will vary greatly due to the type of building, size, and regional restrictions. You will find our average costs of build-out in our FDD under item 17.

How much money can I expect to make?

Black Bear Diner does not provide financial performance representation in our FDD (item 19). However, profitability will depend on the franchisee’s ability to manage the day-to-day operations and finances, as well as factors specific to each location, such as occupancy, minimum wage/labor costs, and local utilities. To learn more, we encourage you to contact our current franchise partners during your due diligence process. Their names and contact information are listed in our FDD.

How long does it take to open a Black Bear Diner?

After the lease is executed, the drawings, permitting, and construction will take six to nine months.

Do I have to actually work my Diner?

No. However, each Black Bear Diner must, at all times, have a full-time qualified, experienced manager. You should be responsible for managing and controlling your business on a daily basis, or hire an experienced operations manager to do so.

Are you only looking for experienced multi-unit operators?

Black Bear Diner still values the owner/operator. Where it makes strategic sense, we will still sign single-unit franchise agreements. For those seeking to open more than one Black Bear Diner and sign a development agreement, you or a member of your team will need to have experience in restaurant multi-unit operations.

Training and Support

Home-style cooking, small-town hospitality, and bear-sized portions are the three legs of the stool at Black Bear Diner. They take some time to learn. Over the past twenty years, we have developed comprehensive pre-opening and ongoing training materials and methods to train your management and staff to operate your Black Bear Diner — the same way Bob and Bruce did twenty years ago.
We are committed to supporting all our franchisees with:

  • An eight-week management training program at one of our certified training restaurants.
  • A team of certified trainers to ensure a smooth and successful opening.
  • A complete operations manual, recipe book, and preparation guide for each of your restaurants.
  • Training and trainers guides for each team member job function.
  • Organization, sanitation, cleanliness standards, and ongoing communication.
  • Suggested opening and closing management procedures.
  • Management and operations systems, tools, and processes.
  • Aloha and CTUIT training, our comprehensive back-of-the-house accounting system, and POS.
  • Ongoing operational and financial-control consultation.
  • Regular visits from your Franchise Support Manager.
  • Annual Black Bear Diner University training, which focuses on leadership and preserving the Black Bear culture.

Site Selection and Design

We have helped build and select Black Bear Diners all over the country, with more on the way. This experience helps us select quality sites. We look for locations that are supported with good visibility and high traffic counts, like those near major roads and freeways, as well as locations with strong daytime and residential populations. We do not take this part of the process lightly — if you succeed, we succeed.
Black Bear Diner
We build and look for three types of facilities, ideally between 4000 and 6500 SF:

  • Exiting restaurant conversions.
  • Prominent end-caps.
  • Ground-up freestanding buildings.
We offer assistance and support on:

  • Site selection.
  • Restaurant design and layout.
  • Review and analysis of layout, design and construction drawings.
  • Specified equipment lists.
  • Preferred Black Bear Diner vendors.

Product and Distribution

To ensure quality and consistency throughout our brand, we have developed a strong relationship with key suppliers and distributors:

  • National purchasing programs with contract pricing.
  • Fast and accurate support to quickly address and solve any issues.
  • Preferred equipment and service providers.

Product Development and Innovation

Although our menu has stood the test of time, we continue to look for new tastes and items that will feed the appetite of our loyal guests. We are committed to continually improving our menu through the introduction of new items, improving our existing items, and running limited time offers. We support each rollout with a comprehensive training guide to ensure flawless implementation system-wide.

Marketing and Advertising

Along with Black Bear Diner national advertising and marketing programs, we provide our franchise community with guidance and assistance with local programs. We have tried a lot of them, and we are happy to share what we’ve learned over the past twenty years. We know what it takes to earn a dollar — and when it comes to spending it, we’re here to help you spend it wisely. We also help with any printed materials you’ll need, because we know the importance of a consistent and effective brand message.

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Interested in a Black Bear Diner franchise? Email: franchising@BlackBearDiner.com