Part of the appeal of the restaurant business is how diverse the possibilities are. Three restaurants can operate side-by-side with such different concepts that they don’t compete for the same target audiences. It’s incredible and inspires creativity when entrepreneurs are starting a restaurant business for themselves.

Whether you’re opening a business casual restaurant, a fast-casual concept, a quick-service restaurant, or a homestyle restaurant that serves breakfast all day, there’s a place for your restaurant business in a competitive industry. That’s a great feeling. 

The Top 5 Restaurant Businesses in the Breakfast Market

One of the most popular restaurant concepts is the breakfast restaurant. Many are quick-serve, fast-casual, or full-service, so there’s room for versatility when starting your restaurant business in the breakfast segment.

Here are some of the breakfast restaurant businesses that have fantastic brand recognition or are setting trends.

Huddle House

With a full-service concept that considers flexible locations and even rural settings, Huddle House has met the customers where they live and crave breakfast. By offering franchises in non-traditional locations (such as truck stops, travel plazas, end caps, conversions, and in-line locations) and rural settings, Huddle House has tapped into a market segment that’s often overlooked. As such, their customers have developed a fierce loyalty to the brand, and it’s worked for Huddle House for nearly 60 years.

  • Initial Investment Range: $576,310 to $1,421,175
  • Franchise Fee: $35,000

Perkins® Restaurant & Bakery

For a restaurant business that’s nailed the homestyle menu with quality service in a comfortable setting, Perkins® Restaurant & Bakery is another legacy brand success story. Since 1957, Perkins has been doing breakfast and brunch in such a way that puts customer service front and center. With a bakery arm that attracts customers with fresh-baked pies and muffins, as well as a wholesome brand image, Perkins franchises know how to make breakfast (and any other meal) taste amazing in a cozy setting. 

  • Initial Investment Range: $1,183,715 to $3,290,465
  • Franchise Fee: $40,000

Dunkin’ Donuts

Beloved fast-casual restaurant business Dunkin’ Donuts began with an entrepreneur selling coffee and donuts to WWII-era shipyard builders in Quincy, Massachusetts, and grew to the international brand we know today through innovative thinking and franchising strategy. Many other brands use the Dunkin’ concept as a blueprint in their franchising models today. 

Similar to Huddle House, Dunkin’ embraced non-traditional locations and sold franchises to multi-unit operators to ignite growth. Internationally, Dunkin’s franchising team listened to local franchisees about what local customers wanted—such as kimchi-stuffed donuts in South Korea— to build trust and develop an advantage over the competition.

  • Traditional Opportunities:
    • Initial Investment Range: $526,900 to $1,809,500
    • Franchise Fee: $40,000 to $90,000
  • Non-Traditional Opportunities:
    • Initial Investment Range: $121,400 – $1,310,500
    • Franchise Fee: $10,000 to $90,000


Perhaps the most well-known of the quick-serve restaurant business brands, McDonald’s has been serving breakfast to customers since franchisee Jim Delligatti got permission from corporate to serve donuts during breakfast hours at his Pittsburgh-area location in 1970. Meanwhile, California franchisee, Herb Peterson, developed the Egg McMuffin in 1971. McDonald’s dubbed it an “Eggs Benedict on-the-go.” The rest, as the Egg McMuffin went mainstream, is history.

  • Initial Investment Range: $1.4 million to $2.5 million
  • Franchise Fee: $45.000


We can’t talk about breakfast restaurants without mentioning the restaurant diner. One of the biggest diner-style restaurant franchises is IHOP. Another legacy brand with over 60 years in the restaurant business, IHOP is positioned as a diner that makes people feel comfortable and happy. They’ve stayed in the public’s consciousness by updating technology and keeping their menu relevant with items like stuffed French toast, gluten-free pancakes, and of course, all-day breakfast.

  • Initial Investment Range: $1,315,300 to $3,232,500
  • Franchise Fee: $40,000

What People Crave from the Restaurant Business

What people want may seem like a difficult question to answer when you’re first thinking of how to start a restaurant business, but looking at each of these five brands, it appears the answer—aside from all-day breakfast—is simple:

People want good customer service. While that may be harder in the quick-serve restaurant market with such short customer interactions, in the full-service sector the customers are more interested than ever in comfort. They want comfort foods, comfortable settings, and to be well-cared for while they’re dining.

That’s why Huddle House has grown to more than 275 franchise locations nationwide. We treat our customers like family. Additionally, we’ve set our territories to include places other brands aren’t willing to go to serve customers who often get overlooked. How can we do this?

A network of distribution centers has helped us better serve our franchisee locations to ensure they have uninterrupted access to the supplies and ingredients they need to run their restaurant businesses. It also helps us maintain affordable menu pricing, which our customers appreciate now more than ever.

Operating a restaurant business is an exciting venture, with opportunities to take care of people, put smiles on faces, and serve wholesome food you know comes from the heart. If this sounds like an investment for you, call Huddle House today to become the next franchise owner!