Classic Rock Coffee Franchise

Classic Rock Coffee Company is a relatively new, fast growing coffee shop franchise that will soon have 15 locations across the U.S. and 5 locations internationally. Focused on matching the energy of coffee with equally energizing music, Classic Rock Coffee Co. has created a new and exciting concept. Read on for our full profile of this franchise opportunity, including hard facts like costs, interesting tidbits, and a Q&A with Brett Payne, Director of Franchise Operations. Find out if Classic Rock Coffee is the right franchise opportunity for you.


  • Franchise Fee:
  • Total Initial Fees:
  • Required Net Worth:

Franchise Highlights

  • - Comprehensive, 4-level training program
  • - Full assistance with site selection and property development
  • - Franchise units now available in all 50 states

Qualities of an Ideal Franchisee

  • - Strong business acumen
  • - Strong, outgoing, personality
  • - Trainability and willingness to follow an established system

Q & A With Classic Rock Coffee

***This interview has been transcribed from a phone conversation with Brett Payne, Director of Franchise Operations at Classic Rock Coffee***

Q: What sets Classic Rock Coffee apart from other coffee shop franchises?

A: There’s two distinctions that we promote. One is the concept itself. Because the coffee shop is wrapped up in the concept of classic rock music, it has an aesthetic feel that is very, very different from most coffee shops, and, certainly, the expectations of people who walk into a coffee shop. One of the things that we say is that the brand is well-done and not overdone. So it’s not cheesy, it’s very sophisticated, very posh. It’s very comfortable. When people come in, we are very, very family friendly.

It’s great for business people to have meetings here. There’s lots of bankers that have meetings. It’s great for athletes because we have protein shakes and smoothies. But all of it is wrapped up in this notion of classic rock music, so the thread that ties everyone together--whether it’s a kid or whether it’s somebody in their 70s--is the music.

The second thing that sets us apart is how we source our coffees how we provide the coffee to the customers after it is roasted. [That info]’s proprietary and only for our franchisees. We use a very scientific approach to make sure that our coffees are served to customers everywhere in the world at the peak of its flavor, which can be measured in very specific ways in terms of time and things like that.

Q: What are the criteria Classic Rock Coffee is looking for in an entrepreneur?

A: We like people who have a strong business acumen, so if they’ve owned their own business in the past, or they’ve been in some high management position, that’s always very, very helpful. The other thing is that they are trainable. One of the things that we ask people when they’re interested in franchise is how motivated they are to create their own thing, because if they’re highly motivated to create their own thing sometimes it’s difficult to live within the confines of a franchise, because we already have systems and structures in place, not that they can’t have some level of creativity, but we’re not gonna change the brand because everybody has ideas. Generally we’re looking for people who are looking for confidence that comes from a brand that has history and already knows how to do certain things.

The main thing that we look for, though, is a marketing skill set in their personality. So every franchisee, we can teach them operations, we can teach them restaurant business, we can teach them all kinds of things. The one thing that we cannot teach is the element of a personality that motivates them to do marketing, so that’s a strong outgoing personality. The kind of person that wants to network with businesses, the kind of person who’s not scared to walk out their front doors and connect with the community. So marketing is very much a thing that we look for at the very beginning.

We want them to have $50,000 at least liquid cash and a net worth of at least $400,000. We don’t do funding ourself, we leave that to banks.

Q: All in, how much does a typical franchisee invest in order to open a Classic Rock Coffee franchise?

A: The average store is $350,000. Of course, that can be smaller or larger depending upon where you are in the country. The equipment package is always the same. The franchise fee is always the same. The variable that we cannot predict is going to be the cost of a general contractor. (It’s very different in California, for instance, than it is in Kansas.) Also, in terms of the operating expenses, the leases. The cost per square foot of a leased business in the Midwest is gonna be different than the East Coast or West Coast. So those are some variables but the fixed costs are gonna be the franchise fee and the equipment package.

Q: Does Classic Rock Coffee Company offer any form of assistance with financing?

A: We do not offer any form of assistance with financing. If applicants want to secure funding, then we recommend that they go to a local bank, generally one with 2-3 branches. We have various reasons for that. It seems to expedite it if they go to a smaller local bank that’s wanting to invest money in their own community.

Also, for our franchisees, when they get to the point that they’re an approved applicant, and they’re going to banks for funding, we can provide them with the resources that they need for their business plan, with the pro formas, and all the assets that they need to essentially provide the proper documentation to the bank in terms of what the business would look like. We help them with all those types of things.

Q: Outside of funding, what are some common issues people encounter when opening a Classic Rock Coffee franchise?

A: When someone becomes a franchisee with us, we have a real estate agency so they are assigned a real estate agency that has been doing site selection for franchisees and we’re the only coffee house that they work with. They do all of our site selections for us. That is the biggest obstacle: trying to find the right location and so they handle all of that. Once a location is found, we provide architectural services, concept design services, all of the equipment, packaging that they need, signage--everything that they need, soup to nuts, to get them from the time that they sign to the time that they’re open. There’s nothing that they have to do other than just approve things along the way.

In terms of training, while all of that process is going on, we provide about six weeks of online restaurant business training that is designed specifically for them and for Classic Rock Coffee. After building is done, there’s actually four levels of training. One is the online training that they do. Secondly is our visits to existing stores so they can spend a week shadowing to watch how the operations work. Thirdly, they come to Springfield [MO] to our headquarters for one week of operational training. Next, when the store is done, we send our trainers to the store and we train their entire staff, which takes about 10 days altogether. We train the entire staff. We get them up-and-running, grand opening, do the whole thing. Then the week after they’re opened, they are assigned to one of our consultants and our consultants spend an hour to two hours a week with them on the phone reviewing what they previously had learned in the restaurant business training that we provide and applying it specifically to their numbers and our market efforts, keeping them on track for costs and all kinds of interesting things.

There’s a lot of assistance that we provide to them to help them be successful. That’s why one of the requirements that we have is that they’re teachable because we’re gonna teach them a massive amount of information. It’s not the coffee business that they’re getting into, or the restaurant business, it’s just business, so we have to teach them. A lot of people misunderstand that. They think it’s just about coffee--it’s not. We have to teach them how to run a business.

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