5 Things you HAVE to know before buying a 7-Eleven!

This is written for anyone that might be interested in purchasing a 7-eleven convenience store in the United States. 

When you are given the 200 page Franchise Offering Circular (The rule book), it can be very difficult to understand all of the “fine print”. 

So here is some of that fine print in laymen terms:


1. 7-Eleven will take AT LEAST 52% of your profits.

The company advertises that they take 50% of your profits, but read closely … depending on your sales and profits around 2% of your profits will go towards advertising! (Have you seen a lot of commercials on TV? Neither have any of the 7-eleven franchisees ) )

BUT WAIT there’s more, depending on your store profitability you will have an even worse profit split. That’s right, the more you make, the more they charge. It is possible for a high sales volume store to end up only keeping 43% of their Gross Profit … So think hard before you buy that “great” store.

 2. 7-Eleven Franchise Agreement can change at any time

Just because your contract says it’s good for 15 years, when the next agreement comes, it will be pushed on you hard, sign it or go on the shit list (kind of thing). Also, even if you don’t sign it, when you sell your store, the incoming franchisee has to sign it which could easily decrease the value of your store. As an example, in the most recent franchise agreement upgrade, (as I mentioned before) the high gross profit making stores GP split has been changed from 50, 50 to 43, 57 – in favor of 7-Eleven.

3. Buying a 7-Eleven = Buying yourself a job

Don’t have any misconceptions, you’re not going to be a business owner, you’re going to be a manager who is told how to run his store, what he can and can not do and like I said in point #2, the rules of the game can change at any time.

4. 7-Eleven’s are almost impossible to run hands off

For those of you who think they can buy a store, hire a manager and forget it … those days are long gone. The company has put in place strict requirements for you to be present at your store. They do this through a combination of twice weekly meetings with you field consultant, and by having a technologically cumbersome ordering system. Though it’s “state of the art” it requires roughly 15 man-hours a week for the experience order writer. You can trust a store manager only so far, as many franchisees in the past have learned that it is possible to come back to an empty store P . Roughly once a year owners hear a story of a store manager, printing up 100 money orders and taking off to another country. So aside from having a large family who are not qualified to do anything better, you are stuck verifying store operations on your own.

5. 7-Elevens have an income CEILING

This is not a business you want to go into if you are dreaming of making MILLIONS. It is very possible to estimate your exact income from a 7-eleven, as a rough guide you can use 5% of sales. This however is not a perfect measure because as sales go up so do expenses, and as sales go down, so do expenses… It is very possible that a Franchisee owning a $1.3 mil store to make the same as a $1.7 mil store. (–They don’t tell you this during your interview–)


By now you’re probably thinking, who the hell would want a 7-eleven? Well I’m here to give you a completely impartial story, so stay tuned for the next post on reasons to buy.


If you are considering purchasing a 7-Eleven and would like unbiased answers to all of your questions as well as advice on specific store locations:

You can reach me at: c-store-expert@greatconsult.com


131 Responses to “5 Things you HAVE to know before buying a 7-Eleven!”

  1. Alex Says:

    Your blog is interesting!

    Keep up the good work!

  2. cstoreguru Says:

    Thank you! Sorry for the slow response, your message was sent to the spam folder for some reason.

  3. Cai Says:

    Well, I was just wondering how did you know so much about 7-eleven?

    Did you have any past work experience in that franchise?
    Anyway, you sound professional indeed.

    So, csstore, if you are given a choice to run a franchise, which one is it going to be?


  4. Cai Says:

    Sorry, didn’t see your introduct, District Manager (Consultant) 🙂

  5. Inquiring Mind1 Says:

    After reading this post I am concerned about the 7-eleven franchise opportunity that I was looking into. I was considering it because the start up costs are not of the charts like McDonalds or KFC to name a few. Are there any you reccomend?

    • shrimic Says:

      # 1. If 52 % sound like a huge cut compare it other leading francising like Subway & others where you have pay 12.5 % on the sales, 7 to 8 % on add and on top of that you have to bear the rent and utilities. If 7 Eleven is not a great francise for the money you are investing, please name a franchise that is ?

      # 2. 7-Eleven Franchise Agreement can change at any time : Any franchising agreement can change at any time or any economy or govt. policies can change any time too. what are you going to do on that?

      # 3. Buying a 7-Eleven = Buying yourself a job : Well, if that’s true you must be very lucky when compared to job lay-offs that’s happing in this economy. Atleast you have a job & power to make a basic living which I consider is better than getting fired or working 9 to 5 for someone else following the orders of our ” Boss “. No matter how much you make you would’nt get the felling of being your own boss.

      # 4. 7-Eleven’s are almost impossible to run hands off : Why would anybody in the world will think of investing 250k (as an example) in any kind of business for that matter and expect to stay home or go on a vacation ? Its like buying a brand new Mercedes and giving it away ! If you are ready to invest on a business means you must be ready to take care of it as well…if not, do not invest. There’s no business in the world or will ever be a kind that you just invest & stay home. If so please specify ?

      # 5. 7-Elevens have an income CEILING : Every Business in the world as its own potential. you don’t expect to make millions buy investing in low budget franchisings like 7 eleven. Franchising a Mcdonald’s or a pizza hut and other popular fast food brands takes at least a million $ to start, do you expect becomining a billionaire in some years ?

      • Anonymous Says:

        I’m agree with you. The things you describe here it makes sence

      • BINIYAM Says:

        thats right

      • James Says:

        shimic – I don’t agree with you. I own a franchise and it isn’t a 7 – 11. The franchise I own has many, in fact most, of the owners have managers that run the facility and they just do oversight. Each of their location make them several thousand dollars a month and they just make sure the managers are running it correctly and are not stealing them blind. No, all Franchise agreements do not change at anytime. Yes the govt. can change things, but very rarely do they cause a material change in the way the average franchise does business. Yes, businesses often have ceilings, but the franchises I have researched do not have a profit acceleration clause as 7 – 11 seems to have. They seem to try and ensure you can’t make too much money. This seems counter intuitive because franchises want their individual franchisees to make enough to invest in another location. I find this odd with 7 – 11. Also, I didn’t read anything in this article about not paying rent to 7 – 11, but you seem to have know that 7 – 11 buys the real estate and you don’t have to pay rent. I’m guessing you know more about the franchise then you are letting on, which makes me think you may have some ulterior motive for posting this reply. Are you an employee of Southland?

      • Manoj Rajan Says:

        This franchise is like being a bonded laborer your expenses can keep going up but the franchisor expenses remain the same the harder you work the more money the company makes and remember they always got a hand in your pocket trying to persuade you to employ more people so they make more sales and sorry but they use your money to make money its foolish to even consider them as a business opportunity its modern day bonded laborer

  6. cstoreguru Says:

    Inquiring – I’m not saying that 7-Eleven is a bad franchise … I think the choice of franchises depends greatly on the potential franchisee … their interests, lifestyle, and expectations.

  7. Sohail Says:

    I use to have Franchisee store but omg they were pain in -@$$. i can imagine how this 7-11 can rip apart you … Thanks for writing this intresting facts ..

  8. DYEN Says:

    i was so excited abt thinking to own a 7-11, but their hidden behaviors seems like scary. Just like u have told that The owner actually will be like a manager of the store working under heavily restricted rules( I completely understand what u ment though)
    How friendly or bad these cooperate people are regarding giving u a pain @ the A.s.

    Plz advise , i am so fonfused now….

    i would highly appreciate for your any kind of response

  9. prateek malhotra Says:

    where you can find loans for buying 7-11 franhise. can somone help me

    • Recruiterguy Says:

      7-Eleven finances (internally) up to 70% of the franchising fee for franchise applicants with approved credit (700 or better

  10. Jean Says:

    I am interested in buying a 7-eleven franchise myself, I already submitted the application. I have a question .
    I understand if you only own 1 store, you will be working as a store manager for the company. If you really want to make money you must own more than 1. What are the rules to own more than one store? Is it possible?

    • cstoreguru Says:

      Jean – Owning one store does NOT make you a store manager for the company. It does typically mean that you’re buying yourself a job. You are still a franchisee, but to maximize your income you will be doing various duties at store level to save on payroll. To purchase additional stores you will need to follow the 7-Eleven multiple store purchase criteria and guide, and of course you’ll need to have the money to purchase additional stores.

  11. JAY Says:

    REASON # 6

    After speaking to some store owners, I understand that the overnight operations aspect is a big nuisance.
    Should we add Reason #6 – Be prepared to work night shifts too?

    By the way, I think your insights are wonderful and extremely accurate. Pretty much I am coming to very similar conclusions to yours after my own research.

  12. Mizz Edee Says:

    Franchising my store in Lake Tahoe provided me with an income to enjoy the Tahoe lifestyle and raise my children in a great environment. It is important to make sure you purchase a “high volume” store in an area that has consistent income. It is not an easy business but it has its rewards.

    • Richard Says:

      I am looking at a store currently, what would u consider a high volume? This particular store is doing 1.2M and is only branded 1 year, so it’s still growing. Do u consider this a high volume? Thanks regards, looking.

  13. Omar Says:

    Basically if you don’t have job just buy your self a job and steady income. if you have cash what ever she described and you will have job for sure. it’s not that bad for those who don’t have job. you wont be a boss but technically you are running that place. either way you want to owner off any type of business get ready to hustle. either way you will be waking up middle of the night cause you have invested that much.

  14. Unnamed Franchisee Says:

    Reason #7:
    Training: Although it is not listed in the agreement i have found that recommended training for 4 trained order-writers is essentially mandatory training. The biggest part of the training is for each employee is the time they spend on the computer. The training time for each employee can run up to 40 hours/each depending on the training course and employee computer literacy level. Considering the high employee turnover and low quality of employees available to work at the store this is a costly investment, both in the franchisees time and money. The training is outdated and not very mundane.
    After taking the training an employee is not even able to use the “MOT” to load up an order, let alone order. The training is cumbersome and ineffective to say the least. It focuses on the fact that ordering should take a long time and to do it slowly. While i find that those ideas maybe suitable for the franchisee I dont see why employees should be exposed to this kind of mentality. I want my employees to work fast and efficiently.

    • cstoreguru Says:

      Great comment!!! You’re absolutely right in certain parts of the country, but not others.

      In the Bay Area, where I’m from, what you’re saying is dead on. Franchisees can’t afford to pay their employees much more than a minimum wage, so the result is usually poor/unskilled employees and high turnover (both of which makes 40 hours of paid training quite wasteful). On the other hand, if you go to the midwest where a 7-Eleven employee makes enough (with the aid of their spouse) to actually support a family and buy a home, and now training that employee makes a lot more sense.

      And of course the amount of access you give to that employee for uploading orders and utilizing the system is completely up to you as a franchisee.

  15. jakoh1 Says:

    The new agreement ends in 10 years or whenever your lease ends, whichever comes first (usually the lease if the building in not owned by 7-eleven). Also a 20% franchise renewal fee has been added if your agreement lasts 10 years.

  16. jakoh1 Says:

    extension of reasons 2 & 3
    Employee Training: Although not explicitly listed in the agreement the recommended training for 4 and preferably more employees is essentially mandatory (or you are on the “shit list” as the cstoreguru says above). The biggest part of the training is the time spent on the computer. The training time for each employee can run up to 40-80 hours depending on the training course and employee’s computer literacy level. Considering the high employee turnover and low quality of employees available to work at the store this is a costly investment, both in the franchisee’s time and money. And because you want to retain trained employees, than go through retraining, training comes at a higher payroll cost for the trained employees than expected.

  17. Workinboy Says:

    We are over ten year multiple franchisees of 7-Eleven. With the changes which have taken place since the “Japanese” (7&I Holding Company, under Mr. Sezuki) have taken the company private, I wouldn’t take another store if they waived all costs to do so. I believe 7-Eleven is in the convenience industry, but no longer really in the convenience business. They seem to want to operate like a corporation with the franchisees having the financial liabilities. And cstore is right, they think they can change anything, anytime they wish regardless of the financial consequence to the franchisee. If you are thinking of franchising with 7-Eleven, DON’T DO IT! Ask a reputable franchising attorney to fully explain the consequences to you and you will look elsewhere….. BUYER BEWARE!!!!

  18. Khalid Says:

    This is very true that there is no money coming at the end of the month. For the last three years, I had to pay back four times large amouts to pay back to equit account due to more expanses than income. Also, monthly checks will not be more than four to six hundred dollars after profit splitting.

  19. James Jones Says:

    Credit Card Fees, that can be another 2-3%, should be added on to Reason #1.

  20. Victor Says:

    cstoreguru, great stuff! I really like this blog/website. I notice that it isn’t being updated as much, did it move to another url? I am opening up a closed down convenience store. It had been a store for the past 30 years and the owner made some bad financial decisions on another business and was forced to close it down. I am buying the building for approx 100K (3000 sq ft) and will open up a store again with new items (the previous owner didn’t stock convenience items)

  21. Workinboy Says:


  22. weezer4up Says:

    How does one go about getting a new product in a 7-eleven? I know there is a form to fill out but couldn’t each store owner decide if they wanted to add a product instead of having to go through corporate?


    • Recruiterguy Says:

      A franchisee can bring up to 15% of store inventory in, from whomever they want. In other words, a franchisee must use 7-Eleven vendors for 85% of thier inventory…but, if you have a location next to the local pro sports venue and want to bring in team stuff (hats, banners, etc), you can do so.

  23. Anonymous Says:

    Reasons 7-Eleven is franchising aggressively. They are hiring a “manager” who can NOT quit without losing his investments. They are washing their hands off the biggest expense and headache – payroll and employees. They don’t have to worry about health benefits and laws and rules applied to big corporations. It is a win win situation for THEM. They are screwing the franchisees by forcing them to buy from ‘recommended vendors’ with small gross profit margins. I bet there is funny stuff going on with ‘deals’ and kick backs cloaked as commisions, bonuses or another label to the company. You may make more money buying from Krogers and reselling!

    Most of the unnecessary paperwork and cumbersome and manpower expensive ordering system is to ensure that they are trying to keep you honest for their benefit. There are no safeguards for your benefit. YOU are responsible for their or their suppliers’ mistakes.

    The reason most people buy this franchise is relatively small initial investment and job security. If you can afford it, buy an independent business. Do NOT be foolish enough to fall in their honey trap. EVERYTHING is stashed in their favor.

    If you choose to franchise, contrary to the advice, go for a higher volume store with at least 1.5m in sales. Even with lesser GP share, it is a better investment.

  24. Amit Says:

    I am looking into buying a location in either Florida or Texas. I currently live in California but the cost to purchase an existing store here is just too expensive. I know 6 franchisees who have been in the franchise from 2-15 years and all of them are making money. The initial investment is high, the job is not NOT easy, corporate is on your ass but it is all jusitifed. The investment is high, but so is the return; the average franchisee will take hom 5-9k per month – YES, take home. The job is not easy; nothing that has a reward is easy. Would you rather work an 8-5? Corporate is on your ASS – this is why 7-eleven is so sucessful. customers no they can get what they want and don’t have to walk into an independent liquor store that has limited items available and a setup they are not familiar with. If you keep your store clean and run it effeciently, you’re off the radar and your FC wont trouble you. The only complain I hear about is that most franchisees get pressure from corporate to open another location. Again, this is only what I have heard but I have seen people around me change their lifestlye and it is directly connected to the business. Food for thought….

  25. Keith Carpet cleaning sydney Says:

    Very interesting i think i will give them a miss thanks for the tips

  26. Recruiterguy Says:

    Interesting Blog filled with interesting comments. As a Franchise Recruiter for 7-Eleven I will be the FIRST to tell you that it is NOT a franchise for everyone. By all means, if you are considering a 7-Eleven franchise, DO check it out totally and talk with as many different people as you possibly can…you WILL hear the good and the bad. Many people run from the idea and the concept – while many others THRIVE as true Capitalist/Entreprenuers. As an example: Presently, as 2011 ends, we have 7,400 locations in the USA. The Franchise agreement runs 10 years. For the last 4 years, GUESS the average percentage of Franchisees who decided NOT to renew their agreement at the end of the term? It’s LESS than 2%. I feel that figure speaks volumes about the happiness (and maybe profitability) of 7-Eleven franchise holders.

    • Max Says:

      I’m now retired (2006) with 40 yrs of experience in the grocery industry. I’ve worked for Southland Corp in the 1970’s as a Field Rep (now referred as a Field Consultant) Also I’ve been a franchised owner of two 7-Elevens and have noticed a huge change in the owners attitude toward the corporation. This has been due to the large decrease in the owners income . Gas income used to be 25% of the gross profit and now I believe it’s about 1-2 cents per gallon. Also the owners gross profit has been reduced an average of 3-5%. I used to make 52% GP in the 70’s and 50% in the 2000’s. The new contract has resulted in the owners being a glorified store manager. I’m just happy to be retired. Oh, and only 2% don’t renew their agreement because most owners of decent volume stores sell rather than walk away. It’s the low volume store owners that don’t renew.

    • Truth Says:

      Not Renewal rate of 2% is a fallacy conclusion of over all franchisees being successful with 7-11 business module . Renewal comes in 10-15 years ? Only someone whose making money will stay on board for that amount of period to reach that point . Others just quit after few years . Please provide those figures .

      • Dave Smith Says:

        non-renewal rate is 2%. – very true. Most of the franchisees are so tired, they will not wait. They will pay 200,000 or so purchase price as a penalty, to get rid of the store. Please refer to franchise manual. I know a franchisee who lost 280K because franchisee got a stroke. The company took over the store..

        Again, you want to buy a job of $25-$30 per hour and work the hardest, then buy the store. Despite of ultra modern cameras, and other security systems, you will lose at the end of the day. You will agree that 2%CD has given you more happiness than 7-11 franchise.
        Recently, we dropped all the prices in Cigarettes and Beers, GP went down by 3%.. 7-11 lost some, but I lost multiple times more.

        They say, the franchise is not for everyone. True. Please ask franchise consultant, who is the the ideal candidate.

        Young, ready to work 80 hours a week, not much english required, not very educated ( lower expectations), has a spouse also to work as a guranteed employee.

  27. Richard Gannett Says:

    There is nothing being said here that isn’t widely applicable to all franchises. The FA is always geared to the franchisors favor, nothing new or burdensome there. Frankly, franchising simply isn’t right for everyone. Given the way they operate, if you can make $50k a year with a small investment, its not a bad deal, but not for everyone. If you have a spouse or kids then it can become a really good family business. So don’t let the naysayers send you away fro 7-11. Do your own due dilligence, talk to franchisees and then make your own educated opinion.

  28. Kumar Says:

    I chanced upon this website, in my quest to get more information on buying a 7-eleven store.

    After perusing through the information, it has become clear to me, that 7-Eleven is not for me. I was looking for building a business, but 7-Eleven is basically, buying yourself a job. Doesn’t mean that 7-Eleven is not suitable for anyone. Its suitable for some but not all.

    Thanks Guru for maintaining this website.

  29. Sunny Says:

    Hey everyone, I’m actually in the process of taking over my own store with my sister she is actually the Franchisee and I will be the manager and help out with daily operations and everything. I’m actually excited I know we have bought ourselves a job but running mom a pop shops isn’t for me. My dad has owned Stride Rite Franchisee to a Dollar Store that failed. I know for a fact that 7-11 will be in business for hundreds of years and I’m investing his money right. I’m young just turned 21 and can’t wait to take up the opportunity.

  30. sean Says:

    I would like to mention that a owner will make 7% of sales if the store is doing $1.2million, which in CA is the case then the owner can expect to make 7% currwntly I own a store in Southern CA and i too have been fed up with 7-eleven system. I have low sales so the split for now is 52 and 48 in my favor bit I know once sales pick up they take more. The meeting once a week is complete bull shit. thwy push the franchisee to get new products and they mention they r more experience I. this field, so forth. Anyway, overall an owner will make easily $60 to 70k on a 1.2 mil store

  31. George Edward Says:

    THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS! I can certainly understand the negative comments above however, 7-11 does offer many opportunities to many middle class families to own a business. I have ran businesses before and you have to be on the ball all the time and can not turn your back. However, contracts are subject to change is correct however, contract changes are usually due to negative performance. No money making, well run business will be changed, everyone has a stake rather it be the owner of the store or 7-11. Part of many failures in business is your eye off the ball. Too succeed in any business you must be your own champion and that may mean 80 hour weeks and sleepless nights. The bottom line, know what your signing, understand everyone wins if a mutual understanding relationship.

  32. sunny Says:

    this business is not for faint harted people,they r talking about 7-11 problem think about customer they are going to steal left and right in your store. you cant do aything. i myself is franchise beware of 7-11

  33. Jae Says:

    Hi everyone,
    If I wanted to make 78000 a year after taxes at seven eleven, the store would probably have to make around 1560000 right? How much would a seven eleven store that makes 1560000 sell its goodwill for?

    • Petre Says:

      Sorry to break your heart but if a store’s total sales are 1,560,000.00 your gross, that’s right gross would be approx. $70,000.00. In order to take home $78,000.00 after taxes your store beetr be at $2.5MM yearly sales. In the 7-11 world that is rare.

      • cstoreguru Says:

        Petre… that’s a bit pessimistic for most of the country. With a $1.56mm and a typical 35-36%gp a franchisee should have about $100K take home before taxes. I am aware that there are stores with significantly lower GP%, in which case you’re absolutely right.

  34. Anonymous Says:

    is that true that you can’t have another business if you own 7-11?

  35. Stacie Collins Says:

    Is health insurance available through the corporate 7-11 or are you considered a small business and are on your own with that? I’m also wondering if you have to “ask” for time off from corporate or is that left up to what you feel your franchise can handle payroll wise?

  36. Mahendra Amin Says:

    what is the distance requirement between the two stores of seven eleven and how are they measured?? From door to door or let me know?

    • Anonymous Says:

      they can open a 7-11 right accross your store if they want to! They have no guidlines or restraints in that matter!

      • Anonymous Says:

        You are absolutely right!In our case,they open left and right near our franchise location without following our agreed business plan regarding territory within the radial distance from Alta Tierra,Jaro,Iloilo City.7-Eleven do not care about the franchisee’s financials when they open nearby branches.

  37. Shawn Jensen Says:

    Can anyone tale me what they bring home a month on a average 711 store. I hoping at least 5,000.00

  38. Danny Boi Says:

    Hello everyone. I just got back home from the military. I was injured in operation Iraqi freedom so now I am eligible for a substantial government loan to start a small business. As I searched around for a small business investment, I found the “GI job” site in which it explains that 7-11 is one of the top 100 places to work/own for vets. I was wondering would I have an advantage in obtaining a highly sought after store or would I be competing with everyone else? the only reason I ask this is not because I feel more entitled than anyone else but my time is very limited and I have to try my best to provide for my family with a secure income as soon as possible. If i can obtain a good store and provide for my family that would be enough. I would like all your honest input and advice. I thank you in advance. – Danny

  39. Petre Says:

    It is not $5000 a month. I could tell you that. There are a few stores, and I mean a few that do that. You are better off working for the franchise at minimum wage. At the end of the year you will make the same and have less stress.

  40. Mike Says:

    I currently own a health supplement company. I own it 100% with its own brand name. My products are now distributed throughout the US, Europe and some of South America via large distributors here in the USA as well as Europe. I now have a staff in place who does 99% of the work. I find myself with a tremendous amount of time on my hands.

    I am considering starting a new company with a food product which I think would do well in convenient stores. I have done some test marketing with this idea with positive results. I want to start slow and grow the company in a slow but steady way the same as I did with my first company. I want to test the products in a couple conveniences stores, see how they do, possibly tweak them depending upon feedback, sales etc. Then expand the business slowly store by store myself and then finally turning it over to a distributor to service the stores.

    I do not want to do through corporate and do not want to suddenly need to supply hundreds or thousands of stores. To me slow and steady is the way to grow a company. How would I find a list of franchise stores? In your opinion does this seem like a well thought out plan?

    Thank you for your time.

    • cstoreguru Says:

      Hi Mike,

      Yea, that’s a perfectly good plan … it’s one I’ve seen from many local vendors. I don’t think you’d be able to find a list of franchised stores without some help. I would try approaching a few local managers/franchisees and asking for their assistance. Offer to buy them lunch or something, and I’m sure they’ll be happy to help 🙂

      Best of luck to you!

  41. Anonymous Says:

    I was thinking of taking a franchise, however doing my own assessment and reading these posts, I now beliee that it is not worth. I agree that you will be working for 7-11 as too much restrictions and they will control you. They make you feel that they are doing an obligation despite you are investing money.

  42. Michelle Crowe Says:

    Thanks so much for this detailed post!

  43. Ade Says:

    I am planning on Buying a 7 Eleven in NC. The store is being remodeled and is closed. This location use to do 1.8 mil in Gas and inside for past 12 months was 1.56mil. It was corporate store and i am planning on leasing it. The amount they are asking is about 298k which pretty much is a franchising fee of 28k per year for next ten years and out of with 28k stay in your opening acc. and 20k deposit for inventory. I did some number crunching and i want your all advice. The avg. gp for last 12 months was 28% and i get penny and half for every gallon sold. No rent, No electric, All outside maintance is taken care by them. Also the location is real prime location. If i does the same business and i work 6 to 10 everyday 7 days a week to cut my payroll i estimated i can take home easily over 100k and thats keep only 1 employee for night shift. So can someone guide me if my 100k calculation is correct.
    Thank you.

    • cstoreguru Says:

      Your calculation is not quite right, but you could potentially make a lot of money from the store. I’m very concerned by a 28% GP, that is very low, but at the same time it may be a HUGE opportunity for you if the store was not run well (which I’m guessing it wasn’t).

      • Ade Says:

        I actually opted to go with different corporate store instead. This location does little over 4k daily and sells About 700k in gas and gp is averaging between 31 to 34 and I paid only 110k which I thought was a steal. Looking to make around 8k net. High foot traffic with 42% Hispanic and 45% black and remaining Asian population on way to downtown. Any thoughts would help thanks

      • cstoreguru Says:

        That does sound like a good deal. The only thoughts are to make sure you customize your product mix to your customers instead of just going straight by the 7-eleven book. If you’re not sure what kind of ethnic products to bring in, you should try to visit as many busy-looking stores as you can and see what they are selling. Then find the vendor that’s providing it if it’s not in the system. I had a franchisee that made a fortune by brewing cinnamon tea in addition to coffee. Good luck!

      • Ade Says:

        Thanks for your advice. I keep that in mind you think netting 8k to 10k be good figure with its current state?

      • cstoreguru Says:

        It sounds like it should be very doable.

  44. Paul Says:

    Hi everyone. CStoreguru.. awesome site. I think you are the only website which has so much info for a potential franchisee on the internet. I have signed the franchise agreement with 7 eleven. I am located in norfolk, Virginia. Franchise fee 200K. I am in training right now and expect to start on Nov 1.

    Details of store: Inside sales 1.1 million. GP 31%. Gas is penny and a half and this store sells 6 million gallons(yes 6 Million). I am looking to make about 140K yearly. This is based on 5% of sales + $ 0.015 per gas gallon.

    What do you think cstoreguru?

    • cstoreguru Says:

      You have to remember that the 5% rule of thumb assumes an average gp of 35%+. Your profitability will also depend on how many employees you need to handle the 6mm gallon volume. In general I think your estimate might be a bit high, and you will be closer to $115K’ish. If you could get the margin up to a more desirable number without sacrificing sales, then $140K+ will be easy. Good luck!

  45. Ade Says:

    Hey Buddy… I just walked away from this last location i asked you about but instead i was able to put my hands on a 7 eleven truck stop. Does about 2.5 mil in gas and 1.4 mil inside @ 39.5% gp. Any thoughts ? let me know thanks

  46. Ade Says:

    Also it is heavy industrial area… not much residential. But the traffic count is approx 62k cars a day on this road. Sell lot of food. Vault is up about 15% then last year (non-alcoholic bev) premium beer are down about 3% from last year…. but lot of truckers. Any thoughts about increasing sales and keeping same gp… please let me know your thoughts… thx

    • cstoreguru Says:

      Talk to the customers, see what they need/want and play with your product mix. Hire a cute girl to work the coffee bar, keeping coffee fresh, and watch your coffee sales grow. Good luck!

  47. qamar Says:

    hi im looking into buying a 7-11 in CT. It will be the first major purchase me and my family are going to do. My brother, sister and myself are all going to chip into the business and work as a family but I have many questions regarding the purchasing of a store. Cstoreguru would you be able to answer some questions I have?

  48. Apolo Kaggwa Says:

    Look I am in Healthcare, but would like to be A 711 investor a soon as I can. What I have done is to work as a regular employee to learn about this business from the ground. Here is what I would do to increase sales. I would provide a clean bathroom to my customers on a walk-in basis no questions asked. Instead of spending over $3,000 on trash removal, why not truck it away on my pick-up truck?I would take over the over-night shift and work as many nights as possible. All you do at night is clean the store most days. It is the slowest of the three shifts. The other thing most customers love are the promotions: 2 for 2 and 3 for 3, especially on drinks. What do you think about my plan?

    • cstoreguru Says:

      I think that’s certainly one way to do it if your goal is to make as much money from one store as you can and you don’t care about sleep. Most of the time you’ll be better off with employees, but it’s certainly a balance to minimize wasteful spending. I’m not sure why you think that franchisees spend $3,000 on trash removal, you may want to do some more research. Good luck!

      • Apolo Kaggwa Says:

        Thank you very much for that advice. The $3,000 came from one of your owner-correspondents whose actual figures for a particular year amounted to that much in trash removal. That is exorbitant in my opinion. The bathroom is so vital to the operation because every customer who uses it buys something on the spot. I think it works wonders on traffic. I am also dismayed at how much is spent on payroll. That is a big chunk out sales! I believe that the key to an above average return at a 711 is to minimize all expenses and increase sales. Could you suggest other concrete steps to achieve the same goal.

      • cstoreguru Says:

        I don’t know where that guy was getting $3K for garbage removal … that number is nuts, hopefully he meant $300/year.

        Your thought process is totally valid but it hinges on cutting costs to make profits, which you can only do up to a point since there are so many hours in a day. The alternative mindset is to increase sales or increase gp% to increase profits.

        The approach you have is best in low sales volume store, where you barely have enough sales to live off of so your only option is to cut costs and work more. Ideally you would not want to buy a store like that because you would be buying into indentured servitude vs your own business.

        Specific examples of the other way depend on the particular store, talking to customers, figuring out what products they want and bringing them in. Sometimes it’s as easy as cleaning up the store to make it more inviting for customers. Promotions are great, but it’s important to know which promotions are increasing sales and future profitability, and which are just costing you money. Customers may love a buy 1 get 1 free cigarette pack promotion, but most stores lose a lot of money with it. Another specific example is to figure out a way to grow your coffee business, and other high gross profit categories that really make you money. If you can sell an extra $200/day in coffee, you can afford to have a dedicated barrista for 5 hours/day and still come out way ahead.

        The answer is not always to spend more money, but it certainly isn’t always to spend less – if that makes sense.

        Good luck!

  49. Apolo Kaggwa Says:

    Thank you very much. Here is a burning question. How can I avoid losing money on cigarettes? At one of the stores where I have worked they never counted them at the end of each shift like every 711 does. Then one day they told us that they had lost a lot of money on cigarettes. The over-night guy was the suspect, but he had already quit his job. How can I avoid this? I have an idea about increasing cigarette sales. I would make sure I never run out of Marlboro Light and Newport because they are the best selling cigarettes at 711. What do you think?

    • cstoreguru Says:

      It really depends on your staff. If your staff is experienced and trusted, you may only need occasional cigarette counts. Alternatively with a new staff or if you want to be extra carefull, you can do a cigarette count with every shift change. As far as sales, you want to keep top sellers in stock and talk to your customers to find out if you’re missing any brands they want.

  50. Apolo Kaggwa Says:

    Great. This issue of asking customers about what they want really works. I have taken requests from them myself for merchandise they want to see in the store and they responded well, becoming regular customers. Now I understand 85% of the stock must come from the company vendors, how can 711 tell that you have exceeded the 15% allowed from outside vendors?

  51. Holly Says:

    1. Can use use a full loan to buy a 7-Elleven or does it have to be your own money?

    2. Can two people be franchisees of 7-Eleven if one is under 21? If not when the person turns 21 can they go on as franchisee?

    • cstoreguru Says:

      Holly, #1 No you can not, you will need to have cash. 7-11 will finance the store inventory only. #2 I don’t believe you can be joint-franchisees, one of you will need to be the official franchisee. Privately, you can have whatever contract you want. If a person is under 21 I don’t believe they can be a franchisee if the store sells alcohol.

  52. Raj Says:


    • cstoreguru Says:

      Raj, If you have friends who own multiple stores, you should be talking to them about it and see what they say. Some folks aren’t happy with 7-11 while others are very happy, it just depends.

      If you have no experience in a business, you should first learn everything about the business before spending your life savings on it. Good luck!

  53. Manoj Says:

    Raj – I am in similar situation as you. Can you share what you found out from your friends about 7-11s. How many hours do they work per day to manage multiple stores.
    cstoreguru – I am also in bay area looking to own some kind of business. currently working in a software company. what kind of businesses would you recommend to explore. i’d like to start small by investing about 300k first and then expand later by investing more capital.

    • cstoreguru Says:

      Manoj, There isn’t much that you can buy in the bay area for $300K these days other than a small mom and pop retail business. Maybe a Pizzaria or something similar?

      • Raj Says:

        What if you had up to a million to invest, what businesses would you look at then (if the objective is good ROI long term and good growth potential)?

      • cstoreguru Says:

        Choosing the right business to buy or invest in is a very personal decision because it depends on your own knowledge, experience, and abilities. Most people who start business in fields they are unfamiliar with will fail within the first 6 months. The flip side of that is if you have the ability and you do the work/research necessary, you can succeed in any business.

        I’m not trying to be vague, but if I tell you to buy a gas station, and you know nothing about gas stations and don’t have the ability to run one, you will regret the purchase.

        If you want to know what I would be buying, I would have been buying gas stations over the past 3 months as oil prices fall. Gas stations profit extra when oil prices fluctuate. I would also be buying convenience stores since that is my experience, so convenience stores with gas is the natural business for me.

        If your experience is making/selling widgets and that’s what you know and are good at, then I would strongly advise you to consider a widget business.

        Stay away from restaurants and small grocery stores unless you’re an expert in the business.

        Hope that helps!

      • Manoj Says:

        cstoreguru – for the purpose of looking into gas station + cstore, would you be worried about the impact of more electric cars coming to market in near future (ford announced an SUV for $30k with 200 miles range for 2017 and tesla plans something similar).

      • cstoreguru Says:

        Next 5 years I don’t expect to see any difference at all. 5-10 years possibly a slight impact to gas sales – possibly. 15+ years it’s a concern, but we’ll be able to gauge it better in 5-10.

    • Ade Says:

      Manoj I am in process of buying 7-11 I have completed my training etc and I changeover on feb 3rd and would like to say from what I have seen so far you have to put minimum 10-12 hours initially for at least first six months then you will know more about business and your employees. Just like any other business you have to work hard to get it on right direction.

  54. Raj Says:

    Is there a way to find out the name of the owner of a specific 7-11 store (online or otherwise)?

  55. Ami Says:

    cstoreguru- thank you so much for all the candid info. I am in the Bay Area too and saw some listings for 7-11 and started doing online research, only to run into your site. A gold mine of info!! Thanks again. Raj/Manoj- pls keep us posted with your findings

  56. Anonymous Says:

    If i am taking out $40,000 yearly as the manager of my own store. 50k to 70k profit on top of that is like return on capital is approx. 3 years. does it make sense?

  57. Anthony Says:

    Hi Everyone,

    I worked at a 7/11 over 25 years ago, as a part-timer. Working as a full time job and a part-time. It can take it’s tolls on a person. But now things are changing as you get older. Experiencing some life changes in my career. Always thought about owning a franchise. 7/11 came to play, reason being because the employer that I worked under is still in business, yeah I was thinking about Purchasing the franchise from him. I did notice the place looks a little worn down, I’m quite surprised a franchise that 7-Eleven has not did all the updates to improve the profit margin for both ends of the party. I am in the early stages.

  58. Henry Cerda Says:

    This info was very insightful; I would think that a mom n’ pop, grocery store would be much better.

  59. Jen Says:

    Thank you for this blog. I have a question, when you say 7-11 takes 52% (give or take) of your gross profit, is that before you after you pay employee salaries? I am seriously considering opening a 7-11. I found a great location in an up and coming area and I KNOW it will be a million dollar + store. Even if they take 60% is still be making 400K a year, which is significantly more than I would make doing anything else.

    • cstoreguru Says:

      That is before any expenses. So on a $1mm store, you’ll have $480K and then you start subtracting your expenses like payroll and other. You will not be earning $400K on a $1mm store, but closer to $50K.

  60. Raj Says:

    Hi Cstoreguru,

    This extremely insightful site, myself and 2 friends are planning to buy 711 franchise in dallas area. Will it be good to invest in goodwill franchise or the brand new franchise where we are not aware of any gp or sales numbers. Thank a lot.


  61. Yousaf M Raja Says:

    who pays the pay roll. profit 48% is after pay roll.

  62. Saleh Ahmed rajal Says:

    I’m interested to open a new store so how much the cost if I open in Michigan warren city. Let me know please.

  63. Janey Says:

    Very interesting website, glad to see that there is real discussion on buying a 7-Eleven and the reality of owning a store, its pit falls and it positives. I worked as a FC for 30 years and it has changed dramatically. If I were to suggest the gross profit is extremely important. This suggest great coffee/slurpee/fountain sales, the margins there are 67-72 percent, easy money. You can have a super sales stores with 40-50% of the sales coming from cig’s, with gross of 9-11 percent. Always look for high food service percent of sales and cup movement. Both of these categories are easily located. The franchisee even has access to a great new system in his computer to keep track of his numbers mtd and ytd if you are looking for a store that is goodwill.

  64. A reader Says:

    What is meant by the term “Goodwill Store”?

    • cstoreguru Says:

      A store that is franchise owned where you have to pay the existing franchisee a “goodwill” fee, on top of paying corporate their corporate fee.

  65. rita Says:

    Cguru, You are phenomenal, every bit of your calculation is dead on, i have a quick question for you if a store is make 1.2million in sales and 1.5 million in sales how much can i expect to make if i work 60 hours a week.

    any help will be greatly appreciated

    • cstoreguru Says:

      Thank you! It really depends on what you’re doing with your time. If you are doing tasks that you can hire a worker to do (re-stocking, cleaning, register), your time is worth whatever you would pay them in your area – probably minimum wage. So working 80 hours a week is in essence the same as getting a 2nd full-time job that pays minimum wage. You can probably do better.

  66. Canadas Says:

    Hello how can I open a 711 franchise in Canada?

  67. beware1 Says:

    You must know the most important part:

    What happens when you want to sell your franchise? 7-11 is the worst in the industry.

    If you buy the store today with $250K, and decide to sell your store after 5 years. You have built up your business 30% and want to sell after being burned out with 16 hours/day.

    after 5 years:

    your franchise fees will be approximately – $325K ( to transfer to the new buyer) that goes to 7-11.
    so if you sell in $300K, you are going to add and pay 25k to 7-11 to get the franchise transferred.
    At end of 5 years, you lost $25,000.

    I am a franchisee, and wiesh someone had told me!

    One of the franchisees got a stroke, and lost $300k he had spent to purchase the franchise 5 month ago.

    • cstoreguru Says:

      You’re confusing Goodwill and franchise fee.

      The main situation where your goodwill would be nothing is if you’re competing to sell your stores with lots of corporate stores that don’t charge goodwill. In that situation, you are absolutely right, you would lose a lot of money if you bought a store and had to sell shortly after.

  68. jane Says:

    I am thinking of buying 7-11 in bay area. Please let me know goodwill is charged on what basis? Is it according to the % on sales or the franchisee can ask whatever they like.

    • cstoreguru Says:

      Franchisee can ask for absolutely anything they like for Goodwill. Franchise fee from corporate is either based on sales or profits – not sure what they’re doing now.

    • rajiv shah Says:

      I am a franchisee for 7-11. I converted my store from another brand to 7-11.
      1. When you want to sell, they want the same price again. e.g. you are paying $500,000 now and decide to sell in another 4 years, you have worked hard and increase your sales 20%. Great, when you want to sell the franchise fee will be approximately 600,000 again. SO if you find a buyer paying 600,000 you do not make a cent.
      Please plan that you are not going to be sick or get tired.

      2. 7-11 does provide you good brand, but running 24 hours will wear you out. Be careful. Before you realize, you have lost energy.

      3. Great to buy a high volume store. 7-11 is selling low volume stores with no franchise fee. These stores are simply a liability. There is not enough room for “turn-around” experts.

      4. You are dealing with a company worse than the Federal government. every accounting error found was in 7-11 favor.

      • Anonymous Says:

        Ravij, you have really opened my eyes. Running one for them, for that is what it is despite being called the owner, is something I had thought about a couple of years ago. I even took a minimum wage job there to learn more about the company. Now, I am not so sure.

        You would not believe what I found out. We had an overnight employee, who would arrive late almost every night and mishandle as many cigarettes as he could without being apprehended. Their money handling was the worst I have ever seen in any retail store i have ever been employed.

        I simply could not see how the franchisee could make any money at all, without securing the cash register. No wonder, it was a brand new store, managed by a guy who’d never done it before, working for the franchisee’s first and only store, who had little or no experience.

  69. Deborah Rogers Says:

    I wish I would have looked into this more beforehand. 7-Eleven has taken our store back because our store manager stole lots of money from us and NOW they say we owe them for the entire amount of the franchise loan.

  70. ScotlandtheBrave Says:

    Looking to purchase a new store in long island , estimated sales of just over $3million, i will be a partner in this store , with me being the manager , so i can earn enough to cover my expenses in life. i have a plan of purchasing my own store within 18 months hoping all goes well, then a 3rd store within another 18-24 months. main goal will be to achieve maximum profit, with great customer service etc.. and obviously to grow into multiple stores, aiming for a target of taking home over $250,000 a year, and that is not being manger but managing 3 stores eventually. how does that sound?

    • cstoreguru Says:

      It sounds good, as long as you have the money to buy your own store in 18 months, otherwise you will likely be managing the store for some number of years while you save.

      • ScotlandtheBrave Says:

        yes i have the funds for two stores, but will start off with one, by the 3rd store i should just be managing the 3 stores simultaneously , by having a manager running each store.

  71. Danny Says:

    Hi everyone, 7-eleven approached me to buy my former Shell gas station in Vallejo-Ca. I rejected 7-eleven offer. However, I would like to lease the property to whom is in interested in owning he(she) convenient store. It was built as convenient store with walk-in cooler for beverage. If anybody interested, please email me dnim@yahoo.com. Thanks.

  72. New Buyer Says:

    This is old but awesome article and comments with great information. I am looking to buy franchise with sales is over $1M. Can you please give me a breakdown on how much money I need and for what?

    Appreciate your help.

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