Own your own business and make
a difference in your community
Meet The Lunch Lady
The Lunch Lady is all about feeding our communities. At the core of our business, we prepare and deliver nutritious and delicious meals to children at their schools. In addition, we also serve childcare centres, camps, families, seniors, and community outreach programs. Our franchise has grown across Canada, supported by an amazing network of franchise partners, who deliver our programs in over 150 local communities. Our success has been built on the dedication of our teams and a well-defined business model with a proven track record.
What Makes Our Franchise Different?
A flexible work schedule
Affordable franchise opportunity
Provide wholesome food in your community
Create rewarding employment opportunities
Franchisee feedback is a key ingredient in our growth and success
100% Canadian owned and operated for over 25 years
Opportunities to engage with other franchisees and even have some fun
Is The Lunch Lady Right For You?
Do you want to make a difference in your community?
Do you believe everyone should have access to affordable wholesome meals?
Are you prepared for a full-time commitment, but with the flexibility to work around your family schedule?
Do you want to be in business for yourself, but not by yourself?
Are you looking to be part of an experienced and trusted brand?
The Key Ingredients
You're a team player who likes working with people and is comfortable in a leadership role
You like to build relationships with members of the community
You recognize that customer satisfaction is the key to your success
You appreciate having a proven system to follow
You enjoy collaborating with others to develop best practices
Hear From Our Franchise Partners
We award the right individual the opportunity to enjoy a flexible lifestyle and a meaningful career. There is an initial franchise fee of $39.5k, and start up costs will depend on the location selected. We are happy to walk through possible scenarios with you. Best of all, no kitchen experience is needed, but is definitely helpful! We will work with you to help build your Lunch Lady kitchen including operational and network training, marketing, business planning and support by a strong and involved Head Office team.
Each kitchen is an independently owned business. A Lunch Lady kitchen is:
Located in your community and services a cluster of schools and alternative programs
Run by a dedicated owner and staff who want to deliver the best service
Required to meet the standards set by the Lunch Lady Group
A guaranteed nut-free, inspected facility
Our franchise partners prepare meals in inspected, commercial kitchens. In some cases, a Lunch Lady takes over an existing kitchen space while in others, a kitchen is built-out. The properties are leased and typically a minimum of 140 sq. meters or 1,500 sq. ft. Unlike other franchises, The Lunch Lady does not require a franchise partner buy equipment nor furnishings from specific vendors.
Lunch Lady kitchens are located within a reasonable radius of the locations they serve. Our team will offer guidance in the sourcing and selection of a kitchen property and help with the set-up to maximize the workflow efficiency. There is no such thing as a “one size fits all” Lunch Lady kitchen!
Our Experience In Your Corner
The Lunch Lady was founded by Ruthie Burd, a mother of three in 1993. With no cafeteria service available in most Canadian elementary schools, she recognized an opportunity in the market to help busy parents by providing them with a convenient alternative to packing school lunches.
She also believed that schools can influence eating habits, and that school food matters. Supporting healthier food environments is still our mission.
We want to make wholesome and affordable food available for everyone. We have a dedicated head office team and a charitable foundation to help us achieve this.
Our in-house Food Support Team includes a certified Nutrition Manager and 2 Red Seal Chefs, who provide production and operational support, to ensure our food is good for you and tastes good too.
Sales and marketing support is provided by an experienced team.
With our turn-key proprietary system, we provide easy online access for our customers and a full suite of management and production capabilities for our franchise partners.
As we grow, we continue to innovate and introduce new ways to serve our communities and meet the expectations of our customers.
There is no one else in the market quite like the Lunch Lady.
We’d love to have you join our family!
The Lunch Lady Franchise Awards and Honours
We are proud of our success and achievements over the past 25 years, contributing to the communities we serve. We keep current with the changes that impact our business and we continuously strive to make improvements to our system and evolve and innovate, when necessary.
We could have not achieved our awards and honours without the strong efforts of our franchise partners! Below are some of our partners and achievements.
Our Franchise Process
Since 2001 we have been making it easy to join our family of Lunch Lady franchise partners. Our corporate support team will guide you through the process from initial interest to “open for business”. We continue to provide consulting and guidance on a regular basis. That’s what families do, right?
Application / Approval
Complete franchise application for approval
Confirm seat in Lunch Lady School and start sourcing a location
Kitchen Build & Opening
Sign your lease, convert the space to meet your needs, hire & train the staff you will need
It's time to let everyone know you are ready for business. Introduce yourself to the schools and daycares in your community
*includes franchise fee
How much is the franchisee fee?The Lunch Lady Franchise Fee is currently $39,500 CDN + applicable taxes.
What does the Franchise Fee cover?The Franchise Fee includes an extensive and intensive two-week training program, start-up support, assistance with lease/site selection and kitchen set-up, network training as well as use of the Lunch Lady name and all associated branding and operating systems.
Does The Lunch Lady offer financing?We do not have a corporate financing program available. However, the Lunch Lady Group supports Industry Canada’s Small Business Financing Program.
Are there any royalties or recurring fees?Royalty Fees are 8% of Total Gross Sales for on-going support. There is also an Ad Fund of 1% of Total Gross Sales used for branding and promotional activity.
Are there other start up expenses?Franchisees are responsible for all expenses related to outfitting a functional, commercial kitchen and start-up cash flow. As it can take time to build a customer base and get enough schools on board during the first year, we recommend that you have a cash flow of at least $50K readily available to market and grow your business.
Do you need food service experience to succeed?While experience in the hospitality industry is helpful, it is not essential. Creating a successful Franchise depends on effort, good organization, effective management and attention to Customer Service.
Can you operate this business from your home?Food delivered to schools must be prepared in an inspected commercial kitchen facility. However, franchise owners may choose to stay home to do administrative tasks so long as there is a kitchen manager handling the food production daily.
How many schools does each Franchise service?A viable franchise will have access to an Elementary School population of approximately 10,000 students. Since school size varies from region to region, there is no set number of schools. A new Franchisee begins typically with one or two schools and builds the business gradually.
What is the term of the Franchise Agreement?The initial term is 10 years, with the option to renew for an additional 5-year term.
Is this business for you?This business is ideal for someone who enjoys working with kids, parents and the Community. It is well suited for someone who would like a more flexible lifestyle.
What else is required to get started?We require an initial franchise fee of $39.5K, with an estimated start-up cost of $200K to set up a commercial kitchen for Lunch Lady operations. A Lunch Lady Franchise owner must be outgoing, fun, and carry management and business experience.