Cost to own a bubble tea shop in Taiwan?

I was wondering if anyone knows roughly what it would cost to open a bubble tea store/stand in Taiwan. I know that market is super saturated and that location will greatly impact the cost but still any info would be appreciated. Specific numbers from personal expensive or even ballpark figures is fine as we are just trying to determine if this is even feasible for us to pursue.
The plan is to go with a franchise since that’s what most are recommending. But if anyone has a different perspective I’d love to hear it. Thanks!

Actually no idea at all. But, curious about the range of $$ required to become a franchisee.

If you’re renting the spot from family then it’s usually a pretty good deal. If you’re paying for a commercial lease then expect to sell a kidney, lung, and maybe a few limbs in order to cover the rent. This is why food trucks are starting to become quite popular in Taiwan. Although that can also come with problems like local gangsters targeting you and either wrecking your shit or shutting you down by acting like knobs and harassing customers. If you aren’t in the right zone for selling food products calling the police usually means you end up getting a fine.

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Yea location is everything. Spots anywhere near the MRT is going to command such a premium that anything you earn goes to the landlord. If your family happens to own the spot then you’ll make a ton of money.

Or you could always be that guy who has a movable stall that is ready to go when the police shows up.

I don’t understand this fixation with food business. Too location dependent to make much of anything, and anyone making money basically owns the property.

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There are some ‘cloud kitchens’ in Taiwan. If you use uber eats you’ll see stores that show up in the app but don’t have a storefront. So you could test out your bubble tea idea in those rentals cloud kitchens and see if it works. They’re generally located in cheaper neighborhoods.

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Never thought of that. Thanks for the idea.

If not a food business what sort of business would you consider?

Definitely didn’t not even remotely consider problems from local gangsters. Thanks!

What do these gangsters usually request for “protection?”

You can fill out the form, and they can tell you costs

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A few years ago the franchise fee of a major tea chain 9not the one in the link) was about NZ$25,000 (just franchise fee), not sure it’s lower or higher now. There does seem too too many shops as well more people drinking coffee (lots of coffee cafes last few years) so it’s high risk. Best way is start a shop/brand and franchise it. (ie you get the fees no matter how the business is).

Manufacturing, but making your own products. Even OEM makes decent money if you can have ongoing clients. Location is not a factor at all, can do this in the boonies. But if you have your own brands, you make even more.

About 5 or 6 years ago, I met a fellow who used to sell Korean BBQ Burritos at Raohe Night Market. I forget exactly what it was he sold, I remember it was a clever Asian fusion handheld food. Cool guy who grew up in LA. He told me he got lucky and rented a card table sized stall just steps from an MRT station exit. Business was brisk, until 6 months later when he was informed that the Market Association had “decided” it was time for him to sell his business. He explained this was a euphemism for the Mob choosing it was time to take over this location. He claimed that this business association decided who rented what, for how much, and for how long at the nightmarket, and it was understood to be controlled by organized crime. And when he was told it was time to sell his business, he was happy to do so and avoid trouble. I met him a few weeks after then and he was still trying to decide what his next move might be.

So, depending on the type of location you do choose, make sure you ask around about similar infrastructure. Challenges like this should be easy to identify with some neighbourhood research.

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Did they offer him a good deal for his business?


I do not think he said so - his point in our conversation was that he was happy to get out of that situation without any harm done to him. I wanted to follow up with him after meeting him at the event where we met, but our common friend who introduced us didn’t have the nightmarket seller’s contact when I asked for it later on. My main takeaway was that the gangsters in nightmarket are quite sophisticated, and he regarded the “protection” as simply a business expense - I recall him saying the “association dues” was how they were described. I wonder if those are invoiced/fapiaoed - I should have asked.

Taiwan: Supply the retail outlets.

Retail: Try Vietnam.