When you think about franchise restaurants, you might not picture menus that are especially healthy. But there’s more to the franchise restaurant game than McDonald’s.
Healthy Food Franchises to Consider
With strong nationwide brand recognition and a reputation for using only fresh, natural ingredients, Panera Bread  is one of the top franchise options for healthy food. To get started, you need experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator and a net worth of at least $7.5 million.
FRESH Healthy Cafe
FRESH Healthy Cafe is a global brand that fits into the fast casual sector. The company is open to everything from multi-unit developments to co-branded franchises. So costs can vary based on your preferences.
Another fast casual restaurant franchise, UFood Grill specializes in fresh, grilled, low-calorie options. The initial franchise fee is $35,000. And the company provides assistance with site selection, training and more.
Noodles and Company
With a menu that includes a large variety of noodle-based dishes, Noodles and Company  also includes fresh veggies and other healthy ingredients in many of its menu items. The company is mainly looking for franchisees interested in opening multi-unit developments. And you need a net worth of at least $3 million to get started.
Extreme Pita  pairs traditional pita bread with a number of fresh, healthy ingredients. The initial cost can vary based on a number of factors. But you’ll need a net worth of at least $200,000 and a clear credit history to get started.
Specializing in customizable salads made with fresh ingredients, Saladworks  is part of the growing fast casual restaurant market. You need a net worth of at least $1.5 million to get started.
Smoothies offer a unique opportunity to offer menu items with lots of fresh fruits and other healthy ingredients. And Maui Wowi  specializes in smoothies and coffee. A mobile franchise style, Maui Wowi is fairly affordable compared to other opportunities, with a liquid capital requirement of $75,000.
Smoothie King  is another smoothie and juice bar franchise that offers a variety of healthy ingredients for customers. The initial franchise fee ranges from $20,000 to $30,000. And other costs can vary depending on location, size and other factors.
A Mexican restaurant franchise that specializes in using only fresh ingredients, Del Taco  has been building up its nationwide brand recognition for over 50 years. The initial franchise fee is $35,000. And you’ll need a net worth of at least $1 million to get started.
Au Bon Pain
Operating cafes mainly in the Northeast part of the U.S. Au Bon Pain  is open to new franchises in select locations like office buildings, shopping malls and more. Costs can vary based on a number of factors. But you’ll need a minimum net worth of at least $5 million to get started.
Corner Bakery Cafe
Corner Bakery Cafe  is a neighborhood cafe restaurant chain that has a menu featuring items like soups, salads and sandwiches made with fresh ingredients. There are several territories currently available. And you’ll need a net worth of at least $3 million to get started.
Qdoba is a well-known Mexican food chain. But many of the menu items feature fresh and low-fat ingredients. Plus, customers can customize their own dishes to their specific tastes. The company is currently looking for franchisees that have the financial capacity to develop multiple units.
With more than 1,000 locations, Firehouse Subs  is a sandwich shop that uses healthy ingredients and is also dedicated to helping the communities they serve. You need a minimum of $80,000 to invest.
Teriyaki Grill is a restaurant chain that specializes in Asian inspired dishes made with fresh, healthy ingredients. The initial franchise fee is $25,000, which includes training.
A smoothie and juice bar, Smoothie Factory offers a variety of healthy beverage options. You need to have a net worth of at least $200,000 to get started.
Taco Del Mar
Specializing in tacos and similar items made with fresh ingredients, Taco Del Mar offers another franchise option for health minded entrepreneurs. The company provides training, field support, product development assistance and more to franchisees. And the initial franchise fee is $15,000.
Pita Pit’s  menu items are made with fresh baked pita bread, lean grilled meats and fresh toppings. The company currently has many openings in markets around the U.S. Costs can vary based on location and other factors.
Atlanta Bread  is a chain of bakery cafes that offer quality, healthy food items. The company provides assistance with real estate, design, marketing, ongoing support and more.
Rush Bowls  is a Colorado-based franchise concept that specializes in acai bowls and other menu items made with fresh fruit, granola and other healthy ingredients. Launched in 2004, the company has already developed a strong brand recognition in select markets. You can request more information on the company’s website.
NrGize Lifestyle Cafe
Specializing in healthy smoothies and meal replacement shakes, NrGize Lifestyle Cafe  offers a variety of different franchise opportunities ranging in cost from $7,500 to $30,000 for the initial franchise fee.
Healthy Food  Photo via Shutterstock