June 14, 2024

How Much Does a Melbourne Franchise Fitout Cost in 2024?

Launching a franchise is an exciting venture, but ensuring your location stands out while maintaining brand consistency is crucial. A successful franchise fitout is more than just following a template; it's about creating an inviting and functional space that reflects your brand’s identity and meets customer expectations.

In today’s competitive market, a well-executed fitout can be the difference between a franchise that thrives and one that struggles. From the layout and design to the fixtures and finishes, every detail matters. Your franchise fitout needs to be efficient for your team and captivating for your customers, encouraging them to return and share their positive experiences.

If you’re in the process of setting up a new franchise location or looking to refresh an existing one, this guide is for you. We’ll delve into the essential costs of a franchise fitout, highlight common challenges, and provide tips to ensure your fitout process is smooth and successful. Get ready to create a franchise space that looks fresh and feels exciting, all while maintaining that sense of familiarity your customers love.

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Franchise Fitout Cost Per Square Meter

So how much do franchise fitouts cost on average? 

Between $1500 - 3000 per sqm

Of course, when laying out a range like this there are a variety of factors that could put a fitout on the higher or lower ends of this range. Every franchise has a unique set of design requirements so no one fitout is the same as another. 

In saying this, some basic features differentiate franchise fitouts from other industries.

Franchise fitouts are usually more complex than standard commercial fitouts. At the basic level, more joinery is usually required. Lighting is also crucial in creating a welcoming customer experience. Additional time may be put into designing custom light fixtures and layouts which help business owners visually merchandise their products effectively. If the franchise is a restaurant, custom furniture may be required. 

Franchise fitouts live and die by their branding. Elements of the fitout need to be instantly recognisable to passers-by, so additional budget may be directed towards eye-catching facades and signage. The interior should also look and feel exactly like every other franchise, additional spend may be put towards securing premium materials and fixtures.

Lastly, franchises need to be highly functional for workers and equally warm and welcoming to guests; all while doing this in a limited space. An exceptional fitout expert understands this and will balance all of these requirements within a reasonable budget.

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Franchise-Specific Fitout Costs

Below are some of the more specific costs associated with franchise fitouts. 

  • Lighting: Having well-lit feature stations can elevate your product, making it more attractive to consumers. We find that retail owners will opt for custom lighting solutions to differentiate their stores from competitor locations.
  • Joinery, Finishes, & Cabinetry: Includes built-in seating (where applicable), custom loose furniture, countertops, reception or check-out stations, floor substrates and the materials or upholstery involved. Costs are project-dependent, but for a reference point, a low-end 8-seater banquette seating arrangement could cost around $15,000.
  • Exterior Facade Changes: At the higher end of the spectrum, external facade works can cost up to $30K (depending on the complexity of the changes) and might even need authority approvals.
  • Furniture: Is it custom? Is it off the shelf? Are the materials expensive? In most cases, the more elaborate or custom your furniture is, the more it will cost.
  • Toilets: Assurance that you have the correct number of standard, DDA, and ambulant-compliant toilets installed. Cost is dependent on the number of toilets required.
  • Sinks: Hand basin sinks are usually a required installation to pass health department checks. Mop sink installation (if desired) starts around $1000.

Be mindful that from food to retail, beauty and gyms, franchises vary across industries. You may spend more in one area and significantly less in another. Complex projects may take on additional costs, yet we find these to be more of a rarity than the norm. 

Treat these price ranges as a guide to help you discover what you want to achieve with your franchise fitout.

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Common Franchise Fitout Issues (and How to Avoid Them)

Now you know what to be on the lookout for, but what about those things a builder might not tell you about? Let’s explore them below.

Material Lead Time

Lead time for certain materials can vary. While materials can be sourced locally, some items may need to be imported. At Canopy Fitouts we take a comprehensive approach to quoting and building your fitout. We forecast lead times wherever possible, and will suggest alternatives if you desire a speedier completion. 

Regulatory Bodies

With any construction project, approval from regulatory bodies will be required. Rather than taking on council fees, permit plans, and the potential red tape involved, our team will assist you and ensure the process is seamless. Don’t let neglected paperwork hold up your fitout.


Asbestos is the most hidden issue on this list. While it may not be an issue for your fitout, we’ll never really know until we get started on the project. At Canopy, we’ll do all early leg work to catch signs of potential asbestos and will help you get a professional to decontaminate the premises quickly.

Hidden Costs

We recommend allocating at least 30% of your budget to cover hidden services like the ones above. We will be as upfront as possible in the early stages of your build to help you avoid these costs later on.

Speak With a Franchise Fitout Expert

At Canopy Fitouts we believe in transparency at every stage of the fitout process, which is why we have no qualms with sharing the latest data we have about franchise and retail fitouts. Of course, franchises come in all shapes, sizes, and personalities so it’s best to speak to an expert first for further clarification on what costs will pertain to your business. If you have any specific questions or are ready to get started on your fitout, speak with our knowledgeable team today.