In 2004 Panera generated around $44 million in franchisee fees. Its net profit was only $38,580. Does anyone know whether the business was profitable at the store level outside of collecting franchise fees from its system?
Highly profitable. You're comparing a gross number with a net number, allocating no G&A to the franchises, ignoring things like deprecition of the fresh dough facilities which serve franchisees and generally making a meaningless comparison.
Pnra has all kinds of expenses in connection with the franchisees, including the development program, district managers, % of executive salaries, etc., etc. The franchise revenues and profits are very different animals.