The biggest ice cream specialty shop brand in the world, Baskin-Robbins, recently announced its third year in a row of positive new unit growth in the United States. Over 2015, a total of 19 net new locations opened in the country, including Louisiana, California and Kentucky. This is nearly twice the number of new net restaurant openings the franchise business had projected for the year.
During the year, the ice cream leader also signed store development agreements with existing and new franchisees to open new locations in many areas, including California, Georgia and Tennessee. For 2016, the brand is planning to focus recruitment efforts on franchisees in high tourism areas with warmer climates, such as San Diego, California, and Atlanta, Georgia.
Baskin-Robbins is continuing its veteran incentive program, which is one of the best in the industry, for 2016 to increase the number of veteran franchisees in the US. Started in 2013, this program offers a free franchise fee, which has a $25,000 value, and discounted royalties for the first five years of a store’s operation. The brand also offers other incentive programs to those who aren't veterans, and these discounts include a 50 percent reduction of the initial franchise fee and lower royalty rates over the first five years.
Dunkin' Brands’ Vice President of Global Franchising and Business Development and CFE, Grant Benson, says the company is happy with the net new growth by unit over 2015 in the US and feels they are well positioned for more growth in the future. Benson says that targeted outreach to military veterans is part of the franchise's 2016 growth strategy.
A new store design was introduced by Baskin-Robbins in 2013 to help fuel US expansion and growth. To date, close to 300 remodeled and new locations have opened across the country. In 2015, 196 locations underwent remodeling for the new design, which showcases the brand’s heritage and incorporates some modern visual elements.
Current Franchising Opportunities
Baskin-Robbins, which earned the top spot for US ice cream and frozen dessert franchises in Entrepreneur's 2015 Franchise 500®, is currently looking for franchisees in several markets, including Arkansas, Arizona, California, Michigan, New York and Texas. To qualify for new store franchising opportunities, applicants must have a net worth of $200,000 with at least $100,000 liquid.
For an existing location, the franchisee must have a down payment of at least 10 percent of the purchase price, and he or she will also need liquid assets of at 30 percent of the sale price plus the cost of any remodels due over the next 24 months. The initial franchisee fee is $25,000, with the total investment ranging from $90,350 to $396,100.