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Franchising for Ice Cream Shops

Do you own an ice cream shop with proven success in your local community? Do you dream of sharing your delicious frozen treats and signature experience across multiple locations? Franchising may be the ideal path forward.

At Upside Franchise Consulting, we can help build your emerging ice cream concept, creating the foundation to expand through franchising rapidly.

After assessing concept viability, we architect end-to-end franchising infrastructure, allowing you to focus on ice cream while we fuel strategic growth behind the scenes:

Legal Documentation and Disclosure Management

  • Trademark registrations
  • Franchise disclosure documents
  • Operations manuals
  • Franchise agreements

Sales and Lead Generation Programs

  • Custom brochures
  • Digital marketing assets
  • Trade-show readiness
  • PR strategy and partnerships

Opening Process and Ongoing Support

  • Site selection checklist
  • Store layout recommendations
  • Equipment procurement packages
  • Initial & ongoing training

Our modular solutions seamlessly integrate at each phase, accelerating timelines from the first franchise deal to a ribbon cutting to optimized profitability.

Speak to a Franchise Professional

Our team will determine if your brand is a viable franchise, what is required to reach your goals and can answer your questions.

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Why Ice Cream Shops Thrive with Franchising

Frozen treats have universal appeal, but ice cream shops reach elevated brand status through franchisings. Multi-unit owners especially crave reputable ice cream concepts that meet unmet consumer demand.

We ensure your systems prove profitability before franchising, then rapidly replicate success across regions. With established infrastructure, you focus on product quality and franchisee support while avoiding common first-timer pitfalls. Through our validated frameworks, emerging ice cream empires flourish into household names.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most essential items to standardize before franchising my ice cream shop?

You’ll want to standardize your recipes, ingredients and suppliers, equipment, store design and layout, technology systems, food safety procedures, staff training, and key financial metrics.

What are the typical costs for an ice cream shop franchise?

Typical costs for opening an ice cream shop franchise can vary greatly depending on brand, location, size, and specific model. However, benchmark data around ice cream shops shows the following estimated cost ranges:

  • The initial franchise fee typically falls between $25,000 – $50,000. Major national brands may charge up to $35,000 – $50,000 as an entry fee.
  • The total initial investment cost to open a shop ranges from approximately $100,000 for a small operation to $900,000 for a large shop in an expensive real estate market. This covers the franchise fee and startup costs like equipment, inventory, signage, working capital, etc.
  • Depending on capacity and features, critical equipment expenses like batch freezers, hardening cabinets, and soft serve machines can range from $4,000 to $19,600 per unit. Signage, point-of-sale systems, furniture, and smallwares add more.
  • Ongoing fees are also a consideration, usually structured as a monthly royalty percentage of gross sales. A 6% royalty fee is standard in the ice cream shop franchise industry.

What qualifications and experience make strong ice cream franchisees?

It is vital to have sufficient liquid assets ($150K minimum) to cover startup costs and several months of operating losses as revenue builds.

Should my ice cream franchise be a retail store-only model?

While retail shops are the core model, kiosks, and food trucks can complement to raise awareness. Non-traditional spaces in airports, universities, and stadiums also drive exposure and lead feeds to affiliate brick-and-mortar locations. An omnichannel franchise strategy expands reach and targets varied settings.

Ready to Explore Your Franchising Potential?

Our team stands ready to evaluate your operations and growth goals to determine if franchising is the right pathway forward. Let’s discuss how we can turn your ice cream concept into the next legendary franchise brand.


Selling Franchises

Selling franchises is easy…selling franchises properly is an entirely different story.

There are many franchise companies who may not agree with the first part of that statement but it’s true; it’s not overly difficult to just sell franchises. The United States and other countries abroad are filled with individuals who want to be entrepreneurs, and there are a lot of people out there who have the money to purchase a franchise.

So, if you are struggling to sell franchises it is likely a case of poor leads, absence of a quality system, or lack of experience of your development team. Or a combination of all three.

But even more damaging to a franchise system is not the lack of sales but selling franchises improperly. Most franchisors who have issues with their franchisees years after they have completed the sales process, never track the issues back to the steps of the sales process—what expectations were set and what screening processes were utilized.

A good development process includes identifying where to advertise to attract prospects and those who would excel in your system. It is essential to identify key traits and transferable skills necessary when choosing quality franchisee partners. And further, have a development system in place that ensures you represent your culture, franchisee role, expected expenses, key staffing, marketing responsibilities, keys to success, training, and timelines.

Selling franchises is not a one-off transaction; you are selling an ongoing relationship. You don’t just move ahead with an interested party when they are “ready to go.” You must set proper expectations, not just to guarantee legal compliance and completion of the sale, but to set up your franchise partners for long-term success. Think of the development process as the first key step in operations success.

Franchisors are feverishly attempting to find the best franchisees to join their system in the hopes they will excel, be successful and profitable and pay royalties for years to come. Creating a network of successful franchisees who pay a reasonable royalty for the benefits they receive allows franchisors to build a dynamic, valuable annuity. So, it is essential that the start of the process be managed and executed with extreme thoughtfulness, skill and care.

If you want to attract, sell and launch franchisees properly into your franchise system and need guidance, USG can assist you in developing the key steps and procedures and train your staff in executing properly. USG also offers complete sales outsourcing where our experienced staff takes potential prospects from interest, through screening, due diligence, legal documentation release and preparation, finishing in signing documents and collecting franchise fees.

Whether you manage your franchise development in-house or outsource all or parts of the process, it is important to understand the dynamic effect the development process will have on your entire franchise system.

Speak to a Franchise Professional

Our team will determine if your brand is a viable franchise, what is required to reach your goals and can answer your questions.

Please wait...