By G. David Doran
After more than 50 years in the ice cream business, Baskin-Robbins USA Co. is changing its image. Now that the traditional 31 flavors have been complemented by smoothies, cakes and frozen yogurt, Baskin-Robbins wants customers to stay a little longer and enjoy their treats. So, out with the old white fluorescent lights and hard plastic chairs, and in with new ambient lighting and comfortable, padded booths.
The décor is getting a makeover as well. Gone are the pale pink, blue and white dots, to be replaced by subtle ice cream colors like chocolate, vanilla and caramel offset by large graphics of happy children. Preparation areas have been separated into distinct departments: beverages, ice cream and a party center featuring ice cream cakes.
The first "Store of the Future" was unveiled last August in Monterey Park, California, and plans are in the works for systemwide changes to begin by the time you read this.