Ben & Jerry's

2014 Franchise 500
At a Glance

Products & Services: Ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet, smoothies

Number of Locations: 557

Total Investment: $158.98K - $485.8K

Founded: 1978

Began Franchising: 1981

About Ben & Jerry's

Ben & Jerry's is named for its founders, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, who grew up together in Merrick, Long Island. In 1978, they took a $5 correspondence course on ice-cream-making, then leased an old gas station building in Burlington, Vermont to open their first ice cream shop. They began selling pints of ice cream to local restaurants and grocery stores out of Cohen's VW campervan. As Cohen had no sense of taste, he relied on "mouth feel" when eating, so large chunks of chocolate, fruit and nuts became a signature of their ice cream flavors. Cohen and Greenfield opened their first franchise in 1981. In 2000, they sold Ben & Jerry's to Unilever, but the company remains headquartered in Burlington, Vermont.

Franchise Units

Year U.S. Canadian International Company Owned
2014 242 5 302 8
2013 259 5 346 12
2012 286 5 486 7
2011 302 5 487 5
2010 340 5 464 6
Where Seeking Franchisees: Franchisor is seeking new franchise units in the following states:
California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Midwest, North Carolina, Northeast, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South, South Carolina, Southeast, Southwest, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West, Wisconsin.
Franchisor is seeking new units in Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Canada, Eastern Europe, Mexico, Western Europe.
Direct Capital

Startup Costs, Ongoing Fees and Financing

Total Investment: $158,985 - $485,800
Franchise Fee: $37,000
Ongoing Royalty Fee: 3%
Term of Franchise Agreement: 10 years, renewable
Financial Requirements
Net Worth: $350,000
Liquid Cash Available: $100,000
33% of all franchisees own more than one unit. Absentee ownership of franchise is NOT allowed..

How This Franchise Supports Franchisees

Training: Available at headquarters: 8 days. At franchisee's location: 3-5 days.
Ongoing Support: Newsletter, Meetings, Toll-free phone line, Grand opening, Internet, Security/safety procedures, Field operations/evaluations
Marketing Support: Co-op advertising, Ad slicks, National media, Regional advertising,

Franchise Ranking History

Franchise 500®: #261 (2014), #188 (2013), #238 (2012), #220 (2011), #98 (2010),
America's Top Global: #57 (2013), #186 (2012), #172 (2011), #80 (2010),