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- 2023 Franchise 500 Rank
#195 Ranked #223 last year
- Initial investment
$112K - $367K
- Units as of 2022
235 5.4% over 3 years
Here’s what you need to know if you’re interested in opening a Dippin' Dots franchise.
Dippin’ Dots is beaded ice cream that strives to pack a punch of flavor despite the small size it comes in. The franchise was started by Curt Jones in 1988. He used his expertise in cryogenic technology to find a new, innovative way to produce ice cream. The franchise grew rapidly after that and has since become a global brand. There are over 200 Dippin’ Dots located throughout the United States, as well as several internationally. Every Dippin’ Dots franchise strives to help customers create fun and make memories.
In 2014, Dippin’ Dots purchased Doc Popcorn to create a sweet and salty combination. There may be something for everyone with popcorn and ice cream both available in their various locations.
Why You May Want to Start a Dippin’ Dots Franchise
Dippin’ Dots has been around for a long time. You will not need to try and introduce this franchise as a new thing. People who grew up eating Dippin’ Dots may be introducing their children and grandchildren to the brand. You may already have access to a vast customer base with potential expansion as new customers enter in.
To be part of the Dippin’ Dots team, you should make sure you're financially ready for an initial investment made up of a franchise fee and other startup costs. Additionally, you should prepare yourself for ongoing fees that will include advertising, royalty, and potential renewal fees. It may be a good idea to contact an attorney or financial advisor to ensure that you are financially prepared to open and operate a Dippin’ Dots franchise.
You will likely have support from the Dippin’ Dots and Doc Popcorn team from the moment you start your franchise until the day you leave. You may have access to training, marketing, design, construction, and opening your store. You may also carry with you their support as you make plans to expand your business.
What Might Make a Dippin’ Dots Franchise a Good Choice?
Not many ice cream stores sell anything besides sweet treats. Dippin’ Dots, however, is co-branded with Doc Popcorn, allowing for more customer range as people may be attracted to your location by sweet ice cream or the scent of freshly popped popcorn. This combination may provide you with sales throughout the year. Dippin’ Dots is thought of as not just a seasonal stop.
With Dippin’ Dots, you will do two different types of openings. The first is a soft opening where a Doc Popcorn regional manager and Dippin’ Dots regional manager will provide on-site training for you and your staff. Several weeks after the soft opening, you will have a grand opening. This gives you and your team more time to be prepared to ensure that everything goes smoothly on the grand opening day.
How to Open a Dippin’ Dots Franchise
Before making any financial commitment or signing an agreement, you must perform your due diligence and establish if this is the right opportunity for you. Speak to existing franchisees and ask questions directed to the Dippin’ Dots team.
To get started, submit a franchise inquiry form. If you appear to be a good fit, a brand representative may contact you to get started. If all goes well, you may be scooping your favorite sweet treat for your community.
About Dippin' Dots
- Franchising Since
- 1999 (24 years)
- # of employees at HQ
- Where seeking
This company is offering new franchisees throughout the US.
This company is offering new franchisees worldwide.
- # of Units
- 235 (as of 2022)
Information for Franchisees
Here’s what you need to know if you’re interested in opening a Dippin' Dots franchise.
Financial Requirements & Ongoing Fees
Here’s what you can expect to spend to start the business and what ongoing fees the franchisor charges throughout the life of the business.
- Initial Franchise Fee
Definition: The initial fee paid to a franchisor to join their system
What you need to know: Found in Item 5 of the FDD, this may be a flat fee, or may vary based on territory size, experience, or other factors.The franchise fee is an up-front (one-time) cost that a new franchisee pays to the franchisor. This fee is usually due at the signing of the franchise agreement and covers the right to use the franchisor's trademarks, name, and related business systems.
- Initial Investment
- $112,204 - $366,950
Definition: The total amount necessary to begin operation of the franchise
What you need to know: The initial investment includes the franchise fee, along with other startup expenses such as real estate, equipment, supplies, business licenses, and working capital. This is outlined in a chart in Item 7 of the FDD, showing a range of possible costs from low to high.
- Net Worth Requirement
Definition: The minimum net worth you must have in order to qualify to become a franchisee of this company
What you need to know: Net worth is the value of a person's assets minus liabilities. Assets include cash, stocks, retirement accounts, and real estate. Liabilities include items like mortgages, car payments, and credit card debt.
- Cash Requirement
Definition: The minimum liquid capital you must have available in order to qualify to become a franchisee of this company.
- Veteran Incentives
- 15% off franchise fee
Definition: A discount or other incentive offered to military veterans who buy a franchise with this company.
- Royalty Fee
Definition: A ongoing fee paid to the franchisor on a regular basis.
What you need to know: Most franchisors require franchisees to pay an ongoing royalty fee, which is detailed in Item 6 of the FDD. This fee is typically a percentage of weekly or monthly gross sales, but may also be a flat weekly, monthly, or annual fee.
- Ad Royalty Fee
Definition: An going fee paid to the franchisor on a regular basis to support advertising or marketing efforts.
What you need to know: This may also be called advertising fee, marketing fee, brand fund fee, and more, but the basic purpose is the same-- to support promotion of the brand systemwide. As with the royalty fee, it is detailed in Item 6 of the FDD, and can be a percentage of weekly or monthly gross sales or a weekly, monthly, or annual fee.
- Term of Agreement
- 5 years
Definition: The length of time your franchise agreement will last.
What you need to know: Franchise terms are typically anywhere from 5 to 20 years in length, but are sometimes instead dependent on factors such as the term of your lease. Once your term is up, you may have the option to renew your agreement, typically for a smaller fee than the original franchise fee.
- Is franchise term renewable?
- Third Party Financing
- Dippin' Dots has relationships with third-party sources which offer financing to cover the following: franchise fee, startup costs, equipment, inventory, accounts receivable, payroll
Training & Support Offered
Franchisors offer initial training programs and a variety of ongoing support options to help franchisees run their businesses.
- On-The-Job Training
- 30 hours
- Classroom Training
- 32 hours
- Ongoing Support
NewsletterMeetings & ConventionsToll-Free LineGrand OpeningOnline SupportSecurity & Safety ProceduresLease NegotiationField OperationsSite Selection
- Marketing Support
Ad TemplatesSocial MediaSEOWebsite DevelopmentEmail Marketing
Additional details about running this franchise.
- Is absentee ownership allowed?
Definition: Absentee ownership means that the franchisee does not actively work in the franchise business or manage day-to-day operations.
- Can this franchise be run from home/mobile unit?
Definition: The business can be run from your home and/or a vehicle, and it is not necessary to have a retail facility, office space, or warehouse.
- Can this franchise be run part time?
Definition: This business can be run by the owner on a part-time basis (less than 40 hours per week) and/or as a side business; it is not necessary for the business to be open/run full-time.
- # of employees required to run
- Are exclusive territories available?
Definition: An exclusive territory is a fixed area in which you are given the right to operate and in which no other units of the same franchise may be opened.
What you need to know: Territory size may be based on factors such as radius, population size, zip codes, and more. Details can be found in Item 12 of the FDD.
Interested in ownership opportunities like Dippin' Dots? Request a free consultation with a Franchise Advisor now.
Franchise 500 Ranking History
Compare where Dippin' Dots landed on this year’s Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.
Curious to know where Dippin' Dots ranked on other franchise lists? Find out below.
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