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- 2023 Franchise 500 Rank
#44 Ranked #36 last year
- Initial investment
$294K - $636K
- Units as of 2022
7,735 4% over 3 years
For many, there's nothing more delightful and joyous than fresh ice cream. And for many of those ice cream lovers, there's no brand as recognizable and beloved as Baskin-Robbins.
Baskin-Robbins began in Glendale, California, founded by Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins. Today, it’s a globally recognized ice cream franchise that offers up to 31 different flavor options, plus ice cream cakes. Even though Baskin-Robbins is a subsidiary company under the Dunkin’ franchise, it offers its own franchise opportunities to aspiring entrepreneurs.
Are you interested in serving ice cream to your community? Do you want to run a business with freedom, flexibility and corporate support? Baskin-Robbins franchise opportunities could be just the ticket. Read on for more information.
Why should you start a Baskin-Robbins franchise?
There are many great reasons why you might want to start a Baskin-Robbins ice cream franchise instead of launching into alternative franchise operations.
For example, Baskin-Robbins has phenomenal name recognition. Few ice cream stores have as much brand authority and domination as Baskin-Robbins (not just in the U.S. but also worldwide). If you want your ice creamery to hit the ground running from day one, Baskin-Robbins is the way to go.
In part, this is because there are lots of Baskin-Robbins restaurants already in operation. But it’s also because customers know what to expect from Baskin-Robbins products. Familiarity breeds repeat purchases, so starting your business with a built-in customer base is easier than ever.
That's not all. Baskin-Robbins also provides a variety of development initiatives and incentives for franchisees. These include special discounts and financing opportunities for new store owners and military veterans.
As a result, while you will need some money saved up to successfully become a Baskin-Robbins franchisee, starting a franchised restaurant for this brand might be more cost-effective compared to alternatives.
In addition, Baskin-Robbins provides lots of marketing support for all of its franchisees (which is a good thing, as the marketing and advertising royalty fees can be a bit high). Corporate support is vital when launching a new franchised restaurant, and Baskin-Robbins doesn’t shirk away from this responsibility.
What are the different types of Baskin-Robbins franchises?
Should you choose to become a new Baskin-Robbins franchisee, remember that you’ll have to pick which location you want to run.
Traditional Baskin-Robbins locations are freestanding, in-line or end-cap restaurants. Think of these as standalone ice cream shops.
Your average traditional Baskin-Robbins location is between 800 and 1500 ft.², with around 20 feet of frontage. This is a good choice if you want to run a classic ice cream store.
However, you can also opt for a nontraditional Baskin-Robbins location. If you have some experience operating a business already, this might be an excellent way to expand.
You can add a Baskin-Robbins' nontraditional location to existing real estate or establishments, allowing you to monetize existing foot traffic further.
For instance, if you already have a business selling products, you can add a nontraditional Baskin-Robbins location and expand your menu. Nontraditional locations are often in airports, casinos, grocery stores, colleges and universities.
Both types of stores can be successful, and one might be ideal depending on land or space limitations in your area. If you aren’t sure, Baskin-Robbins will help you decide which type of location you should open to maximize your chance of thriving.
Related: How Baskin-Robbins is Trying Not to Disappear
What resources does Baskin-Robbins provide for franchisees?
The best franchise opportunities come flush with resources and support tools, and Baskin-Robbins is no different.
When you sign up to be a Baskin-Robbins franchisee, you can find the right location and layout for your store with the assistance of Baskin-Robbins. You can even sublease land from Baskin-Robbins to set up a new store in an especially desirable place.
Baskin-Robbins further provides various construction and real estate experts. These experts can help you find the ideal location for a new store, calculate its footprint and determine how best to bring your idea to life.
As noted above, Baskin-Robbins tackles most of the marketing efforts you’ll need to undertake to attract new customers to your store. Typical Baskin-Robbins marketing campaigns are ideated and given to franchised stores from corporate.
As a result, you’ll just need to enact marketing plans and put out marketing materials rather than coming up with them from scratch. This can be advantageous if your skills lay more in leadership and management than advertising.
Throughout this process, keep in mind that it takes six to nine months from signing the store development agreement until you’ll open your doors for business. Baskin-Robbins supports you through and through until you’re ready to go.
Related: This Baskin-Robbins Franchisee Has Made Ice Cream a Family Affair
How much does opening a Baskin-Robbins franchise cost?
If the idea of a Baskin-Robbins franchise business seems more and more appealing to you, be sure to know how much you’ll have to pay your franchisor to get it all started.
To become a Baskin-Robbins franchisee, you must pay an initial franchise fee of $25,000. That’s on top of an estimated initial investment ranging from almost $300,000 to well over $630,000. Franchise and initial investment fees are usually determined based on the competitiveness of your location and how much equipment you need.
To ensure you can foot these bills, Baskin-Robbins franchise owners must have a net worth of $200,000 plus $100,000 in cash. Royalty fees have around 5.9%, while advertising fees are around 5%. These fees will be outlined in the agreement you sign, so you should clearly know what you’ll pay in the long run.
Does Baskin-Robbins offer financing assistance or discounts?
That’s a lot, to be fair, but veterans might be able to meet these benchmarks a little more easily. Veteran entrepreneurs opening their first store in the franchise get the initial franchise fee waived completely.
They can also benefit 20% off the franchise fee for up to four extra stores. That’s not all veterans can take advantage of; they also get $20,000 in credit toward store fees and costs if they are new franchisees purchasing existing stores.
But what if you aren't a veteran? You might still find opening a Baskin-Robbins location to be more accessible than you initially thought. Baskin-Robbins has various relationships with third-party financing sources to help you cover inventory, startup, equipment and payroll costs.
Once you sign on the dotted line of your Franchise Agreement, your term is good for 20 years: plenty of time to determine whether you want to keep running a Baskin-Robbins location.
On the downside, this means you won’t have as many chances to renegotiate the terms of your contract.
Related: Baskin-Robbins is Dropping 3 New Flavors and a Line of Ice-Cream-Themed Merch
What does the Baskin-Robbins training program include?
As a Baskin-Robbins franchisee, you won't have to figure out how to run your ice cream store without experience. Instead, you'll benefit from up to 40 hours of on-the-job training and 90 hours of classroom training.
Most training occurs during a three-week comprehensive session at the Dunkin' Brand's headquarters in Braintree, Massachusetts, outside Boston. However, other training may take place in California with Dunkin’ Donuts trainers.
In this training seminar, you'll need to complete technical training courses on-site at various store locations. You'll build the skills you need to succeed, plus learn the Baskin-Robbins online systems you'll use to manage payroll and develop your product plan.
To attend the training for this food franchise, you do have to pay a $1500 fee. However, if you can afford to set up a Baskin-Robbins franchise location in the first place, this shouldn't be an impossible cost.
You won’t run your Baskin-Robbins location by yourself. That means Baskin-Robbins will provide you with training tools so you can get your staff up to speed before opening day arrives.
You can then take these lessons and ensure that all future employees you bring onto your team know how to run your Baskin-Robbins store effectively.
Related: Burton Baskin & Irvine Robbins
Start a Baskin-Robbins franchise today
Ultimately, deciding whether a Baskin-Robbins franchise is in the cards is up to you. But there's no better franchise opportunity for business owners who love ice cream and putting smiles on customers' faces.Check out Entrepreneur’s other guides and resources for more information about Baskin-Robbins and other franchise opportunities.
- Franchising Since
- 1948 (75 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
- 7,735 (as of 2022)
Information for Franchisees
Here’s what you need to know if you’re interested in opening a Baskin-Robbins 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
- $293,840 - $636,360
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
- First-store franchise fee waived; 20% off franchise fee for up to four additional stores; $20,000 credit toward fees and costs for new franchisees purchasing an existing store
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
- 20 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?
Some franchisors offer in-house financing, while others have relationships with third-party financing sources to which they refer qualified franchisees.
- Third Party Financing
- Baskin-Robbins 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
- 35-40 hours
- Classroom Training
- 85-90 hours
- Ongoing Support
Purchasing Co-opsNewsletterMeetings & ConventionsToll-Free LineGrand OpeningOnline SupportSecurity & Safety ProceduresLease NegotiationField OperationsProprietary SoftwareFranchisee Intranet Platform
- Marketing Support
Co-op AdvertisingAd TemplatesNational MediaRegional AdvertisingSocial MediaSEOWebsite DevelopmentEmail MarketingLoyalty Program/App
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.
- 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 Baskin-Robbins? Request a free consultation with a Franchise Advisor now.
Franchise 500 Ranking History
Compare where Baskin-Robbins landed on this year’s Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.
Curious to know where Baskin-Robbins ranked on other franchise lists? Find out below.
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