- 2023 Franchise 500 Rank
#164 Ranked #112 last year
- Initial investment
$156K - $549K
- Units as of 2023
Chill out and enjoy the coolest treat! Ben & Jerry's is an ice-cream franchise that was started in 1978. They sell tasty ice cream, sundaes, frozen yogurt, shakes, smoothies, and sorbet flavors. The goal is for each scoop of these products to take the customer on a sweet journey. Aside from running ice cream shops, Ben & Jerry’s provides ice cream catering services and makes ice cream cakes.
Why You May Want to Start a Ben & Jerry's Franchise
Ben & Jerry's is a well-known brand and may be a favorite for many. You can leverage the brand when you operate a franchise. Part of the mission for Ben & Jerry's is to achieve sustainable economic growth. Therefore, by partnering with them, it may be possible to experience growth in your local community.
Through processes including manufacturing, ingredient sourcing, and purchasing, the Ben & Jerry's team makes decisions that positively impact their franchises in an effort to help their franchisees. They want everyone from farmers and suppliers to customers and employees to walk away smiling.
What Might Make a Ben & Jerry's Franchise a Good Choice?
To be part of the Ben & Jerry's team, you should make sure you’re financially ready for an initial investment made up of a franchise fee and other startup costs. In addition, you should be prepared for ongoing fees that will include advertising, royalty, and renewal fees. Franchisees may also need to meet the company's set net worth and liquid capital requirements.
Be aware that Ben & Jerry's does not negotiate leases or provide in-house financing for anything outside of the franchise fee. However, they have partnered with third-party sources that may help you finance startup costs, equipment finance, inventory finance, and payroll for your franchise. They also will likely provide all the support you need to find your footing. They expect you to be engaged in your business and active in daily operations to brand activation and public outreach.
How To Open a Ben & Jerry's Franchise
If you meet the qualifications and are ready to bring the Ben & Jerry's flavors to your community, you can likely open a franchise in less than a couple of months. The process starts with submitting the initial inquiry form. After this, you will likely be given access to their franchise learning center. If your form is reviewed and you are deemed to be a good fit, you may have an introductory call. Then, you can complete the application package. Next, you can review and discuss the Franchise Disclosure Document with a representative. You may also have the opportunity to interact with other franchisees to get a feel for how the business operates.
As you decide if opening a Ben & Jerry's franchise is the right opportunity for you, make sure you take time to explore the opportunity. Research the brand and your local area to see if a Ben & Jerry's franchise would do well in your community. If there are multiple other ice cream businesses in your area, then you may want to reconsider the location in terms of opening a Ben & Jerry’s franchise.
After your location is approved, you can add a little sweetness to everyone who walks through your doors with the newest Ben & Jerry's franchise.
About Ben & Jerry's
|Franchising Since||1981 (42 years)|
|# of employees at HQ||100|
This company is offering new franchisees in the following US states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin
This company is offering new franchisees in the following international regions: Australia/New Zealand, Europe (Western)
|# of Units||558 (as of 2023)|
Information for Franchisees
Here's what you need to know if you're interested in opening a Ben & Jerry's 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.
|$18,000 - $39,500|
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.
|$155,900 - $549,300|
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.
Definition: The minimum liquid capital you must have available in order to qualify to become a franchisee of this company.
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
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?||Yes|
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||4 hours|
|Classroom Training||20 hours|
Meetings & Conventions
Security & Safety Procedures
Franchisee Intranet Platform
Additional details about running this franchise.
|Is absentee ownership allowed?||No|
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.
Franchise 500 Ranking History
Compare where Ben & Jerry's landed on this year's Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.
Curious to know where Ben & Jerry's ranked on other franchise lists? Find out below.
Are you eager to see what else is out there? Browse franchises that are similar to Ben & Jerry's.
- Frozen custard, steakburgers, hot dogs
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