- 2023 Franchise 500 Rank
N/R Not ranked last year
- Initial investment
$318K - $2.4M
- Units as of 2023
207 7.3% over 3 years
Bruster's Real Ice Cream is a private company that operates many walk-up ice cream stores across the United States. Thia Bridgewater, Pennsylvania-based franchise was founded in 1989 by Bruce Reed. It began franchising in 1993.
Bruster’s Real Ice Cream prides itself on making fresh, superb ice cream and baking its waffle bowls and cones in the store. Most of the stores offer a wide variety of ice cream flavors. Some of these flavors may include peanut butter puddles, stick in the mud, lemon meringue pie, chocolate lovers' trash, and key lime pie. From a stock of over 100 recipes, the stores may also offer seasonal flavors like winter wonder, caramel apple, and pumpkin.
Why You May Want to Start a Bruster's Real Ice Cream Franchise
Many people love ice cream. Even during the coldest of winter, you might still find individuals venturing out to enjoy their favorite ice cream flavors. This may make starting a Bruster's Real Ice Cream franchise a fun business to run year-round. You may see increased success if there is not already an ice cream business in your community.
As soon as you complete the process of becoming a franchisee, marketing and real estate specialists will typically be sent your way to assist in selecting an optimal location for a storefront. You may receive relevant advice and insights on traffic patterns. They may also offer you simple but effective ways to bring brand awareness. Bruster's Real Ice Cream generally not only helps find a suitable storefront spot in your community, but also helps in negotiations to secure it. The company's support may also come in handy during the project development phase.
What Might Make Bruster's Real Ice Cream Franchise A Good Choice?
Although several other franchises have lower and less extensive financial requirements, Bruster's Real Ice Cream may offer a fun, family-oriented environment. 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.
To be part of the Bruster's Real Ice Cream team, you should make sure you’re financially ready for an initial investment made up of a franchise fee and other startup costs. You should also ensure that you are aware of ongoing fees that will include advertising fees and royalty fees. Franchisees will also need to meet the company's set net worth and liquid capital requirements.
How Do You Start a Bruster's Real Ice Cream Franchise?
Becoming a Bruster's Real Ice Cream franchisee is usually simple and can be completed in just a few steps. To start, request information by filling out a franchise pre-qualification form. You may then be required to download and review the Franchise Disclosure Document. If you like what you see in the Franchise Disclosure Document, you may let the company know that you wish to move forward.
The franchisor may then contact you for a franchise program review that outlines new store openings, marketing, and operations. The company might run background and financial checks on you. If qualified, you may be invited to meet the team in Bridgewater, Pennsylvania. After this, you may be awarded a tasty franchise.
About Bruster's Real Ice Cream
|Franchising Since||1993 (30 years)|
|# of employees at HQ||21|
This company is offering new franchisees in the following US states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virginia
|# of Units||207 (as of 2023)|
Information for Franchisees
Here's what you need to know if you're interested in opening a Bruster's Real Ice Cream 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.
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.
|$318,000 - $2,368,500|
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.
|$500,000 - $800,000|
Definition: The minimum liquid capital you must have available in order to qualify to become a franchisee of this company.
|$150,000 - $350,000|
Definition: A discount or other incentive offered to military veterans who buy a franchise with this company.
|50% off franchise 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
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|
Some franchisors offer in-house financing, while others have relationships with third-party financing sources to which they refer qualified franchisees.
|Third Party Financing||Bruster's Real Ice Cream has relationships with third-party sources which offer financing to cover the following: 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||62 hours|
|Classroom Training||19.5 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.
|# of employees required to run||8-25|
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 Bruster's Real Ice Cream? Request a free consultation with a Franchise Advisor now.
Franchise 500 Ranking History
Compare where Bruster's Real Ice Cream landed on this year's Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.
Curious to know where Bruster's Real Ice Cream ranked on other franchise lists? Find out below.
Are you eager to see what else is out there? Browse franchises that are similar to Bruster's Real Ice Cream.
- Tutoring and test prep
Related Franchise Content
Catch up on the latest franchise news, trends, and more.
Why it's critical to track your franchise goals and objectives.
Your aspirations to have an additional source of income can become a reality as a side-hustle business owner — and this free webinar will show you exactly how to do it. Register now →
If you're looking for investors, these are the 8 things they are looking for in your franchise business.
This Founder Walked-On to a Top College Basketball Team in the '90s. Today, He and Drew Brees Are Bringing the 'Walk-On Mentality' to Franchising.
Brandon Landry was so determined to play college basketball that he walked-on — tried out with no scholarship and made the team — at a major program. He's brought that same determination to the franchise business with Walk-On's Sports Bistreaux.
Before you can decide if you should franchise, find out exactly what you're getting yourself into.
Starting January 1, franchise royalty fees will rise from 4% to 5% for new locations in the U.S. and Canada.