Doc Popcorn

Kettle-cooked popcorn
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Franchise 500 2023
2023 Franchise 500 Rank
N/R Not ranked last year
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Initial investment
$55K - $395K
Units as of 2022
96 Increase 1.1% over 3 years

Doc Popcorn is an international snack franchise selling an American classic: popcorn. Founded by Rob and Renee Israel in their New York City apartment before moving to Colorado in 2003, the company was a solution to serve up a healthier snack alternative. In 2009, it started franchising nationally. Dippin' Dots purchased Doc Popcorn in 2014 and it has since become a snack staple in malls, event venues, and stadiums. You can find Doc Popcorn throughout the U.S., as well as internationally.

Doc Popcorn operates under a simple concept. It sells 60-calorie cup servings of popular popcorn flavors such as Better Butter, Hoppin' Jalapeno, Cheesy Cheddar, and more. But they don't just do savory. They do sweet as well, dipping into customer's cravings with flavors like Caramel Apple.

Why You May Want to Open a Doc Popcorn Franchise

Doc Popcorn joins the ranks of other famous popcorn brands in the business of creating smiles. It strives to keep customers happy, satisfied, and wanting to come back over and over again. But the feel-good nature of Doc Popcorn and its emphasis on fun doesn't overshadow the brand's business end.

An ideal franchisee should have business experience and must be hands-on and willing to grow. It would probably help if franchisees had a knack for managerial work, leadership, and customer service.

What Might Make Doc Popcorn a Good Choice?

At first, you may not think that branded popcorn would sell, but it does. The Doc Popcorn menu is most likely what makes the brand both a unique and desirable choice for any time of the day in any situation. And its popularity as a stadium and mall food may make it a manageable small business. In conjunction with this, it allows for absentee ownership, a home-based business, and part-time business, giving franchisees ample flexibility. 

Investing in a Doc Popcorn is typically a two-in-one deal, with more co-branding opportunities available than stand-alone stores. When you open a co-branded Doc Popcorn, you also open a Dippin' Dots—an ice cream brand. This automatic diversification can amount to better chances of customer conversion. 

How Do You Start a Doc Popcorn Franchise?

A Doc Popcorn franchise may be a low-cost investment depending on location, rent, and other location-specific costs. Either way, a franchisee should make sure they can cover the initial investment, which will include a franchise fee and other startup costs. You'll want to make sure you have enough capital available to cover ongoing fees, as well. These fees will include royalty fees, advertisement fees, and potential renewal fees. 

A franchisee must also be willing to travel for discovery day and training, open their location within a certain timeframe, be hands-on with the business, and follow the Doc Popcorn franchise plan. You will also work with a corporate real estate team to locate your perfect site. This may mean that you won't have the final say on where you open your location. Most likely, you'll be located in a mall, university, or another high-traffic location. This is something a franchisee may want to consider before moving forward.

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Company Overview

About Doc Popcorn

Industry Food
Related Categories Miscellaneous Food/Beverage Businesses, Miscellaneous Quick-Service Restaurants
Founded 2003
Parent Company J & J Snack Foods Inc.
Leadership Steve Rothenstein, Associate VP of Franchising
Corporate Address 155 Main St.
Paducah, KY 42003
Social Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram

Business Overview

Franchising Since 2009 (14 years)
# of employees at HQ 5
Where seeking

This company is offering new franchisees throughout the US.

This company is offering new franchisees worldwide.

# of Units 96 (as of 2022)

Information for Franchisees

Here's what you need to know if you're interested in opening a Doc Popcorn 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 Information Circle
Initial Investment Information Circle
$55,159 - $394,539
Net Worth Requirement Information Circle
Cash Requirement Information Circle
Veteran Incentives Information Circle
15% off franchise fee
Royalty Fee Information Circle
Ad Royalty Fee Information Circle
Term of Agreement Information Circle
5 years
Is franchise term renewable? Yes
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Financing Options

Some franchisors offer in-house financing, while others have relationships with third-party financing sources to which they refer qualified franchisees.

Third Party Financing Doc Popcorn 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 36 hours
Classroom Training 17 hours
Ongoing Support
Meetings & Conventions
Toll-Free Line
Grand Opening
Online Support
Security & Safety Procedures
Lease Negotiation
Field Operations
Site Selection
Marketing Support
Ad Templates
Social Media
Website Development
Email Marketing


Additional details about running this franchise.

Is absentee ownership allowed? No
Can this franchise be run from home/mobile unit? Information Circle
Can this franchise be run part time? Information Circle
# of employees required to run 5
Are exclusive territories available? Information Circle
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Franchise 500 Ranking History

Compare where Doc Popcorn landed on this year's Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.

Additional Rankings

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Updated: December 12th, 2022