Review of the iCream Franchise Opp and Startup Costs

cThe idea of providing a tempting, decadent dessert is a common one in the food and restaurant industry. People might come for a stunning meal, but they stay because of your magnificent desserts! You could go to a fine dining establishment and pay upwards of $100 for a good meal with dessert… or you could head down to the local iCream Cafe to get an incredible frozen concoction that was made from scratch, right before your very eyes.

What? There isn’t an iCream Cafe in your local community? Then you have the perfect opportunity to make an investment as a franchisee to serve an almost endless variety of yogurts, shakes, and ice cream treats that can be healthy or decadent using the freshest ingredients your customers have probably ever tasted. Here’s how you can make that become a reality!

What Are the Initial Fees and Costs?

The process begins with your credit history, financial records, and net worth. You must be able to prove a net worth of $400k at minimum and 50% of that net worth must be in the form of liquid assets. You must also prove that you’ve got operational experience within the food, hospitality, or restaurant industries and have a shared passion to build the iCream Cafe brand in your local community. You’ll need a minimum working capital of $30,000. If you qualify, you’ll also have a franchise fee of $30k that is mandatory.

Out of your gross revenues, there will also be a required royalty that must be paid. To the franchise, you’ll be paying 5% of your take, while there is also a minimum requirement of 2% being spent on local advertising options. Most franchises can expect that a total minimum investment into their new location of at least $289k, while a high-end cost of $450k is not unreasonable. There is also a minimum $4,000 fee required for advertising your grand opening during your first 90 days of operation that is in addition to the other royalties that must be paid.

Why are the initial investment costs so high? It is because of the end product that you are serving right before your customer’s eyes. You’re freezing your ice cream products based on the selection of flavors that your customer chooses in liquid nitrogen. Because of this, the equipment and safety costs are well over $100k for this franchise model and there may be a large amount of leasehold improvements required to get your grand opening off the ground too.

International franchising options are also available with this organization for a $35k franchise fee and must open a minimum of 2 locations to qualify as a franchisee. The royalties, both domestic and international, must be paid on a weekly basis and in return, you’ll receive full access to the trade name, service marks, operational systems, and other business development opportunities provided by this organization.

What Kind of Support Is Received?

Your support begins in Chicago, where you’ll be spending about 2 weeks learning the initial aspects of your new franchise opportunity and you’ll receive an extensive amount of on-the-job training during this period. The training is part of the franchise fee, but any travel expenses must be paid out-of-pocket during this time. You’ll also receive support with choosing the right location within your community and other as-needed items that can pop up during the initial establishment phases of a new franchise.

Once you’ve achieved your grand opening date, you’ll receive a representative from iCream to work with you in the establishment of your business. You’ll get operational assistance throughout the term of your franchise agreement, but during the first opening it will be in-person support. The franchise is renewable and good for 10 years, with a maximum 30 year agreement in place in the form of two 10 year renewals.

You’ll also gain access to a proven method of catering that lets you take your dessert bar out on location to be able to further the brand recognition you receive. Recent sample events from franchisees include a party for 350 guests, a tailgating party at the Super Bowl for 6,500 people, and a private event during the Ryder Cup. There’s literally no catering event that is too big or too small that won’t enjoy fresh ice cream made with the impressive liquid nitrogen cooling process!

It is the parties and events that creates some of the largest opportunities for profit with this franchise model. In the Frisco, TX location, parties run $200 per hour, can accommodate up to 40 people in the store, and doesn’t even include the cost of food! As part of the process, party guests get to go behind the counter and use the liquid nitrogen machine to create their own customized desserts. How much fun is that?

What Sets the iCream Cafe Apart From Other Franchise Opportunities?

As an iCream Cafe franchisee, what sets you apart is the ability to provide healthy or less than healthy options based on personal preferences in either hot or cold formats. You’ll be providing people with a completely customized experience for a price that is highly competitive with other desserts they could purchase at the grocery store. Add in the fun that comes when you add liquid nitrogen into the mix and you’re certain to have a great time!

If you love desserts and have a passion for making people happy, then the iCream Cafe franchising model might be the right investment for you. From hot pudding to frozen yogurt, you’ll find that the combination of fresh ingredients and a fun atmosphere is a recipe for success both now and for the future! Although no franchising opportunity comes with income guarantees, the food business is worth over $600 billion in the United States alone. The iCream brand has exposure as far away as Dubai. This means your new franchise will have a lot of brand awareness and the chance to garner good local exposure from the moment you announce your location.