Baskin Robbins Review ~ The Inside Stories

Baskin Robbins Review

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Baskin Robbins Franchise Review

Posted by Jeff Warren Anderson (Business Owner & Editor)

Baskins & Robbins had their beginning as family business almost three quarters of a century ago. They actually started out as two completely independent operations run by two brother in-laws. After the second world war in 1945, Irv Robbins opened "Snowbird Icecream" and Burt Baskins started Burtons Ice Cream Shop a year later.

By 1948, the two relatives had 6 stores between them and by 1949 the number had grown to 40. They came to the conclusion, that in order to maintain the quality they believed in, that each store would have to have a manager who owned an interest in the business. Even though it wasn't called franchising then... that was the beginning of franchising in the ice cream industry.

In 1949, there were more than 40 stores in Southern California when Burt and Irv purchased their first dairy in Burbank. This business decision allowed them to have complete control over the production of their ice cream, and the development of new ingredients and flavors.

Baskin-Robbins continued to expand, and by the mid-1960s, the company had become an ice cream empire with more than 400 stores throughout the United States. In the 1970s the chain went international, opening stores in Japan, Saudi Arabia, Korea and Australia.

Today, Baskin-Robbins has locations in more than 50 countries, each serving the company's famous 31 flavors of ice cream, as well as frozen yogurt, sherbet, cakes and drinks. Baskin-Robbins is part of Dunkin' Brands Inc., which also franchises Dunkin' Donuts. Dunkin' Brands Inc. is owned by a consortium of private equity companies: Bain Capital, The Carlyle Group and Thomas H. Lee Partners.

Baskin Robbins Franchise Units

Startup Costs, Ongoing Fees and Financing

Total Investment: $45,000 - $377,600

Franchise Fee: $10,000 - $25,000

Ongoing Royalty Fee: 5.9%

Term of Franchise Agreement: Term of agreement not renewable

Financial Requirements

Net Worth: $1,200,000

Liquid Cash Available: $600,000

How This Franchise Supports Franchisees

Training: Available at headquarters: Varies.

Ongoing Support: Newsletter, Meetings, Toll-free phone line, Grand opening, Security/safety procedures, Field operations/evaluations,

Marketing Support: Regional advertising,

Store Owner Quotes

Discount promotions like Baskin Robbins 31 Cent Scoop Night might be great for ice cream lovers and great for the franchisor… but what about the Baskin Robbins franchise owner who foots the bill?  According to Smart Money, BR franchisees lose roughly $1.45 a scoop on 31 Cent Scoop Night.

It’s one of the hottest topics in franchising. Here’s why:  Franchisers make money off the gross sales of their franchisees, regardless of franchisee profitability.  Some franchisors make additional money marking up ingredients and food products to their franchisees.  Public franchisers benefit from higher sales – and stock prices – that are not tied to franchisee profitability.

Baskin Robbins

Promotion: 31 Cent Scoop Night – This annual promotion occurred between the hours of 5pm and 10pm on April 29.

What they normally charge: $2.29 (one single scoop)

Promotion Price: 31 cents

Bottom line for restaurant: Loss of roughly $1.45 a scoop

Baskin-Robbins’ 31 Cent Scoop Night is done in the name of charity. Not only does the company donate $100,000 to NVFC National Junior Firefighter Program, but it’s also quite generous to ice cream lovers as well. One scoop (of any flavor you choose) for just 31 cents compared to the regular price of $2.29 at one location in Wisconsin is a pretty sweet deal. Franchisees don’t feel much of that goodwill, however: Beyond the approximate 60-cent cost of the ice cream, a spoon and a cup, store operators also pay another $1.15 per scoop for rent, utilities and labor, estimates one store owner in Wisconsin. Baskin-Robbins spokeswoman, Danielle Sullivan, says the company’s own calculation on per-item profitability differs from those provided to us by franchisees, but she declined to give specific figures. She also declined to comment further on costs and profits.

If you're thinking about buying a Baskin-Robbins franchise, there are many things to consider before signing on the dotted line. Becoming a Baskin-Robbins franchisee is not a guarantee of success, but rather a blueprint that can assist you in achieving success. Given the correct market conditions, skills and dedication, being a Baskin-Robbins franchisee might be financially rewarding.

Owning a Baskin-Robbins franchise is a serious commitment and works best when you make a thoughtful decision.

Just because you love Baskin-Robbin's products or services doesn't mean that you will be able to successfully operate a Baskin-Robbins franchise. Being emotionally attached to the idea of becoming a Baskin-Robbins franchisee is not a state of mind in which you can effectively evaluate an opportunity. Your positive experience as a customer of Baskin-Robbins should not form the basis for deciding to become a Baskin-Robbins franchisee.

Baskin-Robbins Due Diligence

You must conduct smart due diligence and determine from a business perspective whether owning a Baskin-Robbins franchise is right for you.

If you truly want own a Baskin-Robbins franchise, get all the information you can from Baskin-Robbins . Talk to Baskin-Robbins franchisees and secure a qualified advisor who has experience helping people like you purchase franchises. 

We give Baskin & Robbins a Positive Score as a Risk

The strongest ice cream brand recognition in the market.

An affordable & popular luxury even in hard economic times


However the headache meter is dead center at 5... this is a business with all the troubles of employees, equipment maintenance, and perishables.


However we have polled several owners including one close family member who reports the average time to reach a profit is 2 years minimum

Owners usually spend long hours in the store serving customers

Seasonal sales volume for stores in northern latitudes

Business Summary:

Baskin & robbins is a decent franchise with a long track record of stability and success. they currently rank #48 in the top 50 franchises worldwide. On the downside it's an investment that averages around $200K and takes 2 years to reach a profit.

Do you want to spend long hours managing and serving in your store to finally reach a profit. It's more of a job than financial freedom.

Perhaps there is a much safer option for you requiring a far lower start up cost. Be sure and look at the businesses specifically designed for today's new economy.

* The trademarks mentioned herein are held by their respective owners and no association or sponsorship with Franchise Wisdom is intended.

Baskin & Robbins and their logos are registered trademarks of the BR IP holder LLC 2012


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