Baskin-Robbins, the world’s largest chain of ice cream specialty shops, announced its third consecutive year of positive net new unit growth in the U.S. In 2015, 19 net new U.S. shops opened across the country, in states including California, Kentucky, and Louisiana. This represents nearly double the number of net new restaurant openings the brand had originally projected for 2015.
Baskin-Robbins also signed store development agreements in 2015 with new and existing franchisees to open new future locations in several areas, including Dalton, Georgia; Escondido and Los Angeles, California; Louisville, Kentucky; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Lima, Ohio; and San Antonio, Texas, among others. In 2016, the company plans to focus on recruiting franchisees in areas with warmer climates and high levels of tourism, such as Atlanta, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and San Diego.
Additionally, Baskin-Robbins continues to add more military veterans to its U.S. franchisee base by offering one of the best financial incentives in the industry. The extraordinary incentive program offers a free initial franchise fee, a $25,000 value, for a veteran’s first shop and heavily discounted royalty rates for the first five years that the store is open. Since 2013 when the program was introduced, the brand has awarded the incentive to five new franchisees across the U.S. The incentive program will continue to be offered in 2016, so qualified veterans are encouraged to apply to be considered.
For interested candidates who are not military veterans, the brand also offers compelling financial incentives nationwide that includes 50 percent off the initial franchise fee and reduced royalty rates for five years.
“We are very happy with Baskin-Robbins’ positive net new unit growth in the U.S. in 2015, and continue to believe the brand is well-positioned for growth in the coming years. As a brand that has been dedicated to making ‘fun’ the center of our guests’ experience for over 70 years, it’s exciting to know we’re working with like-minded franchisees who are ice cream enthusiasts and align with the overall Baskin-Robbins mission,” says Grant Benson, CFE, vice president of global franchising and business development, Dunkin’ Brands. “Our growth strategy in 2016 will include targeted outreach to military veterans as Baskin-Robbins continues to develop relationships with those who are committed to the growth and expansion of the brand.”
In 2013, Baskin-Robbins launched a new store design to fuel growth and expansion across the U.S. Since then, nearly 300 new and remodeled franchise locations have debuted throughout the country, and in 2015, 196 shops were remodeled with the new restaurant design that showcases the brand’s heritage and incorporates modern visual elements.