Bruster’s Real Ice Cream signed franchise development agreements that will introduce its premium frozen treats to seven new markets. The announcement comes as the chain posts an 8.8 percent same-store sales increase for the first quarter of 2017. Comp sales for 2016 were up 7.2 percent with 92 stores setting sales records. This followed 10.4 percent growth in 2015.
So far this year Bruster’s has inked deals for new shops in San Antonio, Austin and Lewisville, Texas; Athens, Georgia; Nashville, Tennessee; Laurel-Columbia, Maryland; and, Burlington-Waltham, Massachusetts, all of which are new markets.
The brand also will be expanding in Southern California with an agreement for a new shop in Upland. It will be the seventh Bruster’s in the Los Angeles market. Three are currently operating with three more scheduled to open this spring. Earlier this year, Bruster’s entered the Phoenix market with its first Arizona shop and added a location in the Pittsburgh market. This recent growth follows the opening of 12 new locations in 2016.
In mid-January, the chain launched a three-month campaign in Texas, Arizona and California using digital and social media marketing, including Facebook, to attract potential franchisees. “Many of these recent agreements are a direct result of our strong push to expand in the West and Southwest,” says Bruster’s CEO Jim Sahene. “The response from the franchise community throughout the country has been amazing, as more and more prospective franchisees recognize that Bruster’s really is a unique concept that stands out from other frozen treat brands.” Sahene added that new franchisees also are being drawn to Bruster’s because of its strong sales performance and unit economics.