If you’ve ever had to suffer through a sweltering summer, then you already know what a difference a fantastic ice cream Creation™ can make on your mood and disposition. That’s why one of the most common questions when the temperature rises is, “Is Cold Stone® open?”
This is a lesson that investors are learning as well, as it turns out. Cold Stone Creamery® is garnering attention as one of the best franchising options on the market, and it’s all due to the public’s almost insatiable demand for premium ice cream.
Make no mistake, however: this is not just a heat wave phenomenon. Cold Stone has proven to have strong appeal year-round, and the demand for ice cream appears to be largely recession-proof.
This is important, as one of the early criticisms of the company was that people would quickly tire of paying $5 for ice cream, especially in the winter months.
The data suggests, however, that people are willing to pay more for quality, and they feel like the price of Cold Stone represents a strong value. What’s more, the weather seems to have little effect on the company’s profits, which makes it an evergreen franchise.
The company has capitalized on this by expanding aggressively, both domestically and abroad. Franchises are popping up in high-traffic areas everywhere, and the growth shows no sign of stopping.
The company helps guide new investors to find prime locations, and this effort shows up on the bottom line. Finding spots where people will naturally gravitate toward an ice cream concept, keeps the lines long and increases the franchisees potential for being a successful entrepreneur.
Each location is also geared towards meeting peak hours. Most don’t open before 11 am, and they close around 11 in the evening. Opening any earlier or staying open later would likely be counter-productive, and the company chooses to focus its efforts on meeting existing demand rather than trying to squeeze profits out of non-peak hours.
What this means for franchisees is that they can enjoy a healthy work/life balance, as they won’t have to be shackled to their stores at all hours of the day. You’ll likely spend less time running a Cold Stone franchise than you would almost any other fast food operation.
This attracts a large amount of investors. After all, they’re looking to invest in a business that will grant them more freedom, rather than replacing an old crushing job with a new one. When you own a Cold Stone, you can enjoy the fruits of your labor – and that makes a difference to investors.
The outlook for the Cold Stone® franchise concept is strong, which helps to explain the rapid expansion. Despite adding hundreds of new locations, there doesn’t seem to be any flagging interest in the brand; rather, people are as attracted to their premium ice cream as ever.
This means that the franchise will continue to be a strong play for investors for the foreseeable future. However, this leads to increased interest from existing franchisees, making it uncertain as to how long the opportunity will be available.
At the end of the day, the question, “Is Cold Stone open?” may be as likely to come from an investor as from a family member or friend wanting a sweet treat.