Cold Stone®: A delicious franchise

Ice cream: Chances are, you love it as much as everybody else does. But did you ever stop to think about the fact that there is the possibility of big bucks hidden inside every cone?

If you owned a Cold Stone franchise, you would. Recently, these small ice cream shops have been one of the hottest tickets around for small business owners, and it’s not hard to see why:

  • Cold Stone franchises are popping up all over the globe, with over 1000 in the U.S. and another 400 or so worldwide
  • Ice cream has proven to be “recession proof,” and it isn’t extremely vulnerable to changes in season
  • Consumers have shown they’re willing to pay more for premium ice cream
  • Ice cream franchises represent low-risk, and potentially high reward investments without making huge demands on your time and energy

The popularity of the brand has been surging and shows no signs of letting up any time soon. The company started in Arizona in the late ‘80s and has skyrocketed into a fast food juggernaut.

To find out why the franchise is so popular, all you have to do is step into one of their many locations. The first thing you’ll notice – likely before you even get in the door – is how many other people had the exact same idea you did.

Once inside, you’ll see the typical Cold Stone furnishings – a few small tables and chairs, signature Cold Stone red wall paper  and some pictures on the walls. Clean, utilitarian, but nothing elaborate. This gives the store a cozy, comfortable feel, rather than distracting with a bunch of knick-knacks or flashy signs. The upside to this for the franchise owner is also clear – no fancy decorations means less money upfront, and less time on maintenance over the long term.

This is all to direct you to the main attraction: the seemingly never-ending ice cream bar. You get to the front of the line, pick your Creation™ cup size (or cone material, smoothie or shake) and then you try to settle on a single flavor. Good luck.

After that tough decision is  made, the fun really begins. You get to select from a wide assortment of toppings, fillings, and sauces. The huge variety of ice cream and mix-in combinations to make for a virtually limitless amount of flavor options, so customers can keep on coming back without ever running the risk of getting bored.

Once your ice cream has been personalized to your delight and you’re ready to enjoy, you head to the check out. Despite the premium product, this comes with minimal sticker shock. Cold Stone’s prices (in the $5-10 range) are incredibly reasonable, and this is a big reason why the company seems able to weather economic downturns rather easily.

All of this combines to make a Cold Stone franchise one of the most attractive business opportunities for both novices and experienced franchisees alike. If you’ve been thinking about making an investment in the fast food industry but you don’t know where to begin, Cold Stone Creamery might be just what the doctor ordered.

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