Tag Archives: Cold Stone Creamery corporate

Cold Stone® Franchise Cost

For many would-be business owners, the world of franchising is very attractive, as it offers ready-made businesses with proven profit potential. Many of these same prospects, however, are shocked when they discover the “true” cost of owning a franchise.

It’s not hard to see where the sticker shock comes in. Consider all of the things that factor into how much a franchise will cost you:

  • The franchise fee (a set, non-refundable fee the corporate office charges you)
  • Startup costs (including finding and leasing a space, building a store, buying equipment and supplies, and more)
  • Marketing fees (and with most franchises, you’re on your own in terms of marketing your specific store)
  • Employee costs (including pay – and some franchises need a small army of employees, insurance, and training)

 Is There A Better Way?

There are franchises that can offer a ROI comparable to McDonald’s – maybe even superior – without requiring you to take a huge risk upfront. Consider the Cold Stone Creamery® franchise cost, for example.

They also require a franchise fee, but it’s only $27k – just over half of McDonald’s. At most, they estimate it will cost $464k to start up your location, meaning you can save over a million dollars right off the bat. This gives your business a much higher chance of success, as you won’t be trying to dig yourself out of a huge hole from Day One.

Not only do you start off on firmer financial footing, but the savings can add up over the life of the business.

Compare the menus, for example – a typical burger chain has dozens of options, from cheeseburgers and fries to dessert to a dedicated breakfast menu. This means you need a ton of dedicated equipment for every item, not to mention storage for the ingredients. It adds up fast.

At Cold Stone, you have an ice cream product line. This means less equipment, less expensive storage, and less manpower. That’s a lot of savings – which can translate directly into money in your pocket.

 Count the Cost

Before you jump into the franchise game, be sure the numbers add up. The Cold Stone Creamery franchise cost is so much lower than many competing options that it makes it one of the strongest plays on the market today.

Who would’ve guessed that a little ice cream shop could make for the perfect dragon slayer?

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Cold Stone Creamery Franchise Information

Premium ice cream has been a booming industry for quite a few years now, and that fact is not going unnoticed by investors. Many would-be franchisees, both novices and experts alike, are lining up to get into the premium ice cream game.

If you’re one of these people, or even if you’re just now considering the franchise, this guide was designed to give you all the Cold Stone Creamery franchise information you need.

About the Company

Despite only being around for a short time, Cold Stone Creamery has already established itself as a leader in premium ice cream. The chain is known for its wide array of mix-ins, which allow for thousands of flavor combinations.

The franchise started in Tempe, AZ, in 1988. Opened by Donald and Susan Sutherland, it soon spread across Arizona, and later, the rest of the United States and across the world. The chain merged with Kahala Corp. in 2007.

Currently, there are approximately 1,400 Cold Stone franchises in operation domestically and abroad.

Costs of Cold Stone Franchising

In order to become a franchisee, you must submit an application and be approved by the company. They require $250k net worth with at least $100k in liquid (non-debt) assets.

The franchise fee is $27k, and the company estimates that startup costs can range from $277k-464k. Once operational, the company takes 6% of gross profits, plus an additional 3% that goes towards marketing initiatives.

Many other fast food franchises have startup costs that are at least double that of opening a Cold Stone, making it one of the more inexpensive franchising options.

Corporate Support

Cold Stone prides itself on providing franchisees with top-level support, both before and after opening.

Before you open your store, you are invited to “Cold Stone University” at the corporate office in Scottsdale, AZ. Here, you will be shown the ins and outs of running your location. The company requires 40 hours of classroom training and 80 hours of in-store training before you open your doors to customers. You will learn about the brand, corporate support, marketing, operations, and you’ll be shown how to operate a successful franchise during this week.

You are also eligible to have a Cold Stone expert come to your location for personalized training. There, they will cover any and all issues specific to your restaurant. If you require further assistance, the company offers a support hotline for franchisees.

Time Commitment

Cold Stone’s hours of operation varyby location, but can be from 11:00 am to 11:0 pm. This favorable schedule allows franchisees to attain a rewarding work/life balance, and is one of the primary selling points for many franchisees.

Because each store only has about a dozen employees and limited equipment, the demands on the franchisee are less than comparative franchises.

Summary

This Cold Stone Creamery franchise information was intended to help you make a decision about investing in the corporation. Now is an ideal time to join the Cold Stone team, as they are currently expanding their operations at home and overseas.

If you’re looking for a fairly low-risk, high-reward franchise that offers fantastic corporate support and won’t demand all of your free time, Cold Stone Creamery may just be what you’ve been searching for.

Cold Stone For Sale

If you’ve been thinking about owning and operating your own fast food franchise, the first place you should start is looking for a Cold Stone Creamery for sale.

Many people overlook this booming franchise because they think they can’t make as much money selling ice cream as they could with hamburgers, sandwiches, or other food choices. However, this line of thinking runs contrary to the respectable profits enjoyed by many Cold Stone owners – which is why the company has grown so quickly at home and abroad.

The fact is, Cold Stone offers one of the lower-risk, higher-reward investment opportunities available in the franchise world. Thanks to the high profit margin, you don’t need to invest a ton of capital to see a substantial return on your investment.

An ice cream parlor is a very low-cost business. Ice cream is not expensive to make or preserve, and the fact that Cold Stone doesn’t have thousands of menu items means you won’t have to spend a fortune on a lot of equipment and raw materials.

In addition, because you won’t have to store all of this extra stuff, you won’t need to pay an arm and a leg leasing a gigantic store, either. All you really need is a space big enough for your counter and stone, your limited amount of equipment, and a few tables for your customers (most of whom will be taking their ice cream to go, anyway).

That’s it – no need for a giant storeroom or fancy decoration. Your customers come mainly for the super premium ice cream, and superior service, which can save you a fortune over the life of your business.

Another reason why Cold Stone represents such a solid investment opportunity is the level of training and support the company provides franchisees. Every owner is given a solid base education on how to run their business, so you don’t have to worry about being left to fend for yourself from day one.

It’s one thing to be offered the chance to own your own franchise. It’s quite another to be taught how to run it by experts who have been there themselves. This is the Cold Stone difference, and it will definitely show up on your balance sheet.

Of course, if you don’t want to go through the hassle of opening up your own brand-new location, the company also offers you the chance to buy one of the existing Cold Stone locations for sale.

These are stores that are already up and running (and turning a profit). They’re under corporate control, and the company is just waiting for the right investor to come along so that they can turn the keys over.

Where else are you going to get the chance to buy a bustling business without paying through the nose for it?

If you’re looking for a thriving franchise to invest in, do yourself a favor and find a Cold Stone for sale. The chain has strong customer loyalty and brand awareness, and you won’t find a better chance to make money without spending every waking minute slaving over the business.

Who knew ice cream could be such a sweet business?

Cold Stone Creamery Corporate Office

Many franchise owners have tunnel vision. They think the chain begins and ends with their specific location, and they never give a second thought to things that might be happening at other branches, even though these events can affect their business as well.

This is understandable – after all, you went into business to benefit yourself, not other owners. However, to be a successful franchisee, you need to at least have a strong understanding of what’s happening with your fellow franchise locations and corporate office. Doing so will put you in prime position to succeed, no matter what other owners are doing.

At the Cold Stone Creamery corporate office in Scottsdale, AZ, company execs are continually strategizing new ways to help franchisees succeed. Whether in the form of increased training or additional marketing support, they realize that their success is inextricably tied to that of their franchisees.

This may seem like common sense, but it’s actually a rare perspective in the world of franchising. Most corporate parents merely demand that their franchisees succeed, with little concern about actually helping do so.If a franchisee struggles or goes under, they have a long list of replacements ready to fill the location and resume business in no time

The Cold Stone Creamery corporate office, actually doubles as a training ground for new franchisees. It’s also known as “Cold Stone University,” because it’s where new owners go to learn everything they need to know about running their own business.

Need to know how to spot and secure a great location? The corporate office can help you with that. Not sure how to negotiate a fair price on equipment? It’s all covered at Cold Stone U. Want help hiring employees, running your business more efficiently, or figuring out new marketing angles? The corporate office is here to help.

It’s hard to overstate just how helpful this support is. For many franchisees, especially inexperienced ones, it can literally make the difference between success and failure.

After all, one of the most powerful assets a new businessperson can have is an experienced mentor. At the Cold Stone Creamery corporate office, you have a whole team of experienced businesspeople ready to guide you through every step of the process.

The support doesn’t end once your doors are open, either. Thanks to a toll-free support hotline they offer every franchisee, you can get help with whatever you need, whenever you need it. You also will have designated contacts in operations, marketing and so forth ready for your every need, questions or concern. You needn’t worry about bugging them – as far as they’re concerned, this is the most important job they have.

If you’re thinking about getting into the franchising game, be sure to pick a chain that will have your back when you need it most.

At Cold Stone Creamery, the road to success is paved through teamwork. The franchise communicate and corporate teams work hand in hand to get there, with support at every single level– and this will show in the level of support they provide every step of the way.

Cold Stone® Hours of Operation

When looking to invest in a franchise opportunity, many investors focus almost entirely on the financial side of the ledger: what are the costs going to be? How much can I make?

This is completely understandable. After all, that’s the whole point of owning your own business – to make money. However, this approach is somewhat short-sighted, which is a fact that many franchisees learn the hard way.

You see, being your own boss isn’t just about giving yourself a raise whenever you want one. It’s also about freeing yourself to enjoy the new life you’ve created (and the money you’ve made). If having your own business means you just slave away on your own payroll as opposed to someone else’s, then what’s the point?

That’s why one of the most critical questions you can ask yourself when researching your options is how much of a work/life balance your new business will allow. Is it going to be non-time intensive, or is it going to overwhelm every waking minute with drama and stress?

One of the best ways to determine this is simply to look at the franchise’s hours of operation. This will give you a quick idea of how much time you’ll have to take out of your week to spend on daily operations at your location.

Of course, your time at the store will be limited by the presence of managers and other employees, but at the end of the day you’re still going to want to be there often. Being involved can save you money in all sorts of ways, so ask yourself how much you will absolutely have to be there.

For example, hours of operation for Cold Stone locations vary from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm. That’s half a day, giving you plenty of time to focus on other things. Better still, clean up and setup won’t add many hours to your day.

Also, because Cold Stone is such a high-traffic business with fairly defined demand times, you don’t have to worry about missing out on revenue during the hours you’re not open.

Compare this to many fast food burger franchises. It’s quite common for them to be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – meaning you’ll never get a break from the worries and demands of your business.

After all, as the head honcho, you’ll ultimately be the one “on-call” when something goes wrong. If you own a Cold Stone, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll get a call in the middle of the night about a problem at the store.

Opening your own franchise location is a weighty, potentially lucrative, decision. It may seem like there’s an endless amount of decisions to be made, and that’s not far from the truth. However, this continues even after the store is up and running, so it’s important to find a business that will allow you to enjoy your life away from work.

Thanks to the hours of operation for Cold Stone locations, which are quite friendly to franchisees, you can own a business that actually lets you live a life, too.

Cold Stone Creamery® Franchise Problems

Anyone with experience owning their own franchise store will tell you, it’s not always smooth sailing. In fact, sometimes it seems like there are days when nothing can go right.

As strange as it may seem, however, these are some of the most important days you’ll face as a franchisee. That’s because how things go when things aren’t going well may be the best determination of a franchise’s overall worth.

That’s when you learn things like:

  • The true downside to owning and operating your own business
  • The amount of support you can count on from the corporate office
  • How much you really enjoy being your own boss

With that in mind, let’s take a look at what a “bad” day looks like for one of the most popular franchise opportunities on the market: Cold Stone Creamery.

First, however, let’s examine a few of the problems you likely most likely won’t have to deal with as a Cold Stone® franchise owner:

  • No problem attracting clients, as the brand is strong with tremendous customer loyalty
  • No headaches advertising your location, as the company has co-op marketing support from professionals
  • No hassle with pre-opening problems, as the corporate staff trains you on every aspect of the process, from finding a location to hiring a crew

One of the biggest Cold Stone Creamery® franchise problems you could face is that you find yourself getting behind when there’s a long line of customers. This can happen fairly easily, given the wide array of options available to every customer, and sometimes it will just seem like you can never get ahead of the rush.

All in all, though, that’s a good problem to have. Also, since the company will help guide you through the hiring process, you should have a good crew backing you up and helping you through the crunch.

It also helps that it’s hard to be angry when you’re waiting for ice cream.

Another potential problem – and one that can affect any business – is equipment failure. What do you do if your freezer breaks, ruining all the ice cream?

Luckily, if this were to happen at a Cold Stone®, as opposed to other franchises, it would be significantly less devastating for two reasons. First, ice cream represents a small investment with a significant profit margin. If, worst-case scenario, you lose all your ice cream, you really won’t be out that much, dollar-wise.

Second, whenever things go wrong in ways you don’t know how to handle, the corporate office provides franchisees with a toll-free help hotline. This means that, when things are falling down all around you, a helpful, experienced friend is just a phone call away.

Like any other business opportunity, there are some Cold Stone Creamery franchise problems. However, many of them are few and far between, and they’re not as likely to be huge blowups like you may experience with other franchises.

This is just one of the reasons why Cold Stone is becoming one of the most popular investment opportunities in franchising today. It’s a lower cost, low-drama investment that has potential for a serious ROI…and that’s a good problem to have.

Is Cold Stone Creamery Open?

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.