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Cold Stone Creamery® Franchise

Looking for the next big thing in franchising? The answer might be closer than you think.

For many business owners, a Cold Stone Creamery franchise represents one of the best opportunities for making a low-risk, high-reward investment – without chaining yourself to your business for 80+ hours a week.

Below are just a few of the reasons why you should consider investing in Cold Stone: 

Cold Stone® Is Growing.

The birth of the Cold Stone Creamery franchise occurred in Arizona in 1988. The founders, Donald and Susan Sutherland, grew that one small Tempe store into a few hundred before merging with food giant Kahala Corp. in 2007.

Now there are over a thousand Cold Stones® locations in the U.S. – pretty incredible growth for a 25 year period. That’s not even counting the 400+ worldwide, either – and the international market promises to be fertile for continued growth in the years to come, as well.

Many other fast food franchises, have reached the limit of their feasible growth – and in many cases, they’re contracting. Cold Stone has barely scratched the surface of profitable locations, meaning there’s still big money that can be made for new investors.

Cold Stone Offers Huge Potential for Significant ROI.

One of the great things about the franchise is they have a low barrier for entry. The company estimates that it will cost between $277k and $464k to get up and running – compare that to a million plus for some other franchises.

Not only is it less expensive to get in, but staying in business is cheaper than other options:

  • Rent on your location is cheaper than you’ll find for other franchises, since each store is relatively small.
  • You don’t need a lot of equipment or storage space for ingredients, since you’re not responsible for making dozens of different menu items.
  • Each store requires little manpower, with a staff of about 10-15 people. Not only does this save on payroll costs, but fewer employees means fewer potential headaches for you.

If this was all a Cold Stone Creamery franchise offered – lower overhead – it would still make it a front runner as a strong business to own. However, each store also represents an incredible opportunity for profit.

The ice cream itself is premium, which means you can justify a higher price point. Consumers have shown a willingness to pay more for higher quality, and this willingness isn’t dependent on the health of the economy.

All of this adds up to big profits for store owners – and fast. Once you see the lines of customers around a Cold Stone Creamery franchise, you’ll quickly realize why the chain is growing so quickly. The simple fact is, people have discovered the difference that quality makes – and they’re willing to pay for it.

Join the Cold Stone Craze Now!

If you want to get in on the incredible growth this ice cream retailer is experiencing, you should act quickly. New stores are springing up every day – you don’t want to wake up one day to discover that your dream location has a bright, new (and busy) Cold Stone standing there.

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.

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® 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.

Cold Stone Creamery® For Sale

As franchising has grown more attractive to investors in recent years, analysts are always on the look out for the “next big thing.” Now, many are saying that Cold Stone Creamery may just be what they’ve been looking for.

The premium ice cream brand has been popping up all over the United States, and is increasing its reach abroad as well. Given the growth and healthy profits the franchise is experiencing, finding a Cold Stone® for sale is a bit like finding a winning lottery ticket.

A big part of why Cold Stone has been so successful is because they go the extra mile to make sure their franchisees have the resources they need. They leave no stone unturned when it comes to prepping the new franchisees in every step of the business, and the results are apparent on the bottom line.

They don’t leave things like finding a prime location or negotiating leases to chance. Instead, they offer their franchisees training on how to make these decisions correctly, so they start off on the right foot

This is important, because the initial, pre-open set up of a franchise can make all the difference between success down the road, or becoming just another shuttered business. Cold Stone clearly recognizes this, which is why they pour so many resources into franchisee training.

Beyond the initial set up, they also make a point of helping their franchisees out during day-to-day operations. Whether it’s via their corporate help hotline or the monthly brand newsletter, franchisees are always kept up to date on how to maximize their business. This is equivalent to having an extremely experienced partner that’s as dedicated to your success as you are.

Of course, not everyone wants to go through all the fuss of opening their own store. This is why the company also offers ready-made, already functional Cold Stone® locations, so that an investor can just swoop in and take over operations.

This allows you to invest in an established  commodity, rather than speculate on future success. Each of these Cold Stone® locations are under corporate control until such time as a suitable franchisee is found, so you can have confidence they’ll be well-managed and geared for growth.

Many investors choose to go this route, if only to avoid the headaches that can be caused  from of launching a new location. For your investment, you get an established location, equipment, a dependable staff…you’re basically purchasing a well-oiled machine.

Finding an established Cold Stone for sale like this is one of the easiest ways to get ahead as a franchisee. While other investors are trying to model success, you’re buying the reins to a strong organization already. You really can’t-miss with this type of investment, which is why they’re high in demand.

Regardless of whether you want to start your own franchise from scratch or take over an existing location, Cold Stone Creamery® offers a wealth of exciting opportunities for franchisees. The world-class support and universal brand recognition make this one of the safest investments at the moment, and the outlook remains rosy for the coming years.