Most Commonly Asked Questions about a Ben & Jerry's Franchise Scoop Shop
What kind of experience do I need to be considered as a Ben & Jerry’s franchisee?
We are seeking franchisees who share our commitment to operating great Scoop Shops in a socially-responsible way and want to give back to their communities in creative and impactful ways. Our franchisees need to have at least 2 years of prior restaurant or retail management experience at the General Manager level or higher (ideally in QSR) within the past 10 years, solid business acumen, upstanding community involvement, the ability to meet our financial qualifications, and a desire to follow our systems, requirements and guidelines. Being a Ben & Jerry’s brand fanatic helps, too!
What kinds of shops are you interested in opening?
We’re interested in partnering with franchisees who are looking to open in high foot-traffic locations and operate Ben & Jerry’s scoop shops that give our customers a terrific brand experience. These locations may be seasonal or year ‘round. The customer base may be heavily tourist, or the site may be in an entertainment center with a regional draw. College campuses, hospitals, airports and other smaller opportunities (walk-up or kiosk) are of interest as well.
What markets are available to develop new scoop shops?
We are excited about opening scoop shops in beach towns along the East Coast, and eager to open additional locations in Miami, NYC, Orange County and Chicago. We’re always interested in talking with anyone about universities, amusement parks, cruise ships, airports and other captive locations. We may also have opportunities to purchase an existing Scoop Shop. Click here for a list of open markets. If you have a special opportunity in an exceptional captive location outside of our list of open markets, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Do I have to be involved in the business full-time?
Yes. We are seeking franchisees who will commit their full-time best efforts to developing their business. This includes managing the day-to-day operations of the store, executing a local store marketing plan, building a catering and special events business, and activating the brand and social mission through community involvement. Although multi-unit operators will need to build a management team as their business grows, they are still required to be involved in the business on a full-time basis.
What are the financial requirements to become a Ben & Jerry’s franchisee?
For a single store, you will need a strong credit history as well as a minimum net worth of $350K, of which $100K needs to be liquid.
Does Ben & Jerry’s provide financing?
We do not currently offer financing.
How long does it take to become a Ben & Jerry’s franchisee?
Most of that depends on you and how much time you have to dedicate to learning about the business. On average, it should take between 30 - 45 days for you to fully evaluate our Ben & Jerry’s scoop shop program. Phone interviews, applications, personal interviews and a trip to Vermont all happen before we mutually agree that we’re right for each other.
When can I review your Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD)?
We’ll provide our Franchise Disclosure Document to all qualified candidates, upon receiving your completed application.
What if my market of interest is not currently available?
There are a variety of reasons why your market may not be open for development. If you meet our basic criteria, and submit your contact information, we will keep this information on file for at least six months. We will do our best to notify you when an opportunity becomes available in your market.
What type of training and support does Ben & Jerry’s provide to franchisees?
We provide both initial and ongoing training and support. It all starts with 8 days of hands-on training at Scoop University in Vermont. When your store is close to opening, you will also receive a few days of on-site training at your shop. You’ll have a Regional Business Consultant who will come to your shop a few times a year and a full- service staff here in Vermont to answer your questions anytime. Our marketing and technical teams are based here as well and offer exceptional support and programs.
Does Ben & Jerry’s provide assistance with site selection?
Perhaps the most challenging and important decision that you will make is choosing a location. Although our franchisees are responsible for leading the search, our team will guide you through understanding our site selection criteria and process and give you access to some helpful tools. You will complete a detailed site evaluation package for each site you submit for consideration. Ultimately, a location must be approved by our Site Evaluation Committee to move forward.
What is the typical square footage required to open a Ben & Jerry’s scoop shop?
We have a few different store models that can meet just about any real estate opportunity. Our traditional shops average about 900 sq. ft.; however, sites can range from 100 sq. ft. to 1200 sq. ft. depending upon many factors. We will guide you through our design & build process and help you evaluate and maximize each proposed location.
What are the royalties and fees?
Our initial franchise fee is $37,000. The royalty is 3% and there is a 4% marketing contribution (2% contributed to the national fund monthly, and 2% that you are required to spend annually in your own market and at your own discretion, although we’re always here to help you make those marketing plans.)
How much money can I make as a franchisee?
The profitability of a Scoop Shop can vary greatly, depending upon many factors. These include the location of the store, sales volume, occupancy costs, the terms of financing, and other operating costs. Furthermore, the franchisee’s aptitude at building and managing a staff, marketing the store, and overseeing all the financial aspects of the business will have a large impact. We do not predict the sales or profitability of any new location. As part of our Discovery Process, we will provide you with a list of our franchisees and locations so that you may contact them directly to discuss sales and earnings information.