Top 5 Ice Cream Franchises in the UK

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ice cream franchises

Ice cream is without a doubt Britain’s favourite dessert. Fancy starting your own business in the lucrative sector? Read on to discover our top five ice cream franchises in the UK.


Even with our consistent rainy days, Britons delight in a nostalgic 99 cone. The UK comes tenth in the top ice-cream consumers of the world, with an estimated 7 litres consumed per person annually. Brands like Ben and Jerry’s, Haagen Daz and Magnum fill our freezers as we indulge in our after-dinner treats. British people are calculated to have guzzled down £192 million worth of the frozen dairy treat in one year alone. The ice cream business is a solid industry for a franchise; one which opens a wide range of opportunities for development and profitability.

The viability and opportunities of an ice cream franchise continue to grow. For example, with the rising popularity in veganism, the US dairy-free ice cream market is set to be worth $1bn by 2024. The UK is already introducing dairy-free frozen treats to its freezers, from brands like Cornetto, Magnum, Ben and Jerry’s and Alpro. But there is room for even more vegan alternatives in the business – ones that could be worth billions one day.


Top 5 ice cream franchises in the UK

1. Amorino

The ice cream franchise was founded in 2002, serving a variety of different gelato and sorbet flavours whilst catering for the dairy-free consumer too. It boasts 170 locations over 19 different countries. However, the UK only has branches in London and Leeds currently, but this offers the perfect opportunity to expand.

  • Becoming an Amorino franchisee: Amorino wants someone who can combine organisation with commercial skills to manage their team. You must be on the ball when it comes to the latest updates to the brand and have an eye for detail, and most importantly, be ready to listen when it comes to both your team and Head Office.
     
  • How much you need to invest: A potential Amorino franchisee will need financial liquidity of £200,000 per store, but you also will need an initial investment between £30,000 and £150,000. Franchisees should expect a total investment of around £500,000.
     
  • What you get for your investment: You can expect a possible potential revenue after 2 years of £425,000 and average space of 60 square foot. Amorino will also assist you in the pre-opening of the store, all necessary training and any follow-up. When running your shop, Amorino’s quality products will arrive ready for sale and you can enjoy excellent profit margins. Your investment will mean a maximisation of your potential as an Amorino franchisee.

2. Baskin Robbins

The Baskin Robbins UK franchise comprises of more than 150 stores around the UK and it’s expected to expand further. The international franchise offers every sweet treat you could imagine on its menu, from its famous ice cream in a variety of flavours to milkshakes and sundaes. The US franchise is always looking to expand itself internationally.

  • Becoming a Baskin Robbins franchisee: So, here’s the scoop on how to become a Baskin Robbins franchisee. You’ll need some experience in Multi-unit Quick-Service Restaurant, retail or food service, as well as some expertise in negotiating and real estate knowledge, but you will receive support from the franchise. It’s helpful if you have a vision or strategy for how to develop the enterprise too – and don’t forget the £500k in liquid assets.
     
  • How much you need to invest: The franchise fee for a Baskin Robbins outlet will require you to raise an initial £11,500. The minimum invest per unit is £100,000 for a contract period of 10 years and you’ll be paying an advertising fee of 2 percent.
     
  • What you get for your investment: Potential franchisees will go through three weeks of technical and classroom training. Baskin Robbins will assist in finding a suitable location to maximise your profits and Head Office will provide support throughout the process and the follow-up. It will also arrange quarterly conferences where franchisees can meet, networks and exchange ideas and practices. Even marketing resources are supplied by the franchisor to ensure the most effective advertising.

3. Creams Café

The retro Americana-style café began its development in 2008 and offers a sweet fast-food style menu to its customers. The Café boasts healthy alternatives and even a vegan menu. Its Pop-Art-style design and marketing aims to reach its target teen audience but is also a great spot for a family day-out to treat the kids. The franchise of over 85 stores is a unique opportunity to start your own ice cream franchise that reaches out to a modern audience and keeps up with the trends.

  • Becoming a Creams Café franchisee: To become a franchisee for Creams, you must be able to pay a £14,950 + VAT fee for each unit, plus a 5 percent royalty fee and a 1 percent marketing fee. Previous food service experience is extremely beneficial for your ease into the project but rest assured that the in-depth training does not make this a requirement.
     
  • How much you need to invest: Franchisees can expect a total investment of £500,000 and a 2 percent advertising fee.
     
  • What you get for your investment: Prospective franchisees will be given extensive and comprehensive training at the Creams Academy, comprising of a 21-day course and certificate. You’ll also be provided with a refresher class in the follow-up and ongoing support from the franchisor. The franchise will also give you the right to use the trademark and their system for all processes that come with an ice cream franchise.

4. Haagen Dazs

Haagen Dazs is a long-standing brand, having been founded 60 years ago in 1960 by Reuben Mattus. The company made its way from its first store in New York, to ending up expanding to the UK in 1990 with the first outlet in Leicester Square. Haagen Dazs uses the finest luxury ingredients to stand out and make its name in the market as a definite leading ice cream franchise. The franchise boasts 800 outlets internationally but is always looking for more.

  • Becoming a Haagen Dazs franchisee: Are you hard-working and committed? The perfect candidate should be able to dedicate time to the franchise full-time. You do not need experience in the ice cream business – just an entrepreneurial mind.
     
  • How much you need to invest: Opening your own frozen franchise will require a minimum personal investment of £23,000 and a total of £119,000. On top of that, you’ll also need to pay a monthly royalty and advertising fee. Haagen Dazs can help you out with a loan through its third-party connections.
     
  • What you get for your investment: As an approved franchisee, you’ll get to attend a 9-day training course in a US facility or another, if required. This will total up to 60 hours of classroom training and 16 hours of first-hand training through shadowing. You’ll also receive extensive marketing support and organised events for the opening of our Haagen Dazs store.

5. Sprinkles Gelato

Sprinkles Gelato began as a family-run business in 2012. It dishes up everything from gelato made by hand, waffles, crepes, sundaes, cakes, milkshakes and coffee. Its chains are perfect for a wide audience, from families with kids who want their weekend treat and parents who need their coffee, to teens looking for an after-school pick-me-up and natter over a milkshake. The sweet and sugary franchise now extends to over 16 locations across England, so there’s plenty of scope to develop the brand.

  • Becoming a Sprinkles Gelato franchisee: Sprinkles Gelato is looking for candidates who are well acquainted with what it means to be professional, enthusiastic and loyal to the brand. As always, prior experience in a managing role will help you out and get you on track faster, but it’s by no means mandatory for running your own business in the ice cream industry for the first time.
     
  • How much you need to invest: The typical start-up cost of a Sprinkles Gelato store will need you to raise £300,000 overall and a minimum personal investment of £100,000.
     
  • What you get for your investment: Franchisees and their staff will be provided training. This comprises of four weeks for franchisees and managers, and one to two weeks training for team members. A Sprinkles Gelato team will also assist you in store during your first week of opening.

Join the ice cream parlour business today

These five ice cream franchises all offer a different route in the industry that you can tailor to your criteria as a potential franchisee. There’s plenty of room for innovation and expansion in such a popular industry in British culture. If you are interested in potentially becoming an ice cream franchisee, please get in touch with the relevant franchisor either through our directory or via their website.

>> Read more articles on the Ice Cream sector

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