7 Tips for Marketing Your Milkshake Franchise

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milkshake franchise marketing

Lots of investors are starting to see potential in milkshake franchise opportunities. If this is you, consider implementing some of our top marketing tips in your business strategy for some fantastic results.


As more and more consumers head to the high street to satisfy their sweet tooth, the UK dessert market continues to grow. Milkshake franchises, in particular, are becoming an increasingly appealing investment.

Maybe you currently run a milkshake business in the UK and are wondering how you can take your marketing strategy to the next level? Or you’re just about to invest in a milkshake franchise and would find some marketing tips helpful? Either way, in this article, we provide a rundown of how you can get creative when marketing your magnificent milkshake enterprise!

Tips for marketing your milkshake franchise

1. Make sure the milkshake ticks the basic boxes

You can’t expect people to buy your milkshakes if they don’t live up to a few basic requirements. They should be creamy and competitively priced, for example.

2. Differentiate your milkshakes

You want customers to actively choose to visit your milkshake shop, as well as spontaneously pop in while passing. Look at your competitors and think about how you can top their service. Perhaps you could offer a wider range of flavours, more indulgent toppings or a selection of vegan or healthy drinks.

3. Know what your customers want

It’s all very well introducing a range of milkshakes you’re proud of, but is it what local consumers are after? It’s no good offering ‘freakshakes’ with a mountain of cream, sprinkles and chocolate Flakes if locals are more interested in healthy drinks they can grab on their way to work. Do some market research and work out which products will be most popular in your chosen location.

4. Get personal with your customers

In order to establish a loyal customer base that stands the test of time, you need to connect with each and every one on a personal level. This means exceptional customer service and engaging with customers on social media, i.e. by responding to Instagram comments or Tweets quickly and using their first name.


5. Create customisable milkshakes

Customers will appreciate being able to create their perfect drink in your store – so give them the chance! If you specify a formula and allow people to choose their base flavour and add a set number of toppings, you’re not at risk of losing money. Perhaps you could offer a menu of pre-designed milkshakes for customers who are indecisive or in a rush, to go alongside your customisable option. Using this tip also gives you the chance to make your countertop really eye-catching. You can set out all your toppings and let customers point to the ones they want.

6. Make sure your drinks are transportable

Depending on the type of store or café you open, many of your customers may want to take their milkshakes away with them. In the UK, the ‘food on the go’ culture is growing in popularity, and lots of people opt to grab a drink to enjoy as they go about their day. To create a sustainable business, present ‘dine-in’ customers with glasses or jars, and ‘take away’ customers with recyclable paper cups. You could even offer a discount for those who bring their own reusable cup in with them.

7. Implement a price match strategy

Nowadays, customers are always reading reviews and trying to find the best deal possible on every purchase they make. Many of them also expect businesses to embrace a certain degree of price matching. If one of your customers finds they can buy a similar quality milkshake from one of your competitors at a cheaper price, is there any reason why they could stay loyal to your brand? If not, you cold consider implementing a well-publicised price matching strategy, even if it’s only for a limited time.


McDonald’s case study

The famous McDonald’s milkshakes are incredibly popular now, but they haven’t always been customer favourites. When sales of the brand’s drinks were declining, the franchise hired researchers to help work out why this was the case. Gerald Berstell sat in a McDonald’s outlet for 18 hours and analysed customer buying habits.

He discovered that most people buying milkshakes came into the store on their own, didn’t buy anything else, and didn’t drink them in the restaurant. Also, a high proportion of the milkshake purchases were made before 8am.

What can you take from this insight? Many customers liked to buy a milkshake to enjoy on their way to work.

Here’s how McDonald’s took this information and changed their service to boost sales:

  • They made their milkshakes thicker so they lasted the length of a walk or drive to work
  • They added little chunks of fruit to some milkshakes, so they were more interesting for those commuting to work and having the same experience every day
  • They installed a milkshake dispenser in restaurants so those in search of their morning refreshment were able to buy their drink without having to queue up and risk being late for work

So, consider how you can adapt your business model to provide a better service for your customers. This doesn’t mean you have to make huge changes; just a few slight alterations could help you significantly boost your income. And, of course, make sure you spread the word of these new exciting changes. Use leaflets, posters, social media platforms and Google Ads, for example, to share any changes you make to your business with your customers.

Start a milkshake franchise unit today

If you’re considering opening a milkshake franchise unit, there are a number of brands to choose between. Shakeaway is the largest milkshake-only franchise in the UK and has made something of a name for itself in recent years. Alternatively, you could opt to open a dessert franchise unit that also sells milkshakes.

>> Read more articles on the Milkshake sector

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