Dippin’ Dots has a good reputation as a franchise, this link is one example. I have been unable to find a single unhappy franchisee, though I’m sure at least a few exist.
Some of you have heard this story before. Microbiologist Curt Jones, using a scientific background in cryogenics as his guide, invented his beaded ice cream product and founded Dippin’ Dots in March 1988.
Here are some pictures so you can get a better feel of the franchise:
Dippin’ Dots now has 55,000 square feet of production facility in the U.S. and 20,000 square feet in South Korea. Dippin’ Dots are sold in 250 retail locations and thousands of entertainment venues and special events nationwide. The company’s Global division oversees licensees in nine countries. The flavored ice Dippin’ Dots are Kosher to 😉 .
Qualifications to buy a franchise
Net worth requirement is $250,000, liquidity requirement is $75,000. The initial franchise fee is a low $12,500 and royalty is only 4%. What’s the catch, you say? Well the ice cream (dippin’ dots) must be purchased from the franchisor, of course. But the franchisees seem happy, 95% own more than one franchise and few are for sale (I’m going to call the company and get the exact number for sale).
Via Dippin’ Dots corporate web site, the estimated initial investment ranges from $69,539 to $214,750 (kiosk or built-in store)
Would I buy a franchise?
The biggest threat I see is the increasing alternative sales channels creeping on my territory. For example, Dippin’ Dots will soon be served in McDonald’s restaurants. Dippin’ Dots vending machines are popping up, including in suburban malls where most Dippin’ Dots kiosks are located. Offices, catering parties, and school and charity fundraisers can order their Dippin’ Dots directly from the corporate web site, bypassing franchisees.
Still, the market is young and the novelty of the dots are unlikely to wear off. The product is well protected by at least 11 patents, and has few disgruntled franchisees and few franchises available for resale. I still want to speak to a few franchisees but I’m leaning toward buying this franchise.