The Franchise Chatter Blog’s List of 17 Things You Need to Know Before Investing in a Tasti D-Lite Franchise
Tasti D-Lite Product Line
1. Tasti D-Lite is a soft-serve, dairy-based frozen dessert that is significantly lower in calories, fat, and carbohydrates than ice cream and much lower in sugar than frozen yogurt. It’s made from natural ingredients with virtually no preservatives added.
2. It’s not ice cream because it does not have the high butterfat or total solids content to be called ice cream. And it’s not frozen yogurt because it doesn’t contain active yogurt bacteria.
3. Relative to ice cream and frozen yogurt, Tasti D-Lite is a guilt-free treat. In a 4 fl. oz. serving, most Tasti flavors contain 70 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 13 grams or less of carbs, and 2 grams of protein.
4. Tasti D-Lite comes in 100 flavors, with four to six different options available every day, depending on the location. For customers who prefer the tangy flavor of frozen yogurt, they can choose from several Tart ’n Tasti flavors. Customers can enjoy Tasti D-Lite in cups, cones, smoothies, shakes, parfaits, and sundaes.
5. The company recently added blended frozen coffee and tea to their product line. Inspired by smoothie chains and juice bars, Tasti D-Lite offers customers the option to add one of eight nutritious Tasti Shots to any of their blended products. Tasti cakes, pies, and Tasti D-Lite by the pint or quart are available to go.
6. Tasti D-Lite was founded in 1987 by a woman in New York City and her food technologist father, with the goal of creating a delicious but guilt-free frozen dessert. For many years, Tasti D’Lite was sold by independent licensee wholesalers throughout New York, until the brand was purchased in February 2007 by SPG Partners LLC, a New York-based private equity firm. The company began franchising in 2008.
7. SPG purchased the proprietary formula for Tasti D-Lite but created the entire franchise program from the ground up, including the operating manuals, branding, training program, and technology.
8. Tasti D-Lite’s CEO is Jim Amos, a well known and respected franchise executive with an impressive track record. He grew Mail Boxes Etc. to more than 4,000 units before selling it to UPS in 2001. Jim was also the former CEO of Brice Foods, whose I Can’t Believe It’s Yogurt! brand grew to more than 1,300 domestic and international locations during his tenure before being sold to Yogen Früz in 1996.
9. Tasti D-Lite currently has 63 locations, 60 of which are franchise units (including its international locations in Mexico and Dubai). For 2011, the company’s goal is to open 50 US locations and 14 internationally. Their long-term goal is to build a global 500-unit franchised network and become the number one “good-for-you” frozen treat brand in the world.
The Tasti D-Lite Franchise Retail Format
10. Tasti D-Lite franchisees can choose from 3 different retail formats depending on their location and the demographics of their market: traditional full-service, hybrid, and non-traditional.
11. A traditional full-service location is between 600 and 1200 square feet (with a target of 900 square feet) with seating for 20-30 guests.
12. The hybrid model combines full-service (for customers ordering smoothies and blended drinks) and self-service (utilizing the weigh-and-pay method for cups and cones).
13. Non-traditional options include kiosks, mobile units, and outlets as small as 200 square feet for universities, airports, groceries, and convenience stores.
14. The total initial investment to open a Tasti D-Lite location in the US ranges from $240,000 to $424,810, inclusive of the $30,000 franchisee fee, the $15,000 Opening Logistics, Training, and Software Management fee, and working capital. The minimum net worth requirement is $250,000, of which $70,000 must be in cash.
15. Franchisees pay a monthly royalty of 5% of gross sales, and a monthly contribution to the national marketing fund of 2% of gross sales.
The Tasti D-Lite Franchise Training and Support
16. Initial training for new franchisees consists of 3 one-week modules: one week of classroom training, one week of in-center training at a Tasti training center, and one week of center readiness training on opening week.
17. Franchisee support includes regular on-site visits, a private franchisee intranet (called TastiNet) with information and tools to help franchisees, grand opening marketing support, and ongoing product development and marketing support.