This post is the second of two parts. To read Part 1, please click here.
Last year, Franchise Chatter invited a potential franchisee to post his reasons for considering investing in a Sub Zero Ice Cream franchise.
“I love the concept,” the guest blogger wrote. “The idea of making ice cream on the fly in an entertaining way seems perfect. It has the ‘gimmick’ that will get attention, but it’s backed by a solid product that people will come back for. I love what they are doing with the look and feel of the stores — using the nitrogen tank as part of the decor and using a science/chemistry theme. Atmosphere of the stores are nice, much better than a lot of the yogurt stores I have been to.”
According to the company’s Franchise Disclosure Document, the initial investment for a store ranges from $155,000 to $381,000, including a $30,000 franchise fee. An average 1,200-square-foot store can operate with 5 to 10 part-time employees, Hancock said.
The company also estimates that franchisees save 25 percent on costs over competitors because they don’t use freezers.
In addition to preparing a customized product right before the customer’s eyes, Hancock said Sub Zero Ice Cream differentiates itself from the competition by offering fast service. With three employees working behind a counter, it can take just 35 to 40 seconds to serve a customer from the time they order until the treat is made, he said.
And the number of flavors and mix-ins is part of the Sub Zero concept.
“What I wanted it to be was an experience where someone can come in and customize something and make it there own,” he said, “that they could come in and never have the same thing twice. ”
Liquid nitrogen requires careful handling, and so safety measures are part of a training program.
“A lot of the safety is understanding the product,” Hancock said. “If it touches your skin at low pressure, it just bounces off your skin.”
The Sub Zero Ice Cream training not only includes classroom instruction about operations and running the business, but also the equipment involved and the process of making the product. The company is also in the process of compiling a video library for further training, Hancock said.
“There are systems in place that we try to use that make it so it’s a no-brainier.”