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FDD Talk: The Marble Slab Creamery Franchise Opportunity (Financial Performance Analysis, Estimated Costs, and Other Important Stuff You Need to Know)

by Franchise Chatter on February 24, 2016

in FDD Talk 2017: Food Franchises, Franchise Earnings, Frozen Dessert Franchise, Ice Cream Franchise



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Marble Slab Creamery Photo by Global Franchise Group Development

In this FDD Talk post, you’ll learn the following:

  • Section I – Background information on the Marble Slab Creamery franchise opportunity, including relevant news updates
  • Section II – Estimated initial investment for a Marble Slab Creamery franchise, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2015 FDD
  • Section III – Presentation and analysis of Marble Slab Creamery’s financial performance representations, based on Item 19 of the company’s 2015 FDD, including information on the:
  • 2014 average net sales, same store sales growth, cost of goods sold, labor costs, rent, owner count, and store count for the 188 traditional Marble Slab Creamery stores that were open for all of 2014 and were not co-branded
  • 2014 average net sales, same store sales growth, owner count, and store count for Marble Slab Creamery stores owned by franchisees with 1 to 2 traditional stores each, that were open for all of 2014 and were not co-branded
  • 2014 average net sales, same store sales growth, owner count, and store count for Marble Slab Creamery stores owned by franchisees with 3 to 5 traditional stores each, that were open for all of 2014 and were not co-branded
  • 2014 average net sales, same store sales growth, owner count, and store count for Marble Slab Creamery stores owned by franchisees with more than 5 traditional stores each, that were open for all of 2014 and were not co-branded

Section I – Background Information

Marble Slab Creamery Reverses Decline, Launches Major Turnaround

The numbers are up at Marble Slab Creamery, which announced in June 2015 that following its two-year price restructuring and customer-experience improvements, the brand was seeing a major turnaround.

The Georgia-based chain posted a 5.8 percent increase in same-store sales, a 4 percent rise in transactions, and an increase of 9.8 percent in average unit volumes in the year to date.

Marble Slab emerged from five years of significant declines in sales to post positive numbers in 2014, when it had a 4.39 percent rise in same-store sales and 7.8 percent increase in average unit volumes. In its price restructuring, the company asked franchisees to lower prices while offering unlimited mix-ins; the amount of the mix-ins were to be lowered as more mix-ins were added.

“Marble Slab Creamery has always had superior ice cream and mix-in offerings that customers love, but we were always considered a small player in the national ice cream shop scene,” Allison Lauenstein, vice president of ice cream brands for Global Franchise Group, said in a news release.

“We’ve improved the direction of the concept, reconnected to our customers and bettered the Marble Slab experience.” Lauenstein continued. “We’ve worked hard to increase sales and profitability by emphasizing our differentiators and we anticipate continued results. We might be smaller than Baskin Robbins and Cold Store Creamery, but we’re coming on stronger than ever with our outstanding performance.”

New and Rich Ice Cream Cakes

Building on the positive sales numbers, Marble Slab Creamery has been expanding its offerings, including a midyear introduction of a new line of ice cream cakes in 10 rich flavors, from Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownie Overload to Visit to the Candy Shop, as well as new ice-cream flavors.

Also new in 2015 was the Marble Slab ordering platform, order.marbleslab.com.

Ice Cream Made Fresh With Local Dairy Ingredients

Marble Slab Creamery’s batches of ice cream are made fresh in each store with dairy ingredients from local farms and flavor ingredients that originate from around the world.

The chain began in 1983 as a single store, Cones & Cream, in Houston, Texas, founded by chefs Penn and LaPage. The company in 1986 pioneered the use of a frozen granite slab for mixing toppings into its ice cream. Employees mix the customers’ chosen ingredients into the ice cream. Also available are ice cream cakes and pies, waffle cones, brownies, smoothies and frozen yogurt.

The chain is franchised by Global Franchise Group, a brand management company whose portfolio includes Great American Cookies, Hot Dog on a Stick, MaggieMoo’s Ice Cream & Treatery, and Pretzelmaker, among others. These brands are managed by GFC Management, a subsidiary of Global Franchise Group, which itself is a portfolio company of Levine Leichtman Capital Partners, an independent investment firm.

International Growth Continues

Marble Slab Creamery entered Mexico in January 2016 through an agreement with JCM Group, which plans to open more stores within the country. The brand also entered Pakistan in December 2014.

The chain has more than 135 international locations in Bahrain, Canada, Guam, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Singapore.

Section II – Estimated Costs

  • Please click here for detailed estimates of Marble Slab Creamery franchise costs, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2015 FDD (updated).

Section III – Financial Performance Representations (Item 19, 2015 FDD) and Analysis



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