In this FDD Talk 2016 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 2016 FDD
- Section III – Presentation and analysis of Marble Slab Creamery’s financial performance representations, based on Item 19 of the company’s 2016 FDD, including information on the:
- 2015 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 2015 and were not co-branded
- 2015 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 2015 and were not co-branded
- 2015 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 2015 and were not co-branded
- 2015 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 2015 and were not co-branded
- 2015 average net sales, owner count, store count, and number above average net sales for the 21 franchised Great American Cookies-Marble Slab Creamery co-brand stores that were open for all of 2015
Section I – Background Information
Made from Scratch Ice Cream Helps Marble Slab Creamery Stand Out from the Competition
What makes Marble Slab Creamery stand out from the competition is their dedication to making as many of their products from scratch. Marble Slab Creamery’s ice cream is made in small batches daily on site.
Even their waffle cone batter is made from scratch at each store. These fresh-made waffle cones are available to customers at no additional cost.
Some franchisees also offer their own homemade mix-ins like cookies, brownies, and apple pie. Another great feature of Marble Slab Creamery’s mix-ins is that they are unlimited at a set price; giving customers the ability to choose as many (or as few) treats as they like.
New Pricing for Unlimited Mix-ins Boosts Sales
To combat declining sales, Marble Slab Creamery listened to customer complaints about the price of mix-ins and set prices from $2.99 to $5.99, depending on size, for unlimited mix-ins. Prior to the price change, customers were allowed one free mix-in and charged from $0.69 to $0.79 for additional toppings. With the old pricing, customers’ ice cream often ended up being more expensive than comparable servings at similar chains.
In addition to the price change, employees were re-trained on how to portion mix-ins. They were instructed to reduce the amount of each mix-in as the total number of mix-ins increased. Since the price restructuring, Marble Slab Creamery has seen a 5.8% increase in same-store sales and a 4% increase in transactions.
First to Use Frozen Slab Mixing Technique
Chefs Penn and LaPage founded Marble Slab Creamery in 1983 and started franchising the concept a year later. The company was the first to use frozen granite slabs to mix ice cream in front of customers in 1986 — two years before Cold Stone Creamery opened their first location.
In 2010, Global Franchise Group, LLC acquired Marble Slab Creamery. Franchises under the Global Franchise Group umbrella include Great American Cookies, Pretzelmaker, and Hot Dog on a Stick.
A year later, Marble Slab Creamery merged with MaggieMoo’s Ice Cream and Treatery, a smaller franchise with a similar concept. All MaggieMoo’s locations are currently in the process of being converted into the better-known Marble Slab Creamery brand.
The now merged franchise has over 470 locations worldwide.
Franchisees Can Now Open Co-Branded Marble Slab Creamery and Great American Cookies Locations
In early 2016, Global Franchise Group began offering new franchisees the opportunity to open co-branded locations. Global Franchise Group is only offering to let franchisees combine Marble Slab Creamery and Great American Cookies.
The co-branding opportunity comes with incentives that include a reduced franchise fee and royalty fee. There is a more than 50% savings on the initial franchise fee of a co-branded location.
Global Franchise Group started offering existing franchisees of both Marble Slab Creamery and Great American Cookies locations this co-branding opportunity in 2015. The combination of Great American Cookies and Marble Slab Creamery is a natural fit and locations can now offer fresh cookies for mix-ins and ice cream sandwiches.
Decadent Ice Cream Cakes Now on Their Menu
In 2015, Marble Slab Creamery launched 10 new ice cream cake flavors. These new ice cream cakes are full of bold and rich flavors like Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownie Overload, Chocolate Rocky Road Brownie, Cookie Jar Chaos, Snickers Snackers Snuckers, Savannah Banana Fudge, Mint Chocolate Meltdown, Mocha Cappuccino Fudge, Raving Craving Sprinkle Cake, Visit to the Candy Shoppe, and Strawberry Shortcake.
Customers now also have the ability to order their cakes online for in-store pick-up.
Marble Slab Creamery Gives Back to the Community
Marble Slab Creamery offers a fundraising program where local schools or organizations can earn $5 for every ice cream cake they sell. Through the program, participants sell vouchers for the ice cream cakes. Customers who purchase the vouchers have up to a year to redeem them at any Marble Slab Creamery location.
Marble Slab Creamery also has a celebrity scoop night where local celebrities or local school faculty scoop ice cream to raise money.
All restaurants under the Global Franchise Group umbrella, including Marble Slab Creamery, raised over $1 million for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) through its “A Bite for the Fight” campaign in 2015. Money was raised over the course of three years.
Middle of the Pack
Marble Slab Creamery consistently ranks somewhere in the middle of Entrepreneur Magazine’s annual Franchise 500 list. However, this year Marble Slab Creamery did not make the rankings at all. This is a large fall from Entrepreneur’s 2015 Franchise 500 list rank of 261.
In 2007, Marble Slab Creamery managed to crack the top 100 and placed at No. 93.
Section II – Estimated Costs
- Please click here for detailed estimates of Marble Slab Creamery franchise costs, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2016 FDD (updated).