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FDD Talk 2017: What You Need to Know About the Marble Slab Creamery Franchise Opportunity (Financial Performance Analysis, Costs and Fees)

by Franchise Chatter on September 24, 2017

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



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In this FDD Talk 2017 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 2017 FDD
  • Section III – Initial franchise fee, royalty fee, marketing fee, and other fees for a Marble Slab Creamery franchise, based on Items 5 and 6 of the company’s 2017 FDD
  • Section IV – Presentation and analysis of Marble Slab Creamery’s financial performance representations, based on Item 19 of the company’s 2017 FDD, including information on the:
  • 2016 average net sales, same store sales growth, cost of goods sold, labor costs, rent, owner count, and store count for the 151 traditional Marble Slab Creamery Stores that were open for all of 2016 and were not co-branded
  • 2016 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 2016 and were not co-branded
  • 2016 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 2016 and were not co-branded
  • 2016 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 2016 and were not co-branded
  • 2016 average net sales, owner count, store count, and number above average net sales for the 20 franchised Great American Cookies-Marble Slab Creamery Co-Brand Stores that were open for all of 2016
  • 2016 average net sales broken down by brand for the 15 Stores that initially commenced operating as either a Great American Cookies or Marble Slab Creamery Store and then added on the other brand to become a Co-Brand Store, and the 5 Stores that initially commenced operating as a Co-Brand Store (separately stated)

Section I – Background Information

13 Things You Need to Know About the Marble Slab Creamery Franchise

New Hand-Scooped Shakes



1.  In May, Marble Slab Creamery launched a new line of hand-scooped swirled shakes, which features the following flavors: Coffee, Cookies ‘N Cream, Cotton Candy, Snickers, and Strawberry. The shakes are available in 12 and 20 ounce sizes and customers have the option to create a shake with any ice cream flavor of their choice. Customers can also get the shakes for $1 during Marble Slab’s “Slab Happy Hour” from 12 to 2 PM Monday through Friday.

2.  Marble Slab says that the Snickers shake and Strawberry shake have quickly become fan favorites. Director of Marketing for Marble Slab Creamery and MaggieMoo’s Sarina Lindsey said, “When you combine our delicious fresh made ice cream, mix-ins and chocolate, caramel or marshmallow swirl offerings, you have a shake that is truly out of this ‘swirled’.”

Hosts National Scoop Night to Benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

3.  On October 4, 2016, Marble Slab Creamery along with MaggieMoo’s hosted a National Scoop Night where 15% of that night’s sales were donated to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). Marble Slab Creamery’s parent company, Global Franchise Group, has partnered with LLS since 2011 and has raised more than $1.8 million for the organization across all of its brands.

4.  Allison Lauenstein, Vice President of Marble Slab Creamery and MaggieMoo’s, said that The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s cause is important because “every three minutes, someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with a blood cancer, but through events like our Scoop Night for LLS, we are raising money to fund lifesaving research.”

Launched Candy Crush-Inspired Treats



5.  Over the summer of 2016, Marble Slab Creamery partnered with King, a leading interactive entertainment company for the mobile world that owns the Candy Crush games, to create ice cream treats that feature different candy combinations.

6.  Marble Slab Creamery released three limited-time flavors: Chocolate Mountains (featuring Sweet Cream and Chocolate Ice Creams with fudge brownie pieces and rainbow sprinkles), Candy Clouds (made with Cotton Candy Ice Cream with Raspberry Sorbet, gummy bears and rainbow sprinkles), and Marshmallow Surprise (Very Yellow Marshmallow and Sweet Ice Creams with chocolate chips and rainbow sprinkles).

7.  Allison Lauenstein, Vice President of Marble Slab Creamery and MaggieMoo’s, said, “Like the Candy Crush franchise games, Marble Slab Creamery is a tasty fantasy land where customers can use their imagination and cravings to create a memorable and unique ice cream experience – the combinations are endless.”

Company History

8.  Marble Slab Creamery was founded in 1983 by chefs Sigmund Penn and Tom LaPage in Houston, Texas. Penn and LaPage were inspired by Steve Herrell of Herrell’s Ice Cream in Boston, who came up with the idea of mixing the toppings directly into the ice cream.

9.  According to Marble Slab, it was the first to use a frozen granite slab to mix toppings into ice cream in 1986, which would later inspire its rival brand Cold Stone Creamery. Later that year, Penn and LaPage sold the company to Ronnie Hankamer, who went on to franchise the Marble Slab Creamery brand.



10.  Although Marble Slab Creamery is mostly located in the southeastern area of the U.S., in the past decade, the brand has expanded into other areas of the country and internationally.

11.  The franchise is currently owned by Global Franchise Group, which also owns Great American Cookies, Hot Dog on a Stick, Pretzelmaker, and MaggieMoo’s Ice Cream & Treatery. Marble Slab Creamery and Great American Cookies sometimes appear together in co-branded units.

12.  Today, there are over 350 Marble Slab Creamery stores around the world.

Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500

13.  Marble Slab Creamery has ranked on Entrepreneur’s annual Franchise 500 list almost every year in the last decade except in 2008, 2016, and 2017. The company’s highest rank was No. 93 in 2007, while its lowest rank was No. 354 in 2010. Marble Slab has also appeared on Entrepreneur’s Top Global Franchises list twice, once in 2007 at No. 75 and again in 2014 at No. 48.

Section II – Estimated Costs

  • Please click here for detailed estimates of Marble Slab Creamery franchise costs, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2017 FDD.

Section III – Initial Franchise Fee, Royalty Fee, Marketing Fee, and Other Fees

  • Please click here for detailed information on Marble Slab Creamery’s initial franchise fee, royalty fee, marketing fee, and other fees, based on Items 5 and 6 of the company’s 2017 FDD.

Section IV – Financial Performance Representations (Item 19, 2017 FDD) and Analysis

  • The data below was taken from financial reports submitted by franchisees. The franchisor has not audited or verified these financial reports, although it has no information or other reason to believe that they are unreliable. The franchisor did not use any reports that were incomplete or for which the information was presented in a manner that prohibited it from applying the information to one of the stated categories.
  • There are other expenses in operating a Store that are not identified in the table below.
  • A new franchisee’s sales results are likely to be lower than the results shown below and expenses are likely to be higher than the results shown below.

Part 1 – Financial Information for Single-Brand Stores

  • The data below presents historical revenue and limited expense information for calendar year 2016 for certain Marble Slab Creamery Stores.
  • The sample used to obtain this information includes only Traditional Stores that had been continuously in operation for the entire calendar year 2016, that were not co-branded with another concept or supplemented with a Satellite, and that provided the franchisor with the presented financial information for the full calendar year 2016.
  • There were 222 franchise Stores open and operating as of December 31, 2016. Of these, 151 are Traditional Stores that operated for all of 2016, 2 are Non-Traditional Stores, 7 are Co-Branded Stores, and 20 Stores were not open for the entire 2016 calendar year.
  • The computation for same unit sales includes locations that were open for the entire calendar years 2015 and 2016. The computation for same unit sales includes franchised locations that were open for the entire calendar year 2015 as compared to franchised locations that were open for the entire calendar year 2016.
  • Cost of Goods Sold includes costs such as the cost of food ingredients used to make finished products, shipping charges, etc. Cost calculations are for the period ending September 30, 2016.
  • Labor Costs may include costs such as salaries and wages for full-time and part-time employees, employer contributions for F.I.C.A taxes, federal unemployment taxes, state unemployment taxes, workers’ compensation, group health insurance (if any), 401(k) (if any), wages for contracted labor, expense of “help wanted” ads, employee training expenses, etc. Cost calculations are for the period ending September 30, 2016.
  • Rent may include costs such as flat rent, percentage rent, common area maintenance, depreciation of leasehold improvements, depreciation of fixtures and equipment, real estate commissions, real estate taxes, real estate insurance, utilities, etc. Cost calculations are for the period ending September 30, 2016.
  • A franchisee may be a multi-store operator but counted in the 1-2 Store category because of all his or her Stores, only 1 or 2 satisfied all required criteria (applicable to larger Store categories also under the same rationale).

Overall Sample



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