How to Become the Fastest Growing Gelato & Ice Cream Franchise in the Country
Ice cream, frozen yogurt, frozen custard, shaved ice, Italian ice, and Italian gelato all have something in common: cold treats are usually associated with warm days.
But still, we enjoy iced coffees in frigid weather, even though cool treats are associated with spring and summertime, gelaterias are open year-round for business, and the foot traffic keeps coming in!
People tend to crave things like ice cream and gelato when feeling happy, sad, and everything in between.
This is because the carbs in our frozen dessert options release serotonin, inducing a feel-good response.
And you cannot deny that there is something extra special about the first ice cream shop you ever visited, cutting ice cream cakes to commemorate your best friend’s birthday or indulging in your first Italian affogato!
The phenomenon of Americans loving frozen treats isn’t stopping anytime soon.
It has signaled to many young professionals and blossoming entrepreneurs that now may be the time to open their own gelato franchise.
New Gelato Ice Cream Shops are Opening Every Day
Established franchises like Cold Stone Creamery and Freddy’s Frozen Custard have developed their signature flare, brand, and products – one of the great benefits of working with a franchise when setting out on your endeavors.
You may have to choose between soft ice cream, edible cookie dough, or authentic gelato.
Ultimately, gelato is taking over as regular ice cream doesn’t offer the same flavor satisfaction or variety.
New businesses and gelato franchises are popping up nationwide; the question is – will you stay ahead of the curb?
Taking a Closer Look at Existing Franchisees
Location is vital for all gelato ice cream franchises as they are typically treated followed by a meal or activity.
Places like Marble Slab Creamery, Handel’s Ice Cream, and Repicci’s Italian Ice will generally be near a mall, outdoor shopping center, movie theatre, on the coast, etc.
The more foot traffic already there, the larger the pool of customers that anyone in the food industry can access.
Looking at another gelato ice cream franchise can provide a lot of insight into how to choose your location and what works.
Understanding Your Frozen Desserts & Demographics
Americans are familiar with ice cream franchises like Dairy Queen and Cold Stone Creamery, but plenty of shaved ice, frozen yogurt, and gelato shops are on the rise to the top.
When you begin your journey as a gelateria owner for a franchise company like I Scream Gelato, with ice cream gelato – understanding your product and who will purchase the product you offer is essential to the success of your business.
We aren’t serving frozen custard at a gelato shop, and therefore, you likely won’t pick a place where Culver’s or other soft-serve ice cream parlors are doing business.
Consider the following elements before you proceed with ice cream gelato endeavors:
- Who is your target customer base, and what are their typical habits?
- Does it make sense to place your new location in the spot you are currently considering, and will they be intrigued by your interesting flavors?
- Is physical visibility a concern?
- What set of traits or characteristics do you require in the property?
Geomarketing with Gelato Ice Cream FRanchises
Geomarketing is a great friend to frozen yogurt, ice cream, frozen custard, shaved iced, and Italian ice cream franchises nationwide.
Gelaterias will use tons of location data to determine how to target new customers and run promotions and advertising.
This has much to do with the climate, environment, current residents, and typical visitors because no one wants to promote an expensive pair of flip-flops in Colorado during winter.
Choose Your Ice Cream Shop Location Carefully
Location is a pertinent factor in opening up a shop for a homemade ice cream parlor or gelateria.
While you should remain mindful of where you are and where you may be going, there are many outside factors to consider.
I Scream Gelato is currently the top-rated gelato shop in Columbus, OH, and while Ohio is not located on the beach or known for a significant amount of tourism – the people still come.
Exploring all of your options and venturing out into uncharted territories gives new gelato ice cream franchises the ability to establish their brand in new places and promote their product to a customer base that otherwise wouldn’t be reached.
Opening Delicious Ice Cream Franchises in San Francisco, California
Sunny San Francisco is home to worldly sites like Alcatraz, Height Ashbury Street, the Golden Gate Bridge, epic shopping and dining, and a luxury lifestyle – if you are okay with your home being on a hill.
It is a gorgeous city in Northern California, known better as Fog City, where technological and scientific advancements occur every day.
San Fran is filled with culture, attracting tons of tourists to its area for short weekends and longer stays.
What Gelato & Frozen Drinks Can Bring to San Francisco
Gelato thrives in places where people are out and about, and for many years, San Francisco, CA, has been a hot spot for activity.
From the incredible beaches, Anchorage Mall, and Diamond Heights – people in San Fran are looking for something to do, and after you spend a day lounging on the sand, learning to surf, or walking the Golden Gate Bridge into the Red Woods – what could be better than gelato ice cream?
Frozen desserts hit the spot when you need something to quench your thirst, cool you down, and give you a reason to pause!
And unlike Italian ice or shaved ice, gelato provides a bold, rich flavor that can wash through your taste buds, allowing your mind to unwind.
Frozen Treats for Residents of Chattanooga, Tennessee
Tennessee probably isn’t the first state you think of when you dream of ice cream cakes and frozen yogurt, but Chattanooga has slowly but surely become a place offering a little rest and relaxation away from the stressors of the real world.
Perched on the edge of the Appalachian Mountains, the gaping hills attract visitors for family vacations, trips with friends, and weddings!
I Scream Gelato’s ice cream store in Frisco, CO, has seen great success as a staple on Main Street in the Rocky Mountains!
Don’t forget the importance of foot traffic and how outings affect your potential customers and regulars!
Gelato Ice Cream Fresh Daily for the Volunteer State
Rocky Top Tennessee supplies more than just mountain views and a fully immersive experience in nature; there are continued options to explore the great outdoors through extensive park systems.
Tourists enjoy checking out the aquarium, railroad, local dining spots, and dessert shops that offer homemade baked goods, coffee shops, and gelaterias!
Opening your first gelato franchise location in Chattanooga, Tennessee, makes you the first on the scene.
Therefore, you will have limited competition and quickly become the place locals are loyal to and spread the word!
While there are many Mom-and-Pop style ice cream shops, there has yet to be a gelato place to move into the territory, and with the growing population and frequent visitors – there is a market that needs to be tapped into.
Join the Fun in New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is a no-brainer, as it has been pulling people in for celebrations and festivities for many centuries.
The Big Easy is filled with history, mystery, and many parties year-round!
The nightlife, arts, and music scene is truly the town’s heart and will continue into the early morning hours and beyond.
Even though NYC is known as the city that never sleeps, it has found a great contender in New Orleans.
The Big Easy Needs a Big Scoop of Gelato Soft Ice Cream
Over 18.5 million people visit NOLA every year, which only continues to grow as some of those tourists become permanent fixtures in the town.
The food, adult beverages, and frozen drinks are half of the party, as many will travel all the way there across state lines to have a beignet or jambalaya.
Dining and dessert are a significant part of the cities’ identity.
Opening up a gelato ice cream franchise with so many people traveling in and out of the area means tons of tourists and locals are bound to try your shop.
You can even switch up the store hours to be open late and cater to the local community and lifestyle, benefitting your overall profit margins and promoting your business in a way that you can develop robust, secure, and long-lasting relationships with your customer base.
Make an Entrance with Your Ice Cream Parlor in Coral Springs, FL
Coral Springs is a relatively small town within the Sunshine State located within the beautiful Broward County.
It borders the Everglades Forest area, with Pompano Beach sitting directly on the other side of its perimeter.
Coral Springs is a family-oriented place, and while it still encounters its fair share of tourists and out-of-state visitors hoping to find a hotel or home rental that isn’t located directly on the edge of the coast – it remains a city where comfort and beauty collide.
There are many towns throughout the Florida coastline that offer a fabulous place for your first gelato franchise opening, but Coral Springs delivers to more than one demographic.
Relief from the Heat With a Customized Frozen Treat
When you are opening a business, the more the merrier!
Coral Springs remains the perfect place to plant your gelateria as it offers a sense of relief to beat out all the humidity and heat.
Most tourists visiting the town come in for a beach vacation or their personal expedition around the Everglades.
If there is one element you can’t fully defend yourself from, it is the sun.
Florida has overall warm weather, even throughout the Winter months, as you approach the Southern tip of the state, and nothing can cure the heat like a cool treat.
You can find a Diary Queen or Cold Stone Creamery easily in the city, but gelato hasn’t yet gained its footing, and as a new local hot spot in the area, you have the luxury of arriving while it’s hot!
Homemade Ice Cream Opportunities in Las Vegas, Nevada
When you think of nightlife, gambling, shopping, and luxury hotels – your mind likely immediately goes to Las Vegas, otherwise known as the city of lights.
There is always something going on in Vegas, and no matter where you are staying, the dining is fine, and the desserts are scrumptious.
This city is one of the most populated per capita, and when you plan to open a gelato or ice cream franchises, this is precisely the kind of thing you should be looking for.
Gelato is Premium Ice Cream for Nightlife Lovers
Las Vegas is a great place to go or even live if you are looking for a new experience every day of the week.
There is no slowing down on Mondays, and the shows, exhibits, and entertainment continue through the weekend.
Your ice cream gelato could be the next great exhibit in the area.
Just be sure to get somewhere close to the strip, where people are always prepared to enter the next bar or cafe!
Gelato & Gourmet Coffees for Santa Fe, NM
New Mexico is another place that brings the heat, but this is not necessarily a wet heat even though you will still be walking through humidity.
It is a great place to retire or raise your family and offers a slower pace from the states that neighbor it.
In Santa Fe, people love to experience the culture and the rich history on display through architecture, art museums, and cathedrals.
A Tourist Hot Spot Looking for Local Ice Cream Shops
The Santa Fe Plaza offers spaces for local boutiques, restaurants, and coffee shops and just so happens to be an excellent place for your gelato shop to land!
While there are currently places to head for paletas, ice cream, and frozen yogurt or yogurt smoothies – there remains a gap that gelato needs to fill.
Frozen Desserts and Fun in the Sun off The Jersey Shore
The famous Jersey Shore is located centrally along the East Coast, and people frequently come from New York, Delaware, Maryland, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania.
Thanks to the popular and now historic MTV reality show, people from all over the country love to visit.
The shore is over 141 miles long and features eight different boardwalks that extend their attractions to visitors and residents alike.
There are rides, games, coasters, swings, fun houses, and traditional shaved ice and Italian ice.
It Isn’t All About Italian Ice Cream in New Jersey
Jersey is primarily outweighed by its stereotypes but also influenced by a large population of people who are Italian or of Italian decedents.
While shaved ice sounds delicious after spending a day on the beach grabbing a tan and the afternoon hopping on roller coasters and merry-go-rounds – authentic Italian gelato completes your Jersey Shore experience.
The famous Lecca-Lecca ice cream gelato shop which rose to popularity as the stars from MTV’s Jersey Shore spent a season working in the store – has now closed.
So find your favorite boardwalk and space for lease and give your gelato franchise everything you have, but with all the people walking around, the customers may come in droves.
Put a Pin Over Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philly is an ideal city for fresh new gelato shop locations, and the history of America runs deep here.
Pennsylvania is home to the Liberty Bell, different American Revolutionary historic sites, and Independence Hall.
Nearly 50 million people will travel to Philadelphia annually from within the United States, and many others throughout international territories will do the same.
Soft Serve Ice Cream AND FROZEN Custard Step Aside
Downtown Philly is known as Center City, which offers tourists and residents a healthy choice of nightlife options, daytime eateries, bars, festivals, and different city regions.
There is plenty of ice cream to choose from, and all kinds of new local retail stores and restaurants are opening up throughout the area to cater to the influx of people.
The metro area serves as a fantastic stage for your ice cream gelato shop opening and ensures you will have a large demographic of people to serve.
Bring a New Kind of Ice Cream and Other Frozen Treats to Austin, TX
Keeping Austin weird isn’t difficult; it’s an eclectic community with consistent comers and goers, and it’s exciting because of the University of Texas Austin.
The Lone Star State population has grown tremendously in the past decade, and all eyes remain on ATX, where you can get a slice of the state that isn’t quite like the rest.
Austin is home to giant music festivals, SXSW and Austin City Limits, among the many arts and movie festivals and a continual celebration of creativity and self-expression.
A City that Has a Toppings Bar of Their Own
Every month, there is something major happening; every few months, there is a new group of students moving into the dorms, and throughout all of that time are the locals dedicated to cultivating and upholding the culture of the city – and tourists hoping to get a taste of something new.
Opening up an ice cream gelato shop is not a new idea here, but when you have a concept outside the box like I Scream Gelato, you can present your business in a way that blends in with the environment and stands out against the crowds.
When you are amidst your operations, you may even consider pushing ice cream delivery and pick-up options to make things more convenient for busy students and young professionals.
Gelato Ice Cream Cakes Carries Smiles to Ocean City, Maryland Residents
Ocean City, Maryland, has its own sacred space among the Atlantic Ocean and the Isle of Wight Bay – a breathtaking lagoon that no film can capture the true essence of.
The town is not always innately associated with ice cream, frozen yogurt, or gelato, but having a sweet treat after spending your weekend on the bay is a great way to end your trip or time away.
Gelato Ice Cream Served to a deserved Population
You aren’t going to immediately find authentic ice cream gelato in the Ocean City area, but that is why it is an excellent place to gain your footing.
The city is bustling year-round with family vacations, so ice cream is not solely reserved for the hot Summer months.
Creating Your Own Successful Business with I Scream Gelato
Why create another ice cream parlor in Denver when you can shake things up a bit and introduce a new favorite dessert – gelato?
Finding the perfect location isn’t always the simplest of tasks, but if you stay true to these suggestions and keep your mind open during the journey – you will find what you are looking for.
I Scream Gelato offers affordable franchise opportunities, elite training, marketing, and continued support through your entrepreneurial endeavors.
Explore New Cities with Our Gelato Ice Cream Franchises
I Scream is rated the best gelato in Breckenridge and has become a staple in mountain towns and suburbs across Colorado, Florida, and recently Ohio and Alabama.
I Scream Gelato offers more than other frozen desserts, with the opportunity to add your own toppings, enjoy your gelato on a stack of pancakes, or inside fresh bubble waffle cones with a side of locally brewed craft coffee!
Instead of limiting your reality, shift your perception but remain focused on how location can benefit your newest ice cream gelato franchise location.
Frequently Asked Questions About Frozen Desserts
Who are the largest ice cream franchises?
Baskin Robbins remains at the top of the list regarding the fastest-growing and biggest ice cream franchises in the United States.
They currently have over 2,300 franchises nationwide, and each location averages approximately $317,000 annually.
They are best known for serving 31 flavors and creating fun ice cream cakes for parties, work events, birthdays, etc.
Cold Stone Creamery is the second largest ice cream parlor and franchise, offering more than just ice cream and serving frozen yogurt, chocolate treats, ice cream sundaes, and even smoothies.
There are currently nearly 1,000 franchised ice cream shops in America, and a Cold Stone store makes around $418,000 annually.
Third place was taken by Culver’s Frozen Custard – a company offering franchise opportunities with higher franchise fees and initial investment.
Culver’s serves hamburger buns, french fries, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, fish, and frozen custard.
It mirrors fast food restaurants but prides its establishment on the frozen custard. There are 831 franchised locations, which average about $3,050,000 annually.
What is the difference between frozen yogurt and gelato?
Gelato is very different from ice cream even though they are both frozen dairy product dessert options with a milk base.
The same goes for frozen yogurt, as frozen yogurt is known to have that tart taste of traditional yogurt and isn’t nearly as dense as gelato.
Italian gelato is infamously dense, supplying a creamy texture and full of flavor!
Gelato artisans are very specific in using authentic equipment to slowly churn the product, using only natural ingredients to ensure the flavor shines through.
Frozen yogurt shops, like Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt and gelato shops, will offer various topping options and may sell smoothies, milkshakes, or coffee drinks.
I Scream gelato shop in Miami has gelato of all flavors; you can enjoy a scoop of key lime pie gelato with fresh fruit on top and a large cup of coffee to finish things off!
What is nitrogen ice cream?
Flash-freezing ice cream is a new way of plating and providing customers who may have previously loved franchises like Marble Slab Creamery or Dairy Queen with modern American ice cream.
Most everything is completed by custom order and is described as the best ice cream money can buy.
Instead of having your homemade ice cream sitting around in a freezer, you simply place the ice cream base through a system filled with liquid nitrogen to solidify and freeze the product.
You may remember doing something similar when you were younger with a large Ziploc bag, milk, cream, and sugar!
Nitrogen ice cream franchises have taken the same concept on a much larger scale, with higher quality ingredients, and reinvented the production of ice creams.
How do companies establish their franchise fee?
A franchise fee is the entry cost when purchasing a franchise for fast food restaurants, homemade ice cream franchises, gelaterias, retail establishments, and cafes that serve other frozen treats or frozen drinks.
The company determines the total cost of the franchise fee for entry, which is sometimes subject to change from year to year.
Generally, your franchise fees will range from $20,000 to $60,000, which can increase further if you are looking to take over as a master franchise that buys out locations within a region.
There are additional franchise fee opportunities like marketing fees and royalties, which are usually associated with the revenue of your location.