Fosters Freeze is a beloved California ice cream franchise with greater than 70 years of historical past, 65 areas – and no retailer development in 15 years. However that is about to alter.

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March 2021

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As franchisees, Neal and Nimesh Dahya had been all about speedy development. After first taking on corporate-­owned Applebee’s areas in 2009, the brothers found their knack for restaurant administration and, within the years forward, grew a enterprise that owned, consulted for, or invested in additional than 180 eating places throughout such manufacturers as Burger King, IHOP, Pizza Hut, and TGI Friday’s. In 2015, they discovered a distinct form of alternative — ­shopping for not just a few franchise areas however a whole franchise. They acquired Fosters Freeze, a California-based ice cream and burger franchise that first launched in 1946 and was ripe for revitalization. “Sluggish and regular” grew to become their mantra. Now, after almost six years of creating relationships with the model’s 64 franchisees and updating operations, the Dahyas are lastly able to broaden the storied model.

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What was it wish to step in as new house owners and inherit 64 franchisees?

Neal: We had been the sixth possession group in a brief period of time, so a whole lot of franchisees had been nervous. They knew we had expertise with huge manufacturers and had been frightened we’d come on board and make the model extra like a Burger King. However we rapidly noticed that the most important problem on the firm was lack of communication — there was nearly none between franchisee and franchisor. So Nimesh and I went and personally visited each location to get to know individuals, allow them to ask questions, and learn the way we may assist. They’ve our cellphone numbers, and now they’re snug reaching out. That wasn’t taking place earlier than.

What else wanted consideration at Fosters?

Neal: We did a complete model train and have up to date the logos and the packaging, launched a brand new uniform, constructed an intranet system, up to date the web site, and created digital menu boards. We’re at the moment engaged on ordering kiosks, and we’re working with third-party supply companies. However we’re preserving the core of the model. Fosters has a really nostalgic really feel, so the menu, the ice cream recipe — that’s the identical. That brings again individuals’s recollections.

Do you are feeling arrange for development now?

Nimesh: For the previous 5 years, we’ve been seeing development. Gross sales had been up almost 20 % in 2019, and 2020 outperformed 2019. The primary few years had been about modernizing the look and branding. Now we’re prepared for the following step. It’s taken time, however considered one of our franchisees is now seeking to open up a brand new retailer — and a brand new retailer has not been opened for the previous 15 years.

Neal: This franchisee had tried with previous possession however actually didn’t get the help. So now we’re there to help our franchisees, and he was in a position to land this improvement.

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Along with serving to present house owners develop, are you additionally recruiting new franchisees?

Nimesh: We’ve spent years constructing our basis, and now up to now few months, lastly, we’re in search of future prospects. We’re focusing on neighboring states like Nevada and Arizona, locations that could be accustomed to the model already simply due to proximity to California. However we wouldn’t flip down somebody who’s all for opening a location as distant as New York. We’re making an attempt to be strategic and hoping to open round 10 to fifteen new areas this yr. Rising at that tempo will be certain we will nonetheless help our franchisees.