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Nov, 01 2007

Learn from the masters – IV Baskin-Robbins

Baskin-Robbins` presence is worldwide and needs no introduction. Great success of this world-famous fast food chain owes to the passion of its founders, two ice-cream enthusiasts. Adopting the franchise mode, the chain is expanding day by day. Its fully d

Baskin-Robbins, the world`s largest chain of ice cream specialty shops, produces and markets innovative, high-quality ice cream, specialty frozen desserts and beverages. Two ice-cream enthusiasts, Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins, founded Baskin-Robbins in 1945 at Glendale, California. Their passion led to the creation of more than 1,000 ice-cream flavours and a wide variety of delicious treats.

By 1948, Burt and Irv opened six stores. In 1949, the company`s own production facility was set up in Burbank. They decided then to franchise the stores to local people and this led the chain to becoming one of the first franchised food service businesses in USA. In 1953, Baskin-Robbins hired Carson-Roberts Advertising (, which later became Ogilvy & Mather) for designing store interior and exterior. The first store that adopted `the new 31 looks` as recommended by Carson-Roberts Advertising Agency was opened at 804 North Glendale Ave. at Glendale, California in March, 1953.

The United Brands Company purchased Baskin-Robbins in 1967. 1973, the British food company J. Lyons and Co. purchased Baskin-Robbins from United Brands. J. Lyons then merged the chain with Allied Breweries, becoming Allied-Lyons in 1978. Allied-Lyons then got merged with Pedro Domecq S.A. in 1994 and became Allied Domecq. Baskin-Robbins was then Dunkin` Brands, part of Allied Domecq, until its purchase in 2006 by a group of private equity firms - Bain Capital, Thomas Lee and the Carlyle Group. Baskin-Robbins has maintained solid, controlled growth over the last several years through development of stores that combine Dunkin` Donuts and Togo`s. Recently, the company announced plans to aggressively grow their standalone locations again and is currently seeking franchisees.

International presence

Baskin Robbins is the world`s largest ice cream franchise, with presence in more than 5,600 locations, 2,800 of which are in the US. Baskin-Robbins sells ice- cream in over 30 countries including Japan, Canada, Mexico, UK, UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Iran, India, Bangladesh, Australia, Korea, India, Taiwan, Pakistan and Srilanka.

Its franchising system

Requirement for a partner to become a global franchisee vary from one country to other. However, Baskin Robbins has set up a few criteria for being a potential franchisee.

• The potential franchisee should have a fair knowledge of ice cream business.

• A franchisee should be a team player and leader who can work well with others, openly share and participate, and contribute to Baskin-Robbins overall success. They must also understand the importance of day-to-day business operations including finance, marketing and many more.

• A prospective franchisee must thoroughly enjoy interacting with the public, possess strong problem-solving skills and truly understand the importance of providing exceptional customer service.

• At Baskin Robbins, we are looking for partners who exhibit a high level of enthusiasm and who can motivate themselves.

Capital requirement: Required capital varies from a minimum of $10 lakh to higher amounts depending on size. To qualify as a franchisee, $ 3 lakh in liquid assets is required.

Training and support: Baskin-Robbins provides its franchisees with tremendous franchise support including advertising, business coaching, training, development and cooperative sourcing.

Training: As regards training, all the franchisees are provided with appropriate training programmes prior to opening franchise store. Franchisees are also required to attend the company`s business course within six-months after they open their stores.

Site selection: Baskin Robbins helps you in store-site selection. Baskin-Robbins will help a franchisee through the new franchise approval process, from qualification to site registration. Company will also help its franchisee in locating the areas of greatest development opportunity and ensure that the franchisee understands the site registration process, start-up costs and training needs.

Store layout and design: At Baskin-Robbins, we work with our partners to plan the layout, building design, construction and equipping the store.

Organisational development and strategic planning: We work with the franchisee and assist in ongoing store operations.

Brand service: Baskin-Robbins supports the rollout of brand initiatives, validates the restaurant excellence standards, evaluates stores for compliance with food safety standards and suggests operational improvements.

Field marketing: Baskin-Robbins also develops market strategies and plans in support of the national plan.

Reason for its success

An official from Baskin-Robbins says that Baskin-Robbins is focused on delivering innovative, high-quality ice cream flavours. It provides great value to consumers in an accessible kind of environment. While 31 flavours were a big idea 60 years ago, it is seen tody as a cost of entry. We have been focusing on innovating new products. Our Cappuccino Blast was the first frozen coffee beverage in the market. Baskin-Robbins has changed and offers new experiences. The décor is more energised, more engaging for our consumers. What we have done has made the place more relevant and more contemporary. When you look at the new Baskin-Robbins concept, there aren't legacies of the old design. It retains the Baskin-Robbins's personality and heartbeat, but it doesn`t look like a facelift. It looks like `something new is going on'. Some brands which are as old as Baskin-Robbins are no longer seen around. We want to be sure that we are putting our maxium resources for the consumer. We are continuously changing our self according to the taste and preferences of our customers. The Baskin-Robbins has involved themselves in many social activities. They are actively involved with many social organisations all over the world. Baskin-Robbins has been part of the Fresno community for nearly 40 years. Company has takes extra care so that their patrons can be served with the best meals. All these factors make Baskin-Robbins a successful brand all over the world.

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