The Frozen Dessert Industry is Here to Stay

Back in 2000, it was a ludicrous idea to invest in a frozen dessert shop. By 2010, it seemed like a smart idea that would see novelty success for a few years. Now it's 2015, and everyone is trying to get some skin in the game -- or rather, a scoop in the cone.

What Does That Mean for New Frozen Dessert Franchisees?

It's easier to look into the past than the future. But consumers won't vanish overnight. Current stats show we're years off from peak revenue for the frozen dessert industry. A big part of this comes from a greater product demand due to the growth in popularity of the frozen dessert market.

Buying a frozen dessert franchise makes for an easy and fast way to enter into this growing industry. This approach could cut years off how long it takes to set up your shop. This means you can jump in and enjoy your share right now.

What Do Frozen Custard Industry Stats Say?

Good news! According to IBIS World's 2010 to 2015 frozen yogurt industry analysis:

  • At the moment, there are just shy of 400 frozen dessert businesses operating in the United States.
  • These companies supply jobs for close to 20,000 Americans and bring in around $2 billion per year.
  • From 2010 to 2015, there was a 20.6 percent annual growth for the frozen dessert industry.

These stats suggest that frozen dessert stores will continue to prosper for many years to come -- which is "music to the ears" for potential franchisees, as it means they can enter a gigantic industry poised for further growth. Even better, investors don't have to stress about being late to the game, since many cities have little competition in the frozen dessert market right now.

How Can You Compete With Other Ice Cream Franchises in Your Area?

Opening a frozen custard franchise in a good location can yield excellent sales, but finding a good location isn't the only factor to a successful establishment. Sometimes an area may seem inundated with other franchises, and the competition can take a big bite out of your daily sales.

However, the right marketing plan can make a big difference. By focusing some of your efforts on advertising locally and using the right tools and resources to market your franchise, you can attract a larger share of customers and retain a strong following.

Use Social Media to Interact With the Local Community

The percentage of consumers who utilize social media for discovering new and existing businesses is growing exponentially. A strong online presence through social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, can yield excellent results and a strong ROI, as it costs virtually nothing to create and maintain online profile pages.

Simply devote time to post consistent updates, as well as interact with followers. This will increase online visibility and brand recognition. Successful establishments often post beautiful pictures of their delicious treats to entice consumers. Starting conversations with your customers also helps, such as asking your followers about their favorite flavors or garnering input on what flavors they'd like to see next.

Promote Seasonal Flavors

Most franchises have one or two seasonal flavors. It is a wise idea to focus heavily on promoting these before and during the months they are available. Consumers love getting things that are only available for a limited time, and promoting before they are available builds buzz and anticipation. And if you happen to have a flavor unique to your franchise, you'll have a better chance of attracting new customers.

Encourage Your Customers to Hang Around

If you've got outdoor seating, you're already ahead of the game. Play music, put out games for people to play, such as a bag toss game or checkers, and consider hiring local musicians to perform outside to encourage more crowds to interact. Whatever you can do to keep a crowd outside will not only increase sales, but also attract passersby.

Use Coupons and Loyalty Programs

Coupons give regular and potential new customers incentive to come to your establishment, so advertise your franchise in local papers or online. Loyalty programs also keep customers coming back by promising them a reward for their continued patronage, such as a free frozen custard after they've purchased five, or an additional discount on their next purchase.

There are of course many other ways you can market your establishment, but the above ideas are some of the most effective and least expensive, and they are sure to help your franchise gain a solid foothold in the community.

How Important is Location to a Successful Frozen Custard Franchise?

Who doesn't like frozen custard? If you're like millions of Americans, you'll agree that not only is a cold and tasty treat enjoyable (especially on a hot summer's day), but the experience of purchasing it at your favorite local frozen custard shop is just as much a part of the fun. Getting the family together to go get frozen custard—whether in the car or just by walking through the neighborhood—is a summer tradition, and many fans of a particular frozen custard don't mind traveling to get their favorite treat.

However, that doesn't make location any less important. The right location can mean big success or big failure, because a successful frozen custard franchise relies not just on its regular customers, but also potential new customers who can easily find your franchise due to its prominent location.

The Popularity of a Franchise Name vs. Location

A well known, popular franchise name will only garner you so many customers if your location is out of the way, or in an undesirable area. Unfortunately, you cannot just open up an frozen custard franchise and expect loads of customers simply because of the name.

That being said, a franchise still offers particular benefits over unknown frozen custard shops, including support and training to help you achieve success. Some franchise companies also help you choose a location or offer you a previously purchased space.

However, regardless of whether you need to find a location yourself or if one has already been chosen for you, it would be prudent to do some initial research on your own to ensure that the location is optimal.

Tips for Finding a Good Location

It can be helpful to consult with a real estate broker who is familiar with the area, as they can best tell you about the area demographics and the street traffic. Come up with a list of questions to ask about the location, so that you can compare all its potential good and bad aspects. This will help you make a more informed decision.

Think about your own experience when visiting ice cream parlors or similar establishments, so that you can remember what made the location a good one. Here are a few good questions you should ask yourself:

  • Is it always crowded?
  • Is there enough parking?
  • Is it easy to find?
  • Can families walk or bicycle to it?
  • Is it near other popular stores and eateries that are open during the same hours you plan to be open (thereby increasing foot traffic)?
  • Is it near an area where there are lots of families?
  • Is it near a school?
  • Is there an area for people to gather outside to enjoy their ice cream?

Don't be afraid to visit other ice cream franchises or mom-and-pop shops to see how well they perform and what are the successful elements of their location. Once you think you've found a good location, you'll be well on your way to running a successful dessert franchise.

Frozen Custard Franchises - Deliciously Sweet

Did you know that 99 percent of Americans eat dessert? Of that number, 70 percent enjoy dessert at least once a week. Entrepreneurs can tap into America’s sweet tooth by investing in a dessert franchise. In addition, potential franchise owners can choose from bakery, ice cream, frozen yogurt, donuts, frozen custard and smoothie franchise models. Become part of this exciting industry by investing in a popular and well-known dessert franchise.

Why You Should Consider Buying a Dessert Franchise

The size of the target market is an important factor to consider when investing in a franchise. One of the main benefits of dessert franchises is the extensive market. Adults and children love dessert. Traditional food franchises focus on specific markets, and many of the food concepts operate in highly competitive smaller markets.

Dessert franchises offer tried-and-tested business models, a stable business opportunity and trusted brands. In short, all the hard work has already been completed by the franchising company. As with any business, it is important to conduct thorough research before deciding on a specific franchise model. Entrepreneurs can choose between numerous dessert franchise models that have proven track records and popular offerings.

Franchise companies provide franchise owners with the tools they need to operate a successful and profitable business. Owners of dessert franchises are able to build successful businesses by using their drive and passion for the business, coupled with the strong foundation provided by the franchising company. Almost everyone loves dessert, in particular ice cream and frozen custard. Building a business based on something you love goes a long way toward achieving success.

The industry is ever evolving with new ideas, flavors and toppings to enhance a customer’s store experience. Fast growing and always popular, the dessert franchise market offers great opportunities for entrepreneurs searching for exciting business opportunities.

The Benefits of a Franchise Model

Franchise models offer numerous benefits, including a strong and well-know brand, a track record of success, operational support, specialized training programs and purchasing power. In addition, franchising companies provide assistance with real estate rental or purchase, and they help you design the layout correctly. Lastly, franchise companies provide franchise owners with marketing materials and assistance, thereby helping owners to grow their businesses.

This Is It — Are You Ready?

This is it — the day you’ll be making your final decision regarding the franchise opportunity you’ve been investigating. Are you ready?

Make Sure You’ve Done These 5 Things

1. Have you learned all you can about the franchise concept?

Have you talked to the people you need to talk to? What is the buzz on the street about the concept you’re looking into? Go to websites like Yelp to see what’s being said by customers. You might also consider setting up a Google Alert to track the brand's online presence. 

2. Did you get enough real-life information from the franchisees you contacted?

Do you have a good understanding of what it’s really going to be like to own a business? When you asked your questions, were the answers franchisees gave you heartfelt? If necessary, don't hesitate to call a few franchisees back and ask more questions — the kind of questions that go deeper. Here's a recent interview we posted to our franchise blog.

3. Do you feel that all of your questions were answered by corporate?

The team at corporate wants to sell you a franchise — that’s part of the gig — but do you have any questions that you haven’t asked yet? Now's not the time to be shy. Ask!

4. Did you look at a couple of different financing alternatives?

What financing options did you investigate? The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) gives guarantees to banks that give out loans to small businesses, franchise businesses included.

5. Have you discussed a worst case scenario? What if your business fails? How much will you lose?

There’s no guarantee of success if you become the owner of a franchise. You're job is to do the research and make an educated decision, but, what is the worse-case scenario, financially? What would happen if your business failed? If you sit down with an accountant who’s familiar with small business, he or she can lay out all different kinds of scenarios… positive ones and negative ones. The more you know going in, the better off you’ll be.

Interview with Andy's franchisee, Chris Plumpe

(1) How long have you been in the business? What did you do before becoming a franchise owner? 

It was not until after graduating from Mizzou that I decided to get into the restaurant business with the intention of learning the business and opening my own someday.  For about 10 years now, I have been involved in restaurant management, starting with running a couple of Subways for a year.  Then, I moved around quite a bit with Cheddar's Casual Cafe as a GM, opening multiple locations.  I moved back to Springfield, MO after a few years and became a Managing Partner with Ruby Tuesday.

(2) What drew you to Andy's Frozen Custard?

I grew up on Andy's, and it's honestly always been my favorite dessert even after moving around the country.  I want to recreate thatAndy's Springfield cult following down in the Austin area.  I liked the simple and straightforward business plan, focusing on an unmatchable product and atmosphere, taking care of your employees, and strong community involvement.  Furthermore, I felt like it was a perfect fit for the Austin area where I really wanted to settle.  There's something to be said for a business that's been around since 1986, and the founders are still as involved as Carol and Andy are.

(3) How has the market in your area reacted to your location(s)?

Round Rock has welcomed us as their own, and we really enjoy getting involved in local events with local organizations (especially those benefitting children).  We have only been open since January 7th, and we are blowing through the loyalty cards, creating many regulars already.

(4) Do you have interest in opening additional locations?

Absolutely!  Our second location is under construction and hopefully opening in late May in Pflugerville.  We are currently under negotiation on a piece of land for our third store.

(5) What is Andy's franchise support like?

I had the benefit of living in Springfield and getting to know most (if not all) of the Andy's team personally.  That really makes it enjoyable to conduct business with Andy's.  It's clearly a family environment in the corporate office as well as at the store level. 

(6) What’s one key thing you’ve learned since becoming a franchisee?

Refuse to lose the identity and pride of what Andy's truly is.  Focus on the people (both the customers and the crew), and the numbers will work.


(7) What advice would you give someone who is considering opening an Andy's of their own?

You will only be as good as the people you hire, train, and retain.


(8) Would you do it all over again?

Absolutely!  I have the honor of bringing the pride of my hometown to my favorite area of the country.  Also, it's such a clean, fun environment.  This venture presents new challenges everyday, and I'm learning a lot, allowing for professional development in my career.


(9) What's your favorite Andy's treat?

BY FAR the toughest question!  The James Brownie Funky Jackhammer has grown on me lately.  I grew up eating nothing but strawberry banana concretes though:)

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Looking for a Franchise

  1. Not connecting with existing franchisees —
    It's important to get a feel for the franchisor/franchisee relationship by reaching out to existing franchisees for advice and insight. They can be vital in determining if this endeavor is right for you.
  2. Failing to consult an expert (lawyer, accountant, real estate consultant) —
    It's important to consult with experts, especially when you are making the potentially biggest purchase of your life. It will be money well spent. 
  3. Disregarding opportunities in industries that don’t initially appeal to you —
    Didn't envision yourself as an Andy's Frozen Custard connoisseur? Sometimes the most profitable business endeavors are not what you imagined. This doesn’t mean the product or service isn’t in huge demand or the business model isn’t solid. Explore the unexpected, you might be surprised!
  4. Not properly planning for your own salary or financial needs —
    It often takes time to make back the money you invest in a business, and not planning for the lack of income can put you in a bind. Make sure to plan for the "growth period" of your new business in advance of signing the franchise agreement.
  5. Not fully understanding the Franchise Agreement —
    The Franchise Agreement that you sign is the letter of the law when it comes to what you will be expected to abide by. Read it and understand it so you are prepared to hold up your end of the bargain.

Benefits of Running An Established Franchise

Ongoing Operational Support: You shouldn't be alone when you're building a business, and when you buy into a franchise, you're not. You can always call on experienced people who can provide support and direction when faced with obstacles or new ideas for growth.

Lower risk: A company in the business of franchising, has already established a successful business plan with results to back it. The opportunity to utilize this plan greatly minimizes the risk to the franchisee. A franchisee acquires a turnkey business, complete with resources detailing all aspects of the business. As a result, franchise business owners can typically enjoy less stress and added confidence knowing that they're following a proven path.

Marketing Help: Franchisees benefit from the established marketing programs of the franchisor. This not only saves you money, but also saves you valuable time allowing you to focus on running your business. It's a win-win for both parties.

Real Estate & Construction Assistance: Most franchises have manuals, documentation and staff to help you find the right site and negotiate the best possible deal. This is a very important advantage that can hold costs down and provide the best possible chance of success in any site-driven business. Franchise companies can also provide a wonderful benefit in helping you design the layout of the business and select the right contractors to do your build out, as well as making sure you get the exact mix of furniture and equipment you need to maximize the efficiency of your initial investment.

Name Recognition: When you open a franchise you immediately have an established brand and/or product people are already familiar with. Often times, customers have already visited another franchise location or have been introduced to the brand via advertisements years before a franchisee opens a new store. This built-in branding greatly reduces the length of time needed to build a profitable customer base. The name is a trademark and identifies your company or service. You have name recognition from the beginning. In contrast, when you open your own business there’s no familiarity; a franchise offers what you need to get customers in the door from day one.

Frozen Dessert: Tremendous Opportunity

Americans (and humans, in general) have a healthy appetite for frozen desserts. Collectively, we spend nearly $25 billion on the good stuff and down some 1.5 billion gallons a year [source:].

The history of ice cream dates back to the 1700s — but, founded in 1919, frozen custard is a relative newcomer to the dessert scene. The Kohr brothers invented it nearly a century ago, and their recipe was an instant hit on the beach at Coney Island, NY. Since then, this popular frozen treat has spread up and down the East coast and deep into the Midwest, where Andy's Frozen Custard has mastered the art.

A new generation of flavors, toppings, and store experiences leading the charge, frozen custard franchisees stand to capitalize on the popularity of this fast growing frozen dessert, but Andy's Frozen Custard, in particular, stands out among the rest.

Andy's storied history (nearly 30 years in the business) combined with a smooth, rich tasting product that is second to none (just ask these guys), clearly separate it from the rest of the pack. Combine that with a franchise model that has been tested and proven and you've got a recipe for success!

Interested? Click here to see if you have what it takes to be our next franchisee candidate.

Andy’s Franchise Opportunity vs Going It Alone

You’ve already decided you want to forge your own path with your life.  You’ve grown tired of punching the time clock.  You no longer desire to answer to your boss.  You’re tired of your income potential being limited by a salary or hourly wage.  Perhaps you’ve already grown a successful business, and you’re looking for your next opportunity.  Regardless of background, all entrepreneurs have one thing in common:  they are ready to be the boss! 

As you begin to evaluate your dreams of opening a business, a huge decision creeps to the forefront of the decision making progress: Should I start from scratch or should I buy into an existing franchise?  In this article, we’re going to explore some of pros and cons of teaming up with Andy’s and becoming our next franchising partner.

Reasons to Go It Alone

  1. Complete Control – If you have a personality that craves complete independence and you don’t want to answer to anyone, the Andy’s franchise opportunity may not be for you. While you will have the freedom to operate your Andy’s store, you are still buying into a franchising system that has policies and procedures in place to help the franchisee operate a profitable business.
  2. Lack of Capital – Starting your own dessert business from scratch will probably be a cheaper option compared to opening a franchise with Andy’s.  Some areas of savings would include no franchise fees and lower requirements for operating capital until the custard franchise is profitable.
  3. Flexibility – Buying into an Andy’s franchise requires a commitment to the successful brand that has already been proven and established.  If you want to completely shift the focus of your business, you will only have that flexibility if you start something from scratch.
  4. Ongoing Fees – In exchange for the right to continue to operate the Andy’s brand and system, you will pay ongoing fees (royalties).  With an independent business, you wouldn’t have any royalties to pay on an ongoing basis.

Reasons to Partner with Andy’s

  1. A Proven, Profitable Concept – Partnering with Andy’s doesn’t require you to reinvent the wheel.  We’ve been providing the World’s Greatest Frozen Custard since 1986.  We know what works and what doesn’t. From operations, to hiring, to your cost of goods sold, the Andy’s Franchise corporate team has the skill and experience necessary to help you operate a profitable business.
  2. A Marketing Plan That Works – If you were to open up your own dessert shop, here are some questions you’d need to answer about how to get the word out about your new venture.  Should you spend your limited budget on radio, print, billboards, TV, internet marketing, or direct mail? And once you decide what to spend your money on, how will you track your results?  What combination of spending should you employ with each marketing opportunity?  With the Andy’s franchise system, there is no guesswork with your marketing budget.  We will implement a plan together that will help you grow your business while becoming a recognizable and trusted brand in your community.
  3. Ongoing Support – The Andy’s franchise team will be with you every step of the way. After we’ve come to a franchise agreement, we will begin working with you to get your store up and running.  Once your Andy’s Frozen Custard franchise is open, we won’t disappear. We are committed to your long-term success!
  4. Established Operating System – If you haven’t read Michael Gerber’s “The E-Myth Revisited,” you should.  Michael’s main point is this: most small business owners get caught up working on their craft (making frozen custard) rather than working on their business (running the frozen custard business). Partnering with Andy’s allows you to eliminate years of frustration and hassle trying to create an operating system that will allow you to work on your business and not just work in your business.

If you were considering opening an Andy’s franchise vs an independent shop, we hope this article has provided a balanced point of view showing the pros and cons of working with Andy’s. If you’d like to learn more about the Andy’s franchising opportuny, please watch this film to hear what our customers and other franchisees are saying about this great opportunity!

One-of-a-Kind Franchise

There are so many ways to answer questions about why Andy’s Custard is a one-of-a-kind franchise investment.  From our passion to our quality, here are only some of the reasons to look closer at the benefits of this ice cream franchise.


  1. 30 years of time-tested, family-based business strategies
  2. Systems proven to be both profitable and viable
  3. Strong focus on products, customers and employees
  4. Only the finest and freshest ingredients used
  5. Best recipes and equipment equate to the finest product in the industry
  6. Fast, friendly and fun environment focused on creating community
  7. Support and training provided for franchisees at each location
  8. Business model allowing entrepreneurs to replicate perfected process
  9. Ideal match for strong leaders with an attention to detail
  10. Valued concept where memories are made and recalled
  11. Smoother and richer treat than ice cream
  12. Face-to-face customer engagement
  13. Easily controlled cost of goods system
  14. Measurable staffing metrics reflecting productivity
  15. Established relationship with customers
  16. Speedy service with fresh custard made every hour
  17. Unique store design that invites customer connection
  18. Widespread name recognition with a loyal fan base
  19. Access to proprietary custard blends and other confidential programs
  20. Fanaticism for what we do
  21. Careful selection of only the most committed franchisees
  22. Creative menu full of extra toppings and seasonal specials
  23. New loyalty rewards program to thank and engage customers
  24. Locations across 18 states in the Midwest region of the U.S.
  25. Both drive-thru and walk-up service window options
  26. High expectations with huge rewards
  27. Family founded, family run
  28. Satisfaction guaranteed to every customer
  29. Extensively trained employees who create the best custard found anywhere
  30. Customer-centric interactions
  31. Community involvement dedicated to making a difference
  32. Efforts in corporate citizenship
  33. Strong media presence; online and local marketing tools
  34. Brand name maintenance through positive public perception
  35. Response to requests for improvements by customers
  36. Employees who are positive and looking for something long-term
  37. Durability during tough economic times
  38. Multiple touch points throughout the community
  39. Endurance, consistency and longevity


Andy’s Custard is a company full of people who possess an unmatched passion for delivering delicious treats to eager customers, always with several smiles.  These fanatical practices of exceptional service, perfect products and a fun work environment are what make Andy’s Custard such a special place.


If you are considering an investment in an ice cream or custard franchise, there are many decisions to make.  If any of the 39 reasons rang true for you, we invite you to learn more about the possibilities that exist within Andy’s franchising family.  Take everything into consideration, look at the big picture, and get ready for an adventure unlike any you have had before – an opportunity full of hard work and proven success within our established brand.

Learn From the Business

You are not alone if you have dreams of pursuing your passion, but if your passion is leading you to invest in the frozen custard business, then you are one of the lucky few who will get to realize your dreams.

Time is precious, so while everyone has to work, why waste energy working toward something you are not interested in?  Andy’s Frozen Custard provides a way for dedicated entrepreneurs to achieve their dreams by making a living and loving every part of the journey.

You will need even more passion than you already have.

Starting a business is long and arduous no matter how dedicated you are, and there will be certain aspects along the way for which you won’t feel the same level of passion.  These areas still need attention, so build a team of people who are passionate about them, or learn to effectively channel energy to those areas.

You will feel incredible exhaustion.

The more passionate you are about your business, the more emotionally involved you become, which takes every ounce of mental energy that you have.  This level of exertion can leave you more mentally exhausted than ever before.  Because you care, you will do what it takes to make this business work.

You will experience all new thrills.

Seeing success in a business that is close to your heart can be gratifying, leaving you feeling high on life.  Enjoy these moments of exhilaration without letting the feelings lead you to emotionally-based decision making.

You will have to pay attention to finances.

Even though you love and adore your line of work, you can’t forget about the finances associated with your new endeavor.  Be sure that you can make your passion profitable so you don’t end up doing something you love for no money at all.

You may see some of the fun dissipate.

Despite the exciting challenges, the inconveniences of owning a business may eventually catch up with you, lessening some of the fun factor.  However, this can have a lot to do with your perspective.  When the trouble seems more than it’s worth, remind yourself why you got started and what the benefits are, and see if you can find the glimmer again.

You may have to strive for a work-life balance.

Now that your hobby and your profession have combined, you will find much of what you once considered leisure time is now also work.  This can be overwhelming, so to avoid feeling burnout, consider that you work with great people who share a common passion, and embody a persona that helps you continue to enjoy your time, be it work, play, or both.

People who want to connect their passions with their professions should look toward the frozen custard business for inspiration.  Opportunities to excel while being dedicated to people, to quality and to the beloved custard treat are unmatched.  Andy’s Custard invites those ready to turn their passions into reality to explore a franchise investment!

Custard Business

If you are considering your next big professional move, then it’s time to start considering your interests.  Let your personal passions lead you to a place where you can thrive both personally and professionally – explore the world of the custard business in your next franchise opportunity.

How can you pinpoint the ideal industry and niche where you can utilize your skill set in a bigger and better way?  The custard business may be perfect for you if you:

  1. Are fascinated with history.  Did you know that frozen custard was invented in Coney Island, New York in 1919?  After the World’s Fair in Chicago in 1933, the Midwest was full of unwavering fans?  Learning from those well-versed in the field, Andy’s Frozen Custard was fortunate to become a part of this history in 1986.
  2. Enjoy long standing traditions.  When all the fads and trends have come and gone, our time tested recipes and traditions will remain at the cornerstone of sweetness and quality when it comes to desserts.  We hold our traditions sacred because they are a large part of who we are as a company and as crafters of custard.
  3. Love working with people.  Customer service meets decades of loyalty to make our customers and team members part of a family that transcends just the business.  Genuine interest in the lives of our guests, we set ourselves apart by putting them first.
  4. Appreciate running your own corner of the workforce.  As a franchisee, you can hire and work with a similarly passionate group of people, be your own boss and have the chance to run your part of the business with your own flavor stirred in.
  5. Relish rich flavors and real ingredients.  The sweetest part of this deal is the high quality custard you will get to be a part of serving.  Real fruit is never replaced with syrups, and brownies and cookies are baked fresh on site to combine with the finest eggs, cream and sugar for the most delectable dessert.
  6. Want more than the calculated business relationship.  It is important to us as a franchisor that our franchisees are a good match.  We look for people who demonstrate a fanaticism for what we do and how we do it, prioritizing our exceptional customer experience above all else.

If you think that you have what it takes to excel in the custard business, then we can’t wait to hear about it!  We take great pride in welcoming franchisees who are as passionate about custard, people, traditions and success as we are.  Tell us about your fanaticism and join us in the best custard business there is.