10 Best Ice Cream Franchises in USA in 2023

Update: 07.06.2021
10 Best Ice Cream Franchises in USA in 2021

American ice cream franchises are known and loved all over the world. The segment incorporates a lot of various concepts and products. The industry includes gelato, frozen yoghurt, hard ice-cream, snow cone, shakes and sundaes. As for concepts, there are ice-cream parlour, ice-cream event, ice cream truck and ice cream kiosk franchises. The segment also involves quick services restaurants which have drive through and walk-up service windows, walk-in format, app ordering, etc. Ice cream business is especially profitable in summer. However, in order to avoid seasonality some brands offer along with ice-cream fast food, coffee, tea or other desserts. If you dream of your own business which will deliver moments of delight to people and bring a good profit to you, consider our list of ice cream franchises for sale. These are reputable brands with years of experience on the market. They offer their franchisees a proven business model, successful marketing and management, support, and trainings.

Here are the best 10 ice cream franchises in the USA


Founded in: 1945
Franchising since: 1948
Franchise units: 6,700+ Worldwide
Initial investment: $93,550 - $401,800
Royalty Fees: 5,9%

Baskin Robbins is The world’s largest chain of ice cream shops with more than 6,700 locations in nearly 50 countries. Baskin-Robbins, one of the biggest franchises in the world's Ice Cream, a specialist in the Premium Ice Cream with a variety of flavors. Communities around the world have enjoyed a wide variety of treats Baskin-Robbins high value.

Handel's Homemade Ice Cream

Founded in: 1945
Franchising since: 1989
Franchise units: 40+
Initial investment: $220,000 - $680,000
Royalty Fees: 6%

Handel's Homemade Ice Cream & Yogurt, founded by Alice Handel in 1945 in Youngstown, Ohio, is a popular ice cream company franchise which operates 50 corporate and franchise stores in 10 states. Their ice cream is made fresh daily on premises at each location and the company promises they will continue to maintain the quality that has made Handel’s Ice Cream a family tradition for generations and generations to come with a steady, controlled growth. Through their franchise owner network, Handel's Franchise Team can assist new and existing franchisees with the support services for operations, marketing and training.

Handel's Homemade Ice Cream franchise

Dairy Queen

Founded in: 1940
Franchising since: 1944
Franchise units: 7,000+ Worldwide
Initial investment: $1,083,525 - $1,850,425
Initial Franchise Fee: $35,000
Ongoing Royalty Fee: 4%
Ad Royalty Fee: $5 - 6%

Dairy Queen, often abbreviated DQ, is a chain of soft serve ice cream and fast-food restaurants owned by International Dairy Queen, Inc., a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. International Dairy Queen, Inc., also owns Orange Julius and Karmelkorn. Food franchising had yet to exist, but the Dairy Queen® product’s rapid-growth potential made the process a piece of cake. Today, there are more than 6,800 restaurants in the United States, Canada, and 27 other countries.

Hershey's Ice Cream

Founded in: 1984
Franchising since: 1980
Franchise Fee: No

Hershey's Ice Cream, founded by Jacob Hershey and four of his brothers in 1894, is an American creamery that produces ice cream, sorbet, sherbet, frozen yogurt, and other frozen desserts and was one of the first to offer consumers pre-packaged ice cream pints. The company claims that they are not a franchise but have a program Sell Hershey's® that means there are no franchise fees and start-up costs are low! So You get franchise benefits without franchise fees and hassles becoming a Hershey's® Ice Cream Dealer.

Hershey's Ice Cream franchise

Kona Ice

Founded in: 2007
Franchising since: 2008
Franchise units: 1,100+ Worldwide
Initial investment: $124,750 - $147,550
Initial Franchise Fee: $15,000
Royalty Fee: $500/yr.

Kona Ice franchisees bring their trucks to events to serve up shaved ice that customers can flavor themselves. Franchisees also partner with schools, teams, youth groups and other community groups for fundraising events. Shaved ice carts, kiosks and trailer are also available.

Best ice cream franchise opportunities in USA

Rita's Italian Ice

Founded in: 1984
Franchising since: 1989
Franchise units: 600+ Worldwide
Initial investment: $172,225 - $430,900
Initial Franchise Fee: $30,000
Royalty Fee: 6,5%

Rita's Italian Ice offers frozen custard, gelato, milkshakes, frozen drinks, sundaes and other frozen treats in addition to its ices. And unlike ice cream franchises, which have become so common that they’re now commoditized, Rita’s maintains a unique position in the frozen desserts industry. Our product isn’t sold in stores, and we’re often the only outlet in the market selling Italian ice. With four core models to choose from – a walk-in store, a walk-up store, mobile or special venue – we offer a range of accessible initial investments and make it easier for investors who want to grow quickly.

Andy's Frozen Custard

Founded in: 1986
Franchising since: 2003
Franchise units: 10
Initial investment: $528,500 - $1,387,500
Initial Franchise Fee: $32,000
Royalty Fee: 6%

Andy’s Frozen Custard is a quick service frozen dessert business. We are a freestanding restaurant, with drive through and walk-up service windows. We exclusively sell frozen custard treats. Andy’s has a wide variety of treats from simple vanilla or chocolate cones, to seasonal favorites like our Pumpkin Pie Concretes and Strawberry Shortcake Sundaes. Over 80% of our franchisees own multiple locations due to the high level of support and training from start to finish.

Marble Slab Creamery

Founded in: 1983
Franchising since: 1984
Franchise units: 300+ Worldwide
Initial investment: $293,085 - $376,135
Initial Franchise Fee: $15,000 - $25,000
Royalty Fee: 6%

Marble Slab Creamery is a chain of independently owned and operated franchised stores that specialize in serving homemade ice cream and other desserts. In addition to ice cream served in waffle cones, stores also sell smoothies, shakes, sundaes, banana splits and ice cream cakes and pies. Some franchisees also offer homemade baked goods such as cookies, brownies and apple pie, as well as gourmet coffees.

Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers

Founded in: 2002
Franchising since: 2004
Franchise units: 287
Initial investment: $577,968 - $1,986,361
Initial Franchise Fee: $25,000
Royalty Fee: 4,5%

Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers is an American fast-casual restaurant chain based in Wichita, Kansas. The company provides frozen custard with a variety of specialty sundaes and concretes, steakburgers, Vienna Beef hot dogs, and chicken sandwiches.

Ben & Jerry's

Founded in: 1978
Franchising since: 1981
Franchise units: 550+ Worldwide
Initial investment: $149,185 - $504,300
Initial Franchise Fee: $16,000 - $37,000
Royalty Fee: 3%

Ben & Jerry's Homemade Holdings Inc, trading and commonly known as Ben & Jerry's, is an American company that manufactures ice cream, frozen yogurt, and sorbet. Ben & Jerry’s operates on a three-part mission that aims to create linked prosperity for everyone that’s connected to our business: suppliers, employees, farmers, franchisees, customers, and neighbors alike.

Popular ice cream franchises in USA 2020

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