Ice cream franchise Baskin-Robbins has flagged regional areas across Queensland, NSW and WA as the focus of its next growth phase, ramping up its recruitment drive for franchisees.
Late last year the US-based brand announced it was on the hunt for new franchisees as part of its new owners’ expansion in Australia following the collapse of former parent company Allied Brands.
Baskin-Robbins already had 92 Australian outlets and when Allied Brands lost its license to operate the stores Baskin-Robbins took over its franchise contract.
According to Baskin-Robbins the demise of its Australian franchise holder enabled it to take a more hands-on approach, immediately announcing a raft of new stores, mainly in Queensland.
The chain has earmarked more than 25 regional towns across Queensland, NSW and WA as it seeks to propel the brand further forward.
Ian Martin, general manager for Baskin-Robbins Australia, described the chain as “under-penetrated” in Australia, opening the doors for future growth.
Baskin-Robbins, owned by multinational Dunkin’ Brands, has 44 stores in Queensland and as the resources boom roles on WA has emerged as the company’s next major target.
The news comes amid reports that Dunkin’ Brands is seeking to raise up to $460.6 million in an initial public offering.
Dunkin’ Brands is offering 22.3 million shares for $16 to $18 each, the company said in a filing. The company may sell an additional 3.33 million shares given sufficient demand.
Baskin-Robbins couldn’t comment on the IPO but development manager Trent Graham says the company is excited about expansion plans in Australia, providing it can find the franchisees to bring its plans to fruition.
“We have big plans for growth and are actively looking to significantly increase the number of restaurant locations throughout Australia,” he says.
“We are looking for people who are passionate and want to take on a new and exciting challenge. Australia’s local and regional communities, with their enormous business and development potential, are the perfect place to focus our attention.”
Srinivas Kumar, president of Baskin-Robbins International, recently told StartupSmart he is confident Australian consumers will continue to eat ice cream despite increasing awareness about healthy eating.
“There’s warm weather right though the year, people are outdoorsy and they love the beaches. Ice cream goes very well with that and Australia is a very well developed franchise market,” Kumar said.
“Australia has fantastic opportunities for growth, both through new and existing franchisees … we are excited about the level of interest that is already evident in the market.”
Baskin-Robbins has earmarked the following locations as possible growth areas:
Queensland – Townsville, Gladstone, Bundaberg, Gympie, Tingalpa, Mount Isa, Fernvale, Emerald, Bowen, Gatton, Logandale.
WA – Broome, Secret Harbour, Mount Lawley, Ellenbrook, Morley, Waterford Plaza, North Perth, Baldivis, Ocean Keys, Geraldton, Bunbury, Albany, Applecross.
NSW – Tuggerah, Hoxton Park.