Having tested the road ahead, a Richmond-based frozen yogurt chain is looking to shift its franchise offerings into gear.
SweetFrog began selling truck and trailer franchises this month, in addition to the brick-and-mortar franchises it has sold since 2012. The company owns one truck and two trailers, but had not offered mobile franchises until now.
Pat Galleher, managing director at Boxwood Capital Partners, said he hopes to tap into the rising popularity of food trucks with SweetFrog’s latest offering. Last year, Boxwood bought the majority stake of SweetFrog from founder and former CEO Derek Cha.
Galleher said it costs about $120,000 to buy a SweetFrog truck or trailer franchise and $10,000 to cover an area of 150,000 households. With its brick-and-mortar franchises costing between $232,000 and $453,000, the mobile operations are a cheaper option for franchisees, Galleher said.
“It was definitely a process we know and are familiar with,” Galleher said of franchising, adding SweetFrog has more than 290 brick-and-mortar stores. “It allows smaller markets to have franchises.”
Galleher said SweetFrog enlisted a Florida company to make franchisees’ trucks and trailers. He would not say what it cost to expand SweetFrog’s franchise offerings.
Galleher said SweetFrog has 60 corporate-owned stores, including four it recently bought back from franchisees in Wisconsin, North Carolina and Louisiana. Overall, he said, sales have been good in 2016 despite a drop in this year’s drizzly May.
“Sales in Virginia took a little dip in May that was primarily caused by the rain,” Galleher said. “But they’ve improved since last year.”