Carvel is an American ice cream franchise owned by Focus Brands. The company is well known for its soft-serve ice cream and ice cream cakes, both of which have a coating of recognisable “crunchies.” Several novelty ice cream bars and ice cream sandwiches are also sold there. America’s Freshest Ice Cream is its tagline.

320 ice cream shops are part of the company’s chain, most of which are located in Florida and the Northeastern United States. Its sites, which are spread over 19 states and Puerto Rico and are situated in busy places like airports, shopping centers, and sports venues, are everywhere. At more than 8,500 stores, the brand now offers ice cream cakes. Roark Capital Group has owned the company since 2001, and Focus Brands has been its operating division.

Over the first 60 years, Tom Carvel founded and ran Carvel. In 1929, Carvel borrowed $15 from Agnes, the woman who would become his wife, and used it to purchase and run an ice cream truck.

According to ibisworld, the market size of the Ice Cream Production industry in the US has grown 0.9% per year on average between 2018 and 2023.


What is the Carvel?

Carvel’s is an American ice cream franchises owned by Focus Brands.In addition to its own stores, stadiums, club shops, and supermarkets, Carvel distributes its brand of ice cream, cakes, pies, and other goodies. In Hartsdale, New York, Tom Carvel established his first ice cream parlor in 1934. Since 1947, the business has provided franchises for its retail locations that sell ice cream and other frozen treats. In more than 20 states and more than 10 countries, Carvel has more than 400 franchises and foodservice locations as of 2018.

Since its establishment in 1934, Carvel has grown to become one of the most well-known and recognisable brands in the business. 




How much does a Carvel franchise cost

Carvel initial cost ranges from $247,474 to $388,724, with a franchise fee of up to $30,000.

How much does it cost to franchise a Carvel ice cream in the United States?

You must have a minimum net worth of $350,000 and $140,000 in liquid capital to purchase Carvel’s ice cream franchise. A $30,000 franchise fee is charged by the company. Additionally, they provide financing through a third party and give veterans a discount.

Carvel Ice Cream Franchise Cost

Carvel Franchise Fee $30,000
Carvel Franchise Cost $247,474 to $388,724
Royalty Fee 2.64/gallon
Advertising Fee 2.30/gallon
Term of Agreement 20 years
Is the franchise term renewable? Yes  


What are Carvel ice cream franchise reviews

The franchise of Carvel’s has typically received positive feedback from both customers and employees. On employment review websites like Glassdoor and Indeed, employees have praised the organization for its encouraging corporate culture, comprehensive training program, and opportunities for growth and development.

Nonetheless, there has been considerable criticism of the long waits and lineups during peak hours as well as the limited menu options for those with dietary restrictions. In general, customers and employees have given the company positive reviews, and it seems to have a good reputation.


Carvel Ice Franchise Rankings

Carvel’s has been ranked 148 in the year 2022 and 157 in the year 2021 by the 2023 Franchise 500 rank. It has also been awarded ‘Best Customer Service’ in the year 2023 by Newsweek.


When was Carvel Started and its History

1906- Thomas A Carvel was born in Athens on July 14th

1929- Carvel started selling ice cream in his vending truck

1934- Launched nations first retail ice cream company

1936- Carvel corporation formed

1947- Became the first one to franchise a retail ice cream shop in US

1951- The brand introduces flying saucer and celebrates its 100th shoppe

1956- Started selling ice cream novelties

1969- Launches complete line of all kosher products

2001- Sold to affiliates of Roark capital group

2002- Sets world record for largest ice cream scoop pyramid 

2004- FOCUS brands is created

2005- Adds sundae dashers in menu

2014- Celebrates its 80th anniversary

2017- Fudgie the whale celebrates his 40th birthday


How much do Carvel franchise owners make?

The franchise owners of Carvel can make annual franchise revenue is $636,959 and profit as below with a margin of 12.5% to 18%.

What is Carvel franchise profit?

AUV Estimated Annual Profit (12.5%) Estimated Annual Profit (15%) Estimated Annual Profit (18%)
$ 636,959 $79,619 $95,542 $ 114,651
Recoup mid-point$ 318,099 3.9 years   3.3 years 2.7 years

The estimated Carvel franchise profit is in the range of $ 79,619 to $ 114,651  and it will take 2.7  to 4  years to recoup the investment. 

According to industry standards, this is a great return on the franchise investment.


Competition Analysis of Carvel Franchises


Cost To Franchise

Franchise Fee

Royalty + Adv Fee

Expected Profit

Recoup Of Capital

FD Rating

Jeremiah’s Italian icecream Franchise 


$324,567 – $659,500


6% + 4.5%



Baskin Robbins Franchise




5.9% + 5%


2-3 Years


Dairy Queen Franchise


$382,000 To $1.8 Million

$25,000 To $35,000

4-5% + 2%


16 Years


Jollibee Franchise




154 billion Philippine pesos

10 years


Bruster’s Franchise


$318,000 – $2,236,500




11-16 Years


Rolled Ice Cream Franchise


$25,000- $400,000



Twistee Treat Franchise


$251,700 to $380,600




Kona Ice Franchise




$3k-$4k+ $500




Twisted Sugar Franchise


$139,700 – $390,500

$ 35,000

6% + 2%

$ 277,777.77 – $  400000



La Michoacana Franchise


$85,000 to $160,000



$4 million

2-3 years


Feng Cha Franchise


$50,000- $100,000


The Franchise Deck rating for the Carvel’s franchise is 4.3/5.0.



Is Carvel a Franchise Opportunity?

Absolutely yes, Carvel offers franchises for a single Full Store and a Carvel Express Store.In more than 20 states and more than 10 countries,. The Carvel has more than 400 franchises and foodservice locations as of 2018.

Facts That Nobody Told You About Carvel

  • Thomas Carvel started his ice cream empire with a loan from his future wife.
  • Soft-serve was invented when a truck broke down.
  •  Carvel’s soft-serve machine was the first of many patents.
  •  At least one of the signature cakes became a cultural icon.
  • Tom Carvel’s unrehearsed ads helped put the company on the map.
  •  Following Thomas Carvel’s death, the company’s fortune was mired in mystery and controversy.
  • The original carvel location lasted over 70 years.
Carvel Franchise Information
Industry Type Food Franchise Opportunities
Sub Category Frozen Desserts Franchises
Year Established 1934
Company Name Frozen Brand LLC
Founder/Management Head Tom Carvel
Franchising Started 1947
Employees at Company H.O 56
Franchise Expansion Plan

Africa, Asia,

Middle East,

Europe, and the USA

Number of Units 400
Number of Franchise Units 300+
Social Media Handles Facebook
Company Office location 

5620 Glenridge

Dr. N.E.Atlanta,

GA 30342


Carvel Franchise Requirements

Carvel’s initial investment ranges from $247,474 to $388,724, with a franchise fee of up to $30,000.

  • Required Net Worth: $350,000
  • Need for Liquid Cash: $140,000


Carvel Training to Franchises

The initial training programs for Carvel Full Stores and Carvel Express Stores employ a variety of training resources, such as movies, slide shows, lectures, and instructions on how to make ice cream, as well as pre-and post-tests, skills evaluations, and in-store training. The franchisor will give training over a 10-day period before the franchisee opens his Carvel Complete Store. Before opening their first Facility, all new franchisees must successfully complete the New Franchise Orientation Program, as determined by the franchisor.


Carvel Operations to Franchises

Carvel doesn’t provide absentee ownership and can be run from home or a mobile unit. The franchise cannot run part-time. Two-Six members are minimum required to start its franchise


How is Carvel Territory Granted to Franchises

No geographical rights or safeguards in any particular region are granted under the franchise agreement. According to the terms of the agreement, a Franchisee is only permitted to produce and sell Carvel items at retail from a single Full Store or Carvel Express Store that the franchisor approves.


What is the Franchise Term of Agreement and Renewal?

The term of the franchise agreement is 20 years; a franchisee can renew or extend the term by 20 years if they comply with the renewal requirements. The fee for a renewal is the then-current initial franchise fee.


Does Carvel provide Financial Assistance to Franchises?

Carvel’s has connections with outside companies that provide funding for the following items: startup expenditures, franchise fees, equipment, inventory, accounts receivable, and payroll.



Pros & Cons of Owning a Carvel Franchises

Pros of owning a Carvel ice cream

  1. Established brand.
  2. Extensive support.
  3. Various Income streams
  4. Low cost of goods

Cons of Owning a Carvel’s Ice Cream Franchise

  1. High initial investment
  2. Restricted territory
  3. Ongoing Royalty and Marketing fees
  4. Seasonal business


Franchise Deck Analysis and Overview

Carvel’s Ice Cream has an established track record of success with an expanding number of franchise sites across the United States, as well as a strong network of franchises that have achieved profitability and success. These factors imply that for business owners and entrepreneurs, purchasing a Carvel’s Ice Cream franchise may be a practical and profitable investment.

Potential Risks to consider before investing in a Carvel

  • Out-of-State Dispute Resolution                                                                                                                                                             The franchise agreement requires you to resolve disputes with the franchisor by arbitration and/or litigation only in Georgia. Out-of-state arbitration or litigation may force you to accept a less favorable settlement for disputes. It may also cost more to arbitrate or litigate with the franchisor in Georgia than in your own state. 
  • Competition                                                                                                                                                                                                 The frozen dessert market can be very competitive, so franchisees may need to put in a lot of effort to stand out from the competition and draw in and keep customers.
  • Seasonal business                                                                                                                                                                                               Carvel’s Ice Cream is largely a warm-weather business, thus franchisees could encounter seasonal variations in sales volume and revenue. Ideally,I recommend you start 

Is the Carvel Franchise Profit Worth the Cost?

Carvel is among the most profitable franchises when comparing expected revenues to the necessary investment. On average, it only takes 2-4 years to recoup your investment, which is pretty impressive. Hence, making it worth the franchise cost.


Carvel Franchise Success and Failure Rate

The below table will highlight the Carvel’s franchise success and failure rate for the last 3 years. This will supplement your decision-making process.

Year Format Start End Change
2019 Franchise Owned 356 356 0
Company Owned 0 0 0
2020 Franchise Owned 352 374 +22
Company Owned 0 0 0
2021 Franchise Owned 374 358 -16
Company Owned 0 0 0


Conclusion: Should You buy the Carvel franchise for sale?             

It can be a fantastic method to start a business to open a franchise, but it’s important to understand the initial fees involved. Depending on the location, size, and other considerations, the overall cost of opening a Carvel ice cream franchise might vary greatly. Typically, a Carvel franchise’s launch fees can vary from $370,000 to $1.2 million. This covers the initial franchise price as well as business registration and incorporation costs, design fees for leasehold improvements, equipment and supplies, advertising and promotion costs, insurance, legal costs, and trade show costs.

To receive a precise idea of the costs related to starting your franchise, it’s necessary to take the time to complete your research and speak with Carvel’s franchise team.

Entrepreneurs who want to open a franchise in frozen desserts  franchise opportunities can look at 

  1. Jeremiah’s Italian icecream Franchise 
  2. Baskin robbins Franchise
  3. Dairy Queen Franchise
  4. Jollibee Franchise
  5. Bruster’s Franchise
  6. Rolled Ice Cream Franchise
  7. Twistee Treat Franchise
  8. Kona Ice Franchise
  9. Twisted Sugar Franchise
  10. La Michoacana Franchise
  11. Feng Cha Franchise


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Is the Carvel franchise profitable?

The expected profit is nearly $132.4 million and it takes around 2-4 years for investment recoup making it a profitable business.

  1. Can you make money owning a Carvel?

Yes, you can make money owning Carvel ice cream. 

  1. Is Carvel a franchise?

Carvel’s ice cream is a franchise since the company started franchising in the year 1947.

  1. How much is a Carvel franchise?

You must have a minimum net worth of $350,000 and $140,000 in liquid capital to purchase a Carvl Ice cream franchise. A $30,000 franchise fee is charged by the company. 

  1. How do Carvel franchises make money?

Offering customers their delectable soft serve ice cream, gelato, and other frozen goodies helps Carvel’s Ice Cream franchises make money. The amount of money made by the franchisee from the sale of these products varies according to the location of the franchise, the number of customers it serves, and the price of the products.

Published On: April 19th, 2023 / Categories: Blog, Food Franchise Opportunities, Ice cream franchises /

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