Published on 6 Apr 2022 Time 9 min read Last update by 5 Feb 2024

Dippin Dots Survived the Pandemic. What now? (2024)

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Have you heard of nitrogen ice cream? Nitrogen ice cream is exactly what it sounds like with flash freezing ice cream made with liquid nitrogen giving it a unique taste. Dippin Dots uses this technology to make small frozen balls of ice cream that taste so light and yummy. Dippin Dots sells various ice cream flavors such as birthday cake, cool mint crunch, cotton candy, rainbow ice, and much more. This chain is global, and they are sold in 14 countries. 

Lucky for you, Dippin Dots is a franchise where you can own your store or Kiosk of Dippin Dots. 

If this sounds like an interest to you, keep reading!

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History of Dippin Dots Franchise

In 1988, Curt Jones who is a microbiologist invented Dippin Dots which is beaded ice cream. They started implementing Dippin Dots in amusement parks in the ’80s and ’90s, and in 1995 they introduced Dippin Dots to Japan. The company then grew and moved to various locations such as movie theaters, stadiums, arenas, and more. CEO of Dippin Dots is Scott Fischer since May 2012, and he also serves as President and Manager of DDL as of April 2012.

Dippin Dots Bankruptcy

On November 3, 2011, DDI, which is Dippin Dots affiliated company and supplier of the products for franchisees, filed a voluntary bankruptcy petition. DDL purchased all of DDI’s assets in which they entered an Asset Purchase Agreement. This thus ended their bankruptcy

Dippin Dot’s Franchise Cost

The initial franchise fee is $15,000, which is on the low end for a food and beverage franchise.

Estimated Initial Investment. Your Estimated Initial Investment Franchise Agreement

Type of expenditureLow AmountHigh AmountTo Whom Payment Is to Be Made
Initial Franchise Fee$7,500$15,000DDF
Grand Opening Advertising Materials Expenditure$500$2,500DDL and Third Parties
Credit Card and Gift Card Processing$755$800Third Parties
Office and Retail Supplies$100$500DDL and Third Parties
Opening Inventory$2,500$5,250DDL and Third Parties
Insurance$1,500$2,500Third Parties
Printing and Signage$499$5,000DDL and Third Parties
Equipment (Freezers, etc.)$65,700$84,900DDL and Third Parties
Leased Warehouse and Cold Storage$5,000$20,000Third Parties
20 Ft. Box Truck Monthly Payments to Lease or Own$1,000$2,000Third Parties
Travel, Lodging, Meals, Etc. for Initial Training11$1,500$2,500Third Parties
Real Estate and Improvements$500$10,000Third Parties
Security Deposit and Prepaid Rent$2,400$120,000Third Parties
Miscellaneous Start-up Costs$12,500$32,500Third Parties
Additional Funds (6 months)$10,250$63,500Third Parties

The lowest and the highest

The chart above shows the lowest and the highest it can cost for the estimated initial investment and all of the costs of the items within this. Estimated initial investment can be as low as $112,204 to as high as $366,950. This is due to equipment that can cost from $65,700 to $84,900 which is the majority of the investment fee.



This is such a high cost because you are required to purchase or lease and install office/kitchen equipment for your franchise. The first order is 40 route delivery freezers, 5 storage freezers, a tent, and a serving freezer with shipping as well as equipment for the kiosk or store. Freezers are essential to Dippin Dots, so there isn’t much way of getting around these costs unless you decide to get a kiosk instead of a store that will be on the lower side of the cost.


Dippin Dot’s ongoing costs and fees

Estimated Initial Investment. Your Estimated Initial Investment Franchise Agreement

Up to 6% on ancillary items (non-Dippin’ Dots manufactured retail food, drink and/or non-food approved items). Up to 2% on ancillary items (non-Dippin’ Dots manufactured retail food, drink and/or non-food approved items).
Type of FeeAmount
Royalty Fee$2.16 per bag for bulk ice cream products.
$0.09 per unit for pre-pack units.
Advertising Fund Contributions$0.24 per bag for bulk ice cream products.
$0.01 per unit for pre-pack units.
Regional Advertising Fund ContributionsUp to 50% of the contributions made to Advertising Fund.
Additional Training Fees$75.00 per day per person.
Relocation Fee for Relocation of Franchised Business$1,000.
Evaluation and Testing of New Approved SupplierReasonable cost of the evaluation and testing.
Reimbursement of Amounts Paid to Correct any DeficienciesActual cost to us.
Replacement Fee for lost ManualsAt least $200.
P.O.S. System Transaction Fee$100—$150 per month.
Late Fee for Sales Reports $5.00 per day
Late Fee for Profit and Loss Statement$5.00 per day.
Interest on Understated Amounts Payable18% per annum or the maximum rate permitted by law, whichever is less.
Reimbursement of Audit CostsActual cost to us.
Insurance CoverageActual cost to us.

Keep track of these fees

The chart above shows the advertising fund contributions which are $.24 per bag for bulk for ice cream products, $.01 per unit for pre-pack units, and up to 2%, additional products such as non-Dippin Dots manufactured retail food, drink, and/or approved items. Although, 50% of these funds will go to regional advertising fund contributions. There is also the P.O.S system transaction fee, which costs $100-$150 per month. This can add up quickly for each month, so keeping track of this fee is very important. Many of the costs above are late fees, or additional costs, so making sure you stay on top of this is important, so you don’t add unnecessary fees to the cost of running a franchise.

Franchise Royalty Fee

The royalty fee is $2.16 per bag for bulk ice cream products and $ .09 per unit for pre-pack units. There is also up to 6% on additional products such as non-Dippin Dots manufactured retail food, drink, and/or approved items.

dippin dots

Dippin Dot Units Opened and Closed

Systemwide Outlet Summary for Years 2018—2020

Outlet type Year Outlets at the Start of the Year Outlets at the End of the Year Net Change
Franchised 2018 210 221 +11
2019 221 228 +7
2020 228 224 -4
Company-Owned 2018 1 1 0
2019 1 0 -1
2020 0 0 0
Total Outlets 2018 211 222 +11
2019 222 228 +6
2020 228 224 -4

Dippin Dots Franchise Outlets

In the chart above it shows that the majority of the outlets are a franchise outlet while there was only one company-owned outlet which ended up closing. This is a good sign that Dippin Dots is focused on building their franchises, which gives you more of an opportunity to open up one. For the franchise outlets, the net change is overall positive except for 2020 which could be due to Covid. In 2018 the franchise outlets increased by 11 outlets, then 7 outlets in 2019, and then 4 franchise outlets closed in 2020. Unfortunately, it shows that the franchise is decreasing each year, but Covid-19 has had a large impact on the food industry which must have impacted the Dippin Dot franchise

How much do the owners of Dippin Dot make?

Dippin Dots does not provide financial information on the performances of their existing franchise. The information will be provided when the franchisor is seriously considering buying a unit and has evidence to prove this. According to their FDD, Dippin Dots does not make predictions on how a franchise will perform and instead provides actual records of that outlet. You should ask existing franchises how much they are earning in their location. 


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Dippin Dot LLC’s Income statement

DIPPIN’ DOTS FRANCHISING, LLC. STATEMENTS OF INCOME For the Years Ended December 31, 2020 and 2019



Royalties and advertising fees$1,406,349$2,597,073
Franchise, renewal transfer fees240,716270,264
Freezer sales55,435244,408


Cost of Freezers33,637154,956
GROSS PROFIT1,668,8632,956,789


Bad debt expense, trade3960
Bank charges3,8854,678
Conferences and meetings200,186225,103
Dues and subscriptions75,01418,978
Management fees208,041633,664
Office expense19,12723,581
Professional fees134,301103,893
Public relations12,37513,875
Rents and lease41,88541,649
Repairs and maintenance1,2057,146
Taxes and licenses12,1997,118


Bad debt expense, related party(170,583)(259,520)
Foreign currency transaction gain (loss)(2,588)(261)
Other income1,9660
Gain (loss) on sale of property and equipment(19,593)3,698
Gain on business interruption insurance64,4020
Interest expense(18,462)(21,233)
Income from investment in subsidiary9,29651,453
Management fee income83,918139,608
Miscellaneous income3,65216,692


NET INCOME (LOSS)$(144,659)



The revenue has decreased significantly from 2019 which was $2.6 million to 2020 which was $1.41 million. The revenue in 2020 is cut almost half from 2019 and this could be due to them closing operations caused by Covid. In 2019 their income from operations is $665,359 and in 2020 is $-96,668 which is a large gap.

dippin dots cups

Dippin Dot Cash flow

DIPPIN’ DOTS FRANCHISING, LLC. STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS For the Years Ended December 31, 2020 and 2019





Net income (loss)$144,659$544,662

Adjustments to reconcile net income (loss) to net cash provided by operating activities:

Investment subsidiary(9,296)(51,453)
Provision for doubtful accounts3960
Provision for doubtful accounts, related parties170,583259,520
Loss on disposal of fixed assets19,59355,660
Loss on foreign currency2,588261
606 implementation adjustment (see Footnote A)0(661,816)

(Increase) decrease in:

Accounts receivable58,3995,519
Accounts receivable, related parties(81,218)(696,839)
Prepaid expenses61,026(19,689)

Increase (decrease) in:

Accounts payable(31,044)(28,019)
Accounts payable, related parties31,904(256,944)
Unearned revenue(124,748)651,616
Liability to advertising fund0368,147
Accrued liabilities13,653(10,188)


Long-term accounts receivable(1,914)(46,944)
Purchase of equipment0(5,475)
Proceeds from sale of equipment402121,662
Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents(83,421)(265,625)
Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of year349,25883,633

Look at previous years

The net income was $544,662 in 2019 and then decreased to -$144,569. This is concerning since they are losing money with their net income. It caused their net cash provided by operating activities to be $-81,909. This is due to their unearned revenue which is $-124,748 while the year before was $651,616. Dippin Dots in 2020 could have been shut down, which caused them to lose money due to the pandemic. I recommend looking at previous years to get more of a normal estimate for their net income if the pandemic declines.

Although at the end of 2020 they still have $265,837 in cash which means they have the means to stay afloat and to recover if a crisis occurs such as the pandemic.


Dippin Dots have been significantly impacted by the pandemic, from the number of franchises closing to their financials. This is a difficult time for food industries, so keeping updated on the world is essential to making sure you make the right decision in buying a franchise. I highly recommend researching on previous years to get a better idea of how much they earn without the effect of the pandemic.

Think Dippin Dots is the right franchise for you, or interested in exploring other franchise opportunities? Make sure to check out our website for listings of other similar franchises in the Frozen Dessert Industry.


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