Crumbl Cookies: Sweet Success Baked Into Growing Franchises

Crumbl Cookies, a gourmet cookie company founded in 2017 in Logan, Utah, by cousins Jason McGowan and Sawyer Hemsley, represents a remarkable success story in the retail food industry. Starting from a single storefront selling chocolate chip cookies, the brand has grown exponentially to encompass over 300 locations across 36 states in just five years​​. This rapid growth has positioned Crumbl as one of the largest cookie companies in the United States, with each franchise location generating an average of $350,000 in net profit per year as of May 2022.

Business Model and Strategy

Crumbl’s business model, based on a franchise system, has been a cornerstone of its rapid expansion. The company’s approach to franchise growth prioritizes unit economics and the profitability of each franchisee. This strategy has led to franchise partners committing to more locations, contributing to the brand’s widespread presence​.

A distinctive aspect of Crumbl’s strategy is its rotating menu of cookie flavors, emulating the playbook of sneaker brands. This approach creates a hype cycle around its limited-edition cookies, with new flavors announced every week. This model not only drives customer engagement but also establishes a sense of exclusivity, as each flavor is available for a limited time only​.

Digital integration has also been a key to Crumbl’s success. The brand has leveraged social media platforms like TikTok and a dedicated mobile app to engage customers and drive sales. This strategy has been particularly effective during the pandemic, with a significant surge in app downloads. The introduction of features like curbside pickup, ice cream delivery, and a loyalty program further enhanced the brand’s digital presence​​.

Success and Expansion

Crumbl’s success can be attributed to its unique approach to product offering and marketing. The rotating flavor drop model, combined with its savvy use of social media and digital integration at every touchpoint, has helped the brand outpace competitors and even large fast-food chains in certain metrics.

The company’s focus on specialty and indulgent food, a category that resonates well with direct-to-consumer models, has been another factor in its success. This approach is particularly suitable for non-routine, impulse purchases often associated with specialty foods​.

Challenges and Growing Pains

Despite its impressive growth, Crumbl has faced challenges, particularly concerning its delivery service. As the brand expanded its offerings through events like the “20 Weeks of 20 New Flavors,” it encountered negative customer feedback on platforms like TikTok, where customers expressed dissatisfaction with the disparity between advertised and delivered products​​.

However, Crumbl has maintained its commitment to quality and transparency, evident in its open-concept kitchens and rigorous vetting process for franchisees. These measures underscore the company’s dedication to maintaining its core values even as it navigates the complexities of rapid expansion​.

Crumbl Cookies’ Franchisee Success

Crumbl Cookies’ rapid expansion and franchisee success can be largely attributed to its innovative franchise model. The company quickly recognized the potential of franchising, allowing entrepreneurs to bring Crumbl cookie shops to their communities. This decision fueled rapid expansion, with Crumbl growing to over 200 locations across the United States in a few years​.

Benefits to Franchisees

Crumbl’s franchise model offers several advantages to franchisees:

Comprehensive Training and Support: Franchisees receive extensive training and support, equipping them with the necessary knowledge and skills to run a successful business. This support ensures consistency in quality and branding across all locations, contributing to the brand’s reputation and success.

Focus on Customer Experience: Crumbl emphasizes not only the quality of its products but also the overall customer experience. From the warm welcome customers receive to the engaging social media campaigns, contests, and special events, Crumbl fosters a sense of community and connection. This focus on customer experience is a crucial factor in building customer loyalty and the success of each franchise location​.

The story of Crumbl’s franchise success highlights the power of a unique concept, dedication to quality, effective branding, and a strong focus on the customer experience. By providing irresistible cookies and creating an engaging customer environment, Crumbl has established itself in the competitive dessert industry and continues to grow, with its success story far from over.

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Jennifer Wilkens

Jennifer has a degree in communications from Utah Valley University and enjoys writing business and financial news articles. She loves snowboarding and spending time with her two kids.

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