Baskin Robbins is home to 31 flavors of ice cream.
Over the years, the menu has grown to include not only hard ice cream but also soft serve.
You can choose how you want your ice cream served, as well—cones, dishes, and even milkshakes.
The cost of Baskin Robbins is higher than you’d find ice cream in the grocery store’s freezer section.
Why is Baskin Robbins expensive?
Some would say that it’s the experience that you get inside of a store.
The reality is that there are quite a few reasons for the higher menu prices.
Why Is Baskin Robbins So Expensive?
Baskin Robbins might be more expensive than your average dish of ice cream.
However, if you’ve been to the chain, you likely know that the flavors are worthy of the higher price.
The chain of ice cream stores is competitively priced, though.
When you compare the prices to other ice cream chains, you’ll find that the prices make a lot of sense.
1. Ice Cream Quality Is High
Baskin Robbins takes their ice cream making seriously.
They use real dairy milk in the process.
Additionally, they use a number of high-quality ingredients throughout their recipes.
Depending on the flavor being created, they’ll add pistachios, almonds, walnuts, and even chunks of name-brand candy bars.
Regardless of whether the ice cream is being used for scooping or an ice cream cake, the quality is the same.
It’s all made in the same way, using premium inspection techniques to guarantee the best possible results.
Baskin Robbins has been around since 1945.
Over the years, they have become the largest chain of ice cream specialty shops in the world.
This didn’t happen accidentally.
They worked to get this way by making sure that they didn’t skimp on the ingredients or the processes.
As a result, you can taste the quality in every scoop of ice cream that you get.
2. Cakes Are Custom-Made
Unlike some ice cream chains, Baskin Robbins prides itself on custom-made cakes at the store level.
This means that they don’t get in premade cakes that only have to be written on to personalize.
Instead, the locations employ a cake decorator who will provide the necessary personalization.
Cake decorators receive a higher level of training.
On average, they’re paid several dollars an hour more than the average cashier or ice cream scooper.
The level at which the cakes are custom-made will vary.
You can choose from a wide array of designs, which include round, rectangular, and carved cakes.
You can also choose the flavor of cake you want and the type of ice cream you want it to be paired with.
Once you choose the basics, you can also decide on the color scheme.
If you want a photo printed onto the cake or a custom saying, that can be added as well.
You can order online or in person to ensure you get the custom details you want.
All of these customizations are provided at no additional cost.
The cost of the cake is decided based on the design and how many it serves.
Of course, some designs are only available at certain stores.
Since the cakes are made in-house, a custom cake order can typically be fulfilled in approximately 24 hours.
Are the cakes more than what you would pay at a grocery store?
However, you get a combination of cake and ice cream.
Additionally, you pay for the convenience of the fast turnaround along with the high level of customization.
3. Diversity In Flavors
It takes a lot of effort to create 31 flavors.
They’re not your typical flavors like chocolate and vanilla, either.
Sure, the chain offers those, but they also offer a variety of seasonal flavors such as Oreo ‘n Cold Brew and Beach Day.
The average flavor has three or four ingredients swimming around in it.
This can be chunks of something, a swirl of something, or even two flavors of ice cream that have been blended together.
To offer such diverse and complicated flavors, it costs more to create them.
All of the flavors are carefully tested.
To make this happen, there are people responsible for research and development.
They follow food trends.
They research good flavor combinations.
Then, they set to work to make a new flavor in the test kitchen.
Once it has been thoroughly tested in various markets, it’s rolled out across the world.
Some flavors stay for years while others come and go for only a season or two.
When new flavors go away, it can lead to higher costs.
After all, the company spent all of that time researching, developing, and producing an ice cream that didn’t stick around.
They don’t want to produce more if it’s not going to sell.
However, it’s still an expense that has to be accounted for in the price of the ice cream.
Although the chain has built its brand and reputation on 31 flavors, the reality is that there are many more than that.
4. Labor Costs Are High
Baskin Robbins focuses on quality not just in their ice cream but also in the experience that customers get.
As a result, they provide a higher wage than the average ice cream shop.
Most locations will pay above minimum wage.
Additionally, there are various employee types hired.
A typical location will feature several employees:
- Cake decorator
- Ice cream scooper
- Hourly lead
- Store manager
Labor is one of the most important aspects of Baskin Robbins.
That and the cost of food are factored against the revenue to determine what kinds of profits are achieved.
To ensure that profits are made at every location, menu prices are high.
Otherwise, shifts in the cost of labor or food could result in dwindling profits, and Baskin Robbins is in business to make money.
Hourly employees will receive different benefits than salaried ones.
All employees will get access to free and discounted meals while they’re working.
They will also be able to earn paid time off and vacations.
Salaried employees will also receive access to more health benefits as well as 401(k) and retirement plans.
As hourly rates go up around the country, it’s leading to Baskin Robbins having to pay its employees more.
They focus on being as competitive as possible with other ice cream shops as well as fast-food restaurants.
With minimum wage on the rise, Baskin Robbins is spending more on labor than ever before.
To compensate for that, they’ve had to increase their menu prices.
5. Marketing Is Constant
You’ve heard of Baskin Robbins, so the marketing must be working.
The marketing is found on a variety of platforms: in-house signage, location signage, billboards, website, and social media.
Entire marketing teams help to create the various marketing strategies.
When you see a new commercial or a new promotion, you know that the marketing team is hard at work.
Marketing is never-ending.
It’s what ensures that the brand remains relevant no matter what the competition may be doing.
This comes at an expense, however.
Millions of dollars are spent every year at the corporate and the local level to create the necessary marketing campaigns.
Depending on the market, the marketing may be more expensive.
For example, bigger cities will charge more for billboards, radio airtime, and more in comparison to smaller cities.
Ice cream is popular among all demographics.
As such, Baskin Robbins focuses on creating marketing campaigns specific to different demographics.
The promo featured on Facebook may be different from the one on Twitter or Instagram based on the assumed demographic that will see it.
Some marketing tasks can be completed and left alone for a while, such as a billboard.
However, other marketing requires constant attention, such as updating a website and making various posts on social media.
Baskin Robbins employs a comprehensive IT and marketing team to ensure that people learn about the brand and have the means to interact with it at all times.
Marketing is a cost of doing business.
Since the locations need marketing, it’s a cost that gets factored into the budget—and will impact the cost of menu items.
6. Real Estate Is Expensive
Baskin Robbins is unique in that they offer their ice cream inside of an ice cream store.
They display all of the ice creams behind glass so that you can see what the flavors look like.
You can watch as an employee slices your bananas, blends your milkshakes, and scoops the ice cream into a cone.
The entire process of watching your order be custom-built is part of the experience.
When you go into a store, you have the choice of eating inside or getting it to go.
Some locations will even offer a drive-thru.
The point, though, is that you have to physically go to a location since you can’t find a banana split from Baskin Robbins at the grocery store.
Real estate is expensive.
Some cities have more expensive real estate than other cities.
Regardless, there’s a cost involved with opening a physical store.
There’s a higher overhead, which leads to your ice cream costing a bit more.
However, because there’s someone who will build your ice cream sundae for you, it’s worth the cost.
While Baskin Robbins does do a good job at looking to partner with other brands, there are still real estate costs.
In some instances, a Baskin Robbins may pair with a Dunkin Donuts in order to split the costs.
In other instances, they’re located inside of a mall or shopping center.
With the cost of real estate comes other costs to maintain the location: electric, phone, water, sewer, gas, and more.
The bills can add up quickly, which is why profit is carefully calculated.
If the ice cream chain didn’t charge high prices, they’d end up having to close all of their stores, leaving you without 31 delicious flavors to choose from.
7. Employees Receive Significant Amounts Of Training
The training that new employees receive at Baskin Robbins is comprehensive.
The goal is to ensure the experience is the same regardless of the location that a customer visits.
It’s also important that the menu items are prepared the same.
If one location provides bigger scoops or not enough whipped cream, it can start to change the way the chain and the value are perceived.
Employees start training the moment that they are hired.
They go through an orientation process to learn about the history of Baskin Robbins.
They’re also given insight into the brand and provided with the expected level of customer service.
Once the onboarding is complete, employees will shadow an experienced employee.
This makes it easy to learn about the various responsibilities.
All employees are taught how to prepare the menu items, too.
Recipe books and guides tell employees how to prepare every dish using a multi-step process.
Depending on the position, the employee will spend one to two weeks in training before they’re able to perform the job without having to shadow.
All the while, these training employees will receive full hourly wages.
Some stores have high turnover rates.
Each time a new employee is hired, training is required.
It can add up to a significant amount of training and onboarding costs over the course of the year.
It’s another one of the costs of doing business, though.
Well-trained employees help to add a better overall experience.
8. Machines Can Break
There are quite a few machines inside of a Baskin Robbins.
The display freezers hold all of the hard ice creams.
The soft serve machines dispense the soft serve.
The blenders make the shakes.
The list goes on and on.
The moment one machine breaks, it can lead to ice cream melting.
Depending on the machine, it may also limit the number of menu items that can be prepared.
Since customer service is critical, the chain of ice cream shops focuses on equipment maintenance.
No one wants to hear that all of the ice cream melted when they go in for a sundae.
Even when the equipment is regularly serviced, there are emergencies from time to time.
A technician would need to be called out to service a machine as quickly as possible to keep the shop up and running.
Repairs and maintenance costs are factored into the operational budget at every Baskin Robbins.
When a store experiences higher costs than normal, they may raise their prices for the new year.
It ensures that their machines work while still being able to maintain a desirable profit.
9. Various Items Expire Quickly
When you look at the menu at Baskin Robbins, you realize that not everything is frozen.
Some items can expire quickly if they are not used.
Cones are made fresh.
If they don’t sell enough cones in a day, the leftovers are discarded.
Bananas and other fruits come in regularly from local produce suppliers.
If they spoil before they can be used, it goes to waste.
Even gallons of milk and cans of whipped cream can expire if they’re not used in time.
This is why ordering and rotation is critical.
The goal is to minimize the waste as much as possible.
Baskin Robbins managers and operators are realistic.
They know that some of what they buy every week will go to waste.
Additionally, some dishes may get tossed because the employee messed up or the customer changed their mind once the order was started.
Either way, there’s always going to be food waste.
Any time there is waste, there’s a loss of money.
Sometimes, stores are throwing away hundreds of dollars of products every week.
The locations compensate for the loss within their budget.
It’s all part of their food cost.
However, that food cost is also why you pay a bit more for your Baskin Robbins ice cream.
10. Supply And Demand
There’s always the concept of supply and demand at play with Baskin Robbins.
The supply is limited as there are only so many locations in each area.
Some people may have to drive 10 miles or more to get to their nearest store.
However, they will do so in order to take advantage of the ice cream, smoothies, and other items sold at the store.
The demand is high because Baskin Robbins is unique.
They offer high-quality ice cream, cakes, and pies.
People can choose to get the ice cream in the store, or they can buy a DIY take-home kit in order to bring the experience to their homes.
Regardless, people want Baskin Robbins and will travel to the nearest store, no matter how far.
Baskin Robbins knows that with limited supply and high demand, they have the ability to charge a higher price.
They are aware that people will spend more to get ice cream and other desserts that they can’t find at their local grocery store.
The prices are not increased often, but they are increased periodically as costs in certain areas rise, whether it’s labor, dairy products, or something else.
The good news is that Baskin Robbins is confident in its product.
People continue to go into the stores to place orders and buy the various products that are offered.
As long as there is demand, Baskin Robbins will keep their high prices.
It is what allows them to offer the experience that you love taking advantage of.
How To Save Money At Baskin Robbins
Baskin Robbins isn’t the cheapest ice cream around.
However, there are ways for you to save money when you’re craving one (or more) of the 31 flavors.
The easiest way to save is by signing up for the company’s loyalty program.
When you sign up by email and provide your birth date, you’ll get a “free scoop” coupon for your birthday each year.
Additionally, you’ll get emails about various promotions and deals that are being run throughout the year.
You can also look out for coupons and specials.
Coupons may appear in the coupon section of the Sunday paper.
They can also be included in the local periodicals that show up in your mailbox every week.
Of course, you can also buy city coupon books and school fundraiser cards to get additional deals.
Explore The Menu
There are options for everyone.
Although Baskin Robbins may not be cheap, you can always find something on the menu that works for you.
Especially if you’re looking to feed a large group of people, you’ll want to consider the cakes.
It allows you to feed eight or more, which is cheaper than buying fancy sundaes for everyone.
Baskin Robbins has a unique taste.
The ice cream shop feel also adds to the experience.
You’re not going to find this ice cream in your grocery store’s freezer section.
You might as well indulge and try a flavor you’ve never had before.
The ice cream is expensive, but at least you know that it’s delicious.