FAQs (Click on a question to view the answer)

Q. What are the Financial Requirements?

A. Your initial investment may vary depending on a variety of factors, including condition of the building, the amount of improvements performed by the landlord, geographic areas and your own skills. To ensure our franchisees will be able to qualify with both lenders and landlords, we require potential franchisees to have minimum liquid funds available to invest of $125,000 and a minimum net worth of $500,000.

Q. What does it cost to open a Kilwins store?

A.
Breakdown of initial investment:Low end High end
Initial Franchise Fee$40,000to$40,000
Lease/rent monthly$2,169to$4,530
Plans and Construction Cost$165,194to$214,988
(Includes architectural & permits)   
Equipment$117,370to$159,418
POS System$12,292to$13,252
Initial Inventory$22,203to$24,273
Signs and Awnings$1,060to$20,596
Initial promotion and advertising$5,000to$8,000
Insurance$500to$9,810
Training (travel and living expenses 2 people)$900to$6,000
Business Licenses$100to$4,050
Professional Fees (i.e. attorney, accountant)$500to$18,006
Additional Funds/3 months (working capital)$25,000to$66,094
Security Deposits (estimated phone & utilities)$235to$2,500
TOTALS$392,523to$591,517

Q. Does Kilwins have a finance program?

A. No, but Kilwins has established relationships with several lenders that can provide very competitive terms and rates for qualified individuals. Kilwins is also a proud member of VetFran. A $10,000 discount on the franchise fee is given to veterans. Kilwins is also on the Small Business Administration Registry and re-certify with the SBA yearly.

Q. Is there a royalty fee?

A. Yes, Kilwins Royalty Fee is 5% of gross sales, paid monthly.

Q. Is there a Marketing Fund or Advertising fee?

A. Yes, building the Kilwins brand is paramount to our long term objectives, which benefits everyone. To help in this brand-building Kilwins will assess a 1% - 4% National Marketing Fund fee. The current National Marketing Fund Fee is 1%, which is devoted to National Marketing.

Q. What types of franchises are offered?

A. We encourage single unit ownership, and we also want a hands-on leader at the helm. We also permit multi-unit ownership after a franchisee proves they are able to operate their initial location within our brand requirements and after providing an approved business plan for additional locations.

Q. Do I receive guidance on the purchase of inventory and supplies?

A. Once the Franchise Agreement is signed, there will be ample training on forecasting and the quantity of product to order by type of candy to be made and to fulfill seasonal needs. We train you on the use of the defined ordering process.

Q. Where can I locate my Kilwins store?

A. There are many locations available for development. We will work with you to make sure your location meets Kilwins criteria. We also offer assistance in site selection and lease negotiations.

Q. What are the site criteria for a Kilwins store?

A. Some of the criteria and FAQ-questions you should consider are:
  • Pedestrian traffic counts (number of people that walk by the location)
  • Pedestrian traffic patterns and peak business hours of the day
  • Year round and/or seasonal pedestrian traffic information
  • Makeup of pedestrian traffic; local residents, tourists, resort goers, etc.
  • Surrounding area and overall market; merchant mix, residential areas, and area attractions
  • Competition
  • Restaurants, hotels and bed and breakfasts in immediate area of location
  • Schedule of events
We will give you our opinion and approval on your site. We can also help you find a suitable location. However, our opinion on the store site should only be one factor of many that you should consider in making the final decision on a location. Our favorable opinion should not be interpreted as an indicator of success.

Q. What are the terms of my franchise agreement?

A. Your franchise agreement is for 10 years. If you are in good standing, you may renew with the then current agreement for another 10 years without any additional franchise fee.

Q. May I have the Franchise Disclosure Document so I can study it?

A. Yes, we will send you a copy electronically or mail you a hard copy, whichever you prefer.

Q. Will my area be protected?

A. Yes, your Kilwins store has a clearly defined area in which no other Kilwins store can be awarded.

Q. Can I sell my Kilwins store?

A. Yes, just like any other store or business. Your store can be sold to a buyer who has been qualified and approved by Kilwins. There is a transfer fee associated with each resale.

Q. How soon can I get my store open?

A. From the initial inquiry to opening the store may take six (6) to twelve (12) months, depending on a number of factors, including site availability and condition, plan review, permitting and financing.

Q. Does Kilwins offer a training program and help to open my store?

A. Yes, your training will be conducted over a two week period. Fourteen days of training at our headquarters in Petoskey, Michigan and a minimum of six days in your store prior to opening. Each day of training consists of a minimum of eight hours per day. Kilwins University provides learning services delivered face to face to ensure your competency in operating and growing your Kilwins store. Upon your successful completion of the initial training program you will be certified on the Kilwins Brand, store operations and product production.

Q. What products are made in-store?

A. Made in - Store products are one of the key differentiators that have helped to make Kilwins successful. Upon successful completion of product training you will be certified in the production of made in-store items. These items include fudge, caramel apples, brittles, caramel corn and a variety of items such as pretzels, krispie treats and marshmallow puffs that can be dipped in chocolate or caramel.

Q. Who decides the pricing I will charge for my Ice Cream and Hand Made Chocolates?

A. You do, however we will provide you with suggested prices, but your prices should reflect what your local market will bear.

Q. Do you offer Technical Support?

A. Yes, Kilwins provides a variety of technical and operational support services. Technical support is available for our state of the art Point of Sale System (POS). Our Brand Standards Manual, recipes, product ordering, and reporting applications are all handled on-line through our intranet portal Franchise Site.

Q. What are the on-going technical support fees?

A.
  • There is a one-time $1,000.00 software license fee.
  • $75.00 paid monthly to Kilwins Chocolates Franchise for POS Technical Development Fee and
  • $72.50 paid monthly maintenance and storage fee to GR Software, our POS supplier (this amount is subject to change)

Q. Do you have a Store Support process?

A. Yes, you will be assigned a store consultant who will work with you in an ongoing store support role with a focus on sales, financial performance, and brand and quality standards. Our Store Support staff will provide periodic and continuing advisory assistance to Franchisee as to the operation and promotion of the store.

Q. Does Kilwins have on-going support?

A. Yes, Kilwins provides a variety of sales and marketing programs including a store grand opening marketing plan, in store promotional signage, marketing and sales collateral. Regional meetings and our conventions are also important opportunities to share information with franchisees in an open and interactive environment.

Q. What are the construction options for building out a store?

A. You can choose to build out your store yourself or Kilwins will build out your store for a 10% mark-up on construction costs. Kilwins will also manage all of your equipment for the store for a 7.5% mark-up on the equipment cost. If you choose to build out your own store, Kilwins project management staff will guide you through the construction process (there is a $5,000 Project Management Oversight and Review Fee for this option), but the responsibility for architect, permitting, contractor selection and certificate of occupancy will be your responsibility. Kilwins does offer the option to manage the equipment portion of your project if you elect to build out your own store.

Q. Where do I buy my equipment and fixtures to build my Kilwins store?

A. Kilwins has recommended vendors to purchase equipment and fixtures from at Kilwins negotiated national rates. However, if you found equipment that met the same specifications, you are welcome to purchase locally. All locally purchased equipment or fixtures must be approved by Kilwins.

Q. What is the typical store size?

A. Our typical Kilwins store is between 1200 sq. ft. and 1500 sq. ft.

Q. Can I get started right away and what do I need to do?

A. Yes. Just fill out our Request for Consideration form on line and submit it to us. Someone from Kilwins Development Team will be in touch with you by phone.

Q. Who is an ideal Kilwins franchisee?

A. Kilwins franchisees are people who love people. They are passionate about doing whatever it takes to meet the needs of their customers and bring smiles to their faces. Their warm, outgoing, and “cup half full” personalities are contagious. These traits will attract similar people needed to build great teams and who do not permit or accept failure. The right prospect will believe in and is committed to the Kilwins system and are driven to succeed. They must be “all in”. This means an unwavering dedication to a partnership that enables them to follow our system and bring all the senses to life by using their talents to grow community connections, build long term relationships with customers and employees and leverage their personalities to deliver exceptional service that brings customers back again and again. The right candidate will have an entrepreneurial spirit and conviction to take the Kilwins system to every person who comes in contact with the brand is required. Our stores are our stage, and the performance takes dedication and discipline to be personally engaged in the store during each and every act.

 

Kilwins franchisees love people and want to put smiles on faces.  They are driven, and have outgoing and positive personalities that are required to build great teams to make customers happy.  They build community connections, customer relationships, and provide exceptional customer service.  They are “failure is not an option” people with an entrepreneurial spirit and are dedicated & committed to following the Kilwins system.  

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