Hundreds Of Brits To Scoop Ice-Cream Jobs
Baskin-Robbins, the world's largest ice-cream parlour chain, has announced plans to almost double the number of UK stores over the next three years, creating hundreds of jobs.
The US-based company said it would open 80 new shops across Britain by 2015 and create 400 part-time and full-time jobs.
Baskin-Robbins, which is known for ice-cream flavours such "strawberry lemonade" and "bombshell blondie", currently has almost 100 outlets in the UK, including free-standing restaurants and smaller branches within other shops and cinemas.
The announcement came as chief executive Nigel Travis visited Britain to officially open three stores in London, Middlesex and Hertfordshire.
With official data last week showing the UK is officially back in recession, Mr Travis denied it was a bad time to expand in the British market.
He told Sky News ice-cream is "recession proof".
"When people are feeling a bit down, a bit miserable there is nothing like taking your kids out for a good scoop of ice cream," he said.
Mr Travis added that he was confident the company would find franchisees, despite it costing about £200,000 to £300,000 to start one up.
"We have already got several people showing great interest," he said.
The 65-year-old chain is in the midst of revamping its image by designing stores in keeping with the menu, including waffle-cone textured wallpaper and ice-cream topping stations.
Baskin-Robbins was founded by American ice-cream enthusiasts Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins in the 1940s and now has 6,700 stores in nearly 50 countries.
Outside the US, the company's largest presence is in Japan where is has 850 stores.
Its owner, Dunkin' Brands Group, which also owns Dunkin' Donuts, listed on the stock exchange in the US last year.
In the first quarter of this year, the group's sweet treats bucked recessionary trends as same-store sales increased by 10.9%.