Rob West, an entrepreneur and CFO at Sub Zero Franchising Inc., was interviewed on the Mission Matters Innovation Podcast by Adam Torres.
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In this interview, Rob West talks about the path that led him to the C-suite and what makes this franchise opportunity worth pursuing.
How did the journey start?
It’s not uncommon for people to have a good, safe corporate work experience and then change to something altogether different in later years. Rob West did just that before making an uncharacteristic change to running his own business. He earned his MBA at Northwestern University and worked for 30 years in the finance departments of varies well-known companies such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, Dole Food Company, Honda Motor Company, and others. Then, while on a family vacation in Idaho, Rob was introduced to a new kind of ice cream shop that made ice cream from scratch freezing an ice cream mix with liquid nitrogen. He was hooked.
Rob soon switched paths and opened a Sub Zero Ice Cream franchise in Southern California, working as an owner-operator. As with many early-stage franchise systems, Rob saw the on-going need within the corporate organization to improve financial processes, analysis, and systems. Over time Rob parlayed his finance experience into an eventual CFO position with the company, elevating his role to help the organization operate more smoothly.
What makes Sub Zero Ice Cream stand out
When asked about Sub Zero’s business model, Rob points to three competitive advantages: 1) a unique brick and mortar store concept that requires no ice cream display freezers (a much smaller electrical footprint), 2) mobile catering that does not require coolers with buckets of ice cream in it, and 3) science education assemblies in schools (a very effective performance driven marketing strategy, due to Sub Zero’s tie-in with liquid nitrogen).
Rob goes on to say; “We take revenue improvements and cost controls very seriously. We look carefully at certain KPI’s, such as flow-through, revenue mix, cost of goods, and average ticket sales and study them. We also believe employees are our number one asset, and we involve them in many store decisions, including social media participation.”
“Job satisfaction is often more than just a pay check,” Rob explains.
Sub Zero Ice Cream Franchise Opportunity
Sub Zero Ice Cream is a unique brand. With its retail stores, catering mobility, and science education events, the brand has multiple revenue streams.
Going to a Sub Zero Ice Cream shop is an experience. Customers get to watch their truly fresh ice cream being made right in front of them. Choice and customization are a key feature of the brand, which also includes vegan, non-dairy, and keto friendly options.
Sub Zero Ice Cream franchise opportunities require a much smaller investment that most food franchises and other ice cream competitors. But it does require a huge passion for ice cream and a desire to help customers leave happier than when they walked in.
Sub Zero Ice Cream in Brief
Sub Zero Ice Cream uses liquid nitrogen to freeze each customer’s designed ice cream mix, making it a fun experience and a delicious ice cream treat for all ages.
The first Sub Zero Ice Cream location opened in 2004. Nationwide, Sub Zero Ice Cream operates in 17 states with 36 franchises, and was featured on Season Four of SHARK TANK.