Adding Franchisee Input to Update an Iconic Brand

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Food is serious business. Now, on The Main Course, host Barbara Castiglia will invite insiders on the front lines of food to share their expertise, strategies, and forecasts for navigating the ever-changing restaurant industry.


Iconic brands create experiences for their customers. That’s the feeling many Californians have about Fosters Freeze, which dates back to the 1940s. Their soft-serve ice cream and classic Americana menu were well-loved, but the brand was stalling. Experienced franchisees and brothers Neal and Nimesh Dahya purchased the brand. They shared how they are bringing it into the future while retaining its charm. They joined The Main Course to talk about their journey.

“We are better able to understand franchisee issues and concerns. We also get their opinion before making decisions or changes.” – Neal Dahya

The brothers have worked with numerous big brands as franchisees, which they say helped them when they switched to the other side of operations.

Neal said, “We are better able to understand franchisee issues and concerns. We also get their opinion before making decisions or changes.”

They have made significant changes since acquiring the brand in 2015, which was motivated by having a presence in their home state of California.

“We knew from what we learned; we could acquire the brand and take it to the next level. We spent time getting to know our franchisees, suppliers, and partners. It’s an iconic brand that just needed some updating,” Nimesh added.

The update was both front of house and back of the house. They redesigned the interior and exterior. Updating the logo was also part of the process. They also launched a new website and created an intranet for franchisees to have access to resources.

A big part of the modernization was technology. They focused on backend systems that would streamline processes and reduce costs.

Their brothers shared that they remained open during the pandemic and actually saw sales grow because of their drive-thru capabilities. That success and their vision are powering what’s next, as they plan to grow outside of California to Arizona, Nevada, and Colorado.

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