The Ralph's Italian Ice and Nathan's Hot Dogs owner recently opened his first two SoBol stores.
Last year, SoBol burst into the franchising world, opening 13 franchise locations and signing contracts for nearly 50 more in just their first twelve months of franchising. That impressive debut caught the attention of a number of seasoned franchise investors, including Scott Rosenberg, a multi-brand owner who built his career with East Coast franchise stalwarts Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs and Ralph’s Italian Ice.
SoBol has enjoyed a persistent buzz surrounding its brand in both the franchise world and among consumers, and Rosenberg was curious to see what that buzz was about.
“I knew the brand was doing well, so I decided to check out a store,” Rosenberg said. “I saw right away that the product was great and they had created a very specific and appealing atmosphere. Right away I wanted to get involved.”
Rosenberg knew from experience there was more to a successful franchise than a good product and strong branding, so he reached out to SoBol’s development team to learn more about the business’s operations. The more he researched SoBol, the more confident Rosenberg became in the franchise’s potential for long-term growth.
“The most important thing I found was that SoBol has great franchise support,” Rosenberg said. “That’s one of, if not the most important thing. You purchase a franchise for the support, so it’s got to be a top priority for the franchisor, and for SoBol, it clearly is.”
Rosenberg signed a multi-unit contract with SoBol, and as he embarked on the franchise’s training program, he learned that the franchisee support that sold him on the brand is not just a savvy business strategy, it is the result of a genuine passion for the brand maintained by the entire corporate team.
“The training was fantastic, and it immediately becomes clear how much they care,” Rosenberg said. “The passion you see from everyone in corporate was really exciting, and it’s still exciting.”
Jason Mazzarone, SoBol’s president, founder and CEO, said that while the brand is glad to tap into Rosenberg’s extensive experience as a franchise owner, it’s his attitude as an entrepreneur that makes him a strong SoBol franchisee.
“Scott truly understands the franchise process, and that’s always a big plus, but his his commitment to following the system is what makes him a great fit and successful franchisee,” Mazzarone said. “He shares our passion and he’s just as excited to grow SoBol as we are. In his short time with us, he’s already built a really strong team that fits perfectly with our culture and brand.”
Rosenberg, who currently owns two SoBol locations, is already eager to expand into new markets.
“One of the best parts of this partnership is that SoBol is as adamant about their growth as I am about mine,” Rosenberg said. “I never want to become complacent, and they don’t either. I got involved with SoBol because I saw a big opportunity for large-scale growth, and they are excited to make that happen.”
According to Mazzarone, that kind of aggressive growth strategy is one of the primary traits he looks for in new owners.
“We are growing fast, and we want to be partnered with owners who believe in what we’re doing and want to grow with us. Scott showed us that attitude right away, and we are excited to build out our existing markets and move into new ones with Scott and more owners like him.”