Baskin-Robbins unveils new international design

July 7, 2011 | by Alicia Kelso

Baskin-Robbins's grand opening in Singapore in early June not only marked the chain's debut in the country and its 4,000th international location to date, it also unveiled the company's new international store design.

The unit, located in the bustling shopping destination of Novena Square, is operated by Scoop & Scoop LLC, which was recognized by Baskin-Robbins in 2008 as its International Partner of the Year for its Malaysian development efforts.

The company has been testing elements of the new design in key markets including Korea and the Middle East for more than a year, sai Sara Larcombe, director of international marketing - Asia, Baskin-Robbins.

"As a brand with such extensive international reach, we are always looking at ways to keep Baskin-Robbins on the cutting edge of innovation and design," she said.

The new international store design embraces the brand's personality, featuring lounge-style seating, iconic "pink spoon" door handles and textured walls reminiscent of waffle cones.

An expanded topping station is included in the new model. Baskin-Robbins will offer traditional American favorites such as Mint Chocolate Chip and Jamoca Almond Fudge, while also adapting to international palates. The Singapore unit, for example, will boast staple Southeast Asian flavors such as Green Tea and Mango Tango, which is made with King Alfonso mangos from India.

"Baskin-Robbins has lots of toppings to suit all our guests' needs. Accordingly, the topping station is a very important element in the design," said Larcombe. "The actual number of toppings differs from country to country, but on average we have a dozen toppings that appeal to the local favorite flavors."

Additionally, interactive LCD menu displays were installed to stay current and enhance guest experiences. Such enhancement is a big theme behind the redesign.

"The LCD menu displays are a great example of that innovation, as they are effective at communicating our menu while also providing a great, interactive customer experience," Larcombe said. "We want to remain on the cutting edge, not just in our menu, but also in the atmosphere we create. The new design focuses on creating that modern atmosphere that allows customers to relax and socialize. These changes really identify Baskin-Robbins as a fun, inviting destination for all."

The biggest difference in Baskin-Robbins' new design is its increased focus on the chain's products. Its line of ice cream cakes, for example, is stored in the improved and expanded dessert displays.

"Wherever we could, we made our products the heroes; we really put the focus back on our products," Larcombe said.

A reduced carbon footprint is an additional benefit for Baskin-Robbins' in its redesign efforts. The Singapore location includes LED lighting packages and Larcombe said longer-term reusable take-home packaging solutions are also currently being considered.

To complement Baskin-Robbins' ambitious international growth plans, the design is being implemented in both new and existing units globally. For example, the chain anticipates 10 new stores in Western Australia this year and potentially 100 in the country next year.

The design is not currently planned for the Baskin-Robbins' domestic market.

Topics: Business Strategy and Profitability , Coffee/Bakery/Donut , Customer Service / Experience , Food & Beverage , Franchising & Growth , International , Menu Boards , Operations Management , Restaurant Design / Layout

Alicia Kelso / Alicia has been a professional journalist for 15 years. Her work with, and has been featured in publications around the world, including NPR, Good Morning America, Voice of Russia radio, and Franchise Asia magazine.
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