The Story of Totally Nutz: Franchise Review and Fees

Introduction to the Totally Nutz® Franchise Opportunity

Totally Nutz®, a gourmet cinnamon-glazed nut company.

We are Totally Nutz®, a gourmet cinnamon-glazed nut company. We freshly roast and glaze almonds, cashews, and pecans on-site at events and venues nationwide.

Our mission is to be the premier nut vendor worldwide, enhancing people’s event experience by delivering gourmet fresh roasted nuts to patrons and event attendees. To date, Totally Nutz is in a multitude of professional and college stadiums, shopping areas, convention centers, fairs and festivals nationwide.

Our product offering is simple: almonds, cashews, and pecans roasted and glazed in cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla. Our customers are sports fans, convention goers, concert lovers, shoppers, passengers, and festival/fair attendees.

We have learned that a simple menu helps customers to make a purchase without feeling overwhelmed with too many options. Our lines are serviced quickly and the interactive roasting process is fun for people to watch.

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TOTALLY NUTZ BUSINESS SNAPSHOT: STARTUP COSTS AND FEES

  • Founded: 1990
  • Franchising Since: 2014
  • Number of Existing Locations: 77
  • Total Initial Investment: $59,872 – $258,400
  • Initial Franchise Fee: Single: 27,500, 3-Pack: $39,500, 5-Pack: $59,500, 10-Pack: $69,900
  • Ongoing Royalty Fee: 6%
  • Ad Royalty Fee: $500 annually
  • Net Worth Minimum: $75,000
  • Agreement Length: 10 years with 2) 10 year renewal options

What’s the Backstory?

Matt Barker came up with the idea of roasting and glazing nuts while attending a meeting in Indianapolis. He called his wife, Yvette, and said, “I have found our next business concept.” Fast forward to 2014 when Totally Nutz Franchise became operational. We are now in our 29th year.

Matt and Yvette have been entrepreneurs their entire career. They pay attention to details and learn from their experience. They started with 1 cart and expanded as they had the capital. 

Most of Totally Nutz Utah’s partnerships are 25-29 years running. Customer’s enter our mall locations during the holiday to specifically look for our mall kiosk and make their holiday purchases. Corporate customer’s make annual purchases for customer/employee appreciation gifts and patrons plan to buy our product at our stadiums before they have even left their house.

The longevity and stability of Totally Nutz is proof that our proven model works and we have long-standing loyalty from our customers.

Totally Nutz® Franchise Opportunity.

Totally Nutz® Menu and Offerings

Our core offerings are roasted and glazed almonds, cashews, and pecans. Our secret recipe of cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla was crafted so that it does not overpower the nut’s natural flavors and the glaze is light which keeps the nut from becoming hardened with sugar.

Our nuts are sourced from various growers. We select the best quality and size for our artisan roasting process. Our nuts are served as whole pieces rather than broken. 

A chef worked with our founders to create a glaze mixture which was not too sweet and did not take away from the nuts natural flavor and texture. We think it is a perfect balance. The typical German glaze recipe makes the nut much harder to bite through as it is covered in a much thicker coating of sugar and it is quite sweet.

Our focus is to provide a healthier snack food item. Our products are gluten-free, farm to table and low fat. Some could even say we are Vegan; however, we will leave that up to each individual Vegan to decide.

Our target market for our product is anyone who loves nuts. One sample of our gourmet nuts turn almost anyone into a fan.

Totally Nutz cinnamon glazed nuts pair well with sports, shopping, music, Broadway plays, walking the floor of a convention center and by those wanting to grab a quick snack before they board a plane.

What Makes Totally Nutz® Unique?

Totally Nutz offers customers a fun experience with a quality product and exceptional customer service all year round. We have a unique look and brand. We always roast fresh, on-site and only with the finest quality ingredients on the market. We have a proven success model and offer an impulse buy with our “sweet-smelling” aroma, fun sampling interaction, our unique pre-mix, and cone-shaped packaging.  

Ultimately, our biggest differentiator is the requirement of marketing to generate sales. At Totally Nutz, we have FREE marketing. Upon taking that first step inside a venue or event, our customers get hit with the delightful aroma of fresh roasted cinnamon glazed nuts and are hooked, before they even get the chance to consider other food options. 

We also make it easy for our owners to scale their business! Our franchise owners can initially invest in our mobile cart option. When they are ready to expand, that already purchased equipment can transform into our kiosk option by only having to reinvest a minimal amount of money. Our carts and kiosks are all mobile and semi-permanent.  

What Does The Future Look Like?

Each franchisee has a microsite which provides a current event calendar including locations. Their sites are mobile-friendly for ordering and contacting the owner. 

As we grow as a franchise, our buying power increases for bulk nut purchases.  We pass these savings on to our franchisees, which increases their profit margins.  We are committed to supporting our Totally Nutz family in every way. Due to increased interest, Totally Nutz will be expanding into Canada soon and eventually, worldwide.  

Totally Nutz encourages its franchisees to align their business with humanitarian causes of their choice and give back a portion of their revenue.  Together we can make a difference!

Totally Nutz is positioned for the long-term by being a low-cost franchise with great opportunity. People are always looking for ways to escape on the weekends, whether it be to attend a sporting event, fair, festival or music event. During working hours there are opportunities for our business model at convention centers, shopping areas, online gift/corporate gift purchases, and transportation hubs such as airports, train stations, etc.

While attending these types of venues and events, people like to snack. Totally Nutz is a healthier alternative to other options such as cotton candy, popcorn, candy, and high caloric food options.

What Does a Typical Day Look Like for a Franchisee?

Franchisees spend their time planning and preparing for events. There are many opportunities for our business model whether it be semi-permanent or temporary (sports arena vs. an annual fair/festival). 

Challenges at the beginning are going to be deciding what type of events to work. Some franchisees like to work temporary events which allow them to pick and choose them by type, duration, and location. Other franchisees may prefer to work at a venue which has a calendar of events such as a concert hall, shopping area, convention center and/or sports stadium/arena/field.

Working with the public and seeing the surprised look on their faces when they first sample our product is very rewarding. Hearing them say that they did not expect it to taste so good and having them make a purchase is exciting. Learning what it takes to pick a good event is a great feeling. A good event is defined differently by everyone. Some say a good event is profitable and fun while others say a good event is giving back to the community while making a profit.

How Much Money Can You Expect to Make?

Our franchise allows our owners to decide how much they want to make by choosing the size of their business.  We offer a single unit franchise, a 3 unit franchise, and up to a 10 unit franchise.

By working multiple events with multiple carts a business owner can double, triple, or quadruple their revenue.  The opportunity to work full- or part-time is totally up to our franchisees. Totally Nutz can adapt to your lifestyle. Return on investment (ROI) will depend upon how aggressively our franchisees want to run their business.

What Training Programs are in Place to Help Franchisees Succeed?

Totally Nutz offers one week of training in-house at our corporate office in St. George, UT. New franchisees have a mixture of classroom and hands-on training which allows them to learn everything they need to know to own/operate their business once the training week is over. Even with zero industry experience.

Totally Nutz leadership team is available to offer assistance after training for anything from marketing, hiring, equipment trouble-shooting, to preparing for an event and/or securing a contract.

What are the characteristics of successful franchisees?

Franchise information.

Our ideal franchisees are hungry to succeed, they love working with the public and having fun, and they believe in offering exceptional customer service. We also look for these traits:

  • White-collar background with a blue-collar work ethic  
  • Family-focused. Looking for a business they can enjoy running with their children. 
  • Multi-unit focused. Looking at quickly scaling their business. 
  • Lifestyle-focused. Looking for a business that has great unit economics, but also allows for plenty of vacation throughout the year. 
  • Owner-Operator has proven sales with hands-on experience.  

We have a Discovery Day process where potential franchisees have the ability to Skype in or fly to St. George, UT to meet the founders and the staff, tour the facility and watch a live roasting session while sampling the product. This opportunity gives everyone a chance to meet and have a question/answer session in order to learn more about the opportunity. 

Potential franchisees who have management experience, the ability to problem-solve, and the ability to follow a proven system are our best partners. The great thing about buying into a proven system is it works!

Totally Nutz has an application process where we ensure potential franchisees have the minimum liquid cash available to purchase a franchise. Discovery Day comes after that and then there are calls made from the potential franchisee to existing franchisees to ask any questions about their experience as owners, how responsive and helpful corporate is, what kind of events they like to work, etc. 

Any Parting Words?

After 29 years of specializing in freshly roasted nuts, we are committed to sharing our secrets to a quick success with our franchisees.  We offer a simple process, a strong brand, and a great product, but we require our franchisees follow our system with exactness. Our Totally Nutz brand is our pride and joy!

Where to Learn More.

About Support Staff

Brett Lindenberg is the founder of Food Truck Empire and Food Empire Pro. Brett's mission is help to entrepreneurs start and grow profitable food businesses. Since 2014, Brett has interviewed over 100 entrepreneurs on the Food Empire Pro podcast and written hundreds of blog posts on all aspects of food business. Brett has been quoted in media outlets like Entrepreneur Magazine, CNBC, and The Washington Post.