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Fosters Freeze

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Fosters Freeze
IndustryFast food
FoundedInglewood, California, United States (1946; 78 years ago (1946))[1]
FounderGeorge Foster
Number of locations
62 (2024)[3]
Area served
Key people
Neal Dahya (President), Nimesh Dahya (Head of global business development), Sanjay Patel (Chief marketing officer)[4]
ProductsSoft serve, hamburgers, chicken

Fosters Freeze is a chain of fast-food restaurants in California. Its first location, on La Brea Avenue in Inglewood, California, was opened by George Foster in 1946 and is still operating.

The chain's name refers to its soft-serve ice milk and milkshakes. Its marketing slogan is "California's Original Soft Serve."[5] Its mascot is Little Foster, a smiling ice cream cone.[6]


Foster's Freeze ice cream stand in Cloverdale, California, 1991

George Foster moved to California after World War II to open outlets for Dairy Queen, since he owned the development rights in the state. However, state laws protecting the dairy industry prevented the use of “dairy” in restaurant names. So instead, in 1946, Foster opened a restaurant named after himself, Foster’s Old Fashion Freeze.[7] (The apostrophe was later dropped.)[8] In 1951, he sold the chain's 360 locations for $1 million. By 1987, it had been reduced to 189 locations.[9]

A Fosters Freeze restaurant in Lompoc, California

El Pollo Loco signed a master franchise contract with Fosters Freeze in 1994, allowing service of Fosters Freeze soft-serve ice cream in El Pollo Loco locations.[10][11] In 2002, 163 El Pollo Loco locations sold Fosters Freeze products, and their overall sales increased by three to six percent.[10] The contract ended in 2014.[12]

The historical significance of Fosters Freeze restaurants attracts patrons and has united community members to preserve them. In 2006, residents of Menlo Park presented their city council a petition with about 400 signatures to prevent the demolition of their local Fosters,[13] although it finally closed in 2015.[14] The Santa Cruz location is listed in the city's historic building survey.[15]

In 2015, a restaurant franchise investment group bought Fosters Freeze.[12] It modernized the brand[16] and operations; sales have increased every year since then.[17] As of 2021, the company plans to add locations for the first time since 2006.[18]

As of January 2024, there are 62 Fosters Freeze locations, all in California.[3]

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ "About Us". Fosters Freeze. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  2. ^ Fosters Freeze International, LLC (12 March 2020). "Franchise Disclosure Document" (PDF).
  3. ^ a b "Locations". Fosters Freeze. Retrieved 16 Jan 2024.
  4. ^ a b "About". Fosters Freeze Franchise. 10 September 2020. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  5. ^ Koslow, Jessica (5 August 2010). "The Chocolate Dipped Cone: 3 to Try". LA Weekly. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  6. ^ "Little Foster - Trademark Details". Justia Trademarks. 24 July 2015. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  7. ^ Gnerr, Sam (29 March 2014). "Fosters Old Fashioned Freeze". The Daily Breeze. Hermosa Beach, California. Archived from the original on 15 April 2020.
  8. ^ a b c Kreuzer, Nikki (5 June 2016). "Offbeat L.A.: A Cherry on Top – Fosters Freeze, the History of California's Original Soft Serve". The Los Angeles Beat. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  9. ^ Yoshihara, Nancy (9 May 1987). "Staying Cool: New Owners Are Expanding Small but Resilient Fosters Freeze Chain". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  10. ^ a b Spector, Amy (16 June 2003). "Wienerschnitzel parent Galardi Group Gobbles up Tastee-Freez". Nation's Restaurant News. Gale Group. Archived from the original on 28 February 2006.
  11. ^ Smith, Andrew F. (2012). Fast Food and Junk Food: An Encyclopedia of What We Love to Eat, Volume 1. ABC-CLIO. p. 278. ISBN 9780313393938. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  12. ^ a b Jennings, Lisa (15 June 2015). "Fosters Freeze acquired by investment group". Nation's Restaurant News. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  13. ^ "Kids rally to save Foster's Freeze". The Almanac. Menlo Park, California. 23 August 2006. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  14. ^ Bradshaw, Kate (1 October 2015). "Community says farewell to Fosters Freeze in Menlo Park". The Almanac. Menlo Park, California. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  15. ^ Santa Cruz Historic Building Survey, Volume III. City of Santa Cruz, California. March 2013. p. 61.
  16. ^ Golob, Brittany (21 December 2017). "Spotlight on Foster's Freeze". Transform Magazine. London, United Kingdom. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  17. ^ Coley, Ben (1 December 2020). "Former Burger King Franchisees Inject Life into Fosters Freeze". QSR. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  18. ^ Schomer, Stephanie (16 March 2021). "After 15 Years, the Fosters Freeze Franchise is Ready to Expand". Entrepreneur. Retrieved 24 May 2021.

External links[edit]