|Founded||Inglewood, California, United States (1946 )|
Number of locations
|Neal Dahya (President), Nimesh Dahya (Head of global business development), Sanjay Patel (Chief marketing officer)|
|Products||Soft serve, hamburgers, chicken|
The Fosters Freeze name comes from the fact that it is best known for its soft-serve ice milk and milkshakes, which is reflected in the marketing slogan, "California's Original Soft Serve." Its mascot is a smiling ice cream cone named "Little Foster."
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, at the time state laws protecting the dairy industry prevented him from using “dairy” in his restaurant name. Instead, in 1946 he opened a restaurant named after himself, Foster’s Old Fashion Freeze. (The apostrophe was later dropped.) In 1951, Foster sold the chain for $1 million, which had 360 locations at the time. However, by 1987, it was down to 189 locations.
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. In 2002, 163 El Pollo Loco locations sold Fosters Freeze products, and their sales increased by three to six percent. However, the contract ended in 2014.
The historical significance of Fosters Freeze restaurants attracts patrons and has united community members to preserve them. For example, in 2006, residents of Menlo Park presented to their city council a petition with about 400 signatures to avoid demolition of their local Fosters, although it finally closed in 2015. The Santa Cruz location is listed in the city's historic building survey.
In 2015, an investment group that runs multiple franchises of several restaurant brands bought Fosters Freeze. It then modernized the brand and operations, and sales have increased every year since then. As of 2021, the company is looking to add locations for the first time since 2006.
As of May 2021, Fosters Freeze has 67 locations, all in California.
In popular culture
- The Beach Boys song "Fun, Fun, Fun" was inspired by the Fosters Freeze location in Hawthorne, California.
- The Fosters Freeze in Atwater Village, Los Angeles was used in the movie Pulp Fiction.
- "About Us". Fosters Freeze. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
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- Koslow, Jessica (5 August 2010). "The Chocolate Dipped Cone: 3 to Try". LA Weekly. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
- "Little Foster - Trademark Details". Justia Trademarks. 24 July 2015. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
- Gnerr, Sam (29 March 2014). "Fosters Old Fashioned Freeze". The Daily Breeze. Hermosa Beach, California. Archived from the original on 15 April 2020.
- 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.
- Yoshihara, Nancy (9 May 1987). "Staying Cool: New Owners Are Expanding Small but Resilient Fosters Freeze Chain". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
- 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.
- 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.
- Jennings, Lisa (15 June 2015). "Fosters Freeze acquired by investment group". Nation's Restaurant News. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
- "Kids rally to save Foster's Freeze". The Almanac. Menlo Park, California. 23 August 2006. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
- Bradshaw, Kate (1 October 2015). "Community says farewell to Fosters Freeze in Menlo Park". The Almanac. Menlo Park, California. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
- Santa Cruz Historic Building Survey, Volume III. City of Santa Cruz, California. March 2013. p. 61.
- Golob, Brittany (21 December 2017). "Spotlight on Foster's Freeze". Transform Magazine. London, United Kingdom. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
- Coley, Ben (1 December 2020). "Former Burger King Franchisees Inject Life into Fosters Freeze". QSR. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
- Schomer, Stephanie (16 March 2021). "After 15 Years, the Fosters Freeze Franchise is Ready to Expand". Entrepreneur. Retrieved 24 May 2021.