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Baskin in the Glow

With the growing popularity of so-called super premium ice cream chains like Cold Stone Creamery, Marble Slab and MaggieMoo's, more established chains like Häagen-Dazs and Baskin-Robbins are being forced to adapt. Most recently, 63-year-old Baskin-Robbins unveiled its new design.

The company redesigned its logo, which now incorporates the number 31 (the number of Baskin-Robbins flavors made famous by the company's first advertising slogan) and instituted crescent-shaped sundae bars inside its stores to allow people to see how their ice cream is made. The ice cream dipping bins have also been lowered to allow children to look in and make choices more easily.

But some restaurant analysts are questioning that decision.

“Frankly, it's not very exciting to stand there and watch someone put cherries on top of ice cream,” says Hal Sieling, president of Carlsbad, Calif.-based restaurant consulting firm Hal Sieling & Associates.

Redesigns have already been rolled out at 240 Baskin-Robbins stores says James Franks, director of franchising with the company. They will eventually be implemented at all 2,700 of its locations.

Franks expects 100 new stand-alone locations to open by year's end and another 100 to be delivered in 2007. In total, the Baskin-Robbins' goal is to open 600 new stores in the U.S. within the next five years.

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