Paciugo Gelato Caffe Franchise Costs, Fees & Owner Salary (2023)









May 2, 2024


Paciugo Gelato Caffe

a franchise?

Paciugo Gelato Caffe

Paciugo Gelato Caffe, renowned for its authentic Italian gelato, was founded by the Ginatta family who moved from Italy to Dallas, Texas in 1997. The family opened the first Paciugo gelateria in September 2000, inspired by Cristiana Ginatta's lifelong passion for gelato, honed from her childhood experiences and formal culinary training in Italy. 

The brand name "Paciugo" translates to "messy concoction" in Italian, reflecting the diverse and creative range of gelato flavors they offer. Their commitment to authentic Italian tradition and the use of high-quality ingredients quickly resonated with customers.

Despite being ready to start franchising in July 2001, the Ginatta family decided to delay until 2004 to ensure they had perfected their gelato-making process, training materials, and other operational aspects. 

This meticulous approach paid off, as the first franchisees were often long-time customers or former employees, passionate about spreading the love for Paciugo's gelato. Today, Paciugo continues to attract new franchisees, expanding its presence and sharing its delicious gelato with more communities​​​​.

How many

Paciugo Gelato Caffe


are there?

In 2022, there were
outlets in
the United
States, of which
are franchises, and
are corporate-owned.

What are the

Paciugo Gelato Caffe



Advertising fee


Initial Franchise Fee

The initial fee for opening the first Store is $20,000.For each subsequent Store, the fee is $15,000.For a Co-brand Store, the fee is reduced to $7,500.

Development Fee

The Development Fee for the first Store under a Development Agreement is $20,000. For each additional Store, the fee is 50% of the initial franchise fee, which amounts to $7,500 for Stores.

Site Selection Assistance Fee

An additional $500 is charged for each extra site visit, plus any out-of-pocket expenses.

Royalty Fee

Franchisees must pay 6% of Gross Sales as a royalty fee.

Brand Development Fund Contribution

A contribution of 2% of Gross Sales is required for the Brand Development Fund.

Local Advertising Requirement

Franchisees are required to spend 2% of Gross Sales on local advertising.

Note: The fees presented here can be found in the Item 5 of the Franchise Disclosure Document. For a complete list of all the fees borne by the franchisee, please consult the Franchise Disclosure Document.

How much does

it cost

to start a

Paciugo Gelato Caffe


It costs between
to start a
Paciugo Gelato Caffe
Type of Expenditure Amount
Initial Franchise Fee $15,000 - $20,000
Initial Application and Document Preparation Fee $250 - $750
Site Selection Assistance $0 - $1,000
First Month’s Rent and Security Deposit $2,000 - $10,000
Leasehold Improvements $73,000 - $306,000
Store Design Consulting Services $0 - $1,500
Furniture, Fixtures, Equipment, and Signage $115,000 - $198,000
Initial Training Costs $500 - $4,000
Pre-Opening Consultation $0 - $1,000
Opening Assistance Costs $0 - $5,000
Computer Hardware and Software $4,000 - $8,000
Initial Inventory/Supplies $8,000 - $10,000
Professional Services $1,200 - $4,000
Opening Advertising Expenses $3,500 - $10,000
Insurance $250 - $3,000
Additional Funds (three months) $10,000 - $30,000
Total $232,700 - $612,250

Note: The table above provides a snapshot of the main costs associated with starting the most common franchise format (as disclosed in the Item 7 of the Franchise Disclosure Document). For a complete overview of all the expenses involved with the various formats offered by the franchisor, please consult the Franchise Disclosure Document.


Paciugo Gelato Caffe



to its


Paciugo Gelato Caffe

The franchisor provides its franchisees with a comprehensive training program.

Program Overview

Paciugo Franchise International (PFI) requires the franchisee's Operating Principal or District Manager to attend and satisfactorily complete PFI's initial training program. This program is provided at no charge and takes place at a location and time designated by PFI, which may include virtual training options.

Training Content

The initial training covers a wide range of topics essential for operating a Paciugo Store. Key areas of focus include:

  • Batch Freezing: For Caffès, there's an emphasis on gelato making with 20 hours of on-the-job training.
  • Customer Service and In-Store Experience: Combines 2 hours of classroom learning with 8 hours of practical application.
  • Customer Care and Health Inspections: Encompasses 2 hours of classroom instruction and 2 hours of on-the-job training.

Additional and Remedial Training

Franchisees are required to have their Operating Principal, District Manager, and other designated employees attend additional courses, seminars, and training programs as deemed necessary by PFI. These could be in various formats like online training, regional meetings, or traditional classroom sessions, some of which may involve tuition fees.

Training Location and Instructors

Training is primarily conducted in Dallas, Texas, or virtually, and is led by qualified members of PFI staff, including management personnel and employees with expertise in training and food operations.


Paciugo Gelato Caffe




Paciugo Franchise International (PFI) does not grant exclusive territorial rights with its Franchise Agreement. Franchisees are granted the right to operate at a specific approved location described in the Franchise Agreement, but no territorial exclusivity is provided. Franchisees may be required to participate in delivery and takeout programs, with the delivery areas being designated on a non-exclusive basis.

Under the Development Agreement, franchisees have the right to develop and operate a specified number of Paciugo Stores, but they will not receive an exclusive territory. If franchisees fail to meet their obligations under the Development Agreement, including the development timeline, PFI may reduce the number of Stores they are allowed to develop.

PFI reserves the right to own and operate, or to grant others the right to own and operate, Paciugo Stores or stores under different names or marks, regardless of their proximity to any franchisee's Store(s).

Can a

Paciugo Gelato Caffe


be run as

a passive


The Paciugo franchise system requires active involvement from the franchisee in the day-to-day operations of their franchised business. The franchise agreement specifies that the franchised business must be directly supervised on-premises by an "Operating Principal." This role is defined as follows:

  • For individual franchisees or general partnerships, the Operating Principal is the individual franchisee or one of the general partners.
  • If the franchisee is a business entity, the Operating Principal must own at least a 10% equity interest in that entity.

The Operating Principal is mandated to successfully complete the franchisor's initial training program and is expected to dedicate full-time efforts to the management and operation of the franchised business. The franchisor retains the authority to approve the appointment of the Operating Principal, ensuring they meet the franchisor's qualifications for the position.

Related Posts