Is Frozen Yogurt the Answer to Convenience Store’s Lack of Healthy Food?

The frozen yogurt lifestyle is becoming so pervasive that you may come across some when picking up some gum and gas at your local convenience store. That’s right, frozen yogurt kiosks can now be found in convenience stores! Take a look at Donper America’s and Yumz express frozen yogurt kiosk concepts:

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Diversifying product has worked well for convenience stores in the past. Wawa, the Pennsylvania-based gas retailer is locally renowned for their smoothies and sandwiches. 7-11, now an international corporation, was put on the map when they adopted their infamous Slurpee back in 1967. Now with the staying power that frozen yogurt has shown, these convenience store concepts have gotten some traction with convenience stores across the country big and small.

If you’re in the Atlanta area you’ll notice that RaceTrac stations, a local convenience store chain, have adopted some new hardware including a couple self-serve frozen yogurt stations and a toppings bar

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You’ll see some frozen yogurt stations in small convenience stores such as this one in Lower Paxton Township Pennsylvania.

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And I have to say it doesn’t sound like a bad idea. Frozen yogurt for convenience stores makes sense with the self-serve model already built into the c-store concept. Frozen yogurt to grab and go sounds like a pretty great solution for c-stores that are looking to expand and grow their business with healthier choices. What do you think?

 

Best Frozen Yogurt Software

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Donper America Develops Frozen Yogurt Machine Service App for Store Owners

Get ready all you Donper America frozen yogurt machine owners, the future is now. Donper America recently announced their frozen yogurt machine app that will show soft-serve machine operators how to set-up, troubleshoot and fix their equipment.

Donper’s new training app will feature:

  • step-by-step instructions
  • videos
  • troubleshooting guides
  • glossaries

This new feature will help supplement Donper’s current service and support structure of initial machine set-up, over the phone troubleshooting, and in store service calls. Scott Turner, the service manager at Donper America, commented that the problem with their traditional service model was that:

“employees aren’t usually familiar with basic troubleshooting techniques until there is a problem with one of the machines. This app helps to solve this problem by allowing our customers to learn proactively.”

Donper wants the app to educate operators on proper maintenance and training, so they’re better able to keep their equipment successfully up and running. c700x420.jpg

This new app, if successful, has the potential to revolutionize the service and support structure of the frozen yogurt industry. At the very least, less expensive service calls for frozen yogurt store owners. Sounds exciting to us!

Source:marketwired.com

Best Frozen Yogurt Point of Sale

Tablet Frozen Yogurt Package4

Grow Your Frozen Yogurt Business with Social Media

There is simply no denying the prevalence of social media. Did you watch the Oscars this past Sunday? Ellen and her famous gang literally broke twitter with their star-studded selfie. (Thanks to some strategic product placement courtesy of Samsung.) So what does this have to do with frozen yogurt? Everything! Social media is a free, engaging, and informal way to advertise and connect to your customer base.

Let’s Yo! Promotes Customer Engagement Through Social Media

frozen yogurt shop, frozen yogurt marketing, instagram, frozen yogurt pos, business

Let’s Yo! a frozen yogurt franchise out of New Jersey has taken their social media strategy and has made it the cornerstone of their business. Alongside a healthy menu, customers get to interact with apple ipads that have been embedded into the tables. Not only that, once you begin taking your Let’s Yo! frozen yogurt selfies you can watch the store’s live feed from their various social media accounts on their flat-screen televisions. This means that your perfect selfie or froyo-gram will show up within seconds of posting.

Not only is this fun socially-minded atmosphere a unique experience for customers but it’s also a strong branding strategy. It encourages social media engagement therefore leaving the heavy advertising lifting to customers, and social media accounts. It’s a very cultivated way to achieve organic marketing for a frozen yogurt franchise. They achieve more social media engagement (i.e more organic advertising) by creating and promoting their social media games and contests.

Social Media For Frozen Yogurt 
Now, I’m not saying in order to be a successful business in this day and age you need to go and buy ipads for every table.

ipad, cafe cartel, ipad pos, frozen yogurt pos, ipad point of sale
But, in case you want to…Cafe Cartel can help you with an affordableipad solution #hint #hint #wink

But, I am saying that social media is a great tool to take advantage of. And for frozen yogurt shops, images and shared pics are a great way to drive customer engagement for your shop. This means Instagram.

Why Instagram For Your Frozen Yogurt Shop?

frozen yogurt shop, frozen yogurt marketing, instagram, frozen yogurt pos, business

Instagram is a great free tool that has 18 times the engagement rate of Facebook. This means that theres a bigger percentage of people who have Instagram that actually use it, as opposed to Facebook. Instagram is a picture sharing website so users can take pictures, tag their locations, and post them on their friends instagram feeds. This gives you the opportunity to post pictures of your customers, or even employees having fun in your shop. But most likely, you’ll be enticing your potential customers with new flavors or a particularly luscious looking froyo masterpiece.

Once you have your frozen yogurt shop’s Instagram set up, you can follow our tips on taking the best froyo pics: How to take the Best Instagram Photos of Frozen Yogurt. A stunning Instagram picture will be that much more enticing to click and share.

 

 

 

Buying a Used Frozen Yogurt Machine Online

Are you browsing the web for frozen yogurt machines trying to find the best deal? Have the most attractive prices been on Amazon or Ebay?

There is a lot to consider when buying a used yogurt machine such as warranties and service. In many cases that price is low because it doesn’t include those things. But depending on your business and resources, buying through a site like ebay may be your best option. Here are some things I found that might help you make the right decision.

frozen yogurt, machines, used , ebay, self serve, best, affordable, amazon

If you are going to purchase a soft serve ice cream machine on ebay always verify the following are available at your location (Please leave feedback below):

A. Do you have Single Or Three Phase electricity, desire air-cooled (moderate temperature climates and location placement in air conditioned or extremely well ventilated room and plenty of vent space around unit) or water cooled (warm climates, poorly ventilated placement), and the serial number and voltage ( Are electrical plugs or is the unit hardwired?).

B. Request a photo of the inside of the inside of the freezing cylinder(s) which is the location(s) behind the door of the unit where the flavor or flavors are dispensed. There should be metal beaters inside these chambers that turn to keep the ice cream from completely freezing and not dispensing. These can be found on ebay fairly priced and from a Taylor dealer be prepared for about $300 for one. This price is possible to negotiate if you are pleasant and mention that you are considering purchasing one from ebay for lower price.

C. Ask for a photo of the top of the machine with and without the hopper lids. Different units have different parts in the hopper so if there are none add $150 and if there are no lids another $200.

D. Is the machine on casters (full size units) and are they casters in good condition or are they prominently flat on one side. If these units are not moved on a regular basis the wheels become flat. This also means the unit was probably not properly maintained.

Taylor Soft Serve Ice Cream Machines are the Best In Performance and extremely profitable. Yes, they are expensive new but that is because they are of the highest quality. If you cannot afford new and purchase a Taylor used on ebay be prepared to pay additional expenses if you do not ask the above listed questions. If you buy a Taylor Soft Serve from 1985 or newer and for less than $3000 and usually the worst case scenario is a $3000 in additional expenses which if you don’t know a retired Taylor Tech then use a Taylor Distributor. They are worth the few extra dollars and also guarantee labor and parts on replacements. A used working $6000 Taylor is well worth the investment if you cannot afford to buy one new. Some Taylor dealers also have refurbished units in-stock and with a one-year warranty and at a very fair price. If you do not ask you will not know.

SaniServ is also a reputable manufacturer and especially for frozen beverages like Margarita’s and Daquiri’s. Stoelting, Electrofreeze, and others are also available. Taylor does have about 80% of the market so they must be doing something right.

 

There are plenty of options out there so that yo get the right machines for you business and can afford them. Options such as refurbished models from distributors and leasing options.

Use National Frozen Yogurt Day to Grow your Business

Superbowl Sunday is over and Valentine’s Day is still about two weeks away. What will we as a nation do to help get us over the disappointment of a dull Superbowl game and looking forward to the day of love? Why, frozen yogurt of course! This week is National Frozen Yogurt Day! While the actual date is disputed, February 3rd… 6th… 7th, I don’t know, frozen yogurt chains across the country are celebrating it this week. How is your frozen yogurt shop going to celebrate?

menchies-national-frozen-yogurt-day-2014

Yougurtland declared today, Monday February 3rd National Frozen Yogurt Day giving customers free frozen yogurt and toppings from 4-7pm at all participating locations. They’re also debuting their color-changing spoons and commemorative cups.

Menchie’s is hosting it this Thursday February 6th, by giving out free 6 oz. of frozen yogurt all day when you bring in a coupon.

Pinkberry, too, is celebrating National Frozen Yogurt Day on February 6th from 3 to 7pm with a free small pinkberry froyo with toppings in exchange for a facebook ‘like’ on their local pinkberry facebook page.

What can we learn from Pinkberry, Menchie’s, and Yogurtland’s National Frozen Yogurt Day marketing campaigns?

Each of these major chains have implemented different marketing strategies for their National Frozen Yogurt Day promotions, taking a look at each of their goals and direction will give you a better grasp on how to model yours!

1. Yogurtland

Goal: Driving Traffic to Shop

Date of Promotion: Monday Feb. 3rd, 4-7pm

Promotion: Free yogurt and toppings, with commemorative color changing spoon and cup.

The date that Yogurtland has chosen for their National Frozen Yogurt Day promotion is not arbitrary. Last year, Yogurtland held their annual frozen yogurt day promotion on February 4th, still a Monday. This means that Yogurtlands strategic marketing goals include:

  • driving traffic to locations on Monday afternoons.

By placing their promotion on Monday afternoons we can assume that Yogurtland’s main goal from this marketing strategy is to get more people into their shop during the given timeframe.

Coupling this promotion on a day that you want to encourage foot traffic into your shop is a great strategy to boost sales on a relatively slow day while encouraging newcomers to continue to visit on monday afternoons.

 

2. Menchie’s

Goal: Attracting New Customers

Date of promotion: Thursday February 6th, All Day

Promotion: Free 6 oz. yogurt with coupon

Menchie’s frozen yogurt coupon online indicates the social media engagement they’re going for in this promotion. Hosting the promotion on a Thursday, a relatively steady sales night for many frozen yogurt shops shows that they want to drive most of their traffic to their facebook profiles and online presence where they are hosting the coupon. By hosting a coupon as opposed to a facebook ‘like’ or follow indicates the clientel they are trying to get at. Less adolescent, more families.

Hosting the coupon online makes them accessible to both demographics but the idea of a coupon appeals more to the mother/father niche than teenager.

Also, by requiring a coupon and offering all day free yogurt on a Thursday, Menchies is trying to attract new customers using the convenience of the day and flexibility of time. These elements makes Menchie’s as approachable as possible and the coupon makes a fairly attractive advertisement as well especially with all the opportunities for sharing on their facebook page.

3. Pinkberry

Goal: Social Media Engagement

Date of promotion: Thursday February 6th, 3-7pm.

Promotion: Free small froyo with toppings in exchange for facebook ‘like.’

This social media centric marketing strategy builds engagement for Pinkberry. By exchanging a free cup of yogurt for extended social media exposure. They are directly cultivating their brand image and increasing their exposure and engagement with their audience.

Pinkberry has long been fostering their social media program and online presence. This directed campaign is looking for encourage engagement for each individual store’s social media community, strengthening their overall brand image. They do this using other social media strategies such as branding their own hashtag #Pinkberryobsession.

Just like these brands make sure that your frozen yogurt promotion for National Frozen Yogurt Day is getting you closer to one of your business marketing goals!

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Point of Sale Special – $1600 Complete Solution

 Looking for an affordable point of sale for your frozen yogurt shop? Take advantage of this special offer, available through January 31st but inventory is limited so don’t wait! CLICK HERE

Opening Your Own Frozen Yogurt Store

Is a Franchise Better than Opening Your Own Frozen Yogurt Shop?

If you are thinking about opening your own frozen yogurt store but you are not sure if you should go it alone or open a franchise then I just found a great resource that could help you. I stumbled upon a Frozen yogurt Franchise review by fro-yo girl that was posted on this site franchise chatter.

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Resources
http://www.franchisechatter.com/sales-letter/
http://froyogirl.blogspot.com/
http://www.orble.com/increase-business-for-your-frozen-yogurt-shop/
http://cafecartel.com/quick-service/frozen-yogurt-store.html

Frozen Yogurt Machine Review: Electro Freeze, Forte and Taylor

 

Thanks to the post request from one of our followers we are comparing some of the big names in frozen yogurt machinery in this simple breakdown.

Left to right: Taylor C713, Electro Freeze SL500, Forte ss100

 

Taylor C713

Large Capacity Machine

Hourly output capacity: 60 liters

Price: $15,000

Product Quality: The name in frozen yogurt machine. You can achieve great quality product with the Taylor but you will need to spend some time setting the machine up properly.

Aesthetics: Very sleek brushed steel paneling. Very modern but has some tough to clean crevices. Easy as can be for customer use.

Function/Features: Top of the line features however as with the Electro Freeze you’ll need to use a company rep for service or maintenance which can make it costly and time consuming to get serviced.

 

Electro Freeze SL500

Large capacity machine

Hourly output capacity: 40 liters

Price: $16,000+

Product Quality: This machine also delivers good quality frozen yogurt and with the adjustable air tubes makes sure to keep the product creamy.

Aesthetics: Good clean look that’s easy to operate from a customer standpoint

Function/Features: Features are pretty great and becoming more innovative with their new additions of the VQM touch pad. However, be aware for service and maintenance it is a machine where you’ll probably need to get a specialized Electro Freeze rep. This can take a bit more time to get your machine fixed. Better to choose a machine that all contractors can fix.

 

Forte ss100

Medium capacity machine  with 2 hoppers that hold 12 liters each. The hourly output capacity is approximately 12 gallons

Price: $8,000

Product Quality: The machine has reported really solid results when it comes to actual quality of frozen yogurt that it produces. The consistency and taste is top notch and stands alongside more expensive brands.

Aesthetics: The front-face is somewhat old fashioned, but looks well built and sturdy. Easy to clean.

Function/Features: The LED display shows the voltage, level of freezing of the product, and machine operation. Very Simple. Easy to use for both the customer and the operator.

 

Sources: thefrozenyogurtreview

 

If you have any suggestions or input please share in a comment! We love collaborating with our subscribers.

 

Frozen Yogurt Mix Suppliers in California

product sourcing

wholesale suppliers

 

You have a couple different options as a frozen yogurt owner on where to source your frozen yogurt. You can choose between a powdered mix or a liquid mix to prepare in your frozen yogurt machines. Check out our “The Secret to Effective Frozen Yogurt Pricing” blog for the pros and cons of powder or liquid. Or if you’re a full service frozen yogurt shop (opposed to self-service) you can opt for hard packed tubs of frozen yogurt. Lucky for you, in California there is a lot of variety of  frozen yogurt supplied by distributors so you can find the perfect one for your froyo shop.

Top Frozen Yogurt Distributors in California

 

Dreyer’s Food Service

Dreyer’s features a custom flavor system that lets you alter their powdered frozen yogurt base to make over a dozen different variations

http://www.nestledreyersfoodservice.com/products/softserve/default.aspx

Reliant Foodservice

Reliant foodservice is a roduct resaler. they give you the option to choose between hard packed tubs, soft serve liquid and soft serve powder mixes

http://www.reliantfoods.com/index.php?route=product/category&path=61

 

Cielo USA

Cielo does their mix a little bit differently. They do have a great tasting powdered mix made from real non-fat yogurt and then fortified with enough live cultures to be comparable to the health benefits of actual yogurt.

http://www.cielousa.com/

America’s Classic Foods

ACF offers a premixed option blending their powdered mix with water before processing.

http://www.amcf.com/

Here are some larger dairy distributors that also provide frozen yogurt wholesale:

Stremick’s Heritage Foods

http://www.heritage-foods.com/index.php?id=2

Challenge Dairy Products, Inc

http://challengedairy.com/

Frozen Yogurt Point of Sale

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How Many Frozen Yogurt Machines Do You Really Need?: A Cost/Benefit Analysis

When opening your frozen yogurt shop finding the perfect equilibrium of how many machines and flavors your shop should supply is an important factor in keeping your costs at the most optimal.

What to take into account when determining the number of machines your frozen yogurt shop needs

1. Size of location: Self serve frozen yogurt machines are large and need an ample amount of space between them, around 12 to 18 inches. After measuring for topping counters, point of sale space, back room, dining area, coolers, sinks, etc. you’ll know how much room you have for the self serve machines.

2. Start-up money: Spending all of your start up money on that “magic number” of machines,  isn’t going to be the element that makes your shop an instant success. Rather the opposite, it could drive you to a loss due to the over supply in relation to how much start-up costs you have. Stick with what you can afford now, 3-6 machines and expand in the future.

3. Competition: What does your competition look like? How many machines do they have? Just because they have eight machines doesn’t necessarily mean you need to match/ beat them in machinery right away.

Making the Decision

Our friend, Neil Williams at Turn Key Parlor, an industry expert, asks the question “Will more machines really make you more profitable?” and offers this important point to factor in “I would rather be the guy with the manageable debt load and lower overhead than the guy that lets his fruit toppings go bad because he’s so worried about losing a nickel to pay his bills.”

When deciding how many machines to start out with really boils down to a cost benefit analysis between what spending extra on the machine cost versus additional machine benefit.

It’s important to NOT forget about the associated costs that come with maintenance and purchase; how much energy they use, the production capacity, heat required, and price.