Easy Freezy

In May of 2014 the frozen yogurt trend finally hit Milford Michigan with a bang, when Easy Freezy opened it’s doors. The shop offers its product in the traditional self-serve format. Initially starting with 15 flavors of frozen yogurt and over 30 toppings Easy Freezy has now expanded to offer 26 flavors (including seasonal options) of frozen yogurt, an additional 18 twist flavors, smoothies and shakes, frozen custard, gelato, soft serve ice cream, Italian ice, and roughly 50 different toppings.

Easy Freezy

Source: movetomilford.com

On the topic of frozen yogurt Easy Freezy owner Dan Cracana told the crowd, “I was craving a frozen yogurt after first trying it while travelling on business and was surprised to learn that the closest shop was  in Novi, about 15 miles away from my White Lake home. I’m excited to bring the make-it-yourself frozen yogurt craze to my community,” at the grand opening.

Easy Freezy has a retro look and includes both indoor and outdoor seating. To compliment the retro look and feel of the location Easy Freezy enhances the customer experience with a variation on a retro photo-booth available for customers to use to commemorate their visit. Additionally Easy Freezy provides customers with Wi-Fi, music, TV, and even a coin operated horse ride for the kids.

Easy Freezy Shop

Source: facebook.com

Much like with their flavor and menu options expansion is the name of the game at Easy Freezy as they have now expanded to three stores. When it comes to point of sale solutions however they made only one choice. The new third store is replacing an old Cherry Berry store, which used Sintel Systems as a solution. That wasn’t going to cut it for Easy Freezy though. They were so impressed with the job industry leader Cafe Cartel Systems did in their other two stores, they turned straight to CCS and their decade’s worth of frozen yogurt solutions once again. CCS installed POS-X units which used Avery Berkel Scales and they integrated Mercury credit card processors and the store was ready to go.

Easy Freezy looks to continue their expansion.

Best Frozen Yogurt Shop Point of Sale

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10 Tips for Getting the Perfect Frozen Yogurt Consistency

The trickiest part of the frozen yogurt and soft serve industries is often finding the perfect consistency of yogurt to serve. Customer tastes can be subjective; some prefer their yogurt to be thick and creamy, whereas others prefer a light and fluffy product. Either way, the way you run your machines can go a long way to helping you hit the sweet spot of frozen yogurt consistency. Here are 10 tips for producing the perfect frozen yogurt consistency for your frozen yogurt shop, which continues the conversation from thefrozenyogurtreview.com.

Source: cltampa.com

Source: cltampa.com

1. Rotate Flavors

To prevent one machine from getting more wear and producing a lower quality product as a result be sure to rotate the popular flavors amongst the different machines on a regular basis.

  • Why: Keeping a popular flavor in the same machine will ensure that machine needs maintenance before the others.
  • How: Be sure to also rotate the machines to reflect the changes in order to avoid customer confusion.

 

2. Cycling Old and New Product 

Keeping yogurt in the freezing cylinder for an extended period of time without it being drawn out can substantially lower the quality of your product.

  • Why: Generally speaking if the product is not cycling it is getting worse. Keep the yogurt cycling and periodically taste the yogurt in your machines to ensure it’s cycling properly and make adjustments as necessary.
  • How: For example if the yogurt is icy remove some until it gets lighter and creamier. At night be sure to flip your air tubes and in the morning release the yogurt from the freezing cylinder and cycle in new yogurt from the hoppers. You will see an immediate difference.

 

3. Prevent Yogurt Break Down

  • Why: Removing the foam that builds up at the top of the hoppers and stirring your yogurt frequently will prevent break down.
  • How: You should do this first thing every day before opening and then again once an hour throughout the day. After all the best way to keep your frozen yogurt at an ideal consistency is by maintaining it.

 

4. Clean the Feeding Tubes 

Often times, especially with the machines housing the most popular flavors, the feeding tubes can become clogged.

  • Why: This stops the yogurt from getting from the hoppers to the freezing cylinders which causes the yogurt to become icy and or prevents it from dispersing.
  • How: Clean your machine’s feeding tubes at various intervals throughout the day with a small brush to clear the hole and ensure that the yogurt has a clear path to travel.

 

5. Manage Overrun/Amount of Air Added 

  • Why: As a rule of thumb with frozen yogurt a high overrun is not beneficial because it means the yogurt will not weigh as much since the overrun is usually air volume. Despite this some overrun is a good thing and is often times essential because it is overrun that causes the yogurt to have a creamy taste and even makes it fluffier.
  • How: Ideally your machines will be allowing about 10-20% overrun which is achieved through the air tubes on the machine. Maintaining the air tubes is essential to achieving the ideal amount of of overrun and perfecting your yogurt’s consistency.

 

6. Manage Your Flow Rate 

  • Why: If the yogurt is dispersing from the machine either too fast or too slowly this will keep the yogurt from reaching the ideal consistency in the customer’s cup.
  • How: The dispenser speed depends on the screw on the lower portion of the handle. If you unscrew the nut to the point that you can no longer feel the screw through it on the other end the yogurt will dispense faster and vice versa.

 

7. Check the Viscosity or Harness Setting 

  • Why: The amount of cooling your machine achieves can be changed through the use of a viscosity or hardness level control.
  • How: With some machines, particularly older ones, the panels must be removed or a specialty technician will have to change this setting, but with some machines the controls are right on the face plate. The type of yogurt you’re using will determine where your setting should be. For example a tart yogurt will freeze faster than a chocolate cheesecake therefore it should reside on a lower level.

 

8. Lubricate Wearable Machine Parts 

  • Why: A lack of lubrication can cause leaks in your machine as well as parts not working as they were intended.
  • How: For example the shaft seal requires food grade lubricant along the surface before placing the beater in the freezing cylinder, the o-rings on the three draw valves should also be lubricated before being placed in the dispenser.

 

9. Cleaning and Replacing Wearable Parts 

  • Why: Machine cleaning is vital not only for sanitary and cleanliness purposes, but it can also affect the inner workings of the machine and the way it makes yogurt.
  • How: For example beaters can actually make the yogurt icy if they are worn down, to the point that that the yogurt will actually freeze and break off once it is large enough for the beater to come into contact with. Clogged air tubes and broken o-rings that cause leaks are other issues that often need to be repaired or replaced.

 

10. Clean the Internal Drip Trays

  • Why: Throughout your machine there are hidden drip trays to catch internal leaks from loose parts and excess product.
  • How: Ideally if everything is running smoothly these should not be filling up, but they should still be checked and cleaned periodically to ensure nothing is leaking and the machine is producing the quality of yogurt you expect. The drip trays are located in different places depending on the model of your machine.

 

Frozen Yogurt Software

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Frozen Yogurt On-the-Go Expansion

As the popularity of frozen yogurt increases, suppliers are trying to meet customer’s demand at new locations with new strategies.

 

*trucks

Who doesn’t love food trucks? Well now frozen yogurt has moved to delivering frozen yogurt around town through trucks.  These special trucks allow customers to continue to provide self service with frozen yogurt flavors and toppings. Some companies also allow these trucks to be rented for events such as baseball games, charity fundraising or birthday parties. Say goodbye to the old icecream song and embrace this booming business with frozen yogurt.

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*kiosks

Similar to trucks, setting up kiosks is a great business opportunity for frozen yogurt companies. Places like malls, festivals, concerts or community events are great locations to create and satisfy a frozen yogurt craving to customers. Not only will customers be happy to have access to frozen yogurt but this is a smart strategy to build brand awareness. Customers will know where you stand at malls, expect to see your company at huge events and will appreciate the access.

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*catering

Here is a win win situation for the owner and the clients: catering to parties, businesses or special events with frozen yogurt. There are many options that can be offered to adjust to the size and quantity of the orders. The catering option eliminates flexibility with mixing flavors because it is easier to make pre-made cups of a single or double flavor and bring packaged toppings to offer to the customers. Parents love this idea for their kids’ birthday parties to serve all of the guests. Businesses can use this service as a fun team bonding event or just to thank employees every once in awhile. You want to advertise these options to customers so that they are aware of this opportunity and can help spread the word.

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*outside locations

Other temporary locations are great for frozen yogurt and brand loyalty. Setting up locations to go to consistently will get customers to look forward that day to purchase yogurt. This is ideal for warm areas and larger populated areas. A great example that some places have used are schools and parks. Creating some tables with the frozen yogurt offerings for a few hours can boost business and also build brand loyalty.

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*ATM’s

We’ve heard about the success and excitement with cupcake atms.. well now its frozen yogurt’s time to shine! DC opened the first frozen yogurt vending machine called the “Frobot” where yogurt is dispensed from a machine to a cup after a credit card transaction has been made. The ATM like machine first offered only flavor in order to test the market, but they plan to expand to multiple flavors and hopefully add toppings as well. This is another interactive and fun way to buy frozen yogurt for customers.

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*merging stores

Frozen yogurt is now setting up smaller offerings and services to other stores. For example, convenience stores are adopting frozen yogurt sections by the cash registers. Also, some frozen yogurt shops are offering other food items and some are just joining to add their services to dessert places. For example, crepe stores or boba places are starting to add frozen yogurt to their stores to make it a one stop place for customers wanting dessert.

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*delivery option

Some stores have already added an option of delivering frozen yogurt to homes. Request can be made online or by phone and then there is a minimum delivery cost. Companies can get away with $10 purchases that can be delivered within a certain area code. This is another great differentiation option that might score you new and loyal customers that appreciate the extra effort. Try testing the market in your frozen yogurt shops region to see if there is a strong enough demand for this service before implementing it fully.

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Frozen Yogurt Point of Sale

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Expand Your Frozen Yogurt Business to a New Location

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Do you currently own a successful frozen yogurt shop? Are you looking at opening another location? If you are deciding on expanding to more locations, take a look at these considerations to make sure you are ready for it!

Before you look into another store, look into your current store and its business cycle.  Take a look at financials to see how your progress has been.  Measure all of the pros and cons of the location. Take everything into consideration. Figure out what makes the business successful and see if it can be duplicated. Your current business should have been consistently improving and operating efficiently with income.

Next, lets think numbers!  In order to open up a new location, you need to have sufficient capital so that you do not have to borrow from anyone. Check your cash flow from your first shop and see if it is enough to start another location.  Try to avoid loans, investors or any other source of capital from others so that you are not under any return rate obligation.  Paying off investors or giving up part of the company is not the best way to go about opening up a new location.

To consider a new store, do your research on potential locations.  Find an area that matches your first store’s demographic. You want to be in a place where you can drive high traffic, which will turn into sales. Focus on places that will provide financially healthy business.

If you have found an opportunity, financially and location wise, and have reviewed all of these steps then you are ready to commit.  Now you have to write a new business plan for your new location. Just because you are replicating an existing one, you will have new staff and some changes that you want written out so that you can stay on track.  Assign responsibilities that you need to accomplish and most importantly, do not rely on the success of your first shop to succeed in the second one. You must continue to work hard!

Here is a simple test to determine if you should expand:

start here—->Is your current business successful and running smoothly?

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                                                      NO                                       YES

if you answered “YES”————-> Do you have enough funds to support a new store without borrowing money? 

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                                                                                                                             NO                                               YE$

if you answered “YES”———————————->  Is there an available location that would bring you the same or better business opportunity? 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                arrows-pointing-down - Copy (2).jpg                             arrows-pointing-down - Copy.jpg

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If you were able to get to the end with all of your “YES” responses then you are aware of the responsibilities and risk you are taking to opening a second location. If you feel confident and want to seize an opportunity then go for it, Good Luck!

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The Best Frozen Yogurt Point of Sale

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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?

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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

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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.