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? 

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

                                                                                                                             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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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.

Trends to Follow from Successful Frozen Yogurt Shops

Business Plan:

When thinking about starting your frozen yogurt shop make sure you take into account the direction you want your shop to go in the future. Planning ahead will help solidify the direct you as your business matures. A good example of this is Menchie’s, one of the biggest frozen yogurt franchises internationally. Their business goal is to become the “McDonald’s of frozen yogurt.” In order to achieve this they have focused on making their stores a fun place to be. To further this goal Menchie’s has gone through software development to produce a free app-style game that customers can play on their mobile phones. They also convey their playful attitude by nodding to a popular California ad campaign that claims that California is the home for happy cows. They allude to this ad by stating that they offer quality, service and yogurt made only from happy cows from California. Being a Los Angeles based company this especially appeals to the local community.

Use Menchie’s business model as an inspiration to get creative with your shop. Your concept is simple. Customer’s grab a cup, pick their favorite flavors and toppings and create their own dessert concoction. They then, walk up to the froyo point of sale, put the cup on the scale and swipe their credit card. The self serve method is cost efficient because of low labor costs and fun and interactive for customers. Come up with your own spin to keep up with trends and set your shop apart from competition.

Location:

  • Ensure your business location is in a comfortable, easily accessible, and with space for parking. Picture the capabilities of your location prior to purchase. You’ll want a family friendly hangout type of location. Can you see a family sitting and enjoying your frozen yogurt?
  • Make sure there is a good amount of foot traffic. Visibility is an important factor in attracting new customers.
  • Other eateries nearby is a huge bonus. After people finish their meal, they have the added option of stopping by your business for an after-meal treat.
  • Malls are a good option but not always. Peak yogurt hours go into the evening. If the mall is closed then you would be missing out on some critical business.
  • Another great plus for your location is an outdoor seating option.

Design:

In order to differentiate your shop from the fads of the past is to stay contemporary. A great way to do this is to put some thought into the design and decor of your shop. Keep it modern with a clean presentation. A big appeal of the resurgence of frozen yogurt was the health angle. Keeping your shop looking as fresh and healthy as your yogurt is important in perpetuating this image. Take a look at some of the most successful frozen yogurt chains; RedMango, Menchie’s and Pinkberry. Some similarities in decor include clean lines with vibrant accents when it comes to furniture and counters, comfortable lounge area with plasma tv’s, technology displaying the animated menus, and a tablet reader for the company’s loyalty program. Need help updating your location or figuring out integrated tablet loyalty? Check out Cafe Cartel for more information.

Product and Equipment:

Putting some thought into your product and equipment choices can save you a lot of cash in the long run.

  • Giving your customers options when it comes to flavors is important. Most successful frozen yogurt establishments have about 8 and 16 flavors of low fat,  non-fat, and tart flavors.
  • Keep in with the fresh and healthy message of your shop. Cycle in a variety of berries and exotic fresh cut real-fruits to go alongside your cookie and candy toppings
  • One huge mistake that some frozen yogurt shops make is mushy fruit in pans. This is potentially a big turnoff for your customers. Make sure that the cut up fruit is thrown away and replaced long before it has a chance to scare away your customers.
  • When purchasing your machines make sure that they are properly ventilated, if not they will ‘under-perform’ and not last as long as intended.
  • Buying too big or too much machinery can put you in a hole when it comes to utilities. Find out the capabilities that your operation needs and accommodate that, don’t waste your capital in areas that don’t need it.
  • Make sure that you keep diligent track of your frozen yogurt inventory. Doing this guards against employee theft and aids security management. A way to do this is getting frozen yogurt inventory management software. Find out more with Cafe Cartel Systems frozen yogurt point of sale system. Cafe Cartel has experience and knowledge of the frozen yogurt industry which means that your point of sale software will be tailored to you needs as a frozen yogurt shop owner.

 

The Secret to Effective Frozen Yogurt Pricing

What are the product costs of frozen yogurt? Where should I price them?

Figuring out what you should charge per ounce at your frozen yogurt shop can be tricky, especially if you don’t have a ton of industry experience. The key to determining your price point boils down to your topping selections.

Pricing Your Frozen Yogurt:

Many beginning small businesses go around to their local competition and figure out a good median to stick with between the ranges, while conducting competitor research is valuable a couple more things to into account before sticking with your price point.

1.) Choose between  liquid mix or powder mix:

Liquid Mix Pros:

*Less labor necessary: just pour mix into machine.

*More consistent: Because it’s pre-mixed in a factory there isn’t much flavor variation.

*Less materials needed: you won’t need to worry about skim milk or filtered water processing

Liquid Mix Cons:

*need large freezer and refrigerator to store inventory.

 

Powder Mix Pros:

*Dry storage

*Maybe easier to source since suppliers won’t need frozen distribution capabilities.

Powder Mix Cons:

*You need more ingredients which can result in higher costs: skim milk and filtered water

*Takes longer to mix: 15-20 minutes per batch

*Labor intensive: employees need to mix

*Lack of consistency depending on who mixes each batch

 

2.) Determine your topping costs.

Surprisingly, the pricing per ounce you set will largely be determined on your toppings. Toppings are marginally more expensive than yogurt. Toppings alone can cost between 10 and 40 cents per ounce. Therefore, it can be tricky when you aim to fix your yogurt prices at 35-50 cents per ounce.

*Consider which toppings are cost effective for you. Make sure that your pricing per ounce stays under 20 cents.

*Consider yogurt to topping ratio: typically the breakdown of yogurt to topping is around 75% yogurt and 25% topping. This is good news because typically you’ll be paying 7 cents per ounce of yogurt and 20 cents per ounce of topping.

* Purchase your toppings from a convenient, easy to buy location to purchase fresh fruit and candy at low bulk prices such as Costco, Sam’s, Restaurant Depot, or a grocery store.

*Evaluate your topping costs a few months into opening your business determining whether you need to raise the price per ounce a few pennies.