How to Open a Frozen Yogurt Shop


Opening a frozen yogurt shop can be a fun, delicious, and lucrative endeavor. However, you can’t really get far with this if you don’t have all the licenses and certification you need. Follow this quick “how to” to give you a rundown of all the items you’ll need before opening your frozen yogurt shop.

What you’ll need:

Business license
Tax identification number
Liability insurance
Retail license
Food permit
Frozen yogurt inventory
Office equipment
Fees

 

Steps:

1. You’ll need to determine what kind of frozen yogurt business you want to start. Do you want to branch off on a franchise? Will it be self service or full service? When you have these questions answered you can begin researching your local market to learn about opportunities, menu offerings, and pricing scales.

2. Now you’ll need to apply for all of your permits. These include your business license, tax identification number, retail permit and food license. Get started by visiting the U.S Small Business Administration’s website to get more information about businesses and permits in your area.

3. Now you’ll need to do the purchasing for your business. use this helpful checklist
* digital scales
*self-serve machines
*caddies for displaying toppings
*chairs and tables for customers to sit
*fax machine
*telephone
*credit card machine
*point of sale system, a great point of sale system helps you keep track of all your inventory and lets you know when and what you need to order new product.

 

 

 

 


 

 

Frozen Yogurt Machines -Buying from Overseas

Is it worth buying overseas? The Frozen Yogurt machine is at the epicenter of the frozen yogurt shop. It determines quality and quantity output of your yogurt as well as operation and service costs which can be a bit mysterious until you have actually purchased the machines in which case you are a bit stuck.

To help carry the load we are examining a few yogurt machines every week and different important aspects of the upkeep of these machines so you can compare them to the ROI of the machine.

There are a few major players in the US that most people looking to open a shop come across; Taylor, Forte, Stoelting and Sani Serve. From recent pricing investigations these machines run from $8,000 – $13,000 with Taylor being the most expensive.

I also came across Alpine which gets their machines from a manufacturer in China. Now some of the warnings I have come across about buying overseas were that if you buy overseas you have to order any broken parts from overseas, many machines not being NSF or UL certified, and high risk of scams. The site seems to address all three issues on the home page stating “free spare parts, 3 year warranty on motors and compressors, and the man behind these machines is a frozen yogurt shop owner in AZ.”

alpine360, frozen yogurt machine

 

Whether or not you think the Alpine is the machine for you they had some interesting points about what to look at when shopping for a commercial frozen yogurt machine. for example; they compared their machines to taylor and reasoned about how the energy bill alone is outrageous compared to how much yogurt you are actually putting out and suggests that for most places it is not necessary. Here are some of their key points when comparing to Taylor, one of the top brands when it comes to commercial frozen yogurt machines.

1. Each machine has two separate, independent motors and compressors so they require much more energy to operate. That is fine if you are running a very high volume business with 1 or 2 machines. What I found with most self serve yogurt store is they have from 6 to 8 machines to provide a variety of flavors so they carry a lot less load. . What I think people are looking for is machines that are energy efficient since they are only being used a few times a day each during peak hours.

2. Taylor uses two motors and two compressors means: More energy consumption – My store had 4 machines and cost me about $1,600 in electricity monthly. Now I have 8 Alpine and the utilities dropped considerably to only $900 monthly! More moving parts that could break down – Since the new machines were too expensive, I bought some used ones as an alternative and they cost me on an average $800 per month for repair and maintenance for four of them.

3. Expensive cost to build out – Since most commercial rental spaces have about 200amp electrical panel and because of the load that Taylor needs, a new operator has to add an additional panel and that can cost anywhere between $5,000 to $25,000 depending where the main electrical line they have to bring it from. With our machines, existing 200 amp panel should be enough.

Keep in mind it wasn’t easy finding additional information on these machines, but that seems to be the trend with commercial yogurt machines. I do appreciate the free manual and the specifications page on the site. There are some important aspects to think about when considering buying from this company, they offer a warranty but don’t say much about service. Sure you have a manual but how much will it cost you in the long run? It depends on how long it takes to fix.

There are some opinions out there that service through the yogurt machine supplier is expensive and unnecessary. A simple refrigerator repair man could do the job. If you have a refrigerator repair company that you have an on going service plan or relationship with, it may be worth it to buy a machine such as the Alpine 360. I would suggest bringing in the specifications to the refrigerator repair company and collaborating with an expert on parts and functionality. That way you have a local go to guy that knows what to expect and where to find the parts if necessary.

Fun Frozen Yogurt Shop Q & A

Q: Why Frozen Yogurt?

 

Frozen Yogurt Shop, frozen yogurt, Cafe Cartel Systems, point of sale software solutions, tablet

 

A: According to Research.com the frozen yogurt industry grew by 16 percent between 2003 to 2009. It’s no wonder so many or jumping on the frozen yogurt bandwagon and opening up their own shop or franchise. If you are noticing the health and fitness trend and are thinking “how can I use this trend to my advantage?”, frozen yogurt may be the answer for you.

Q: What about the economy?

A: Even with the dips and dives of the market over the recent past, people are still buying that something sweet once or twice a week at least. The larger purchases are the one people are less willing to part with their money for.

Q: What if I already have a restaurant, should I get a frozen yogurt machine?

A: Adding a frozen yogurt maker or two adds to your business and show that you are aware of food and health trends. Adding this to your menu makes kids happy and their parents even happier because they can treat their kid and feel good about it.

Q: What kind of machine should I get?

A: When looking for a frozen yogurt machine, the most important component is quality as in the quality of the product produced. There are a number of ways that the machines work that affect the overall quality. Things to look at would be the mixes, the service and upkeep, and overall appearance. You can go new and lease or used and get a huge price break, just remember that this in an investment so you want certain features such as warranties and service. Every yogurt shop is a bit different when it comes to business plan, take a look at your budget and future projections and all options before making a decision because the yogurt machines are the core of your frozen yogurt business.

Q: What about location?

A: Good frozen yogurt can be insensitive to drive mile to acquire, or is more often than not, an impulse decision; they see, they want, they buy. Therefore it is important to be visible, have an attractive shop, and be somewhere with a lot of foot traffic. Also, it helps to make your shop a place that people want to stay in, so inviting seating a wifi can make all the difference in your day to day sales.

Q: What about Accounting a Management, is it hard to keep track of frozen yogurt?

A: With the right tools its extremely simple. It’s best to find a Point of sale system that has software and hardware designed for the Frozen Yogurt Business. This way you are working with professionals that are  knowledgeable and have experience in the frozen yogurt industry. They Look for features such as user friendly, inventory tracking and customer loyalty programs. Also check to make sure the setup process is seamless and with a few simple training sessions that will make managing your shop like second nature.