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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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

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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.

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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?

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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.

 

 

 

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.

Facebook for your Frozen Yogurt Shop

Frozen Yogurt Shops: Facebook Posting Tips


Social Media is like free advertising and if properly utilized can be very effective in bringing in more foot traffic to your frozen yogurt shop. Cafe Cartel has highlighted some of the strategies used by some of our frozen yogurt shop friends.

* Pictures & Videos

Pix and video excellent attention getters, if you find any interesting or funny pix or clips, post away. Note: if they include cute images of a dog, cat or baby its marketing gold. Take a look at this adorable pic So-Yo posted. They got such good feedback on the pis that they made it their cover photo.

So-Yo, frozen yogurt shop, point of sale, pos, best , affordable

 

* News

Keep current with what is happening in the news, locally and nationally. Being part of the conversation and knowing what everyone is talking about is key. Check out this simple example from YogurtU and how they are tuned into what is happening in their local area.

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* Recipes

Offer fun and inventive recipes that they can use with products that you sell. FroYo Culture has a lot of fun suggesting interesting mixes that sound delicious.

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* Poles

Ask Questions: make them simple to answer and easy to answer so that it’s almost second nature (no thought). Poles are helpful in making it easy for fans to reply. Freeze Yogurt Bar keeps it light and flavorful with their poles, they are simple and fun to participate in.

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* Articles

Articles about your store or products in your store are useful pieces of information and great for posts. The Green Cow found a good article on healthy foods, which is great since people are trying to be more healthy these days.

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* Specials

If you have any specials or deals going on, talk about them! And not just once, it’s good to give a reminder here and there or give an update. Fruitzen Frozen Yogurt did this with a special they had with a daily deal website and got a great response.

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* Announcements

If you need to get the word out to attract participants Facebook is a great way to tell your community about it or just give them a little reminder. Yummieland Frozen Yogurt participates in giving back through charities such as food drops. They know that it’s a great way to get foot traffic and help people at the same time. What goes around come around, so don’t hesitate to do some good and encourage your local community to participate as well.

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* Other Social Media

Get more followers and participants in your other social media ventures. You can take what you have built on facebook and use that to grow your other online social communities such as four square and twitter. Top That Yogurt knows that just because they don’t have any specials to announce doesn’t mean they can’t utilize FB to get some more foot traffic or at least grow their other social networks.

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