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? 

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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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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.

 

 

 

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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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.”

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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?

 

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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.