Taylor Crown Series C713
At the high end of high end – running about $15k to $18k for a single machine – do these frozen yogurt machines stand up to the proclamation of “industry leaders” in soft serve equipment? We shall see. I will be reviewing Taylors in general, and Taylor Crown Series C713 in particular, where appropriate.
First and foremost, how does the frozen yogurt taste? I have worked with Taylors in stores, and have also been on the customer side of things, and have mixed reviews about yogurt quality. I have had really poor yogurt from Taylors, and also some of the best yogurt from the Taylor C713. This is both good and bad news for Taylor. Good news is that the bad yogurt I’ve had could just be because of the brand of product that the stores were using, because, like I said, some of the best yogurt I’ve had came from a Taylor. The bad news is that there are many functions and adjustments to the Taylor Crown Series machines, that it is easy for user error to net a poor quality product. I mean, I’m not what you would really call the sharpest light bulb in the oven, but I had to read the manual a few times (yes, I know how to read), before I could even imagine trying to set the C713 properly. I guess with proper training, this would not be a problem – just a little inconvenient for the lazy or slow.
The look of the Taylor Crown Series C713 is pretty slick: brushed steel paneling, with black plastic valve housing and display panel, and white lettering. I think they always look pretty good in a self-serve froyo shop wall. Some of the steel paneling is hard to keep clean. I can’t remember if it was the C713 or not, because I think there is a new kind of steel that resists smudges and stuff. Overall, this is probably one of the cooler looking machines I’ve seen.
The use of the Taylor C713 by customers is as easy as can be. The things I consider most important are how smoothly the handles and valves work, and how early in the valve draw the machine is triggered to dispense product. I am happy to report that all the handles and valves I have tried of the Taylor Crown Series machines (provided they were properly lubricated) were as smooth as sweet cream butter. Moreover, the motors that dispense the frozen yogurt were triggered almost immediately. That means that you can control how fast the yogurt comes out by opening the valve slowly. This is a huge plus from a customer perspective, especially when taking samples. You want the dispense speed to be very easy to control, so that your customers don’t end up with yogurt all over their hands, and you don’t end up with gallons of ice cream wasted all over the drip trays. Another bonus with these machines is that the handles return to the closed position automatically, with a spring-back system. This also helps prevent the aforementioned predicaments. Not all frozen yogurt machines feature this.
A little bit about the specs. The hoppers of the Taylor Crown Series C713 are huge: 20 quarts each (there are two per machine). And the freezing cylinders are 3.4 quarts each. These large capacities combined with dual 9,500 BTU compressors make for a huge output capacity machine. The hot (or cool) new thing these days is that the hoppers come with a refrigeration feature, to keep the product at a safe temperature.
The other things we should talk about is cost of parts, maintnence, and overall distribution and service of the Taylor soft serve machines in the United States market. Ovbiously, Taylor has been around and reputable for a long time, so what does this mean for service. The good thing is they have a lot of offices and factory trained technicians. The bad news is, they always want you to use their service guys. This means if your store is 3 hours away from the office you sometimes have to wait a week or so for them to come up, and if they do not have the part in the truck you are looking at another week for them to come back up. This can be a problem. As far as sales and distribution, it looks like from the website that they have a supplier in each of the mainland states. This, along with the fact that most people use taylor allows for very easy access to test the machines out if you are a potential buyer. Parts can be expensive, especially on the used machines. We spoke with a gentleman from partex who sells old Taylor and rebuilds them. We asked about a problem we have seen many times – corrosion around the freezing cylinders and then leakage of coolant either to bottom of machine or into the cylinder itself. This is a $3,000 minimum fix (at lowest) per machine. He said “its not IF it happens, it’s WHEN it happens”.
All in all these are excellent machines. Once the operator gets the settings dialed in (and gets the right product in the machine, of course) these machines will produce very high quality yogurt. One thing to consider when looking to purchase a frozen yogurt or soft serve ice cream machine is the capacity. The Taylor Crown Series C713 has a huge capacity. But think about it: do you really need such a high capacity when you’re running 6-8 machines at the same time? This is why I consider the price too high for a self-serve froyo shop. If I had cash to open up a self-serve frozen yogurt shop, I would try to save money on the machines, and buy machines with a little lower capacity. If I get quality product, it’s worth it to me to sacrifice a little appearance and brand name to save $40-80k in startup costs. Nevertheless, I believe these machines live up to their reputation.
Ease of use: 5/5
Upkeep cost: 3/5