Fro-yo girl here. Time for another frozen yogurt franchise report. I’m reporting on places that I’ve had personal experience with because I think it’s important to experience the frozen yogurt and store atmosphere firsthand. I’ve visited several Golden Spoon Frozen Yogurt locations in California. It’s an old brand, over 30 years old, that’s in the middle of rebranding and switching to a self-serve format.
Golden Spoon Frozen Yogurt Menu
Overview: The Golden Spoon brand name was founded in 1983 though the first store was opened in Tustin, CA (Orange County) back in 1981 under the name of Yogurt & Things. Golden Spoon was slower to grow than other chains like TCBY during the first wave of frozen yogurt in the late 1980’s/early 1990’s. They claimed that they were focused on product innovation and developing new flavors.
Golden Spoon is still based in Southern California, where it produces its proprietary frozen yogurt. Their frozen yogurt has been called “The Ice Cream Lover’s Frozen Yogurt.” It is positioned as an indulgent treat that’s healthier than ice cream. The chain currently has over 125 locations in the US (West) and Asia.
Shops sell frozen yogurt only. Back in 2012, they launched a new more modern looking website, new look and new self-serve format. They adopted a new pricing model of weightless pricing. Customers who like to be served can ask an employee for full service swirling.
Picture of some yummy Fro-Yo toppings!
I wasn’t able to find information on training for Golden Spoon franchise owners. I’d be a little worried as a potential owner based on the lack of information on support and training but maybe it is provided by Golden Spoon once contact with a qualified potential owner is made.
Yogurt: Golden Spoon offers about 50 proprietary flavors. Only one of these is labeled tart (Simply Tart) on their website. The flavors aren’t particularly creative but they’re what you’d expect to find at a frozen yogurt shop.
Based on their positioning as the frozen yogurt for ice cream lovers, I was expecting a richer frozen yogurt. I’ve tried a few flavors that were super sweet, like Cinnamon and Double Vanilla. The texture wasn’t as thick as I expected. I was definitely disappointed in the vanilla flavor, which wasn’t as flavorful as I had hoped. The Simply Tart flavor was just bland and much worse than the average plain/original tart flavor you can get at your average frozen yogurt shop.
The toppings are bountiful though typical. They do have mochi and fresh fruit.
Marketing: I haven’t seen one of the remodeled shops. The shops I’ve been to have been clean but boring looking, reminiscent of a family friendly ice cream parlor with white and red tiles, black tables and black chairs.
The marketing prior to the relaunch in 2012 also seemed old-fashioned and family friendly. The new website does look more modern but I haven’t seen much Golden Spoon marketing beyond the new website. I don’t live close to a Golden Spoon location since the ones in my area closed.
Outlook: I don’t think the relaunch and new look will turn things around for Golden Spoon. It’s too little too late. The frozen yogurt is not as good as they make it sound and a new look won’t change that. They may have loyal customers but that group is unlikely to grow much larger. They haven’t done enough to make the brand seem exciting or interesting.
- Total investment needed to open: $275,000 – $425,000
- Franchise fee: $35,000
- Royalty: 6%
- Financial requirements: I didn’t see this listed but you must commit to building at least three stores
You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.
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