Yogurtland Franchise

Self Serve Frozen Yogurt Franchise

Self Serve Frozen Yogurt Franchise

Fro-yo girl here. I’m back with another frozen yogurt franchise report. Here’s my unbiased opinion of Yogurtland. While it isn’t the largest self-serve frozen yogurt chain out there, it is superior in many ways.

Overview: Founder Phillip Chang started a successful boba drinks franchise, Boba Loca, prior to founding Yogurtland. Yogurtland opened its first shop in Fullerton, CA back in 2006 and began offering franchises in 2007. It currently has about 200 locations, mostly in the US. Shops have a consistent look and feel and sell frozen yogurt only.

New owners receive 5 days of training typically at Yogurtland headquarters or a corporate store, 5 days of on-site training during the store’s grand opening, and ongoing support.

Yogurt: I’m amazed by the number and the originality of some of the proprietary frozen flavors that Yogurtland offers. Their chief flavorologist has created new flavors like Blue Lychee Bliss Tart, Black Forest Cake, Guava Grapefruit Sorbet, Oatmeal Cookies, yummy flavors that you can’t find anywhere else. They introduce more new flavors than any other frozen yogurt store. The flavors are generally very good, particularly the flavors that are made with real cookie bits. Cookie bits in a yogurt mix are rarely seen outside of Yogurtland. Their plain tart flavor is excellent and usually has a wonderful, smooth, creamy, firm texture.

A typical Yogurtland store carries 16 flavors of frozen yogurt a day. The number of flavors offers something that should appeal to almost everyone. In addition to regular frozen yogurt flavors, they offer no sugar added flavors and sorbets. The first Yogurtland sorbet was introduced last year and has been very well received. They also introduced their first Greek frozen yogurt flavor late last year. The toppings bar is always well stocked with fresh fruit and plenty of other toppings selections.

Soft Serve FroYo

Soft Serve FroYo

Marketing: I’m a huge fan of Yogurtland events and collaborations. The events are usually on a grand scale and very engaging. For example, last year they celebrated National Frozen Yogurt Day by giving away free cups of fro-yo and repeated that event this year. The spoon and cup design collaborations with Sanrio (Hello Kitty) and Tokidoki have been adorable and very appealing, particularly for young women and girls. They recently launched the Flavor Quest, a 3 month long promotion involving 10 new globally inspired flavors, videos of the chief flavorologist’s travels and a new smartphone app.

The marketing isn’t kid or family focused but instead they focus on the frozen yogurt flavor and use of real ingredients. Stores are frequented mainly by teens and young adults and are often found near colleges or high traffic shopping areas.

Outlook: Yogurtland produces its own yogurt at a considerably lower cost than what an independent or smaller frozen yogurt player pays for frozen yogurt mix. Their frozen yogurt is consistently very good and the flavor variety is unmatched by the competition. Also, Yogurtland’s price point is usually lower than average, while the quality is higher than average. That sounds like a winning formula to me.

Entrepreneur ranked Yogurtland #3 on its list of best new franchises in 2012, and locations have an average unit volume greater than $782,000.

The Basics:

  • Total investment needed to open: $352,600 – $695,000
  • Franchise fee: $35,000
  • Royalty: 6%
  • Financial requirements: Net worth of $700,000 and liquid assets of $200,000

Grade: A

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

For more on all things fro-yo, be sure to visit my blog: http://froyogirl.blogspot.com/

16 Handles, New York, NY

16 Handles Frozen Yogurt Store

16 Handles Frozen Yogurt Store

Fro-yo girl here. New York’s fro-yo playground offers 16 flavors of self-serve fro-yo and a better than average toppings bar for 52 cents an ounce. The emphasis is on fun and customization.

 

I found the club like décor appealing and conducive to hanging out (especially the booths) with friends. Their colorful signs are attractive, as are their compostable branded fro-yo spoons in green and magenta. The mostly white place was very clean and the customer service more attentive than average. An employee helped us with samples though apparently sometimes patrons get their own samples.

 

There was a freezer with fro-yo cakes, fro-yo cookie sandwiches and other treats caught my eye. I’d love to try a fro-yo cake.

 

Taylor Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt Machine

Taylor Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt Machine

The fro-yo is non-fat and Kosher. They had some no sugar added flavors, a few fruit flavors, 1 sorbet and 1 tart flavor (Euro Tart). Most of the fro-yo flavors were of the indulgent kind, like birthday cake, toasty marshmallow, red velvet cake, cookies n’ cream, peanut butter confession, salted caramel, coffee break and chocolate love affair.

 

The fro-yo I tried was smooth and very creamy. The fro-yo was a bit too soft but not runny. The flavors were average but with good toppings, even average fro-yo can be quite satisfying. Their Coffee Break fro-yo was creamy and smooth but had a bitter flavor. Vanilla sky fro-yo was mild and sweet. I prefer a stronger, more pronounced vanilla flavor. The crème brulee fro-yo was liked by all because it was creamy, pleasant and sweet but it tasted more like caramel than crème brulee.

 

Frozen Treats

Frozen Treats

Toppings included plenty of options, including chocolate covered things, fresh fruit, cookies, nuts, candy, mochi, cheesecake bits, sprinkles, chocolate chips, whipped cream, syrups, etc. They had some better toppings like vanilla clodhoppers, rainbow cookies, and decadent looking hazelnut crunch.

 

16 Handles partners with Trees for the Future and every 16 Handles location helps plant 16 trees a day.

 

Rating: 4/5

 

You know you love me.  X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

 

For more on all things fro-yo, be sure to visit my blog: http://froyogirl.blogspot.com/

* 16 HANDLES: 428 3rd Ave., New York, NY 10016

Pinkberry Franchise

Pinkberry Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt Franchise

Pinkberry Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt Franchise

Fro-yo girl here. It’s frozen yogurt franchise review time again and here’s my objective opinion of fro-yo pioneer, Pinkberry.

Overview: Pinkberry is the most famous name in fro-yo. They started the tart fro-yo craze back in 2005, inspired countless imitators. Pinkberry inspired countless fro-yo shop names and popularized the sleek, space age look found in many fro-yo shops.

Pinkberry currently has about 200 locations and is doing particularly well in the Middle East and Peru.

They are seeking experienced franchisees with multi-unit management experience. Requirements are higher than the average.

Training is more extensive than what is provided by most franchises. New owners spend two to three weeks at Pinkberry College and they receive field training.

Pinkberry FroYo Franchise

Pinkberry FroYo Franchise

Yogurt: Pinkberry’s original tart continues to be their best flavor. Shops generally carry 6 flavors of fro-yo, including seasonal flavors. They introduce new frozen yogurt flavors several times a year. After quite a few fruity flavor introductions, they started offering more decadent flavors like chocolate hazelnut, salted caramel and peanut butter. Stores also sell fruit bowls and smoothies.

Their frozen yogurt is very good. The texture is consistently smooth and creamy yet refreshing. It’s balanced. While I’ve liked all the other flavors, original tart is still the best.

The toppings are better than average and they introduce new ones that complement their new fro-yo flavors. I really love the unlimited flat rate toppings policy.

Marketing: It’s the one major chain that hasn’t introduced a self-serve model. Pinkberry is more expensive but it feels like a premium place with better toppings and better service.

June 2012 002Their marketing is quite polished and stylish. It’s consistent with their emphasis on modern design (the store used to sell Alessi products, the stores feature transparent Philippe Starck chairs). The shops are attractive and friendly. Employees are well trained. Many celebrities have been seen holding a cup of Pinkberry.

Pinkberry loyalists can earn free fro-yo with the PinkCard (the mobile app was introduced last year) and as a Groupie member.

Outlook: Pinkberry is the premium brand in the category with a strong image and aspirational appeal. It should continue to do well in affluent areas but may face challenges in areas where lower priced, self-serve shops have become popular.

Pinkberry was ranked #29 on the list of fastest-growing franchises in 2012 list by Forbes and the average unit volume sales was over $915,000 in 2010.

The Basics:

  • Total investment needed to open: $250,000 – $750,000
  • Franchise fee: $45,000
  • Royalty: 6%
  • Financial requirements: Net worth of $800,000 and liquid assets of $400,000

Grade: B+

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

For more on all things fro-yo, be sure to visit my blog: http://froyogirl.blogspot.com/

Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt Franchise

Menchie's Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt Franchise

Menchie’s Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt Franchise

Fro-yo girl here. It’s time to talk frozen yogurt franchises again and here’s my unbiased opinion of Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt.

Overview: Menchie’s started with one self-serve shop in Southern California in 2007, started franchising in 2008, and currently has 235 locations worldwide, with many more in the development phase. Menchie’s was founded by Adam and Danna Caldwell. The name comes from Adam’s nickname for Danna. Cute, isn’t it?

New owners spend one week training at corporate HQ, followed by four days of in-store training. Franchisees must follow various rules, including carrying particular flavors of frozen yogurt. Stores have a consistent look and feel.

Frozen Yogurt Bar

Frozen Yogurt Bar

Yogurt: Menchie’s has their own private label frozen yogurt with over 100 flavors. Their frozen yogurt is kosher. They offer many varieties including fat free, lowfat, sorbets, no sugar added, gluten free, vegan, low carb, etc. New flavors are regularly introduced. The toppings they offer are standard.

Their sweet frozen yogurt flavors are better than their tart flavors but even those sweet flavors are average. The yogurt is more ice cream like than others. I’ve found several of their flavors to be quite bland (e.g., cookies n’ cream) and some to be unpleasant (e.g., strawberry tart, toffee nut). The texture tends to be lighter and the yogurt melts quickly.

Menchie's Dry-Toppings Bar

Menchie’s Dry-Toppings Bar

Marketing: Their mission is to make every customer smile. The marketing is super cute and clearly targeted at families with young children. The shops are fun, friendly and cheerful. They’re filled with cute signs of Menchie’s and his Sweet Friends. They are interactive elements like the chalkboard area where kids can doodle. Kids get free temporary tattoos and stickers. Many of the promotions are aimed at young kids.

Menchie’s sells logo merchandise, including apparel, toys, plush dolls, lip balm, jewelry and more. The rewards program, My Smileage, allows customers to earn points at any participating Menchie’s location.

I do love their branded frozen yogurt cups and character spoons. I’m not sure if they’re enough to motivate a return visit but they do make me smile.

Outlook: They have a clearly defined target market, a distinct image, and could do well in the right areas, those with affluent young families. The price tends to be higher than average while the yogurt does not impress, so they’re vulnerable to lower priced competitors.

Menchie’s was ranked #9 on the top new franchises in 2012 list by Forbes and the average unit volume sales is over $600,000.

The Basics:

  • Total investment needed to open: $350,000 – $380,000
  • Franchise fee: $40,000
  • Royalty: 6%
  • Financial requirements: Net worth of $500,000 and liquid assets of $120,000

Grade: B

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

For more on all things fro-yo, be sure to visit my blog: http://froyogirl.blogspot.com/

Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt Franchise

Tutti Frutti Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt Franchise

Tutti Frutti Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt Franchise

Fro-yo girl here. With hundreds of fro-yo shop visits under my belt, I’m ready to offer an unbiased look at frozen yogurt franchise opportunities.

Overview: Tutti Frutti is fast approaching 600 locations worldwide and it calls itself the world’s largest self-serve frozen yogurt franchise. It differs from other frozen yogurt franchisors in several respects: it’s vertically integrated with lower initial costs and lower capital requirements. Rather than the traditional franchise model, TF operates as a licensee/licensor model.

They allow owner-operators the most flexibility. I’ve seen shops carry other items like sushi, Vietnamese sandwiches and boba drinks. Tutti Frutti also launched another concept, O’My Buns, which offers freshly baked roti buns.

I’ve noticed greater variability in frozen yogurt texture across different shops than is typical for franchises. This may be an indication of less oversight and/or lack of training of store operators.

Yogurt: They’ve developed over 50 proprietary flavors, including several soy bean frozen yogurt flavors. Some of the flavors are quite good, including TF tart and Yacoo (a tart Yakult inspired flavor). However, the fruit flavors don’t taste natural and the soy ones are too icy and weakly flavored. Overall, the fro-yo is average and not particularly innovative (though they get bonus points for the attempt to popularize soy bean frozen yogurt). Prices are lower or average.

Marketing: The marketing feels scattered and social media efforts have dwindled. The corporate Twitter account hasn’t tweeted since late October 2012 and the corporate Facebook account also hasn’t been updated since then. The last entry on the corporate blog was May 2010. The website and materials are decent but not as polished as the competition.

The shops lack sophistication or a distinctive personality. They’re cheerful with bright colors and plenty of pictures of fresh fruit. The cups and new fruit spoons are cute enough but feel more like an attempt to imitate other fro-yo shops rather than an innovative move by Tutti Frutti.

Some locations offer frequent buyer cards but they’re good only at the issuing location.

Outlook: Growth has been rapid thanks to the low startup and overhead costs. Shops tend to stay open as well. A franchise for sale in Anaheim claims to have annual revenues of $170,556. This is quite low compared to other franchises. Due to the lack of marketing support and average quality product, Tutti Frutti warrants grade of B- on the franchise attractiveness scale.

The Basics:

  • Total investment needed to open: $180,000 – $300,000
  • Franchise fee: $25,000
  • Royalty: 0%
  • Financial requirements: $150,000 in cash and liquid assets

Grade: B-

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

For more on all things fro-yo, be sure to visit my blog: http://froyogirl.blogspot.com/