Doing some research on how to open a frozen yogurt store? This article is an excerpt from our FREE Soft Serve Frozen Yogurt Business Guide – Click here or on the book cover for more info.
Machinery – What Works Best? Stoelting, SaniServ or Taylor? In our opinion, the Stoelting F-231 is the best choice for a self serve frozen yogurt store, and we at TurnKeyParlor.com have the best prices. Ask us about multiple unit discounts.
A little bit about soft serve machines. Some of what I mention here will be obvious to many of you, but I’m writing this book with the thought that you have no idea at all about the equipment or the soft serve business.
First off, soft serve is simply a type of frozen desert that hasn’t been hardened.
When looking for a machine, one of the first things you have to consider is the machines capacity.
Capacity is almost always measured by how many servings per minute the machine yields. High volume machines can generally yield 7 four ounce servings per minute. This is ideal if you have one machine at a concession where there is a long line and the machine is constantly being hit hard. It has to “recover” quickly. Medium volume machines yield about 4 four ounce servings and low volume machines yield about 1 to 2 four ounce servings per minute.
For self serve operations with multiple machines, you don’t need high volume machines. Medium volume machines are perfect for a self serve frozen yogurt store. It doesn’t make sense to go with high capacity/volume machines because these require more power and will increase your overhead unnecessarily.
Soft serve machines store “mix” in the “hopper”. The mix then goes into the barrel to be frozen, and churned by a “dasher”.
Key features on the newer machines that are critically important include “low mix alarms”. If the barrel isn’t full, the mix might freeze solid and this will keep the dasher from turning. A frozen barrel can cause the dasher bars to bend or worse, damage the compressor.
The low mix alarm will shut down the compressor automatically if someone doesn’t respond to the low mix alarm. It will re-start periodically, but will keep shutting down until someone adds mix to the machine.
Water cooled vs. Air Cooled. If you have good ventilation, you can go air cooled. If ventilation is an issue, water cooled is a better option. If you have more than 6 machines, there is a water cooled option called a “glycol system” which might be a good option. It’s not cheap at about $15k, but it protects the machines and keeps your air conditioner from working overtime.
Cleaning and sanitizing on a daily basis is never a bad idea being that you are dealing with a dairy product. Your local health inspector will tell you what the requirements are for your area.
Some machines have auto-cleaning modes that make it easier for your employees to clean the machines. That said, even with this feature, the machines need to be broken down to clean and sanitize parts that don’t get cleaned automatically. You also have to make sure that the parts that need it are lubricated as often as recommended.
See recommended brands and models on the next page.
The Stoelting machines we recommend for the self serve concept is the Stoelting F-231, a slim line, medium volume machine that is specifically designed for the self serve frozen yogurt concept. Call or e-mail TurnKeyParlor.com for pricing and recommendations for other concepts.
Register/Scale POS system
It’s key to have a POS (point of sale) system that has software specific to the self serve frozen yogurt business. Our recommended POS features a simple, intuitive menu, which is easy to learn and simple to work with. Customers place frozen yogurt cups on the integrated ounce point of sale scales, cashiers ring up the product, and the customer makes payment. With this convenient tool self serve frozen yogurt store business owners can focus on what is most important: their business and making their customers happy. Call or e-mail TurnKeyParlor.com to learn more about the right type of POS for your store. Count on paying between $2800 and $4500 (for the higher end systems that have multiple security cameras, loyalty card integration, etc.)
- Drop in Refrigerated topping bar
- Ever wonder how stores put together those nice little salad bar looking topping display’s? Here’s the answer. It’s called a drop in, meaning it drops into a counter and has a refrigeration unit attached to the bottom of it. You can then drop/hang a series of pans for the fresh cut fruit and other toppings that require refrigeration.