Archive for category: Yogurt Store Consulting


Used Frozen Yogurt Machines – Good or Bad Idea?

March 6, 2013

Used Frozen Yogurt Machines

Good or Bad Idea?

Soft Serve Frozen Yogurt Machine Buyers Guide and Information

 

So you want to add  soft serve ice cream or frozen yogurt, but starting to realize the machines aren’t cheap. Going new would be nice, but at an average cost of $15k for a two flavor machine  you’re having second thoughts. Hmm…doing the math, that is a lot of soft ice cream or frozen yogurt to sell before you achieve payback on the investment. So you start thinking about used and search google. This starts to give you a headache because there are so many choices, and you can’t tell what is a good deal and what isn’t. Or who you can trust not to sell you garbage.  You also need to make sure the machines are the right model for the type of store you want to open. This can be tricky. There are companies out there who rebuild older machines, but the catch is that they have old technologies. This can be a huge problem. I wouldn’t buy an older model (I draw the line at 10 years old, anything within 10 years old is still a relatively new machine in machine years – they last a long time) machine for many reasons –  higher electrical requirements, no refrigerated hoppers and  a host of other problems. But these guys who rebuild machines won’t be up front about how old the machines are, and if you don’t know how to figure that out, you can be taken for a ride.

We all know that Frozen Yogurt machines can be expensive. In my opinion, the better road to take is to buy a good quality used machine if you are able to get one. You must make sure you buy it from a reputable dealer. Buying from individuals is taking a much bigger risk because most of them are interested in selling you the machine they own as quickly as possible. This means they won’t really be offering what you work best for your business and your customers. Individual sellers also don’t properly represent what they have, because most don’t even know the specs of their own machines! Buying from Craigslist or Ebay, is also very risky. At TurnKey Parlor, we will help walk you through the machine that makes most sense for your business AND your budget.

Two things that can help. 1) Download our free soft serve machine comparison guide HERE and 2) Get on our Used Equipment update list below, so you’ll receive a weekly email with the latest and greatest used machines each time our used inventory is updated.

Click HERE to get a free ebook on how to open a frozen yogurt store.


Frozen Yogurt Store Machines – How many do you really need?

February 18, 2013

Frozen Yogurt Store Machines

How many do you really need?

soft serve ice cream business, soft serve machine reviews, soft serve frozen yogurt machines for sale, used soft serve machines, used soft serve ice cream machines for sale, open soft serve ice cream business, start soft serve frozen yogurt business

Find out how many frozen yogurt machines you will need to best serve your customers.

 

How many frozen yogurt machines do you really need for a self serve store to be successful? Is there a “right” number of machines?

Many people struggle with this question. The number of machines you use in a self serve yogurt store can vary from 3 to 10.

The bigger franchise stores like Yogurt Land, Menchie’s and Orange Leaf seem to like the 7 to 8 machine offering.

The real question is – will more machines really make you more profitable? I don’t think so. I can see many reasons why limiting the number of machines to 5 or less will in the end be the most profitable strategy. Other equipment dealers will hate me for saying this, but I really believe it. Sure, I would love to sell you 8 machines instead of 5. But I would prefer that you have a more profitable business, and open three stores that have 3 to 6 machines each. We both end up making more money this way.

As an independent, the number of machines you go with will be determined in part by the following factors:

1)  Size of location

  • Obviously, you can’t pack 10 machines into a 750 sq ft. space. The machines need about 12″ to 18” between them, and total space becomes a factor considering you need topping counters, register space, back room coolers, sinks, etc.

2)  Start up Money

  • If you don’t have enough $, you aren’t going with a high machine number. You might be forced to stick to 3-6 machines in order to keep your total investment under control.

3)  Competition

  • Who are you competing against? How many machines do they have? Again, just because you are competing against a nearby store that has 8 machines, do you really need to match the number of flavors they offer?

The question is…………is it really better to go with more machines?

There is a certain “WOW Factor” when a customer walks into a store that has 8 machine and 16 flavors of frozen yogurt. And if you have a super high volume location, more machines might be the best, most profitable choice. But going with 3-6 machines can also be wise for many reasons. This number helps minimize your investment, control your utilities cost and run a leaner store. And because this business model is still relatively young, there still isn’t enough data out there to tell me that having that 16 vs. 10 flavors means incremental sales that make up for the added overhead and investment.

Competition is heating up these days. I would rather be the guy with the manageable debt load and lower overhead than the guy that lets his fruit toppings go bad because he’s so worried about losing a nickel to pay his bills. When its all said and done, the lean will survive while the weeding out is happening.

Here is another reason you may want to consider limiting your number of yogurt machines.  If you line up more than 6 machines, you will need to spend more on air conditioning to ensure the machines don’t overheat. Or you will need to go with a glycol system, which adds about $15k to your investment. 6 or less machines, you can get away with air cooled machines.

What is the difference? Air cooled machines are fully self-contained. You don’t hook anything up to them, aside from the power cord. But they create more heat inside your back room. Water cooled machines are cooled by water – or a glycol system. They won’t make your store warmer, but they will cost you $ in water.

Air cooled machines cool themselves by blowing hot air out and away from the machines. This means more heat in your store. When 6 machines or less are blowing hot air into your location, the heat is manageable. You can either have your contractor put in an extractor fan, which helps pull the hot air up and outside your store, or you can buy a higher powered air conditioner and over power the hot air. Best bet is to CLEARLY discuss this with your A/C contractor prior to construction. A lot of times a split system A/C is the best idea – so that you don’t freeze the people inside your store while trying to keep the back room at a reasonable temperature.

But once you go past 6 machines, going air cooled is a tough call. At the 6 machine or more mark, you still might be able to go air cooled if you have enough space, but it is a little more challeging. So, you’re looking at plumbing 7 or more machines to city water, which means a substantial water bill. If you want to avoid a high monthly water bill, you have a glycol system installed. This is sort of like the radiator in your car and the glycol is the coolant that runs through it to keep the engine from overheating. This isn’t cheap. It can run about $15k or more depending on installation costs and what system you buy. Stores with 7 or more machines almost always go for the glycol system and the high initial investment.

In summary, the number of machines you decide to go with will depend on many factors and less machines doesn’t necessarily mean a less profitable store.

We are about to “unveil” our 3, 4, 5 and 6 machine “turnkey” package deals. They will include machines, a cooler, freezer, cold topping rail, dry topping containers and sneeze-guards. Not only that, but also included in these affordable package deals will be architectural design consulting as well as store operations consulting.  If this sounds like something you would be interested in, let us know by filling out the form below – first name and e-mail only. As soon as the packages are ready, which will be within the next 2 weeks, you will be the first to receive the offers.  We will also include a $250 “early bird” coupon for those who get on this list. We have 40 machines in stock, ready to ship as part of these turnkey package deals.

 

Frozen Yogurt Store Consulting