Soft Serve Freezers are Giving Customers More Control

Here we go again… we are once again talking about the debate between: self-serve soft serve freezers vs. behind-the-counter soft serve freezers. It’s unlikely that the discussion about which is better will ever end!

Many soft serve franchises are holding firm on their belief that self-serve is better than behind-the-counter service, and others think just the opposite. We discussed this topic in full detail in a previous blog article entitled Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt Machines are Popular Right NOW! In the article, many of the pros and cons of each option were discussed.

However, an article published on Forbes.com on November 19, 2014 entitled What Frozen Yogurts Can Teach Us About Big Data Analytics suggests that self-serve soft serve freezers are more desirable from a customer’s perspective. The article’s author states, “The new yogurt shops have a self-service model that lets me choose and pour my flavors from a large wall of yogurt machines. Then the self-serve toppings bar lets me decide what and how much to put on. At the end, I put my cup on a scale and pay by weight. The price per ounce is standardized, but the value of what’s inside is totally determined and personalized by me. As a result, I’m filling up my cup, paying more and I can’t wait to come back!”

Other points made in the article include:

  • It was painful for the author to watch a frozen yogurt shop employee assemble his yogurt with “predefined portions and hefty surcharges for thimble-sized scoops of toppings.”
  • The process of watching someone assemble his froyo from a soft serve freezer left him feeling “ripped off and perhaps a bit annoyed.”
  • The author wondered why his portion sizes (at froyo shops that offered behind-the-counter service) were always different every time he visited the same frozen yogurt shop and ordered the same thing.

Additionally, the article states many very compelling facts about the financial aspects of self-serve soft serve freezers vs. behind-the-counter soft serve freezers:

  • The retail frozen yogurt industry is booming with industry analyses showing revenue of more than $2 billion an annual growth at 21 percent.
  • The switch to the self-service frozen yogurt model can boost profits and increase per-customer check totals by 20-40 percent.
  • Putting control in the user’s hands can completely transform an experience from drudgery to energized engagement.
  • The value is shifted to the user, who leaves fully empowered and satisfied.
  • In the case of the yogurt shops, franchise owners actually report lower labor costs and other savings with the self-service model.

Which Model is Right for Your Frozen Yogurt Shop?
There’s a lot to consider when you decide to open a frozen yogurt shop. But one of the most significant choices is whether you will opt for self-serve soft serve freezers or behind-the-counter soft serve freezers. Make sure to evaluate all of the data that currently exists on the matter, and also conduct your own market research. Finally, make your decision based on a combination of facts and what your instinct tells you is the best choice.

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