Frozen yogurt is a popular treat in communities around the country. And that makes it a popular business opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs. There are even self-serve frozen yogurt franchise options for those that want to align themselves with an existing brand. If you’re interested in frozen yogurt franchise opportunities, read on for a guide to the top options.
What is a Frozen Yogurt Franchise?
Frozen yogurt is a popular cold dessert, similar to frozen custard or soft serve ice cream. Frozen dessert franchises provide a model for starting a business that sells this product. You can usually get started quickly by paying a franchise fee and royalties, and the chain provides the resources and support needed to start your business.
- READ MORE: See our Franchise Guide
The Frozen Yogurt Industry in 2022
The frozen yogurt market is valued at nearly $975 million in 2022. It is a cost-effective dessert that appeals to a wide range of customers, from health-conscious consumers to families. There are many frozen yogurt franchises making an impact on this market, but there is still room to grow in new areas.
Why You Should Consider a Frozen Yogurt Franchise
If you’re thinking of starting your own frozen yogurt shop in 2022, here are some reasons to consider a franchise:
- Simplify your launch: Frozen yogurt franchises offer a proven model for finding a location, sourcing equipment, and hiring a team.
- Align with a popular brand: Many franchises are well known in other markets, so customers may already have some familiarity.
- Serve your community: Frozen yogurt franchises allow you to serve customers and get to know people in person.
- Get proven support: Franchises don’t just help with the startup phase. They also support you with marketing, inventory, and equipment throughout the life of your business.
- Earn profits more quickly: Overall, the support and brand recognition offered by franchising can help you make more sales and keep costs manageable.
General Criteria for Choosing the Best Frozen Yogurt Franchise: Our Methodology
Here are the general criteria that any small business owner or entrepreneur should consider:
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- Brand Reputation (5/5): Assess the franchise’s reputation, including customer reviews, brand recognition, and overall public perception. A strong brand can attract customers and boost sales.
- Initial Investment (5/5): Consider the total upfront investment required, including franchise fees, equipment costs, and initial working capital. Ensure it aligns with your budget.
- Royalty and Fees (4/5): Evaluate ongoing royalty fees, advertising fees, and any other recurrent expenses. Lower ongoing costs can improve profitability.
- Location (5/5): Choose a franchise with a location strategy that matches your target market. The right location can drive foot traffic and sales.
- Training and Support (5/5): Look for franchises that offer comprehensive training programs and ongoing support. Proper training is essential for successful operations.
- Menu Variety (4/5): Assess the range of frozen yogurt flavors, toppings, and other menu offerings. A diverse menu can attract a broader customer base.
- Marketing and Advertising Support (4/5): Consider franchises that provide marketing materials, strategies, and advertising support. Effective marketing can help you acquire and retain customers.
- Health and Dietary Options (3/5): Examine if the franchise offers healthy and dietary-specific frozen yogurt options. Meeting various customer preferences can expand your customer base.
- Quality of Ingredients (4/5): Investigate the quality of ingredients used in the frozen yogurt. High-quality ingredients can enhance the taste and appeal of your products.
- Customer Base and Demand (5/5): Research the demand for frozen yogurt in your target market. A franchise in an area with high demand is more likely to thrive.
- Competition (3/5): Analyze the level of competition in the area where you plan to open your franchise. Lower competition can be advantageous.
- Flexibility in Operations (3/5): Consider the degree of flexibility the franchise offers in terms of menu customization, store design, and operational procedures. More flexibility can cater to local preferences.
- Growth Potential (4/5): Investigate the franchise’s potential for growth and expansion. A franchise with growth opportunities can be a long-term investment.
- Customer Experience (4/5): Focus on creating a positive and memorable customer experience. This can lead to repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals.
- Sustainability Practices (2/5): If environmental sustainability is important to you and your customers, check if the franchise follows sustainable practices in sourcing, packaging, and waste management.
Top Frozen Yogurt Franchises
If you’re ready to jump into the froyo business, here are some of the best-frozen yogurt franchises to consider.
Pinkberry offers lots of brand recognition and moderately healthy options. There are various franchise models, including street front locations, in-line stores, and kiosks. There’s a $35,000 franchise fee, 6% royalty fee and 2% advertising fee.
2. Orange Leaf
Orange Leaf provides a community-driven atmosphere and partners with Humble Donut Co. for co-branded franchises. The total initial investment ranges from $120,000 to $315,000, with a 5% royalty and 2% marketing fee as well.
With more than 40 years in business, TCBY is one of the leading frozen yogurt franchises in the U.S. There are various models available, from counter service to kiosks. Franchise fees range from $5,000 to $35,000, with total startup costs ranging from $15,000 to $635,000.
4. 16 Handles
16 Handles is a self-serve froyo shop that is known for fun and celebrations, innovative flavors, and top-tier tech. There’s a $30,000 franchise fee and total startup costs between $225,000 and $670,000.
Yogurtland is known for its customizable franchise model and real ingredients like fresh fruit. The recognizable brand mainly partners with those who can secure popular locations in shopping centers. There is a $35,000 initial fee, 6% royalty, and 2% marketing fees, and startup costs range from about $180,000 to $490,000.
CherryBerry is a self-serve yogurt business that co-brands with Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. The franchise fee is around $25,000, with total costs starting at around $350,000.
U-Swirl is another yogurt franchise owned by Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. But this product is known for including live active cultures for optimal health, along with fresh toppings. There’s also a franchise fee of $25,000 and total costs starting around $350,000.
8. Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt
Menchie’s offers another self-serve option with various toppings available. The initial franchise fee is $40,000 and total costs start at around $330,00.
sweetFrog is known as the “hoppiest” froyo franchise. They offer various models, from those in amusement parks to a truck-based business. Total costs start at $240,000, with a franchise fee of $30,000.
10. Yogen Fruz
Yogen Fruz is a personalized yogurt shop known for quality ingredients and store designs. The initial fee is $25,000, with total costs starting at $150,000.
Baskin-Robbins is known for ice cream, but they carry other tasty treats like froyo and frozen custard. The franchising fee is $25,000, and the total initial investment ranges from $90,000 to $625,000.
12. Nautical Bowls
Nautical Bowls specializes in acai and fresh ingredients rather than sugary treats. But the model is similar to that of many frozen yogurt franchises. With a franchise fee of $30,000, the initial investment starts at around $180,000.
13. Milkshake Momma
Milkshake Momma offers a unique concept that focuses on gourmet milkshakes. The franchising fee is $35,000 and the initial investment starts at around $180,000.
14. Forever Yogurt
Forever Yogurt offers a customizable franchise opportunity to suit each unique market and space. The initial investment ranges from about $230,000 to $500,000.
15. Reis & Irvy’s
Reis & Irvy’s is a robot-powered froyo business. It’s not exactly a franchise. But you can apply to host a machine if you have an existing location. Startup fees start at around $15,000.
|Franchise||Description||Franchise Fee||Initial Investment||Royalty Fee||Advertising Fee|
|Pinkberry||Offers brand recognition and moderately healthy options. Various franchise models available.||$35,000||$120,000 - $315,000||6%||2%|
|Orange Leaf||Provides a community-driven atmosphere. Offers co-branded franchises with Humble Donut Co.||Not specified||$120,000 - $315,000||5%||2%|
|TCBY||One of the leading frozen yogurt franchises in the U.S. Offers various franchise models.||$5,000 - $35,000||$15,000 - $635,000||Varies||Varies|
|16 Handles||Known for fun, innovative flavors, and top-tier tech. Offers a self-serve froyo experience.||$30,000||$225,000 - $670,000||Not specified||Not specified|
|Yogurtland||Offers customizable franchise models with real ingredients like fresh fruit.||$35,000||$180,000 - $490,000||6%||2%|
|CherryBerry||Self-serve yogurt business that co-brands with Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.||$25,000||Starting at $350,000||Not specified||Not specified|
|U-Swirl||Offers yogurt with live active cultures for optimal health, along with fresh toppings.||$25,000||Starting at $350,000||Not specified||Not specified|
|Menchie's Frozen Yogurt||Provides a self-serve option with various toppings available.||$40,000||Starting at $330,000||Not specified||Not specified|
|sweetFrog||Known as the "hoppiest" froyo franchise with various models and a franchise fee of $30,000.||$30,000||Starting at $240,000||Not specified||Not specified|
|Yogen Fruz||A personalized yogurt shop known for quality ingredients. Initial fee is $25,000.||$25,000||Starting at $150,000||Not specified||Not specified|
|Baskin-Robbins||Known for ice cream but also offers froyo and frozen custard. Franchising fee is $25,000.||$25,000||$90,000 - $625,000||Not specified||Not specified|
|Nautical Bowls||Specializes in acai and fresh ingredients. Franchise fee is $30,000.||$30,000||Starting at $180,000||Not specified||Not specified|
|Milkshake Momma||Offers gourmet milkshakes. Franchising fee is $35,000.||$35,000||Starting at $180,000||Not specified||Not specified|
|Forever Yogurt||Offers customizable franchise opportunities. Initial investment varies.||Not specified||$230,000 - $500,000||Not specified||Not specified|
|Reis & Irvy's||A robot-powered froyo business available for hosting. Startup fees start at around $15,000.||Not applicable||Starting at $15,000||Not specified||Not specified|
How to Choose the Best Franchise to Set Up Your Frozen Yogurt Business
The franchises above all sell frozen yogurt. But they differ in many other aspects. If you’re interested in frozen yogurt or ice cream franchises, these considerations may help.
Create a Budget
Before getting started, determine how much liquid cash you can spend upfront and how much you’re willing to pay for ongoing royalties and marketing support.
Analyze Your Local Market
Analyze the options in your local area to find an opportunity that stands out. For example, a self-serve froyo counter may be ideal in a community that already has a lot of traditional ice cream shops.
Consider Your Role in the Business
Do you want to be involved in the day-to-day operations, or would you rather purchase a franchise and leave it to your team?
Compare Support Options
Some franchises help with everything from site selection to sourcing inventory, which may be ideal for inexperienced entrepreneurs. Others are more hands-off, perfect for entrepreneurs who value autonomy.
- READ MORE: 15 Health Food Franchise Opportunities
How Much Does It Cost to Open a Frozen Yogurt Franchise?
The exact costs to open a frozen yogurt franchise vary widely, but the average franchise fee is between $30,000 and $40,000. When combined with other startup costs like location and equipment, you may invest $100,000 or more to get started.
Are Frozen Yogurt Franchises Profitable?
Frozen yogurt franchises can be profitable, but it depends on which model you choose. Your location, startup costs, and expenses also make an impact. Some yogurt chains report nearly $800,000 in sales yearly once they’re up and running. This could allow you to meet expenses and earn a profit within the first year or two.
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