AmericanDessertsFast FoodMusic/Events/Other

***** Please Read This *****

Posted on September 10th, 2012 · American Desserts Fast Food Music/Events/Other

***** Please Read This *****

If you or you know someone who is interested in “getting into” the self-serve yogurt business…please, do Jeff Eats a big favor and DON’T!

For the past year or so, I have been telling you guys, that this self-serve yogurt business is nothing but a FAD—a huge game of musical chairs, which is going to end very-very badly for “individuals” who buy franchises in this arena. Same goes for the “upscale” fast food hamburger game, but that’s a story for another column.

Last Saturday night I picked-up food at Rock n Roll Ribs in Coral Springs. In the same center “was” a LA Frozen Yogurt store….the operative word here being WAS, not IS. Not sure how long this self-serve yogurt store “lasted” but I think it took longer to build the joint than it was open-for-business.

I am going on record, that the “shakeup” in the the self-serve yogurt business is now underway. This thing is gonna be “bloody” and a ton of money is going to get flushed down the drain.

As you guys know, Jeff Eats travels all over South Florida stuffing his “face”…trust me on this, in my travels I have seen “tons” of newly opened self-serve yogurt stores in locations that make absolutely no sense whatsoever. Without any question, the owners of most of these joints have no chance whatsoever of having a successful business.

Regular readers know that I have been harping on the “fad” angle of the self-serve yogurt industry for some-time now. It absolutely breaks my heart knowing that some “small” guy is going to bet his last dollar building one of these joints.

If you check Jeff Eats’ background, I kinda know the franchise business…and what I do know, is that most franchisors (that’s the guys who sell the franchise to a franchisee) couldn’t give a rat’s ass about the “locations” that franchisees pick. Right about now, some of you guys are saying, hey Jeff Eats—why would a franchisor let a franchisee open in a crappy-location? For the “uneducated”…when you buy a franchise, you pay a franchise fee just for the location. Guaranteed most of the self-serve yogurt franchises are getting $25,000-$35,000 per location…Capice! In addition, many franchises “use” commissioned sales-people to sell franchises…just maybe these folks have a conflict of interest with the “prospective” franchisee.

If you don’t believe what I’m telling you, just take 1-minute and count the number of self-serve yogurt stores within a 2-mile radius of your home. In Jeff Eats’ case there are 11…now do you really think that a 2-mile “stretch” needs ELEVEN stores basically serving the exact same item? Well, I know it doesn’t.

Be sensible, just take a minute and ask yourself…”If I was opening a self-serve yogurt store, would I pick THAT location? Betcha anything, 9 out of 10 times, you won’t be able to justify the “spot.”

That- LA Frozen Yogurt store that I mentioned a few seconds ago…I guarantee you, that’s just the first of many “closings” to come.

Before I forget, the bbq babybacks and chicken I pickedup from Rock n Roll Ribs were delicious.

29 Comments to “***** Please Read This *****”

  1. EDDIE T says...

    Agree with you.
    Going to be a huge disater.
    By the way, the self serve yogurt store in Mission Bay Shopping Center in Boca that opened a few months ago, is now closed.

  2. frank w says...

    On the other hand Tropical Smoothie Cafe is a great concept and perfect for South Florida. Two locations in Boca.

    Opening yet another yogurt place in this area is a very bad idea. I feel bad for people who will probably lose their life savings in these doomed startups.

    • HerbK says...

      The Tropical Smoothie Cafe that was near Palmetto and Powerline is history

      • frank w says...

        I’m not surprised, the owner was never there and the place was poorly run. The one at Mizner is much better run but the location is very bad. The concept,,food and smoothies however are great.

  3. POPULARRON says...

    You hit the nail on the head.
    These poor guys who are buying these dumb franchises are going to get destroyed.
    This is a fad and it doesn’t have much longer to go.
    Like you I really feel sorry for these guys who get suckered into these deals.
    Same thing is going to happen in the burger business.

  4. Stacey says...

    I agree, I live off 595 and University in Davie and there must be 6-8 yogurt places in a 2 mile radius. Ridiculous! They’re not even that great! The ONLY yogurt place that gets my business is Yogurt Emporium in Boca which has been around for years and years. Their yogurt is far superior to the self-serve places. Have you been? I suggest you try if not!

  5. Mark says...

    Yes they are opening too many but this is capitalism and the weak will close and the strong will survive and prosper. I remember when frozen yogurt shops started opening all over about 15 years ago most closed but the ones that remain do well. It will depend on location quality and service

  6. robertw says...

    I still like Yogurtland in Coral Springs. Some of these other places were extremely expensive. People dont want to drop 5.00 per on these things. Pinkberry in LA started this years ago. It took a while to make it over here. There was one in Coconut Creek next to Kohls with a flat price of 3.00 or so. The product was not good, they are out of business and did not last long.

  7. VV33496 says...

    No question in my mind that you are right on this self serve yogurt business being set for a collapse. I’ll bet you that the LA owner wishes he had followed your advice way back when, when you were writing telling people to stay away from this business.
    I live in Boca Raton.
    Just off the top of my head I can think of 12 self serve stores all within 15 minutes tops from my home.
    There were 13 but the one in Mission Bay Shopping Center which opened a few months ago is already closed.
    Most of the 12stores are in terrible locations. It’s scary that some business person thought that the location would work.
    My best guess is that maybe of the 12, 5 might be around within the next 18 months. There are 7 that I figure should already be closed. There is one in the Pink shopping center that has to be an absolute mess.
    I wish all of them well but this is going to be a major disaster.

  8. Hank L. says...

    Self Serve Yogurt=FAD
    That’s the story.
    You are also right on the burger business.
    5 Guys
    Shake Shack
    Not to mention loads of non chain ones
    There will also be a debacle in this business.

  9. robertw says...

    The burger places keep coming right now.

  10. GREENMANLCP says...

    Through a partnership I own 19 McDonalds.
    That’s a franchise.
    When we bought in, McDoanlds was already very established.
    The yogurt and burger companies that are now out there are rookies. Their brands aren’t worth anything. Maybe 5 Guys but that’s really it.
    No doubt you will see a major shakeup in both areas.
    The yogurt folks will be the first to go.
    Then the burger guys will collapse.
    Don’t even consider getting into either area. They are already oversaturated.

    • Gary says...

      Was having a discussion this past week with friends….Why hasn’t anyone been able to develope a strong Hot Dog chain. All I remember we’re Nathan’s and Nedicks.
      My sister in Atlanta says Varsity is strong in her area but I don’t know that it’s a multi unit operation…

      • Ken says...

        Every state has a different style hot dog. There are chains in those states. Portillios in Chicago.. Nathans East coast .. something to pink and gross in California.. In Chicago there are 1000’s of mom/pop dog places. Mcdonalds can’t make it crappy enough to be on $1 menu. I found Hot Dog Opolis in Boca is best, but I live in Wellington.Chicago Style Vienna Beef.

        • Gary says...

          That makes sense, I’ve eaten at all you’ve mentioned, including many of the 1000’s of independents in Chicago

          I would think with a Chipolte type concept, all states could be satisfied from a national chain.

          I read that Americans consume 20 Billion hotdogs annually.

  11. John Calabrese says...

    Yogurt stores, not even a chance.
    Same for cupcake stores.
    Same for fast food upscale burger stores.
    The only one who is going to make any money on these things will be the franchise company who suckers people in.

  12. Jon Greenberg says...

    When are going to Blue Willies BBQ? Your man Burgerbeast and I say you got to try this place. You will love it!!

  13. Karyn Conrath says...

    From: Karyn Conrath
    Subject: Could you check out The Village?

    Message Body:
    I had dinner 2 nights this last week at a fairly new Miditerreanean restaurant near Winn Dixie’s on Beracasa. It’s called The Village. It is amazing. I lived in the ME for a number of years and this is as close as it gets – if not better. All the Israeli and Med. foods are fresh. Pastries are all perfectly made and delicate. Huge assortment -not just the normal baklava. Absolutely Everything is homemade and just perfect. I hope you’ll review it soon.
    I wish they’d have a bit more ambience, but they are new and still leearning. Maybe some booths, better lighting, etc…but that can be fixed.
    It’s still so new, people don’t know about it but it is a find.

    Otherwise, I can’t get better Jerusalem salad, Yogurt salad, Spinach pies, kepabs, etc.. anywhere.

    This mail is sent via contact form on Jeff Eats

    • JeffEats says...

      Karyn Conrath:

      Just had a chance to read your comments.

      The Village was on my “to try” list.

      I will tell you, that I have “seen” The Village quite a few times as it is located right next door to Zinger’s Deli and a few doors down from Nino’s Italian Restaurant—these are two of my favorite joints to eat in.

      To be perfectly honest with you, The Village looks “fine” inside…but, on a number of occasions, I have noticed the owner and his “friends” sitting oustide in the front- smoking. The smoke “carries” and it stinks up the entire area. I’ll bet you anything, the other “stores” aren’t too thrilled with this smoking business. Just so you can appreciate what I’m saying, the smoke is actually nauseating.

      Based on the smoke, Jeff Eats is gonna pass on trying this joint out.

      Thanks for reading…

    • RRK says...

      Enjoy the food because this restaurant won’t last too long in its Boca location. The location stinks as this is a very religious Jewish area and these folks won’t step food in a place like this. I have walked past The Village loads of times and its always empty. I have also seen the owner as described by Jeff Eats smoking at one of the tables outside. It looks disgusting and looks like something that you might see in Cairo or some Arab country restaurant. I have no idea how the food is, but in the same center there is an Israeli pita place that is clean and fresh looking.
      I wish this guy well but this restaurant hasnt got the formula for success.

    • Ellie R. says...

      I live 5 minutes away from the restaurant that you mentioned. In addition I’m in its center at least twice a week.
      This restaurant will FAIL.
      It’s been open maybe 8 months and has virtually no business.
      Personally I wouldn’t set my foot in it.
      As others have commented the owners sit outside in front of the store smoking away. Got nothing against Middle East folks but it looks like something right out of the heart of Cairo.When you walk by the restaurant the whole outside area stinks from smoke.
      The food maybe be great. Same for the service. However, it is so unappealing from the outside that very few people will ever venture in.

    • GTA says...

      They closed about two months ago. The owners were disgusting sitting outside the store smoking like they were in run down downtown Damascus.

  14. Ted Martin says...

    Jeff, this yogurt business is a no brainer. most of them are going to fail. too many is the problem. by the way i know this Village place. i live close by and never really see anyone in there. i will metion to you that ive seen the owner and others sitting outside and the smoke literally fills the air around the front of the store and ruins it for the nino’s and zinger’s which are right near by. the owner of the Village is very inconsiderate and is ruing his own business not to mention ruining for others in the center. no doubt in my mind he’ll be out of business sooon and his neighbors will be thrilled to see him go.

  15. Gregg L. Friedman MD says...

    Jeff, You are 100 % correct about the Frozen Yogurt business fad. I think that many of these new stores will not make it. By Gregg L. Friedman MD, Psychiatrist, Hallandale Beach, FL

  16. robertw says...

    Dont get into the franchise pizza business either. In Coconut Creek two places within 1 mile just closed shop. One lasted 6 months and the other maybe a little longer. Fresh Brothers and Dan Good Pizza. If you are buying a pizza franchise there is huge local competition and the costs and risks are very high. There was an article in South Fla business about Dan Good Pizza. The owner sunk min 100K into it and had local rights for 3 more stores. I tried it and I wasnt impressed. Bad location also. The food business has a sky high failure rate. People keep going for these things. Remember the Cold Stone Creamery fad? That dies a mean death. The business model that works is Dunkin/baskin. Dunkin does a ton of AM business and Baskin chips in at night and afternoon (summer) selling ice cream. Some Dunkins also do some PM business. That was a great idea. I hav gotten to know some different franchise owners over the years. Sometimes the main company is restrictive and doesnt fully realize what it will take to cover the rent.

    • Jim says...

      I don’t know the reason why Dan good went down, they were only around a few months. Fresh Brothers was closed because it was opened by a couple who then divorced, and could not agree on how to split it. Sad, Fresh. Brothers was a good Pizza place.

  17. Karyn says...

    Hey Jeff, we recently left Boca and moved to Naples. Do you have any knowledge of bests eats over here on the lazy & relaxed west coast?

  18. Tom5 says...

    Yogurt land in Boca now closed.
    You called it Jeff.

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