Frozen yogurt shop serve as excellent alternatives to ice cream shops, especially to those looking for healthier dessert options. Provide a variety of flavors, toppings and serving options, such as edible cones or paper cups, to satisfy as many customers as possible. To run any successful food establishment business, you must work long hours, deliver a consistently good product and offer quality customer service. Make your frozen yogurt shop a success by listening to and fulfilling your customers’ needs.
Create a business plan. Include a description of frozen yogurt products, whether you plan to offer a variety of toppings, serving sizes, whether you plan to run the business year-round or seasonally, if you plan to make frozen yogurt onsite or use ready-made products from a vendor, marketing plan, list of start-up and monthly overhead costs, income projection for the first year and how much to charge for the frozen yogurt. Factor in the wholesale price of ingredients, overhead costs and amount of profit to determine a per-unit price.
Conduct local research to determine if a frozen yogurt shop would yield a steady profit as too much competition may lower your overall profits. Separate your shop from the competition by offering unique flavors and interesting packaging or providing additional services, such as catering or online sales, if you want to open a shop in a competitive market.
Find a frozen yogurt shop location. Visit shopping malls, outdoor marketplaces, downtown areas and locations that receive heavy foot traffic due to the proximity to restaurants, movie theaters, grocery stores and local entertainment, such as theme parks or miniature golf courses. Choose a location with ample counter and display space, room for seating, freezer space and a commercial kitchen for preparing frozen yogurt and other items.
Contact your local health department to apply for required health permits. In Houston, for example, contact the Bureau of Human Health Services to schedule an initial health inspection of the premises and apply for a food dealer permit. If remodeling or building a new structure, schedule a second inspection after completing the construction.
Register with the secretary of state’s office or the county clerk’s office to create a business entity, such as sole proprietorship, limited liability company, partnership or corporation. Contact the department of revenue to apply for a sales tax number to collect sales tax from patrons. Visit the Internal Revenue Service website to apply for an employer tax identification number (EIN). Use this number to file business tax returns and open a business bank account or line of credit.
Prepare your frozen yogurt shop for opening day. Purchase cash registers, credit card terminals if you will accept credit card payments, frozen yogurt machines, display containers, cones and cups, cleaning supplies, decorative items, tables and chairs. Open a merchant account with credit card provider companies to accept credit card payments. Purchase retail software to track sales and inventory.
Contact wholesale food vendors to order frozen yogurt or the ingredients to prepare frozen yogurt and other food products you plan to sell. Visit food vendor websites to compare prices and delivery options. Schedule times for deliveries.
Hire employees with prior frozen yogurt-making experience or a willingness to learn.
Market your frozen yogurt shop. Create fliers and postcards to hand out in high-traffic areas, as well as a website that includes a company description, list flavors, photos, serving sizes and prices, hours of operation and contact information. If selling products online, include shipping and delivery information. Use social media websites like Facebook, Yelp! and Twitter to attract customers.