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21 Things You Need to Know About the TCBY (Frozen Yogurt) Franchise Opportunity
TCBY’s Product Line
1. TCBY (The Country’s Best Frozen Yogurt) is one of the original and most recognized brands in the frozen yogurt category. TCBY’s products are made with real dairy yogurt, which means they contain active cultures (also known as probiotics) so that customers can expect the benefits of an enhanced immune system, improved digestive health, and stronger bones. Virtually all of TCBY’s offerings are low in fat, fat-free or sugar-free.
2. Super Fro-Yo is a new classification of frozen yogurt that sets a high standard for nutrition in the industry. Super Fro-Yo includes a special combination of nutrients that work together to improve one’s overall sense of well-being. TCBY’s soft-serve frozen yogurt is one of the select few that can truly be called Super Fro-Yo.
3. To qualify as Super Fro-Yo, frozen yogurts must meet or exceed the following guidelines per 4 fl. oz serving:
- Fiber: Must have a minimum of 3 grams
- Probiotics: Must have a minimum of 7 types of live & active cultures
- Vitamin D: Must have a minimum of 20% Daily Value (DV)
- Calcium: Must have a minimum of 20% DV
- Protein: Must have a minimum of 4 grams
4. In addition to the above nutritionals, the following values are also present in Super Fro-Yo: 120 calories or less; minimum 10% DV Vitamin A; 1 gram or less of saturated fat; minimum of 20 billion live and active cultures per serving at manufacturing.
5. TCBY Super Fro-Yo flavors available at participating locations include:
- No Sugar Added (NSA) Vanilla, Chocolate, and White Chocolate Macadamia, as well as NSA and fat free, Strawberry, Peach, and Mountain Blackberry
- Traditional flavors include Golden Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, Old Fashioned Vanilla, Fat Free Dutch Chocolate, White Chocolate Mousse, Cheesecake, and Cake Batter
6. TCBY has been a frozen yogurt innovator since their first shop opened in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1981. The company began franchising the following year. In 2000, TCBY combined forces with Mrs. Fields Famous Brands.
7. In 2005, TCBY renewed their commitment to delivering the best overall experience to their customers by re-focusing their product offerings and in 2007, they rolled out a new line of tasty yogurt-based smoothies.
8. In 2010, TCBY introduced a new self-serve platform and a contemporary look that appeals to customers of all ages.
9. Today, there are over 470 TCBY stores operating in the U.S. alone.
10. TCBY is open to multi-unit franchising, area development, and co-branding opportunities. TCBY recently entered into an agreement with Lone Star Yogurt, a Texas-based restaurant developer that has committed to open and/or franchise 200 TCBY self-serve locations in Texas within 10 years.
11. With their partners at StruckAxiom and Foster Research & Consulting, TCBY took an exhaustive look at the frozen yogurt category and conducted research to determine what customers wanted from their frozen yogurt experience. The extensive focus group data reinforced TCBY’s leadership position with taste, but indicated that they needed to elevate the innovative nature of the TCBY brand by refreshing the identity itself. As a result, TCBY introduced a self-serve option with a new brand identity and store design.
12. To accompany the new store design, TCBY is enhancing the overall store experience through store-front and indoor signage, packaging, employee uniforms, and marketing collateral. With a distinct color palette and welcoming social lounge, the new store design boasts a clean modern design with smart functionality for both consumers and employees.
13. Upon entering the store, customers are greeted by 10 to 15 soft-serve machines boasting 98 percent fat free, sugar free frozen yogurt options, as well as sorbet. After choosing their favorite flavors, customers can approach an extensive toppings bar with hot, cold, and dry stations to finalize their creation. Pricing is done by weight at $.45 per ounce.
14. Tim Case, CEO of TCBY says, “We have more than 400 stores today that will continue to cater to the consumer who enjoys the ‘make it for you’ version, too. Our strategy will follow a parallel path, but we anticipate tremendous growth from the self-serve model.”
15. Rob Street, Senior VP of Development at TCBY say, “This new design has not only surged interest for new franchisees, but existing ones as well. Current franchisees understand that the self-serve model is forward-thinking and will serve their customers well in their local markets. We have had several franchisees express interest in not only expanding their portfolios, but also in converting some of their existing units to self-serve. We currently have six self-serve locations in development and are projecting to open an additional 100 by the end of 2011.”
16. The new self-serve format can be customized to fit different footprints:
- Self-serve store – 1200-1600 square feet
- In-line (for locations such as airports and malls; narrower menu) – 800-1200 square feet
- Kiosk (for non-traditional locations; the kiosk is a self-contained store and comes with freezer and storage space) – 200-350 square feet
- Express (designed for people who already own a restaurant or store with a back-end commissary; this is a free standing unit that will likely be near the franchisee’s other in-line store) – 120-150 square feet
17. Working with the company’s Real Estate and Construction teams, TCBY franchisees are guided through every part of the construction and design process. TCBY has partnered with Buxton, a customer analytics firm, to help owners find the ideal location. Buxton has 17 years of experience compiling data about the spending habits and lifestyle trends of potential customers. Analyzing this data, Buxton will predict what locations these people will frequent and then work with TCBY’s Real Estate Department to find that ideal location.
18. New franchisees of TCBY attend an 11-day training at Famous Brands University in Salt Lake City, Utah, where they will learn about important topics such as daily operational procedures and strategies, profitability, brand marketing, personnel and team management, among others.
TCBY Franchise Cost
19. The total initial investment to open a new TCBY location ranges from $191,300 to $356,600. The initial franchise fee is $25,000 (up to $5,000 of which is reimbursed to the franchisee for grand opening marketing expenses). The monthly royalty is 6% of gross sales and the monthly contribution to advertising is 3% of gross sales.
20. The minimum net worth requirement for franchisees is $200,000, of which $100,000 must be liquid.
21. The initial term of the franchise agreement is 10 years (5 years for non-traditional locations).