(Ambrosio’s note: Welcome to this week’s edition of Fro-Yo Files, an exclusive bonus series for Platinum subscribers of Franchise Chatter. Today’s post is the first of two parts. Stay tuned for Part 2 to be posted tomorrow.)
Red Mango Franchisee Jay Randle Embarks on Operating a Second Store — the Company’s 200th Location — and Has Eyes on a Third Location in the Future
Jay Randle became a Red Mango franchisee, opening a store operated by his wife Denise Randle and his sister Debra Guindi, at the Market Street Shopping Center in The Woodlands, Texas, in 2009. Last month, Randle became a multi-unit owner/operator by opening a second location, Red Mango’s 200th U.S. store, also in The Woodlands, north of Houston; and he has plans to open a third store. He shared with Fro-Yo Files some of his experiences with the brand and his thoughts about the future of the frozen yogurt sector.
Store-in-a-Box Concept is Simple
Jay Randle is president of Best PumpWorks, a pump manufacturing and distribution business in the Greater Houston area. It’s a business he has built since graduating from Clemson University in 1982. But when his sister Debra Guindi began looking for a way to earn an income in 2009, Randle became an investor in a Red Mango franchise that Guindi and Randle’s wife Denise could manage together.
The trio had explored several options, including The UPS Store, before settling on Red Mango; and even though they were not looking to go into food service, such as a McDonald’s or Subway shop, frozen yogurt seemed a palatable option because of the quality of the Red Mango product and menu options that had less operational demands than a full-fledged fast food restaurant, Randle said.
They started out exploring Pinkberry as a possibility for their venture, but the company was resistant to entering the Houston market, preferring first to explore other options in the Dallas area, Randle said.
“Red Mango reacted exactly opposite to that and it was a match made in heaven,” Randle said. “The store-in-a-box concept to me, well, I’m a believer in simpler is always better. You just open the stores and get ready to rock and that’s a good thing.”
He and his wife and sister attended a Red Mango presentation for potential franchisees in Dallas and came away sold on the concept and the product.
“We came back from Dallas totally jazzed; and on top of that, the yogurt tasted great.”
Guindi, a graduate of the University of Vermont, had operated an indoor soccer-lacrosse-roller hockey center with her husband in the Houston area, so she had some business experience. Randle’s wife had been a homemaker for many years. The partners spent a week in Los Angeles learning all the ins and outs of running a Red Mango franchise at one of the company’s corporate stores. In addition to studying a detailed manual, which Randle said is very informative, they learned hands-on how to calibrate and clean the yogurt machines, efficient methods for cutting fruit, making smoothies — all the daily procedures necessary for running a Red Mango franchise.
“Red Mango put them through the fire to see if they were going to be able to manage and it’s a walk in the park for those two,” Randle said.
Second Store Should Quicken Return on Investment