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A People Business: Menchie’s Franchise Partners Share their Experiences

With over 250 stores currently in development and 230 locations already set up across the globe, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt has seen incredible success born from its first start up location in the Los Angeles area of California.  From 2007, due to a leadership team that’s bringing the company to various U.S. cities, states and countries around the world, the brand has seen major growth and growing popularity wherever doors open.

Some of the latest franchisee reviews attest to the value of entering the frozen yogurt franchise scene with the support of Menchie’s, a brand fast catching on as loyalists of all ages enjoy over 100 rotating yogurt flavors and 70 rotating toppings, with some variability and new flavors added each week depending on the location.  Each local visitor has the ability to recommend flavors and toppings, and this interactive spirit, which attracts children, families, and individuals from all backgrounds who love the taste experience, is what makes Menchie’s a different kind of frozen yogurt franchise.

Menchie's OutdoorsMany of the existing franchisees started out with Menchie’s having little or no retail or food service experience, and Menchie’s support carries them through the early days of opening to establishment in their communities.  Bob Elmer of Austin, Texas, who operates three Menchie’s locations, offers a realistic perspective for potential franchisees.  Here’s what he appreciates about his career managing Menchie’s locations:

“Menchie’s mission is to make people smile.  In the corporate world and in advertising, it can get to be a drag, whether you’re successful or unsuccessful.  So far, we’ve had some good and bad days at Menchie’s, but at the end of the day, people love coming in, enjoy the experience, and they smile.  It’s really nice to be your own boss.”

He also points out the following about the industry of frozen yogurt franchising: “Self-serve yogurt isn’t a fad; it will be around for a long time.  The product and the kids and family [clientele] sets them apart.”

Again and again children and families support the brand and community involvement is a pivotal aspect of what makes Menchie’s work well in local neighborhoods.  Yet with gluten free and vegan options, no high fructose corn syrup used, rBGH-free dairy with active cultures in all frozen yogurt, not to mention the immense variety of flavors to choose from, the concept attracts folks walking in from all sorts of backgrounds, and the atmosphere is fresh and inviting.

When asked who the primary customers are of her Pembroke Pines, Florida location, franchise partner Aileen Martinez exclaims:  “The question to me is, “Who isn’t your customer?”  We have all ages… I can’t honestly tell you of a group we don’t have.  And they’re all the best!”

Menchie's_Kid Eating YogurtShe also adds: “There is nothing you cannot like about this opportunity.  Our customers are walking into a beautiful store where they are getting something that makes them feel good, and they’re happy.  It’s such a fun environment.  You know the old saying, “if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life”?  That’s what it’s like to work at Menchie’s.”

Vijay Vaswani, awarded the 2012 Franchisee of the Year Award, has been operating two locations in El Paso, Texas.  Day to day operations for most Menchie’s franchisees looks a bit like this: “I supervise everything from the operations standpoint at both stores.  I make sure the equipment is running well and all systems are running well.  We do our inventory and ordering; we do hiring.  We also work shifts at our stores.  My favorite thing is engaging with our guests when they come in and entertaining them a little.”

Vaswani also picked up on the diverse range of customers visiting the store: “We see parents and grandparents and sometimes great-grandparents enjoying their kids here.  I’ve literally seen up to four generations of a family at one time in our stores.  I’ll stand there and count how many generations are there.  That’s a flattering feeling, knowing that everybody wants to have a good experience here.  Also, it proves to me that we cater to all life cycles.”

Menchie’s is themed, decorated, and designed in a way that absolutely appeals to younger audiences, and  as a result, the franchise clearly serves a vast majority of community members, which makes this frozen yogurt concept so appealing for investors.  Knowing their brand will make headway in their local area with a diverse population is indeed part of what allows these franchisees to experience ongoing success throughout each year after opening their doors.

Menchie's_Grand OpeningWith 22 years of brand management experience under his belt, franchisee Richard Ryan knows good branding.  What attracted him to Menchie’s after a career with a Fortune 500 company?  “The franchisor is very good at building a brand.  That was something that was important to me.  They know how to build a brand—remember, that was my background.  I like the people, and I really like the business model.”

Operating a store out of Allentown, Pennsylvania has opened up a new career with considerable benefits, and when asked what his Menchie’s operation now allows him to do, he says:  “It allows us to make decisions ourselves.  We don’t have a whole staff of executives that have to make the decision; it’s just myself and my son Kevin.  We can make the decisions and move faster.  There’s a lot of flexibility in how you run that business.  I really think that would be one of the big points.”

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