Service Is Key: Owning A Frozen Yogurt Shop Vs. An Ice Cream Shop

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

To most people, owning a frozen yogurt shop and owning an ice cream shop are about the same thing.  Both serve cold, tasty treats, are popular in summer months and are in virtually every neighborhood in America.  In reality though, there are several differences between owning a frozen yogurt shop and an ice cream shop. Those differences can determine whether the owner is successful… or not.

Self-serve vs. customer service

Almost all the frozen yogurt shops are self-serve, while ice cream shops are full service.  The self-serve model offers a stripped down, impersonal experience. Self-serve frozen yogurt is often touted as a “fun experience”, since you get to make your own creation. Many times, however, instead of a fun creation, you see an unappealing mixture of multiple flavors and toppings.

The ice cream shop offers more human interaction than a self serve frozen yogurt shop. Just about everyone has a fond memory of enjoying ice cream as a child, because it was always a fun treat to go out as a family or with friends.  There is the anticipation and happiness you feel when see all the delicious ice cream in the cases, getting tasters of the different flavors, trying to decide exactly what you want. You can ask the servers for their recommendations and watch the person behind the counter artfully craft your favorite double dip cone. You certainly can not ask a self-serve machine for a flavor or topping recommendation!


As for the product, frozen yogurt itself  is pretty basic. Most shops only offer a small selection of flavors in self-service machines with a variety of toppings.  Self-serve frozen yogurt shops have no option for offering premium products.

At an ice cream shop, hand dipped premium ice cream, specialty items, and ice cream cakes can fill your customers’ need for a premium product. Those premium products can mean your ice cream shop has the potential for higher profits and more consistent business year round. Having specialty items, such as holiday cakes and rolls, can offer your customers something different for their gatherings around the winter holidays.


Frozen yogurt shops first popped up in the 1980’s, but most of those shops disappeared when the craze died down. Today, frozen yogurt shops are once again being touted as the latest and greatest trend by those in the franchise industry. However, market research and history tell us frozen yogurt is probably more of a fad. Ice cream, on the other hand, has been around for a long time.  The first ice cream factory in the U.S. was built in 1850. Business exploded and there has been a steady stream of customers since. Ice cream shops remain as staples in cities and neighborhoods to celebrate special events or for a great treat any time.

Choice for business structure as an entrepreneur

If you are considering starting a business, take the time to compare frozen yogurt franchises with an ice cream cooperative.  Cooperative businesses are an attractive option for those wanting to start their own ice cream shop. Cooperative businesses have more freedom than franchise owners and require less investment to start up. If the cooperative model sounds like a more appealing business option, a Kaleidoscoops Ice Cream shop might be the opportunity you’ve been looking for. For more information, you can email us with your questions or call us at (806) 570-2287. You can get “The Scoop” and read About Us.