Frozen yogurt may be served cold, but it’s a hot commodity. New product formulations, flavors and toppings—coupled with heightened consumer interest in healthier desserts—helped to grow the frozen yogurt sector from $279 million in 2011 to $486 million last year, according to research firm Mintel. However, owners and operators of frozen yogurt shops cannot rely on the popularity of the product alone to support their business going forward. A viable cadre of technology—including POS systems—is a “must.” Such systems offer several significant benefits, including:
– The ability to serve customers faster and with greater accuracy. Most frozen yogurt shops price their product by the ounce. POS systems feature scales that integrate with the POS software, enabling transactions to be rung up more quickly than is the case when weighing portions and ringing up sales is a two-step process. Automating transactions via POS systems also saves time and reduces the potential for human error because owners and employees enter a cash register key that corresponds with the number of ounces of frozen yogurt in customers’ cups. And of course, the fewer errors made in calculating price from the weight of the frozen yogurt cups, the lower a shop’s shrinkage rate.
– Tighter inventory control. POS systems have an inventory control module that enables frozen yogurt shop owners to track ingredients and toppings and determine ahead of time when re-orders are warranted. This greatly reduces, if not eliminates, the potential for out-of-stock ingredients and toppings alike. The more customers see that their favorite frozen yogurt shop always has their preferred flavors and toppings available, the more likely they are to patronize the business—again and again.
– Enhanced remote management of employees and operations. Top-notch POS systems facilitate employee management through integrated labor management solutions. Instead of clocking in on a traditional time clock, employees log in to the POS system, preventing staff members from “buddy-punching” for each other. Integrated video surveillance components turn POS systems into transaction monitoring devices. Transaction data can be superimposed onto captured images, enabling frozen yogurt shop owners and operators to ensure that transactions are being completed correctly. Like inventory management modules, video surveillance components also minimize shrinkage and other loss by ensuring that employees are not engaging in frozen yogurt favors for friends at minimal or no charge.
– Easier administration of promotions and loyalty programs. Comprehensive POS systems give frozen yogurt shop operators a complete platform for managing promotional options, such as coupon, gift card and loyalty programs. The best options can be harnessed to automatically generate e-mail blasts, text messages and other ways to spread the word about special offers.
Additionally, POS systems simplify the process of administering price-based promotions. For example, systems can be programmed to charge a particular per- unit price for frozen yogurt servings in the 1-8 ounce range and a lower price for servings of nine ounces and up. This pricing structure leads to higher- volume sales based on consumers’ perception that they are getting more for their money when they purchase a larger serving of frozen yogurt.
– Owner/operator time savings. Owners and operators of frozen yogurt shops are faced with myriad time-consuming tasks, from ordering inventory to calculating prices and managing promotions. By automating many of these functions, POS systems decrease the amount of time that must be devoted to them. Management is then free to engage more heavily with customers and to work on devising new strategies for business success.
POS systems may represent new territory for some frozen yogurt shop owners. Once operators get a taste of what POS systems can do for them, they will wonder how they ever functioned before investing in these powerful solutions.