One of the hottest trends in the foodservice industry is FROZEN YOGURT. It is considered a healthier alternative to regular ice cream and many stores are now giving consumers the independence to serve themselves the quantity that suits them along with their choice of toppings. However, in order for these stores to be profitable one must do the research on the types of soft serve machines that produces this wonderful product.
Most individuals believe the machines are specifically designed for frozen yogurt. In reality the equipment can serve both soft serve ice cream and frozen yogurt. So how can the same machine produce two totally different types of product? It’s all about the product MIX!!
Here are some details you need to know on soft-serve ice cream machines (also known as frozen yogurt machines):
- The major manufacturers of soft-serve ice-cream machines are Stoelting, Taylor, Electrofreeze, Saniserv and Carpigiani.
- Usually there are single flavor OR twin and twist (2 flavors and twist in the middle)- Various production capacities to choose from
OVERRUN – what is it and why it is important?Overrun is the amount of air that is beaten into the mix. So the easiest explanation is the more air beaten into the frozen yogurt mix, the fewer calories in frozen yogurt. Also, the consistency of the product could be compromised…the taste can change and the frozen yogurt would be more likely to melt if more air is pumped into.Overrun is important for visual, taste appeal and (most importantly) profitability. The higher the overrun the more you will save on mix costs but, as mentioned above, you must be aware of the other considerations that could affect the quality of your product.Some machines allow you to adjust the overrun and some do not. Next, we will talk about the two types of machines you will want to consider.
GRAVITY FREEZERS VS PRESSURE FREEZERS
Your choice will depend on the production you need based on a certain amount of time.
Gravity freezers are best for low to medium capacities. Frozen Yogurt business tends to require higher capacities, therefore pressure machines might be a better choice.
Pressure units pump air into the freezer for more consistent overrun and have higher production capacities. See the attached chart showing the production capacities for Stoelting machines. Also, the overrun can be adjusted in order to find the perfect balance of air to product in order to service the best tasting frozen yogurt to your customer.
Pressure freezers are the best option for high volumes during peak hours while maintaining consistency in the product’s flavor and texture
- Be very careful with non-brand or Chinese manufactured ice cream machines. The price might be attractive but the performance can leave you to purchase another machine that will do the job right. You might run into the following problems:
- Inconsistent frozen yogurt
- Overheated motors – this would require extra space in the back to ventilate motors. Might also cause much higher temperatures inside store (higher A/C bills!)
- Lack of available spare parts and little or no warranty
- Poor after sales customer service or tech support.
- Choose a soft serve ice cream machine that will perform the best during peak hours in order to avoid any issues with consistency and texture of your frozen yogurt.
- Some brands have selection guides or calculators to figure out the best ice cream equipment for your application.
- Here’s a helpful profit calculator from Electrofreeze
- Selection Guide from Stoelting to help you determine the right model for your frozen yogurt business and production plan.
- Always check for warranty and parts availability (brands and even model numbers can differ)
- The most important parts for an ice cream machine are: Compressor, evaporator, freezing cylinders, hoppers, augers (scrapers inside cylinders), drive motors and pumps (if applicable).
- Make sure the brand you choose and distributor from whom you purchase the equipment have the best tech support and customer service.
- Many franchises, manufacturers, dealers and distributors offer Frozen Yogurt / Soft-Serve Ice-Cream Seminars or demonstrations. Many seminars offered are low-cost and some are even free!
- Check out ice-cream/frozen yogurt equipment dealers in your area by searching on www.redburner.com. You can search by product category, geographic area and brand.
- Visit www.redburner.com, the world’s most complete Restaurant Equipment Directory for the foodservice industry; offering dealer reviews, industry stories and the best deals on restaurant equipment and supplies.