Industry News | January 21, 2011

Deal Calls for 200 Texas TCBY Units in 10 Years

Fresh off the introduction of a new self-serve prototype and store design, TCBY announced a deal to open 200 stores over the next 10 years with Texas developer Lone Star Yogurt.

While the agreement between TCBY and Lone Star Yogurt calls for a 10-year build-out of the 200 stores, the two companies are wasting no time with real estate selection, store development, and training, despite continued economic uncertainty.  Lone Star Yogurt plans to open its first TCBY self-serve store in January in the company’s hometown of Tyler, Texas. It’s committed to open another 24 TCBY self-serve stores in East Texas, Dallas, Ft. Worth, and Houston in the next 18 months, adding as many as 250 jobs to the Texas job market.

“With frozen yogurt operators continuing to outpace their ice cream counterparts within the U.S. frozen dessert segment, TCBY’s announcement to open 200 new stores comes as no surprise,” says Darren Tristano, executive vice president at Technomic. “With many American consumers continuing to look for healthier alternatives to traditional desserts, frozen yogurt will likely continue a positive growth pattern for years to come. As a well-established brand with decades of history, TCBY will have a leg up within the yogurt segment.”

Since testing the self-serve model in both corporate and franchise-owned stores earlier this year, coupled with a new store design and brand identity, TCBY is on track this year to achieve its best franchise sales numbers in more than a decade. While the self-serve model seems to be giving the entire industry a boost, TCBY’s foray into self-serve and its competitive advantages in taste and health attributes make it the formidable player in the industry again.

“We are making an important statement with a deal of this magnitude,” says Tim Casey, CEO of TCBY. “We have seasoned area developers and franchisees who believe as we do that TCBY is once again the fro-yo brand of choice among franchisees and consumers. We feel like we have always owned taste. Today we have the most relevant store model in self-serve, coupled with a modern design that’s resonating with our customers who have experienced it in our prototype stores. Not only will we carry tremendous momentum into 2011, but we anticipate the release of some significant category innovation to support record growth.”

Lone Star Yogurt, headed by industry veterans David Weaver, Bryan Selden, and Jeff Worthen, whose collective restaurant experience spans more than 50 years, brings a successful track record in franchising and in Texas with concepts such as Smashburger and Wingstop.

“Some of our fondest memories were taking the family to TCBY for some white chocolate mousse yogurt. It was pure happiness,” Weaver says. “Once we learned that TCBY was developing a self-serve model, we knew we had the ideal partner to do something scalable throughout Texas. Knowing the marketplace can be competitive; we intend to maintain an aggressive schedule throughout the 200-store build-out.”

Comments

I've got a c-note that says they never get beyond twenty - and another that says they will have all closed in 10 years

Before you place that bet I think you should consider a few factors. The group out of Texas know what they are doing, they have been successful QS operators for many, many years. They didn't sign on because they remember enjoying a Sunday afternoon with the family eating white chocolate mousse frozen yogurt. They have done their due diligence and probably considered other frozen yogurt investments before deciding on TCBY, wise investors. They have done the numbers, any savy investor will look at the capital investment compared to ROI. I don't care how SEXY or RELEVANT these HOT, NEW players are......turn key, the new guys are 350-400k for a frozen yogurt shop, lounge, bar, whatever people are calling their yogurt shop today. You gotta sell ALOT of yogurt to get your initial capital investment back on those guys!!!! TCBY isn't even close to that 350k mark. These guys already operate successful QSR'S throughout the Texas market, thus having contacts to procure the proper real estate for a frozen yogurt shop. I believe TCBY learned a lot over the last 10-15 years while losing a lot of franchisees, they are more progressive today and are open to rebuilding the brand today by recognizing the key ingredient, THE FRANCHISEE!! Lets see what happens.....

I highly doubt that an antiquated brand like TCBY will be able to open 200 stores in Texas when there are already established self serve franchises expanding in and around that area.Reading articles like this amuse me because it fools the average reader into thinking that brands like TCBY will become a huge player in the self serve frozen yogurt market. They are at a disconnect with the target consumer because of their reputation of being an outdated brand that is now trying to make a comeback in the frozen yogurt market. Its like grandpa trying to use his new IPAD sporting a faux hawk- cute but embarrassing.There is no "cool factor" to TCBY and they have no competitive advantage because they are mimicking the successful model of self serve that others have already made headway with. Brands like Yogurtland and Menchies in the West Coast have already segmented the self serve market appealing to kids and tweens while upcoming brands like 16 Handles in NY appeal to familys and young adults with a NYC lounge like atmosphere.Let's see what really happens and what brands remain open over the next couple years when independent mom and pop stores will close due to higher costs and lack of brand identity.

Although I agree with you that Menchies and Yogurtland have done an excellent job segmenting the self serve market on the west coast, there is still alot of ground to cover. Remember outside of California and Florida nobody knows who they are. Furthermore for new franchisees around the country, distribution from these "NEW" brands is quite tricky. Although I believe TCBY will still have to educate the kids and tweens of the next generation about who they are today, they have definitely made themselves relevant again. I don't think you did your homework before you posted your opinion and from the degree of negativity I felt from your post you may even be a franchisee or have some connection to these other companies. Remember, 99% of todays frozen yogurt companies use the same supplier ( Menchies included ) Yogurtland and TCBY seem to have their own proprietary product out there, this is huge when it comes to competing in the marketplace. I've tasted ALOT of frozen yogurt over the last year and I can honestly say that even 30 years later TCBY still manufactures an excellent product. This business is about 3 things my friend, location, location, location....... Lets see what happens over the next couple of years.

Before you place that bet I think you should consider a few factors. The group out of Texas know what they are doing, they have been successful QS operators for many, many years. They didn't sign on because they remember enjoying a Sunday afternoon with the family eating white chocolate mousse frozen yogurt. They have done their due diligence and probably considered other frozen yogurt investments before deciding on TCBY, wise investors. They have done the numbers, any savy investor will look at the capital investment compared to ROI. I don't care how SEXY or RELEVANT these HOT, NEW players are......turn key, the new guys are 350-400k for a frozen yogurt shop, lounge, bar, whatever people are calling their yogurt shop today. You gotta sell ALOT of yogurt to get your initial capital investment back on those guys!!!! TCBY isn't even close to that 350k mark. These guys already operate successful QSR'S throughout the Texas market, thus having contacts to procure the proper real estate for a frozen yogurt shop. I believe TCBY learned a lot over the last 10-15 years while losing a lot of franchisees, they are more progressive today and are open to rebuilding the brand today by recognizing the key ingredient, THE FRANCHISEE!! Lets see what happens.....

Before you place that bet I think you should consider a few factors. The group out of Texas know what they are doing, they have been successful QS operators for many, many years. They didn't sign on because they remember enjoying a Sunday afternoon with the family eating white chocolate mousse frozen yogurt. They have done their due diligence and probably considered other frozen yogurt investments before deciding on TCBY, wise investors. They have done the numbers, any savy investor will look at the capital investment compared to ROI. I don't care how SEXY or RELEVANT these HOT, NEW players are......turn key, the new guys are 350-400k for a frozen yogurt shop, lounge, bar, whatever people are calling their yogurt shop today. You gotta sell ALOT of yogurt to get your initial capital investment back on those guys!!!! TCBY isn't even close to that 350k mark. These guys already operate successful QSR'S throughout the Texas market, thus having contacts to procure the proper real estate for a frozen yogurt shop. I believe TCBY learned a lot over the last 10-15 years while losing a lot of franchisees, they are more progressive today and are open to rebuilding the brand today by recognizing the key ingredient, THE FRANCHISEE!! Lets see what happens.....

Add new comment