April 10, 2012

The Genius of the Frozen Yogurt Shop

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Is there a more self-serving business model than the self-serve fro-yo shop? The customers select their yogurt, they dispense their yogurt, they top their yogurt and they even weigh their yogurt, all the while the actual employees stand by and…watch for yogurt thieves? What do they do, anyway? Regardless, the ingenuity behind these burgeoning enterprises has allowed them to take the two biggest problems the food industry faces today—employees who want to do as little as possible, and customers who are picky a**holes—and turn them into a thriving business model.

A couple of months ago, before Collegetown’s new ‘Yogurt Crazy’ store became a late-night haven for drunkards, I determinedly held the opinion that a frozen yogurt shop would never survive the harsh Ithaca winter; I mean, it’s like exactly the opposite temperature one could hope for in such a time. Yet here we are. The very fact that a fro-yo shop can be absolutely jam-packed on a 30 degree evening only further proves the resilience of the model. Plus, nothing can sober you up like some extra-cold yogurt, neon colors and very bright lights (I’m sure that after a night in a dark club, the unflattering fluorescence of the yogurt store is more than enough to break up unconvinced lovers—so it’s low fat and low guilt!).

Oh, and the selection… The selection! They have nonfat, lowfat, premium (I’m pretty sure that’s a fancy way of saying “full-fat”), no-sugar-added and non-dairy sorbet, with flavors ranging from apple pie to raspberry to butter brickle. See, they’re so adorable, they even make up cute words for their flavors!

Despite all the crap I’ve given it, Yogurt Crazy is indeed a welcome addition to the Collegetown scene. With the recent disappearances of other late-night hang-out spots like Johnny O’s, the Palms, and KC Copies (kidding), the student body has been in need of something to fill the hole. And what do college kids enjoy most, apart from alcohol? Probably sex. But hey, frozen yogurt ain’t so bad either!

Original Author: Jacob Lifton