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Spring 2012 Frosty Fun

Frozen yogurt chain looks to keep growth live and active.

With 160 locations and more than 200 new locations being built this year, Los Angeles-based Menchie’s is set to become the largest self-serve frozen yogurt franchise company in the world.

Menchie’s opened in 2007 and began franchising a year later. Although some are quick to compare Menchie’s to its competitor Pinkberry, CEO Amit Kleinberger says the two companies have significant differences (as outlined in table).

Each family is offered freebies like balloons, toys, stickers and temporary tattoos when they walk in. Coloring sheets and chalkboards are provided for kids to play with, and custom characters called the Menchie’s Sweet Friends play into the décor—and even the spoons. Kleinberger says the average cost at Menchie’s, which varies depending on location, is about
44 cents per ounce.

Menchie’s yogurt is recognized by The National Yogurt Association with the live and active seal, meaning it contains live and active cultures. The company offers a variety of options, including sugar, gluten and lactose-free—to meet dietary or health needs.

Each location has a rotating menu of flavors that changes daily. There are about 14 flavors offered each day from a selection of close to 100—ranging from peanut butter to Georgia peach. A customer chooses a size cup, fills it with any flavor(s) of yogurt and assorted toppings, before weighing and checking out.

Cool opportunities

Kleinberger says malls, airports and special venues are being targeted for development worldwide. Although many of Menchie’s locations are based in strip malls and lifestyle centers, there are several locations in traditional malls as well. “Malls are family destinations, where everyone can shop, dine and experience things together. Being a brand that’s all about families and children, I think we thrive in that environment and appeal to the customers there. It’s all about giving people a fun experience at the mall,” Kleinberger says.

A new mall kiosk model is being unveiled this year. Around 150-500 square feet in size, these kiosks will feature patio-style seating around the kiosk and give customers the same ability to choose their own flavors and toppings in a self-serve setting.

Potential franchisees can sign up for information via the “franchise” section of After speaking with a member of the team, the franchisee gets an introduction to the brand and goes through an education program. Menchie’s walks the franchisee through the process up to the store’s grand opening.

Average costs for a franchise are about $340,000 to $370,000 including franchise fees, equipment, store signage, furniture and supplies.

Although Menchie’s is rapidly expanding, Kleinberger says the company wants to focus on customers and communities first. “My biggest philosophy is [that] growth is not an objective, but a result of doing the right thing at the right time.”

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Kristin Larson Contino

Kristin Contino is a freelance writer and copy editor based in Philadelphia. She writes for a variety of print publications and blogs, and also covers women's fiction for

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