Lemonade + FroYo = Business Success
- By: dgarvin
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Have you picked up some smilage lately? Menchie’s* frozen yogurt shops have been popping up all over Houston in the past 9 months – we just can’t get enough of them. Did you get to try to Lemonade Day flavor? If you missed out, take our word for it – it was smile-worthy – or, if you don’t take our word, take the fact it’s sold out at all the stores now! Don’t worry though, there are tons of other flavors that are equally delish.
So what does it take to own and operate a Menchie’s? We talked with Andy Brantner, owner of several Houston area shops about his experience and advice to our Lemonade Day entrepreneurs.
Did you have a lemonade stand growing up? Or other entrepreneurial venture as a child?
I never had a lemonade stand growing up but I was always interested in entrepreneurial ventures. At various points, I sold baseball cards and had a lawn service with my brothers. My parents always instilled an entrepreneurial mindset in us.
What made you want to be an entrepreneur?
The ability to make decisions on a daily basis that can majorly impact our company (I have a partner) is really fun. I love that I can wake up every day and talk about what we can do to improve OUR business. Pretty neat stuff.
What’s the scariest part of owning your own business?
The risk of failure is scary but is also a great motivator and I love a challenge!
What’s one lesson you have learned about owning a business that you would share with our young entrepreneurs?
Everyone knows that your customers (we call them guests) are vital and we all talk about having great customer service. But I think my lesson would be to always treat your employees (we call them team members) exceptionally well. In many ways, they are your most important customer!
Have you ever been in a situation where a customer was not happy – how did you handle/resolve the situation? What customer service advice can you give our participants?
As a high volume retail concept, we have constant face to face interactions with our customers. Occasionally, we will have an unhappy guest and we do what it takes to make the situation right. In our business, that can mean something like give them a free cup of frozen yogurt. It’s not about who is wrong or right, it’s about making that guest smile. At Menchie’s, our goal is to make everyone smile. That goes for employees, customers and vendors. I think it’s a great
framework for customer care.
Some of our young entrepreneurs chose to hire employees for their stand on Lemonade Day - what advise can you give them about hiring employees?
Look carefully for someone who has passion for the business and can carry out your vision to the customer. At Menchie’s, we look for friendly team members who love smiling and interacting with people and are willing to work hard.
And of course, what is your favorite Menchie’s flavor?
I love so many of our flavors but I think my current favorites are Dulce de Leche and Mud Pie!
Andy was born and raised in the Houston are and graduated from the University of Houston as a member of the Honors College and with a degree in Finance. He spent eight years working in private wealth management before deciding to get an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management. It was at UCLA that Andy met his business partner, Andrew Martin and they decided to launch Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt in the Houston area.
To get your child involved in Lemonade Day, you can register online at Houston.LemonadeDay.org or just stop by a Menchie’s [you can pick up your Lemonade Day backpack with workbooks AND get a frozen tasty treat!]
*Menchie’s is a sponsor of Lemonade Day Houston and supports our goal of creating the next generation of entrepreneurs by teaching kids how to start, own and operate their own business using the model of a lemonade stand.
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