COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Four words Columbia probably never thought it would hear: robot-staffed fro-yo kiosks.
In an announcement on May 28, Generation NEXT Franchise Brands, Inc. says their flagship subsidiary, Reis & Irvy's, has signed an exclusive, $2 million territory contract that will bring 20 frozen yogurt and ice cream kiosks to the Columbia area.
The first of the machines will appear around Columbia as soon as August, and the contract also says that an additional 24 kiosks will be brought to the area by 2024.
“Columbia is known for being ‘famously hot,’ and we look forward to helping residents beat the heat this summer – and beyond,” said Nick Yates, Chairman of Generation NEXT Franchise Brands. “The heat, coupled with popular football, basketball football, and soccer stadiums, make this a market we’re especially excited to enter.”
The San Fransico-based company says it's "the world's first fully-automated robotic frozen dessert vending kiosk designed to disrupt brick-and-mortar competitors."
"The kiosk’s unattended robots eliminate the need for costly rent and labor, significantly reduce food safety concerns and are capable of operating 24-hours a day," a news release said. "The signature robots can dispense servings of frozen yogurt, ice cream, gelato, and sorbet finished with a selection of six delicious toppings in less than 60 seconds."
Many of their offerings are also gluten-free, low-calorie and Kosher-certified.
The Reese and Irvy’s machines will be placed all over the Capital City at attractions like Riverbanks Zoo, the Columbia Museum of Art, The University of South Carolina campus and more.
To date, Reis & Irvy’s franchisees have sold more than 400,000 cups of frozen yogurt, generating over $2 million in retail sales for its franchise network.