Our first (and only?) love story…
Most of us have had a bad first date. I remember a couple where I knew the chance of a relationship was over before knowing what I was going to order for dinner. Maybe part of that pain is what makes it so unique when you have a good experience. But what if you could have a great first date AND come up with a (very) profitable business idea together in the same night?! That’s where our story begins. Adam Caldwell took his date, Danna to a frozen yogurt shop in Orange County, California. They not only had a great evening together but were also given an opportunity to add toppings to their frozen yogurt. While so often a first date can be full of awkward pauses, Adam and Danna spent theirs conceptualizing the idea for what would become the world’s largest frozen yogurt chain. If that isn’t enough, guess where the name “Menchie’s” comes from? The cherry on top of this story may be that the couple named their idea Menchie’s from the pet name that Adam had given Danna during their courtship. When is Hollywood going to write this script? I would love to see Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan drawing up ideas on a napkin while enjoying frozen yogurt.
General Restaurant Information
Food Type: Desserts and More
Restaurant Type: Fast Food
U.S. Locations: 415
States: 50 states, Menchie’s Locations
Company Slogan: “Make every guest smile”& “The friendliest place on earth”
Questions: Menchies Contact Page
Phone number: 818-708-0316
Email: [email protected]
Blog: Menchie’s Blog
FAQ Page: Menchie’s Frequently Asked Questions
Who Owns Menchie’s? Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt
Headquartered: Encino, CA
Email/contact page: [email protected]
Address: 17555 Ventura Blvd, Suite 200, Encino, CA 91316
Do They Franchise? Franchise Information
In some ways, coffee shops have taken the place of soda fountains. Still, most people don’t think of them as a family hangout, and they also tend to be places where people go to get their caffeine and speed up. We wanted a space where everyone could slow down. I do have a sweet tooth, but for me the attraction to starting Menchie’s wasn’t the desserts themselves, it was creating a place where people would enjoy the visit the way people used to at soda fountains and the way Adam and I enjoyed our first date. ~ Danna Caldwell, co-founder of Menchie’s. (source)
What Is It Like To Work At Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt?
Careers, jobs, and benefits at Menchie’s (menchies.com)
3.9/5 or 78%; 445 Reviews (indeed.com)
3.5/5, or 70%; 314 Reviews (glassdoor.com)
What to expect when working at Menchie’s (job-applications.com)
The History of Menchie’s
Original Location: 4849 Laurel Canyon Boulevard, Valley Village, California
Founded: May 11, 2007
Founded By: Adam & Danna Caldwell
Women At The Top: Danna Caldwell (franchising.com)
Founder Obituary: Still Living
Name Origin: I love names that have a story behind it and they certainly have one. You can read the story here of how they came to have such an unusual name. The story not only has roots in the restaurant but also in the relationship and marriage of the owners.
Menchie’s History Page: Company History Page
Current View of Original Location: 4849 Laurel Canyon Boulevard as it is today (link may not work on mobile devices without Google Maps)
Reviving a Lost Piece of Americana (menchiesfranchise.com)
How Menchie’s got its name (menchiesfranchise.com)
Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt (fooddrink-magazine.com)
Charity Focus: Community Support
Green | Eco-Friendly: Their company site states the following
Menchie’s is currently developing nationwide recycling options for our locations, and some of our locations have already begun to offer recycling in-store.
Additionally, our Menchie’s branded spoons are made from polypropylene and are free of BPA, PVC and phthalates. They are not biodegradable, however they are recyclable in most facilities. Additionally, they can be taken home and are dishwasher safe if washed on the top rack.
Recyclable, Biodegradable and Compostable: Clearing Up the Confusion (internationalfrozenyogurt.com)
Animal Cruelty: On their site, Menchie’s states the following –
Our Private Label Collection yogurt is made from the milk of “smiley” California cows that live on a family-owned dairy farm. Our cows are happy because they live on that spacious farm and are never fed artificial growth hormones. It really makes a difference that they’re raised in California because the state’s milk standards require more proteins and calcium than federal standards. Our yogurt is unique to Menchie’s. By contrast, most competitors buy their yogurt from industrial-scale dairies.
Menchie's on Amazon
Discounts At Menchie’s
Rewards Program: Menchie’s Reward Program
Do Kids Eat Free at Menchie’s?
Summary: Menchie’s does not offer any discounts related to kids eat free at this time.
Does Menchie’s Offer Military Discounts?
Summary: There are no resources on their official page but several sites state that Menchie’s offers a free 6 oz yogurt to all Veterans and active military personnel with proper identification on Veteran’s Day.
What Do I Get On My Birthday at Menchie’s!?
Summary: When I asked them via direct message on their Facebook page they stated this as it relates to what Menchie’s offers for your birthday. “On your birthday, you receive a $5 birthday reward. The reward is redeemable 14 days before, and 14 days after your birthday. You have a month to use it :).”
Does Menchie’s Offer First Responder Discounts?
Summary: No resources found
Does Menchie’s Offer Senior Citizen | AARP Discounts?
Summary: No resources found
Are There Any Other Discounts or Benefits at Menchie’s?
Summary: They have a lot of additional benefits when you join the Smileage Club. Check the site for all the current details they’ve got going on.
Order Online: No
WiFi Available: Yes
Use Apple Pay: No
Catering: Catering at Menchie’s
Open 24 Hours: No
Customer Reviews of Menchie’s
Yelp: 4.2/5 or 83%, 952 reviews sampled
Tripadvisor: 4.4/5 or 88%, 321 reviews sampled
Overall (weighted) Average: 4.22/5 or 84%, 1,273 reviews sampled
We are not trend followers, and we were not trying to target a specific demographic. We want to create an environment where anyone could enjoy both their time together and the dessert. We are universal, Timeless, and we belong to everyone, every community around the world! ~ Danna Caldwell
Food & Nutrition
Menu: Menchie’s Menu
Kids Menu: No resources found
Secret Menu: No resources found
Most Popular Menu Item: Chocolate Flavored Frozen Yogurt
Coke or Pepsi Products: No soft drinks sold at Menchie’s
Do They Serve Alcohol: No
Menchie’s Nutritional Information: You must click on each menu item to see the nutritional information
Vegetarian | Vegan Options:
Reasons To Rejoice Over Vegan Frozen Yogurt (peta.org)
Menchie’s Introduces Vegan Option, With More to Come! (clearlyveg.org)
Froyo Chain Menchies Launch New Vegan Dessert Options (livekindly.co)
Clean Eating (farm to table, organic options, non-GMO, etc): Always great when the restaurant states their ingredient policy on their site. Here’s what their site has to say about their ingredients.
At Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt we strive to offer a special treat for every guest and pride ourselves on using only the highest quality ingredients. Our frozen yogurt is made with fresh milk from our California dairy, and our “smiley” California cows have not been treated with artificial growth hormones (rBST). We do our best to say NO to artificial colors, NO to artificial flavors, NO to high fructose corn syrup, NO to partially hydrogenated oils, and YES to all things real. We also strive to use natural flavors including real cake, cookies, spices, fruits and nuts. Our entire line of frozen yogurt is certified Kosher and is awarded the live and active culture seal by the National Yogurt Association. But it’s not just frozen yogurt, we offer you gluten-free and vegan treat options too.
Miscellaneous Nutrition Resources:
The 15 Healthiest Restaurant Meals of 2017 (Minchie’s is #8) (eatthis.com)
Noodles & Company to Introduce Low-Carb Options (tasteaholics.com)
Zoodles Are Here At Noodles & Company (bloomandbundle.com)
My Food Diary – Noodles & Co (myfooddiary.com)
Noodles and Company Nutrition (thedailymeal.com)
Menchie’s Allergen Information: You must click on each menu item to see the nutritional information for their frozen yogurt
Gluten Free Options:
Gluten-Free Frozen Yogurt Options (gluten.lovetoknow.com)
Dairy Free Options:
Menchie’s Dairy Free (godairyfree.org)
Peanut Free Options: No resources found, but the following may be helpful to you.
Food Allergy Guides For Many Chain Restaurants (verywellhealth.com)
Ways to Eliminate Risks of Peanut Allergy When Dining Out (healthguidance.org)
Does Menchie’s Have Any Secret Recipes?
Menchie’s Secret Recipes:
The Best Frozen Yogurt Is the One You Make Yourself (seriouseats.com)
Tart Frozen Yogurt (onceuponachef.com)
Cake Batter Frozen Yogurt In 5 Minutes (No Machine) (biggerbolderbaking.com)
Did You Know?
The concept and idea for Menchie’s happened on the first date of co-founders, Adam and Danna Caldwell. They visited a frozen yogurt shop where you could add your toppings. (source)
The name Menchie’s originated from the pet name that Adam had given Danna.
Not only was the restaurant born out of a love story, but it was on the first date where Adam took Dana to a frozen yogurt shop where you could add your toppings. This infamous date would not only lead to their marriage.
Menchie’s is the world’s largest self-serve frozen yogurt franchise with locations in all 50 states as well as 20 countries. (source)
The company’s first and current CEO, Amit Kleinberger, was hired a year after the restaurant began. Amit was born and grew up in Jerusalem. As a young boy, he saw the movie, The Secret of My Sucess (1987, Michael J. Fox) which inspired him to follow the career path he did, owning and selling several businesses before taking the CEO position at Menchie’s. His wife, Carrie is a public high school teacher where they reside in California. (source)
Kleinberger can be seen in a video below as the guest on an episode of Undercover Boss. His favorite flavors are Red Velvet Royale and Cookies ‘n Cream. (source)
Their biggest competitor is Dairy Queen (source)
Hiring Kleinberger may have been inspired at least in part from Danna’s father. He came to America with no money and very little English to speak of. That didn’t stop him from growing several successful businesses while taking care of his family. He has always been her role-model. (source)
How I Made It: Amit Kleinberger (articles.latimes.com)
Menchie's on Amazon
Followers (as of August 2018) –
Better Options: Coming Soon
Welcome to a storybook restaurant that began one night as a couple sat down for a first date. It just doesn’t get much better. I know the chain has problems, they all do, but Menchie’s seems to be doing about everything right. They are focused on their customers in creating smiles, and it shows an overall average satisfaction score of 93%! It doesn’t stop with smiles, they are also passionate about their ingredients, the environment, avoiding animal cruelty and offering a lot of transparency in how they go about it which is sadly uncommon in the industry. If you want to spend quality time with your child or are maybe considering first date ideas, Menchie’s is a great place to look. Go ahead and take a notepad and pen, you may just come up with a business idea you can’t ignore over your frozen yogurt. They really should make a movie.
I hope you found the information on Menchie’s helpful, I know I did. The more we know and understand about the restaurants we eat at, the better decisions we can make of where and what we should eat. If you found this article helpful, would you please help others by sharing this with your friends and family. If there is anything you would like to see about a restaurant that’s not already listed or if there is anything I can do to make your restaurant experiences better, please leave a comment below, I would love your feedback! You can also email me at anytime backofthemenu @ gmail.com. Thanks so much for your time, I know how valuable it is.