In my glory days as a wicked cool high schooler, I had the pleasure of working at a frozen yogurt shop for 3 years. It’s called Sweet Frog and was just voted number one frozen yogurt shop in the United States. It was the first job that I could actually put on my LinkedIn account and I had an awesome time while working there. Although I loved my job, there were definitely a lot of struggles that went along with the bright colors and tasty flavors of the frozen yogurt world.
1. “I owe how much?!”
Customers tend to get carried away when pouring their yogurt. A lot of the time, they don’t understand that the frozen yogurt is weighed and priced by the ounce. When someone comes up to the register with a large cup filled to the top and their froyo ends up being $13.50, they aren’t too pleased. As an innocent teen just tryna make minimum wage, I didn’t appreciate getting the brunt of someone else’s poor judgement.
2. The mess doesn’t end
No matter what, there is always going to be a loose M&M on the toppings bar that just doesn’t go away. I would use a paint brush to gather toppings into the trash, but then a little kid would come up and pour rainbow sprinkles all over the counter. It was an endless cycle of cleaning up sticky toppings. Being the neat freak I am, it drove me crazy.
3. Food allergies
Food allergies are so scary because customers rely on you to provide them with the correct information. Luckily, I know what it’s like to live with a peanut and tree nut allergy, so I understand customer’s concerns more than the average person. That being said, it’s a little scary when a customer takes your word. If a topping may contain peanuts, it’s nerve racking to see a customer risk their health all for a spoonful of cookie dough.
4. “I can just make myself a sample”
This response is probably the most obnoxious of them all. The Sweet Frog I worked at had a policy, which stated employees must make every customer samples, to avoid an excessive mess and possible scammers, who’d try every flavor then leave without a purchase. Sometimes, customers totally understood why – more often, though, customers would be offended that I didn’t believe they were competent enough. It’s just a damn sample of frozen yogurt!!!
5. The dress code
I began my journey through a froyo franchise when the store in my town was just opening up. This meant the first employees were the guinea pigs for a lot of different policies and procedures – this included the uniform. Everything was totally fine about the dress code, except for the visor I had to wear at every shift. To put it simply, I looked like a grade A squid. The best memory I have is getting asked to junior prom while at work, with my visor on and braces gleaming… (Peep the picture I found).
6. Replacing flavors
Replacing flavors sucks for a lot of reasons. At Sweet Frog, new flavor releases are very popular and there are always new flavors ready to sell. The problem is there are only so many machines. This meant that flavors were coming and going all the time – upsetting customers and employees alike. My friends would only visit me at work if there was Pink Lemonade Sorbet, which was usually a summertime flavor. Some customers would only buy Irish Mint, so when we didn’t have it, they’d leave.
7. Never wanting to look at frozen yogurt ever again
It’s been a year since I stopped working at Sweet Frog and I’ve only gone out for froyo once. This says a lot, because before I started working I took weekly trips to Pinkberry. A lot of customers would ask me if I got endless frozen yogurt, which I basically did; no one really understood that I got so sick of everything having to do with froyo about 6 months into my job. Being surrounded with the sweet stuff all day put a bit of a damper on my frozen yogurt addiction.
My first job was pretty chill compared to other first jobs. Like any job, though, there were some times where I was riding the struggle bus hard.