These “froyo robots” can serve up a custom order in under 60 seconds. Each robot has up to six frozen yogurt flavors and six toppings. BY REIS & IRVY’S
It’s like Red Box, but with froyo served by robots.
Columbia’s latest frozen craze could be Reis & Irvy’s, an automated kiosk serving treats at the touch of a button.
The Canadian company announced it will begin operating in 20 locations across the capital city beginning this summer.
The first “froyo robots” will appear in August, with all 20 kiosks up and running by May 2020, according to a release from Generation Next, Reis & Irvy’s parent company. The company is still securing locations and wouldn’t say where around town the stands will appear.
The kiosks allow users to order six different flavors by touch screen, then watch a robotic arm prepare and deliver their frozen yogurt, ice cream, gelato or sorbet, plus any toppings, within 60 seconds.
The company has almost 300 franchisees operating more than 1,000 installations around the country, according to its website.
Reis & Irvy’s signed a $2 million “exclusive territory” contract with a local franchisee that includes a commitment to bring 24 more kiosks to Columbia over the next five years, the news release said.
Columbia was chosen for the machines because of the presence of the University of South Carolina and Fort Jackson, the company said, plus other attractions like Riverbanks Zoo and the Columbia Museum of Art.
And also because of the humidity. “Columbia is known for being ‘famously hot,’” said Generation Next executive Nick Yates, according to the news release “and we look forward to helping residents beat the heat this summer – and beyond.”