After being set up, soft serve machines require no further adjustment and can be managed by a minimally-trained clerk. They take up litle space and can be left “on.” Our soft serve Express base is made by adding it to just-boiled water, which results in “instant pasteurization.”
The machine you buy should have a “refrigerated hopper,” which has a small, separate compressor that adds to the cost of the machine but keeps the mix at refrigerated temperature, so it will not spoil. The machine should be cleaned every four days.
Soft serve machines usually make 1-2 flavors plus “mix,” meaning extrude two flavors at once. The typical 2-flavor selection is: chocolate and vanilla. More flavors are achieved by extruding vanilla ice cream onto a cup and adding flavor. The alternative, of course is to have another machine.
Yogurt soft serve is immensely popular and quite often a single 2-flavor machine is dedicated to “sour yogurt” and “sweet yogurt.” Soft serve in cones is popular, but it is wise to also have cups in several sizes, so that you can make sundaes by adding extra flavors and topping. By having a “toppings bar,” you can offer soft serve sundaes.
Soft serve is considerably lower in fat than regular ice cream or even gelato and has a special emulsifier made to help increase overrun. If you buy the more costly machines that have air-injection pumps, the overrun can be as high as 50%