Yogurtland kicks off Nintendo-inspired flavors with free yogurt party

Stephanie Lai

Valley News Intern

From noon to 11pm on July 16, the Yogurtland on Murrieta Hot Springs Road hosted a Nintendo-themed party. Visitors of all ages – fans of both the video game company and a cool summer treat – gathered at the luncheon for free yogurt and special giveaways. The decorated store and dressed-up staff gave the event a festive atmosphere as customers put on their Super Mario Brothers shirts and played Pokemon Go. Nintendo teamed up with the Yogurtland franchise to promote fun summer flavors inspired by video game characters. These unique flavors will last from July 1 through Sept. 8.

Staff members came to work that day, dressed in uniform, but their Nintendo-inspired shirts tied the event together. Customers began waiting when the store opened, and the traffic picked up around 11:30 a.m. when the line started to wrap around the building. Many eager visitors waited for an hour to be the first to receive their free yogurt. The first 100 customers were given a slip that would be redeemable for various prizes and drawings.

Dressed as Mario, Nintendo's most popular character, Store Manager Gar interactively gets the waiting customers involved with games. Stephanie Lai Photo.
Dressed as Mario, Nintendo’s most popular character, Store Manager Gar interactively gets the waiting customers involved with games. Stephanie Lai Photo.

From 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., the store served the free yogurt to a large crowd of customers and had entertainment throughout. Music from a DJ kept the bystanders moving, and the store manager dressed up as Mario to keep the children entertained with chants and games. Winners received great prizes in the line and throughout the day, the store gave many people specialized merchandise.

From 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., face painting and more giveaways were the hot commodity with a steady flow of people and lots of activities present. Some lucky visitors left with Yogurtland sunglasses, inflatable beach balls, frisbees, giant spoons, stickers and insulated bags. Then, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., a DJ played music to pass time and customers could compete in games to win free yogurt.

The store resumed giving away free yogurt in its five-ounce size as it got closer to closing time. Though five ounces seems small, free yogurt can always be a good thing.

Customers would give their number to see what prize they received. Stephanie Lai Photo.
Customers would give their number to see what prize they received. Stephanie Lai Photo.

“The average amount of yogurt a customer gets is around six to eight ounces. So even five ounces cover at least a 70 percent discount,” said the store manager, who goes by Gar.

The franchise and Nintendo have worked together to create their “Game On” sweepstakes for great prizes, such as a year of free yogurt, and even gaming consoles. Gar said only about 20 of the 300 Yogurtland stores do this event.

“Our store typically does 3 free yogurt events a year, and it’s a great way to give back to the community and to the people.”

His estimation is that in one day, the store gives away approximately 600 to 800 cups of frozen yogurt. The free yogurt events are all out of the store’s pocket, and it is one they love to put on to go beyond corporate decisions.

Yogurtland is located at 40444 Murrieta Hot Springs Road and open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The Nintendo-inspired flavors will continue to be served through Sept. 8.

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