Would you like to open up your own ice cream shop? You may love eating ice cream and the idea of running a business doing something that involves one of your favorite foods. Even if you have already taken some steps toward opening up your shop, such as obtaining the proper business license to run the shop legally, there are a few other things you should make sure to do ahead of time before you officially open up to the locals.
1. Decide Exactly What to Offer
While you know you are going to sell ice cream, it is important to decide exactly what you will offer. You may want to sell both gourmet and soft serve ice cream. You will need to decide which flavors you want to offer to your customers. It is always good to have the basics, such as chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, but you should also offer plenty of interesting extras that will keep your customers intrigued and wanting to come back to the shop for more sweet treats.
It is also a good idea to offer plenty of different toppings and cones. You can sell ice cream in dipped cones with or without sprinkles. The cones may be available in different flavors, too. Most importantly, you should want to offer your customers the option of adding as many toppings to their ice cream as possible. Some great toppings to consider include chocolate morsels, crushed cookies, gummy bears, and nuts. Having a variety could help you bring in more business.
2. Look For Gently Used Equipment
If you are worried about the cost of some of the commercial equipment you will need, such as a large and spacious freezer and a soft serve machine, you may want to look into buying used equipment that is being sold. Some companies sell their equipment after going out of business or buying new equipment. You could get some of the stuff you need at a discounted rate, which would allow you to save some money when you are first getting started and looking to cut corners.
You may even find a soft serve machine that simply needs a replacement part. If it is in great condition and you can get it for a great price, you can always spend the money on it and then get the ice machine parts from a reputable company that offers these pieces at a great rate. If buying used equipment and purchasing any replacement parts needed could help you save a bit of money when you are currently on a budget, it is definitely something to consider doing.
3. Choose How to Display What You Are Offering
When customers come into the shop, you want to make sure they know all about the different treats you are offering. It is best to think of how you will display what you are selling to the customers. You may want to write down all the different ice cream flavors and toppings on a dry-erase board or a chalkboard. However, you could also have custom signs created with details about the flavors and toppings as well as the cost of each item on the menu.
If you are looking into opening up your own ice cream shop, these are some things to consider ahead of time. Knowing what you will sell, getting the equipment you need and choosing how to display the available goodies are all important things to think about prior to opening up your shop.