Business Overview

We’ve all seen the joy on people’s faces as they enter an ice cream shop and peruse the various flavors. There are few who don’t enjoy a scoop of their favorite flavor on a hot summer day. Running your own ice cream parlor is hard work, but is a fulfilling career for the entrepreneur with a sweet tooth.

Who is this business right for?

Whether you decide to serve your own creations in-house or plan to serve a ready-made brand, an ice cream shop offers a great opportunity for those who love to get creative with food. The hours are long, but bringing people together over their love of something sweet makes the work you put in worth it.

What happens during a typical day at an ice cream parlor?

Your daily activities will depend on the type of ice cream shop you envision and how large your staff is. If you sell ready-made ice cream, your day will be spent placing and accepting deliveries and ensuring all inventory is fully stocked. If ice cream will be made in-house, the bulk of your day will be spent creating those sweet treats. Franchise owners will have the added duties of tracking sales and reporting to the main office.

No matter what type of parlor you open, be present in the storefront and get to know your customers. You’ll build a more successful business by understanding their likes and dislikes.

What is the target market?

Many customers view ice cream as a special treat. Their visits are sporadic; so consistent quality is important in gaining loyal repeat customers. Your clientele will also be there to fulfill a craving or because they couldn’t resist the temptation. To ensure a steady influx of people, choose a location with a good amount of foot traffic.

How does an ice cream parlor make money?

Most ice cream is served by the scoop. Standard serving options include cups, cones, and specialty sundaes. Many parlors satisfy their customer’s sweet tooth by offering a variety of topping options, which are also paid for by the scoop.

The most important thing to note is that the ice cream industry is seasonal. A bulk of your revenue will be generated during the summer, whereas the winter months will be sparse.

What is the growth potential for an ice cream parlor?

Many owners keep their shops small by choice. Those with a larger vision typically partner with a franchise. If you make enough of a name for yourself, starting your own franchise business is a viable option.