The nature of business is that sometimes there are a lot of customers in the store and sometimes there are very few. This is especially true for ice cream shops. So, when these lulls happen, it's important to get things done.
Make a List
The best way to make sure things get done when your store is slow is by making a list and posting it where your employees can see. There are two kinds of lists you could make: a weekly list and a daily list. The weekly list would only be for things you need to get done but don't need to do daily. The daily list would be for things that need to be done very regularly. Consider typing each of these out and laminating them so you can use a dry-erase marker to check off items on the list.
Here are some things you could put on the list:
1. Clean the Common Food Areas
Nothing makes or breaks your store more than cleanliness. Having hot fudge dripping from the pump or residue left around the sundae toppings, it leaves a bad impression on customers. When you have a little time in between rushes, clean your common food areas, like the hot fudge and the other toppings. Don't forget to wear gloves! Try these powder-free ones.
There's not a better time to organize than when your ice cream shop is quiet. Take some time to put the cleaning supplies in a nice order or re-organize the stock freezers. This is also a good opportunity to tidy your serving supplies and any business cards or flyers you have. Your customers (and co-workers) will thank you.
3. Restock Your Smaller Foods
Whipped cream is incredibly necessary for any ice cream shop. You can't make a sundae without it! Keep your cooler stocked and you’ll never have problems with that. Another necessity for any sundae is the toppings. Take some time to fill your topping containers.
4. Wipe Down Seating
Nothing gets messier than the seating at an ice cream shop. Toppings and melted milkshake-droppings always end up there. When you have some downtime, wipe down your booths and chairs. This way no one accidentally sits in your delicious ice cream.
5. Clean the Trash Cans
We take out the trash every day, usually multiple times. But do we think to clean the trash cans? This is a perfect task for when you’re in a lull. Whether you spray them off with a hose or scrub them with a sponge, it's always a good thing to do!
6. Refill Disposable Things
Spoons, napkins, straws, drink sleeves. Nothing is worse than getting your ice cream and having nothing to eat it with. When you have some time, refill your disposable items. Try an eco-friendly spoon instead of traditional plastic!
7. Restock the Bathrooms
This is a frequently-seen part of the store by customers but not by employees. When the store is quiet, the bathrooms will be too. This is the perfect time to refill the soap and re-stock the toilet paper.
Pick one focus for each day. This way you can chip away at it piece by piece making it less overwhelming.
1. Sunday: The Patio
Take time to wipe down your outdoor dining area. Make sure there's no trash or messes. This area can be forgotten when cleaning. Especially with spring around the corner, your outdoor dining area needs to be tidied so customers can enjoy it.
2. Monday: The Bathroom
Deep-clean your bathroom. Scrub behind your sink and around the toilets. This kind of deep-cleaning can sometimes be overlooked. If you do it little by little when you have time, it will be less daunting.
3. Tuesday: The Machines
Your ice cream and yogurt machines need attention! Not only do they need to be sterilized frequently for health reasons, but doing this will discourage build-up. Try using this machine cleaner!
4. Wednesday: The Forgotten Places
Behind the counter, under booths, the supply closet. These are all places we don't think about when cleaning. The floor behind the counter is always sticky enough to warrant mopping. This is a great task to do once a week.
5. Thursday: The Glass
Toddler fingerprints and dirt are the plagues of glass windows and doors. It makes them look a lot dirtier than they are. Cleaning your glass windows and doors frequently will keep your ice cream shop looking professional and neat.
6. Friday: The Baby Stuff
No one drops more food than babies and toddlers. That means anything child-sized in your store will be extra sticky. Use your downtime today to scrub your booster seats, changing tables, and child-size tables.
7. Saturday: The Decor
Dust settles in places people don't touch. Shelves, picture frames, plants, these all accumulate dust. When your ice cream shop is slow, use that time to clean your decor. This will make the whole room look clean and neat.
It's the little things that set businesses apart. Taking some time during the day to clean and tidy your ice cream shop will make a big difference in the overall feeling of cleanliness in your store. Make sure to use these tips to keep your shop nice during the day.