If you are thinking about opening an ice cream or gelato shop, you know you are going to sell something people all over the United States, love. It has been estimated that about 40% of all Americans eat a frozen dessert at least once during any 14 day period. Before you go out to get your dessert cups, there are some things you have to think about.
- Start with the right location. When it comes to success with any kind of eatery, you need to find the right place to open. Often when people go out for dessert cups of ice cream, it is a spur of the moment type thing. That means your ice cream shop needs to be in a place that gets a lot of foot traffic by it. Getting a spot near the beach, a baseball field, or in a downtown area can make a big difference in how many people wander in.
- Get the low down on permits. Before you start the process, it important to contact the local health department to see what you have to do to get a permit for your ice cream shop. If you plan to have a cart from which you will sell your desserts, there are different rules and prices you have to deal with than if you will open a traditional brick and mortar store.
- Find a place to get the right tools, supplies, and equipment. This is crucial for any kind of eatery though the kind of equipment needed differs from eatery to eatery. Here are some of the things you will need:
- Get the right dipping cabinets. These are essential to any ice cream shop. This is where you will store your ice cream. You can set them at the right temperature to keep your ice cream at its ideal temperature. These also allow customers to see your ice cream and even get a taste before you load up your dessert cups with their desired flavor.
- Another "must-have" for ice cream shops is a cone dispenser. Of course with the cone dispenser, you need a cone holder. The holders are great for showing your customers see what kinds of ice cream cones you sell. This can help draw people into your ice cream shop.
- If you plan to sell soft-serve ice cream or other frozen desserts, you need to have machines for that. You need a dispenser and a batch freezer. These can be used to make the soft-serve ice cream but also can make sorbet or gelato. Gelato, which as less fat and air than traditional ice cream, has gained in popularity over the last few years.
- Clearly, you will need an ice cream scoop. Metal scoops work better than any other when it comes to serving a lot of ice cream. The right scoop will dispense your product into your dessert cups. You will need more of these than you may think at the start.
- Get the right dessert cups, plastic spoons, tasting spoons, and napkins. If you are selling ice cream, you need to have something to put it in, clean it up, and help them taste and eat it. Eating ice cream, especially out of a cone, can be very messy. If you have a successful ice cream business, you will need a lot of napkins.
- Get the right furniture. Depending on your space, you will need to put in tables and chairs, booths, a counter with stools, or other kinds of seating. Make sure you have a space for small children, who love ice cream and other frozen desserts.
- You will need a walk-in freezer. As great as dipping cabinets are, you will have more product than can fit in those. You will need some space to store your extra ice cream. This can make it easier for you to keep track of all of your inventory.
Ice cream shops or parlors are great for families to enjoy a sweet treat. Opening such an establishment takes work, energy, and capital. You can have success with this kind of business if you do your work beforehand to set up an ideal space for people to enjoy frozen desserts.