How to Increase Employee Retention in Your Ice Cream Shop

In today's job climate, it's really difficult for small businesses to keep employees. Ice cream shops already have a high rate of employee turnover and that has only become more difficult recently. We've talked to so many ice cream shop owners who are having trouble even getting people to show up for interviews! Right now, the job market is rough to say the least.

Because hiring is so hard, retention is so important. To help you, we compiled a simple guide to increasing employee retention in your ice cream shop.

Why are Employees Leaving?

Scooping Ice Cream, How to Increase Employee Retention in Your Ice Cream Shop

To understand how to keep employees, you need to first understand why employees are leaving in the first place. There are many reasons employees may be leaving, these include:

  • Feeling unsupported or underworked
  • Limited growth
  • Lack of recognition
  • Inadequate pay and benefits
  • Dissatisfaction with management
  • Unclear expectations

The biggest part of employee retention is employee satisfaction.

Here's How You Can Increase Employee Retention in Your Ice Cream Shop:

Ask Your Employees

Your employees know what they need. Ask them specifically how you can help their job improve. This may be as small as knowing their schedule further in advance. It may be as big as getting better supplies. Give your employees an opportunity to communicate with you about their feelings.

Set Employees Up for Success

Gelato Employee, How to Increase Employee Retention in Your Ice Cream Shop

When you hire new employees, provide comprehensive training before they're on a busy shift. Train them on all their responsibilities. Because everything is harder to remember under stress, print them out a cheat sheet! After you've trained them, give them a simple guide of all the things you trained them on. This way, they have something to refer to if they get confused. This is a great way to set your employees up for success.

Give Opportunities for Growth

One major reason people leave jobs is they feel stagnant. When employees feel like they aren't progressing, they'll transition to other jobs where they can grow. From the beginning, show employees that they can easily grow in their jobs. Job growth can look like more responsibilities, a title bump, or even a pay bump. Even small growth gives employees the feeling that they're making progress. 

Offer Competitive Compensation

Couple with Ice Cream, How to Increase Employee Retention in Your Ice Cream Shop

If employees feel they aren't being paid enough for their work, they will quit. Before deciding what to pay your employees, do your research. Find out what other ice cream or food/service shops pay their employees. From there, decide how much you feel it's worth to pay your employees.

Paying them more than other shops gives them more motivation to stay in your ice cream shop. Alongside that, studies have shown that paying higher wages increases workers' productivity. (Via The New York Times) Paying your employees competitive wages increases employee motivation and productivity, both of which are good for your ice cream shop.

Keep Communication Open

Open communication is an important part of employee retention. Employees that feel heard are more apt to stay in that job. If you give your employees frequent opportunities to communicate with you, eventually, they'll learn to take those opportunities and be more open with you. Comfortable employees who feel heard are more likely to stay with your ice cream shop long-term.

Set Clear Expectations

Setting clear expectations for your employees alleviates stress and confusion on the part of your employees. Setting clear expectations looks like telling your employees exactly what their responsibilities are when they start working. It can also look like giving them an employment contract to sign that depicts, in clear language, what is expected and what behavior is unacceptable.

Woman with Ice Cream, How to Increase Employee Retention in Your Ice Cream Shop

Keeping your employees satisfied and happy in their job is an integral part of employee retention. Respecting your employees, training them well, and communicating with them allows them to feel cared for in their position.

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About the Author: Tim Porter

Tim is the CEO and people builder of In his free time, he enjoys being with his family, collecting watches, and Classic Mini Coopers.


Our purpose at Frozen Dessert Supplies is "Build People and Deliver Joy." That means that everything we do, from manufacturing to packaging to delivery, is to build you and your business and deliver joy to you. We also strive to build our employees and help them to be better people.

Our paper ice cream cups are made withFDA approved food-safe papercoated in a thin layer ofPE (Polyethylene). Our clear plastic cups, banana split boats, and plastic dome lids are made fromPET (Polyethylene Terephthalate). Our plastic spoons and straws are made fromPP (Polypropylene). Our eco-friendly ice cream cups are made fromFDA approved food-safe papercoated in a thin layer ofPLA (Polylactic Acid). PLA is plastic made from corn starch. Our eco-friendly spoons are also made from PLA. Our eco-friendly wooden spoons are made from FDA approvedsmooth birch wood.