Soft Serve vs Hard Serve: What Should You Have in Your Ice Cream Shop?

Ice cream is a classic summer treat. It's synonymous with sitting by the pool, beach boardwalks, and fourth of July parades. Everyone loves a good ice cream cone! What ice cream is the best, hard serve or soft serve? Keep reading to find out!

Soft Serve

Soft Serve Ice Cream Cone, Soft Serve vs Hard Serve: What Should You Have in Your Ice Cream Shop?

Soft serve ice cream is known for its fluffy texture and characteristic swirl. With a lower fat content and more air introduced, soft serve keeps its shape at lower temperatures than hard serve does. Soft serve ice cream is a great option for any ice cream shop!


Because of its soft texture, soft serve ice cream lends better itself to mix-ins and toppings. Not only can you make ice cream cones with it, but you can also easily blend it into milkshakes, concretes, or swirl it into floats. It's easy to make and simple to work with. All you need is your ice cream base and a soft serve machine. We recommend the Spaceman brand of ice cream machines. They're easy to use and cost-effective.


Its lower fat content means soft serve ice cream doesn't retain its softness after stored in a traditional freezer. It freezes completely solid. You need to keep it moving in the machine to keep its texture.

Soft Serve is best for: milkshakes, ice cream cones, concretes, and floats.

Hard Serve:

Waffle Cone Bowl, Soft Serve vs Hard Serve: What Should You Have in Your Ice Cream Shop?

Known for a myriad of flavors and mix-ins, hard serve ice cream is made for scooping into cones and sundaes. Without needing to be mixed constantly in a machine, hard serve ice cream is much easier to store. All you need is freezer space! Because of its higher fat content, it's easily scoopable. It's much more difficult to add mix-ins, however.


Hard serve ice cream is easy to store. It lends itself to many different flavors and textures. You can add ribbons of chocolate or chunks of marshmallows. It's great for ice cream shops with a lot of storage space. You can easily pack pints or gallons without worrying about your customers not being able to scoop it themselves.


Because it's hard, toppings don't stick as well, you'll need to press them in. Unless you have a cold slab, mix-ins aren't an option. Hard serve ice cream is best with mix-ins added before you freeze it.

Hard Serve is best for: sundaes, waffle cones, and banana splits.

Ice Cream Scoops, Soft Serve vs Hard Serve: What Should You Have in Your Ice Cream Shop?

Ice cream is America's favorite summer treat. It's a best-seller in every restaurant. There are good things about both hard and soft serve. Hard serve has more variety of flavors, whereas soft serve is easier to work with. Whichever you choose to have in your ice cream shop is sure to be a hit!

What kind of ice cream do you prefer, soft or hard serve? Tell us in the comments, we love hearing from you!

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