Seasonal business or more – is it worth opening an ice cream parlor?
The fact is: almost everyone loves ice cream, especially in summer! The customer base you address with an ice cream parlor is diverse and ranges from very small customers to the elderly. It is also a fact that the customer base exists – depending on the weather and temperature, almost all ice cream parlors are jam-packed. And just like that, it is a fact that the cost of a scoop of ice cream increases every year and the customer base hardly stagnates as a result.
Actually, all positive aspects if you have devoted yourself to the plan of opening an ice cream parlor . However, it is not that easy to develop the right concept for your ice cream parlor here either. And certainly you have to pass some hurdles with an ice cream parlor if you want to be successful.
So the question of whether an ice cream parlor is a seasonal business or not is actually easy to answer: Yes! Ice cream parlors are mostly visited in summer, depending on the weather and temperature more or less. However, it is up to you whether you want to turn your ice cream parlor into a seasonal business or not – after all, you can continue your concept over the colder months. Only those who are individual and adaptable can survive in today’s market and in this case it is now important to turn the summer business into a year-round business – if you want that. Why do we recommend this? Because the summers are getting shorter, colder and rainier and the summer business may only be for a maximum of 3 months. And even during the summer we no longer experience enormous heat waves too often, what drives the customers to the ice cream parlors. A plan B is therefore always advisable – what this looks like is up to you.
An ice cream parlor is definitely worthwhile – but in the end it all comes down to the location. In this industry in particular, the location is actually the be-all and end-all – hardly anyone will first find out about your ice cream parlor via the Internet – you just go through the shopping malls and the city centers and you’ll find an ice cream parlor every 300 meters. The more appealing one is chosen and the customer lingers. Unfortunately, you have to think so simply structured in the area of customer acquisition.
The fight for the bullet prize!
It sounds a bit crazy, but it is a bitter reality: a scoop of ice cream cost less than 50 pfennigs maybe 15 or 20 years ago, that’s the equivalent of 25 cents. Ice cream parlor visitors today would fill their stomachs with loads of ice cream. But just like economic developments, ice cream prices have also become more expensive. The production costs have to be borne, the ingredients have become more expensive and the wages for waitresses have also been adjusted. Accordingly, you may not be able to offer a scoop of ice cream or other products for less than 80 cents. After all, you also want to make a profit. Nevertheless, you need to find out about the current prices of ice cream parlor operators in your area. Of course this is less interesting if there is not yet an ice cream parlor in your area – but if that is the case, please ask yourself first why it is! Perhaps you will initially manage to make your prices a little cheaper than the neighbor. But don’t go down too far – customers associate price with quality, which means that cheap ice cream may not taste good.
Concept and quality
But first you have to deal with all the legal requirements, a good location and a unique concept. More and more ice cream parlors are opening their doors, offering poor quality at overgrown prices. This is often due to the fact that ice cream is not produced in-house due to a lack of training, but is purchased as a finished product from specialized companies. The difference is ultimately represented in the taste. What does that mean for you? Invest in the right place and make your own ice cream – word will get around! You do not always need training as an ice cream confectioner for this. If you calculate correctly, you might be able to buy yourself an ice cream maker for a day or two.
Now it’s time to expand the framework for your ice cream parlor: What else do you have to offer? Can you make coffee from coffee machines from the catering sector and thus conjure up excellent Italian espresso, cappuccino or iced coffee? Expand your offer, have attractive menus created and offer good service with high quality.
Requirements for founding an ice cream parlor
One of the legal regulations for opening an ice cream parlor is the familiar trade license. This must be requested from your competent authority. Just as important here, however, are the health certificate and compliance with the extremely high hygiene regulations in the rooms where the ice cream is made and sold. Special hygiene schools are the right place to go for this. In addition, your cooling devices must meet appropriate standards and may only come from selected manufacturers. In order to be able to sell drinks or the like, you will need seats, which means that sanitary facilities are mandatory for both sexes. Have you considered this in your planning?
The walls and floors of your ice cream parlor must be tiled, and existing windows must be protected from dirt and insects. The equipment and the devices used must be made of stainless steel. So you can see that an ice cream parlor is also subject to many gastronomic laws and regulations and you cannot simply choose a room or equipment at random.
Now let’s look at building a team. Depending on the size of your company, a certain number of employees is required. For example 1 or 2 controls for the outside area. These are or must be equipped with appropriate standardized work clothing, for example an apron. Anyone who handles food has to observe certain regulations. Otherwise, the unannounced health department can quickly put a spanner in the works. In the worst case, the inspection by the health department can lead to the closure of your ice cream parlor.
What to do in winter
Summer is over, your customers are tired of ice cream – what are you doing now? Have you included the winter months in your concept? Very few ice cream parlors can survive all year round from the pure summer business – running costs are also to be borne in winter and have already driven quite a few ice cream parlors to ruin. You need a year-round concept with offers for the winter. Perhaps you have an attractive interior space where you can offer small snacks and hot drinks? Or do you implement the concept so that you can turn the ice cream parlor into a crepéria in winter? The possibilities are relatively diverse and it depends on your commitment and your ideas.
If you have now decided to set up an ice cream parlor, we wish you a hot summer, lots of customers and, above all, successful ice cream creations.