Running an Ice Cream Shop: What is A Typical Day Like?

Before getting involved in any business it’s important to have an idea what the day-to-day tasks are like. It’s often easy to see the end result of a clean efficient ice cream shop, but what about the nitty-gritty? What’s it really like?

I asked Paul Duberstein who ran a soft serve ice cream shop in the Virginia Beach area for many years. Here is what he had to say…

“Our ice cream shop was different from many because we manufactured all the ice cream we sold. This was a guarantee we stood behind and was one of our strongest selling points.

I would be down there by 8:00 am and we’d put the machines together and start manufacturing the ice cream cakes and novelties before we opened.

Once the doors were open you’d be waiting on customers, restocking goods, cleaning the floors and the tables.

During slowdowns we’d fix ice cream cakes, take phone orders, call vendors, sell to local supermarkets and restaurants, review the books, plan the employee schedules, plan advertising and take inventory.

The days would always pass so quickly. Since we had such a strong relationship with the community we’d have events to attend or prepare for on a regular basis.

On weekends during the summer time flies by. As the owner of an ice cream business you have so many responsibilities that go beyond waiting on customers and serving.

I’d have to describe our best days as chaotic (in a good way). You want to be busy!”

Some of the best advice that I’ve heard from a franchise consultant is to ask if you can spend a week or two in a franchise that you are considering purchasing. It will give you a very real feel for how things operate and if it’s something you’d enjoy.

You can also learn about the process of the franchise and test-drive the business. If you
want an even better idea of the business, sign on for a month!

The responsibilities as the owner of an ice cream shop are many.

Here’s a recap…

  • clean the store
  • take inventory
  • make ice cream
  • manage financial
  • pay bills
  • place advertising
  • restock the freezers
  • order inventory
  • manage inventory
  • train employees
  • serve customers
  • take phone orders
  • make ice cream cakes
  • clean windows
  • clean tables
  • restock napkins
  • plan employee schedule
  • clean ice cream machines (if you make it in house)
  • set goals
  • make bank deposits
  • and much more!

It’s all in a days work for a successful ice cream franchise owner. Now you will have employees to help you, so you may not have to do all of the above, but you will probably end up doing each of these tasks from time to time..

It’s all in a days work.

Jason Lexell

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