n February 2020, I was listening to the BBC World News (I am a Brit after all) and they discussed a virus in China that, while a concern, wasn’t a big problem as according to the World Health Organization, it could not transfer from human to human.
Hindsight is a dangerous thing, but in a tough year for everybody, many ice cream stores posted record sales while many businesses closed altogether.
So why did those stores succeed and what can be learned for those wanting to open an ice cream store?
Ice cream is a cheap, popular treat that every family member can enjoy. You may need to add a non-dairy product or two but there are a lot of good ones out there.
Ice cream stores bring back childhood memories of fun times.
Focus on the customer – one store owner without a drive thru, stood in the parking lot and took orders like the old car hops so people didn’t have to leave their vehicles.
Treated their staff well – many stores continued paying their staff (through some of the government programs) – and made sure that there were procedures in place to protect them. One restaurant owner we spoke to spent $2,500 a month on sanitizers and extra cleaning. That’s a lot of extra cones to scoop.
Note that everything listed is relevant every season – sell great products, focus on the customer and look after your employees.
What has changed:
Growth of delivery – make sure your menu has some easy to deliver items on it, or sundae kits that can be made at home.
Indoor seating is less important – maybe some of that building money could be spent on making outdoor seating more attractive?
The way people shop – making locations next to malls and large stores less valuable.
Things are always changing, reach out to me at 906-399-3338 and we’d be happy to talk through your ideas and how we can help.