If you’re looking to take a leap and open an ice cream store in Chicago, then you’ve come to the right place! Check out this article on how to open an ice cream shop!
If you’re an entrepreneur itching to dive into a fun and unique small business in Chicago, an ice cream shop might be the right venture for you. Ice cream shops are a destination that invites tourists, families, and people of all ages who love ice cream. They give us a fond, nostalgic glimpse back at the days of years past with their traditional decoration and soft, cozy ambiance.
But maybe the old-timey schtick isn’t your thing. Even so, ice cream shops are becoming more modernized and marketed towards the youth population every day. (Have you seen the viral video of the all black ice cream cone yet?) People love ice cream. But if you’re not sure how to open an ice cream shop, read on to learn more!
The Business Basics
Ice cream might seem like a fun and light-hearted business, and in many ways it is, but your business still needs to have a structure to it.
Don’t forget about the important things. Write up a business plan, collect your capital, figure out your spending goals and your earning goals. The last thing you want to do is sink your money into an investment because it looks easy and then lose it all when you find out it took more work than you thought.
When you’re ready to open an ice cream store in Chicago, make your business legit by going through the right tax channels. Don’t forget the health department!
Location, Location, Location!
You don’t want your ice cream shop to be stuck in a bad location with poor visibility and no parking, right? Your main audience here is children, so make sure parents feel safe taking their child out of the car to get to you. This is a very critical decision when you open an ice cream store in Chicago!
Look for a spot that’s close to a business that primarily targets children and families. Consider partnering up with them for your opening date. Then, work with a graphic designer to come up with some color, fun ice-cream themed signs and graphics for your building to announce your arrival!
Write the Menu
Next, create a fun and interesting menu. Look around at your successful competition and see what they’re doing right and what they should pass on and incorporate that into your selection. A small, family-owned ice cream shop with hand scooped ice cream and handmade waffle cones have a lot to offer in a market dominated by corporate and franchised fast food treats.
Also, think about providing something for everyone. People with dairy sensitivities still love sweet treats, so consider frozen ice or dairy-free “ice cream”. Don’t forget the toppings!
Furnish and Supply the Place
Think about the mood you want your ice cream shop to cultivate when you chose your furnishings and decorations. If you want an old-fashioned ice cream shop, go with traditional decoration and lots of shiny fixtures and bright booths.
You will also need to order the freezers, display cases, blenders, specialty equipment, and serving ware. There’s a lot that goes into an ice cream shop, so make sure you do your research and you have all you need before you open.
Hire Your Staff
Your staff needs to be enthusiastic, outgoing, friendly, approachable, and have incredible customer service skills. A love for ice cream is a plus too. A great place to start advertising is college campuses because a well trained, responsible student in college could give your business the young, hip vibe it needs to feel fresh. Staff is a very crucial consideration when you open an ice cream store in Chicago.
Grand Opening Party!
Now, all that’s left is for you to open the doors. In the weeks preparing for your grand opening, advertise a grand opening party and throw an ice cream social like they did in the old days. Just don’t forget to order extra ice cream and think about letting your customers experiment with their own custom flavors. The best one could be on the menu for a week!
How to Open an Ice Cream Store in Chicago
Nothing says fun quite like ice cream, and while starting a business is a serious job, you should always love what you do. If you think you would love to open an ice cream shop, sit down today and think about how you can make that dream a reality.
We hope this article on how to open an ice cream shop has helped you consider your new venture. Better yet click on the button at the bottom of this page to receive a book on information to open an ice cream store. If you’ve already made the choice and you’re looking to furnish your shop with new machines, give Tony Carey a call for his expert advice and finding your machines and equipment for your store!