Did you know that the average European purchases 9 kg of ice cream per year? The same is true in the United States, where the average American consumes 22 pounds of ice cream per year. In fact, the ice cream industry produces more than 870 million gallons of ice cream each year, generating over $5 billion in revenue in 2014.
However, before you go out and start your own mobile ice cream shop, you should be aware of a few key aspects that are unique to this industry. By the time you’ve finished reading this article, you should have a good idea of what you need to do to turn your love of ice cream into a new source of monthly income. Let’s get this party started, shall we?
What Is the Best Way to Start an Ice Cream Cart Business?
The following are some things to think about before you begin.
Ice Cream Cart Business Challenges and Untapped Potential
An ice cream cart business, like any other vending business, has its own set of challenges and opportunities, and it’s up to you to make the most of them.
The most significant challenges that ice cream cart owners face, for example, are those relating to their local council’s street food regulations, which typically address vending cart equipment and trading locations.
At the same time, seasonal limitations should be considered: selling ice cream outside in an area where the weather is draughty and wet most of the time would be difficult, to say the least. Add in the convenience of supermarket shopping, and you have a complete picture of the limitations of an ice cream cart business.
However, in this case, the adage “when one door closes, another one opens” holds true: many ice cream cart vendors circumvent these restrictions by catering to fairs, private events, and parties. One of the most profitable sub-niches, according to our customers, is renting the ice cream cart for weddings and birthday parties.
Low start-up costs, excellent profit margins, minimal waste, and little skill are also advantages of an ice cream cart business (unless you prepare the ice cream yourself).
Learn about the legal requirements for operating an ice cream cart
Thorough research and planning will be extremely beneficial, especially since street food vending legislation varies greatly from country to country and even from city to city. The legal requirements determine not only what and where you can sell, but also the equipment you can use in your vending cart.
Our carts, including ice cream vending carts, are frequently modified to comply with regulations governing hot and cold water supply, waste disposal, and other issues.
Conduct market and location research
Make a list of where you can find street vending. Begin by making a list of all the potential vending locations in your area. Neighborhoods populated by families, parks, shopping centres, swimming pools, beaches, fairs and festival sites, and other places frequented by children and adults should all be included on the list.
Remove the ones where street vending is prohibited and emphasise the ones that appeal to you the most.
Examine Your Competitors
As a first-time entrepreneur, you should thoroughly research all aspects of your future business, and evaluating your competitors is an important part of that process. Who else in your neighbourhood sells ice cream?nPay a visit to each of them and observe how they run their businesses.
Make a business plan for your ice cream cart
This step is all about planning, because without a good business plan, you won’t be able to start and run a successful company. Writing it down will provide you with clarity and prevent you from making costly financial mistakes, especially early on.