You want to expand your ice cream business, but how? Many people are turning toward value over quantity and price. This is your opportunity. Offer decadent ice cream to your restaurant menu. Here’s how, and the benefits and disadvantages of making the switch.
Identify A Need For Designer Ice Cream
There’s not always a need for high-end ice cream but, when there is, not filling this demand can mean a loss of customers. Before you rush out to upgrade your facilities, though, make sure that customers would enjoy the offer. If you live in a high rent area, or your customers tend to come from wealthy neighborhoods, or if you charge a lot for meals, it’s a good bet that your customers would be receptive to premium ice cream. And, there are many benefits to making the switch.
You Will Sell A Lot To Adults
Your primary target will probably be adults, not children, although kids might enjoy premium flavors. Adults who enjoy the finer things will also enjoy something a little out of the ordinary, unusual flavor combinations and seasonal ice creams.
You Will Make More Money
One of the best things about selling decadent ice creams is that you will increase your profits. Premium ice creams fetch a higher selling price, and they’re a good compliment to gourmet coffee and hot chocolates being sold in many restaurants these days.
Where you might only be able to charge $2 to $5 for a bowl of ice cream, you can easily charge $7 or $10 for premium ice cream, as long as the serving size is rational and you can offer something truly unique for the customer.
You Can Get Away With “Odd” Flavors
Sweet potato ice cream? You can’t get away with that at your local ice cream shop, because it’s such an unusual flavor. But, if you’re in a posh restaurant, it’s an interesting menu item.
You Can Change Flavors And Keep Demand High
Season ice cream is unusual, which is another reason premium flavors work in a high-end restaurant. You can have custom ice cream cups made up and serve pumpkin and maple syrup flavors during the fall without anyone blinking an eye. In fact, most customers will appreciate your ingenuity and thoughtfulness for devising seasonal items.
Seasonal items also create novelty for adventurous diners. Some people become easily bored with a restaurant’s menu, which is why they stray from your establishment once they’ve tried everything on the menu. But, a seasonal ice cream menu may keep them coming back to try something new.
Some Markets Resist Higher Prices For What They See As A Commodity
One downside to premium ice creams is that some markets see ice cream as a commodity, so they resist paying a higher price for it. This is true even when you create artisan flavors and combinations.
It Take Special Skill and Supplies Are Expensive
Premium ice cream is, well, premium. If you aren’t willing to source organic, grass-fed, cream and milk, and keep everything organic and fresh, you’re going to have a hard time maintaining premium prices and a loyal customer base.
It also takes considerable skill to make fresh batches of ice cream using premium ingredients. You’ll have to invest in commercial-grade equipment before you know whether it will pay off. In the end, the best thing you can do is test the market. Start small, and work your way up to multiple flavors. Also, test multiple price points for resistance.
Regina Johnson has her own ice cream truck for several years. She likes to share what she learned during that time to help others in the industry. You can find her enlightening articles on many business and ice cream industry websites today.