How Much Does it Cost to Open an Ice Cream Shop?

Opening an Ice Cream Shop Are you interested in opening an ice cream shop? One of the first steps in achieving your goal is determining the amount of capital you will need to start your new enterprise. Some of the expenses you will face, such as rent and furnishings, will vary greatly depending on your location and individual choices. While the answer to “How much does it cost to open an ice cream shop?” is dependent on many factors, estimated total costs range from $145,000 to as much as $525,000. This includes a “prudent reserve” of three months’ operating capital, to give you a chance to build up your business. The following breakdown of ice cream shop expenses will help you determine the costs for your specific shop:

Franchise Fees $30,000 to $45,000
If you choose to open an independent ice cream shop you will not have this expense, but first-time owners may find operating within the established guidelines of a franchise to be their best route. Franchise fees for ice cream shops are lower than some other restaurants, but remember, you will also be responsible for monthly royalty fees and marketing contributions. If you open a franchise, many of your other expenses will be determined by your particular franchisor’s requirements.

Large Equipment $32,000 to $66,300
Large equipment is one of the main start-up expenses you will face. Prices vary depending on the size and speed of the equipment you choose. Estimate your daily traffic and order accordingly: while you need equipment that is fast enough to avoid long customer lines, a small shop need not waste money on a shake machine that can serve five customers a minute. Large equipment costs fall into the following range:

  • Ice Cream Batch Freezer $10,000 to $18,700
  • Ice Cream Hardening & Holding Cabinet  $4,000 to $6,600
  • Soft-Serve Ice Cream / Shake Machine $6,300 to $19,600
  • Dipping Cabinet with Glass $1,200 to $6,300
  • Ice Cream and Novelties Merchandiser $5,000 to $6,000
  • Soda Fountain $2,000 to $6,000
  • Cold Topping Counter $3,700 to $6,000

Other needed equipment and supplies include:

  • Ice cream shop POS
  • Ice cream dipper station
  • Waffle cone baker
  • Hot topping warmers
  • Topping dispensers
  • Ice cream cone dispensers
  • Serving dishes
  • Ice cream servers/savers and lids
  • Scoops and servers
  • Napkin Holders
  • Consumables (Cups, Spoons, Napkins, etc.)
  • Ice Cream Ingredients
  • Uniforms

If finances are tight, consider purchasing “scratch and dent” pieces or leasing some or all of your equipment. Equipment leasing allows the equipment to be paid for from the income it generates, conserving your working capital for other expenses. Your leasing payments may even count as fully tax-deductible expenses. However, your monthly leasing fees will add substantially to the amount of sales you need to generate before you can break even or show a profit.

Another way to reduce your start-up costs is choosing Calypso as your ice cream shop POS system. In addition to being the most affordable POS system on the market, Calypso offers simple, easy to learn screens that reduce training time and enable fast, accurate service. Integrated credit/debit/gift card processing is included, eliminating the need to purchase extra equipment or additional phone lines. Even first-time owners can easily manage their new shop with ease, thanks to seamless QuickBooks integration, inventory management, and the time management and payroll features of Calypso’s POS for ice cream shops. Contact Calypso today at 800-771-7100 to discover all the ways Calypso’s ice cream point of sale system can help your ice cream shop dream become an affordable reality!

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