Opening a Marble Slab Creamery ice cream store is a dream come true for many entrepreneurs. Ice cream is fun to make and delicious to eat. There is nothing quite like being the one to serve ice cream to an enthusiastic child! However, selling ice cream may present challenges, especially during the cold winter months.
Some ice cream franchisees open shops in Florida, California, or Arizona under the belief that sales are guaranteed year round and are not subject to the same seasonal lulls as other places. While these areas may not become quite as cold as some of the other areas of the country, seasonal themes still apply and ice cream often fades from popularity as the pumpkin flavors begin to appear on shelves. In warmer areas, customers are still likely to be walking by the store during the “off-season” and may wish for a cool treat in spite of the season. Franchisees can attract customers by offering season-specific treats and coupons. In cooler areas, customers are less likely to walk by an ice cream shop and hope for a cool treat, so franchisees may supplement sales by setting up booths and stands in malls and indoor areas that will attract clientele.
Instead of fighting the exuberance for the season, franchisees can embrace each season. Pumpkin ice cream for fall festivities and peppermint or sugar plum ice cream may add a unique touch that draws customers in. Having a large selection of diverse offers is absolutely imperative for bringing in customers during these slower seasons. Ice cream franchisees can also get very creative and craft different concoctions such as an ice cream “turkey” or “Christmas tree” that will make a one-of-a-kind dessert for the table during holiday celebrations.
The influx of foot traffic to an ice cream shop will typically die down during the winter months, in spite of the best efforts of franchisees. This is not the end of the road, however. Franchisees may find that working with local grocery stores or restaurants to sell larger quantities of ice cream at a time can help to supplement the revenues. Restaurants and grocers may benefit from offering ice cream that carries the Marble Slab Creamery name and customers may be drawn to the Marble Slab Creamery location for subsequent visits after tasting the wares at their favorite restaurants.
In some cases, it may make sense for a location to temporarily shut down during the winter. If the winter shut down is planned in advance, franchisees can benefit from not having to pay for operational costs during these slower months. The influx of customers is also likely to be greater during the months that the location is open due to the limited availability. Franchisees may be able to structure the business so that the months that the store is open generate enough business to sustain the business through the year.
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