A Complete Guide on How to Open an Ice Cream Parlor

How to Open an Ice Cream Parlor

India is a land of tropical weather; with summers being the longest weather in the country. Thus, in niche food businesses, the Ice Cream business seems to be the most lucrative. Over the last couple of years, ice cream parlor business has seen some rapid innovation. Earlier roadside carts were common among the people and were frequented by mostly children and youngsters. Nowadays, the concept of ice cream parlors is fast gaining popularity, where people can enjoy ice cream at leisure.  The reason behind this changing trend is clear – one is the increasing disposable income of the middle-class family and secondly, the western culture is influencing the consumer habits.  These macro and microeconomic factors make the ice cream business more viable and profitable in present times.

Hemant Jain shares his views on how to start an ice cream parlor

In this particular article, we will take you through the step-by-step guide on how to start you own ice cream parlor. Unlike other formats, the market is a very niche for this particular product and format. However, if done carefully and getting few things right, you can make your ice cream business a runaway success.

How to Open an Ice Cream Parlor

Here is  a step by step guide on how to open an ice cream parlor business.

1. Deciding the Format

In present time there a lot of ice cream formats from cold stone, Ice cream rolls, ice cream cakes, Nitrogen ice cream, live ice cream counters and pre-packed ice cream counters there are endless. So, the first step it is choosing which type of ice cream parlor you want to open.

Ice Cream Delivery- Food delivery has become quite a rage these days, and can also be a profitable business model for ice cream parlors if done smartly. Ensure that you provide your delivery boy with ice boxes equipped with dry ice. This would keep the ice cream chilled and solid for a decent amount of time, and prevent spoiling. You can get three layers of dry ice for a meager Rs 30 per day.

2. Investments & Area Required to Open an Ice Cream Parlor

On average, an ice cream parlor requires a 400-500 SqFt carpet area shop or a small food truck which has the necessary arrangements for refrigeration. In both the cases, the average investment required is between Rs 5 lakhs and 10 lakhs depending upon the ambiance and sitting area you want to create. High-end ice cream parlors can require investment up to 15 lakh. Apart from that, one has to look for a market or catchment area where there is high footfall and people are ready to splurge.

3. Deciding the Location of the Ice Cream Parlor

Eating ice-cream is not a necessity unlike another form of food, but it is more of fun and fashion in the crowd. So, a proper market research should be done before choosing the location. An Ice cream truck being a movable property can experiment at different areas before finalizing the location.

To open an ice cream parlor, availability of the parking space is extremely important. Purchasing ice cream is usually an impulse decision by customers, therefore, the ice cream parlor should be easily accessible, and have ample parking space.

How to open an ice cream parlor in India

4. Procurement of Store types of equipment With Respect to the Menu 

Once the format and location are finalized, list down the number of items you want to sell at your store. Then compare it with competition around and keep the pricing the low initially in order to penetrate in the market and distribute free samples. Based on the menu, decide what all kitchen equipment you want to procure and then divide the list into two parts one which items which you want to buy new and other which can procure as used or old or the equipment which has less impact on your quality and ambiance.

5. List of Equipment and Number of Employees Required for an Ice Cream Parlor

For a Cold stone ice cream parlor, the list of equipment  (With a rough estimation )

  • Cold stone refrigerator (Rs 2-2.5 lakhs)
  • Chest Refrigerator with capacity of 500L (Rs 40,000)
  • Storage cupboards and utensils (Rs 30,000)
  • Raw materials including packaging (Rs 1-1.5 lakhs)
  • Miscellaneous (Rs 50,000).

For an ice-cream parlor, power backup is indispensable, as the prime way wastage in an ice cream parlor happens when the ice cream melts. A good refrigerator can preserve the ice cream for a good two hours, but if there is a power outage for longer hours, then you are in for trouble. Therefore, remember to invest in a good noiseless generator. You can get this under Rs 1 lakh.

6. Number of Employees Needed in an Ice Cream Parlor

In this particular format, the number of employees required is very less as you just need three people including cashier to serve or to make a particular flavor of the ice cream. One of the uniqueness in this format is that you don’t need a proper Chef or Bar Tender whose salaries are way too high.

Anybody can learn how to make a particular style of ice cream with a little training so no skilled labor is required. The salary in this format may lie between Rs 30-40k depending upon the soft skills of the employees.

7. Maintaining Consistency in Ice Cream Parlor Business

One thing that you must ensure when you open an ice cream business is maintaining consistency in taste. Whether you have one ice cream parlor or a chain of outlets, you must ensure the same taste and quality in ice cream portion that you sell.

Standardization of recipes is a must in ice cream parlors. If you have multiple outlets, then you must make efficient use of Central Kitchen Management, which ensures easy distribution of your products from the base kitchen to different outlets. Use a specific Point of Sales software that includes this feature, and also helps you manage your inventory apart from the regular billing operations.

8. Licensing and Paperwork Needed to Open an Ice Cream Parlor

Since ice cream comes under the food category so all the licenses required are quite similar to that of a QSR – Shop establishment licenses, FSSAI licenses, Local Municipal Authority license and Fire license.

In all of this, an expense of Rs 50,000 is incurred. It is always advisable to take help of a consultancy to get all the required licenses. since it is very time taking the process and you can concentrate on other areas of business.

Since ice-cream is usually consumed as a dessert item, the prime time of ice cream sales is 9 PM onwards. Therefore, get the license to keep your ice cream parlor open till at least 1 AM for late-night operations.

Hemant Jain speaks on how to start an ice cream business in India

Lastly, the ice cream business completely depends on the unique flavors you sell, right pricing and high-footfall market.

Inputs taken from Hemant Jain, MD, Goosebumps Ice Cream, on how to open an ice cream parlor.

Rating: 3.9/5. From 7 votes.
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  1. Hi everyone,
    i am from a village of maharashtra. there is not any ice cream selling shoppy in my village. Population is about 8000.
    i am basically farmer so i am thinking about ice cream shop as a side business With small risk. So i request you to please guide me about all that. I dont know ABCD of that business.

  2. Hi,
    I already have an ice cream manufacturing company running from past 20 years. I want to expand and improve my business by manufacturing more new flavors as the market is very competitive. Please suggest me where and how can i get trained by new flavors to improve my business. Thanks in advance.

  3. Hello sir

    I am based in Delhi and want to start an ice cream parlour and my budget is very small about 2.5 -3 lacks max.

    Needs your guidance


  4. I have a small shop 10X10 ft in Ratlam (MP) and i want to open ice cream shop .Pls suggest me how i can open the shop and from which brand ,expenditure ,leasing etc.

  5. Hi, I am Anant. I want to open a small ice cream kisok in a mall at my home town space area 50square feet.kindly suggest.

  6. Hi

    I am based in the UK and looking to open an ice creme parlour in India.

    We are looking for suitable partner. We do not need finance (we have this already), we need someone with like minded vision where we can build a brand or build upon a established business and scale up/expand in nearby cities.

    Hopefully we can talk to someone that wants to join my interest.

    About me : I am 37 and semi-retired, married with 4 lovely kids and enjoy football, cricket and swimming. I am ex Project Manager, and for the past 9 years built a successful electronics business that has enabled me to semi-retire and allowed to spend large amounts time with my family and friends.

    Anyhow, maybe someone shares the same interest in my next venture can partner us. I can be contacted via facetime (Apple users only) using my number or email.

    E:mail familyjohal@gmail.com
    Mobile: 07414 501 006 (wats app or call or text).

    As I live in London, UK you may have to drop the 0 in the number and add the international dial code.

  7. I have a space of around 1000 sq carpet area at a not very busy area, but some 1 kilometer away from an IT park near Kochi. I am interested to open an Ice Cream parlor there. Any offer or suggestion?


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