Whether you serve water ice, custard, gelato or ice cream, you have to remember that you are selling something special. You're not just selling a frozen product but you are selling an experience and and family time. Typically a trip to the ice cream shop is a special occasion for any family. In a way, you are selling an experience they can't get anywhere else, you're selling memories along with ice cream.
That's why it's important to create a unique destination for the family to enjoy - so they visit your store as opposed to your competitors. The more unique your store is the more people will remember you, the more likely they are to shop there when they want a frozen treat or a little family time together.
So how do you be unique with your ice cream store?
You have to make your spot a special destination, though this doesn't have to be anything to crazy from the norm, always be thinking about trying different things. Make sure the presentation of your store and product stands out from everyone else. Think about the way you are delivering the product to the consumer and ask if there is a better way. What about your packaging? You have distinct labels with your own branding as opposed to just plain white cups and bowls?
Here are a couple of more specific things to think about when trying to be unique.
Use color. Working in this business you're surrounded by color everyday. Different flavors of water ice and ice cream have distinct colors and textures which you can use to your advantage. Colors can brighten moods, convey feelings of trust and warmth and can help your products stand out. Colors should be incorporated into everything throughout the store, including the store, packaging, menus, uniforms and presentation pieces.
Be social. The social aspect of having a frozen dessert store goes far beyond just having a few social media accounts. Although having social media accounts and posting to them is extremely important, it's not truly being social with your customers. Being social means interacting with your physical customers in the store. Get out from behind the counter and engage with your customers so you can get to know them better and find out what they like about your product. They may even offer suggestions to improve over something you've been missing or give you a hint of some new flavors they might like to try.
Positive attitude. Since you're selling an experience, you and your employees should always be smiling when you interact with customers. The last thing any customer would want is to come into a store and have the employee be miserable and mean. Train your employees to be nice, courteous, positive and professional. The customer is the bread and butter of your store and every employee should understand and respect that.
Be an artist. If you're making your own ice cream then you have a huge opportunity to experiment and create your own recipes and flavors. Don't just concentrate on the core flavors like chocolate and vanilla but expand out and include some out of the ordinary flavors customers can't get anywhere else. Every season presents an opportunity for new flavors and recipes, don't be afraid to experiment with different ingredients. If you need some ideas on different flavors and how to make your own product from scratch, then click below to visit our frozen dessert academy.