How Much it Costs to Open an Ice Cream Shop

[fa icon="calendar"] Oct 2, 2017 11:32:35 AM / by Roberta Oddati

Roberta Oddati




Are you planning on opening your own gelateria or ice cream shop? If you are, there are plenty of important things you need to do. The first step is to determine your capital and the amount needed to start your business. You need to consider all your possible expenses which will depend mostly on your location and individual choices. From the recent estimation, you will more likely spend from $145,000 to $525,000, including a “prudent preserve” for three months of operating capital. This will give you a chance to build up your business. So if you're wondering how much it costs to open an ice cream shop, below is a breakdown of all the expenses you need to take care of.





Franchise: $32,000 to $45,000

Independent ice cream shops don’t spend this much expense, but first-time owners may find it best to operate a franchise business because it already has established guidelines. Compared to some other restaurants, the franchise fee for an ice cream shop is actually lower. Despite that, you will be held responsible for the monthly royal fees and marketing contributions. If you're a first-time owner, you may need to come up with your own marketing ideas for your ice cream shop and spend out of your own pocket. When opening a franchise, some of your expenses will be determined by your particular franchisor’s requirements.


Large Equipment: $32,000 to $66,300

This is considered as one of the main start-up expenses with prices that vary on the size and speed of the equipment. Before purchasing, it’s best that you first identify your ideal customer at your ice cream shop to then determine your daily traffic. If you have a lot of traffic, and slow machine, you may create upset customers. But if you’re only targeting a few customers daily, then you won’t need a machine that serves five customers a minute. That would be a waste of money. Choose equipment that is appropriate to the kind of business you’re running. Here are the options to give you an idea.

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

Other important equipment that you need:

For starters who are on a tight budget, you may choose to purchase “scratch and dent” pieces or lease some of your equipment. This leasing allows you to pay on the equipment out of the income it generates while conserving your working capital that’s intended for other expenses. Actually, your leasing payments may be counted as your fully tax-deductible expenses. However, your monthly leasing fees may also be added to the amount of sales you need to generate in order to see profit.



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Topics: ice cream, business, ice cream parlor

Roberta Oddati

Written by Roberta Oddati

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