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Attract More Customers To Your Corner Store With A Self-Serve Ice Cream Area

With most neighborhoods offering several stores where customers can buy staple items, you may be having a hard time attracting customers to your store. In order to ensure they visit your store and not that of a competitor, you need to offer something unique. A self-serve ice cream area might be just the thing. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Choosing a machine.

The main thing you'll need, of course, is an ice cream machine. Many companies sell machines that dispense up three flavors of ice cream. They make prepared gallons of mix that you simply pour into the machine. Within a few hours, the ice cream is frozen and ready to dispense. All you need to do to dispense the ice cream is pull down on a handle. Some simple printed instructions posted on the wall next to the machine should be adequate for your customers to figure out how to operate the machine.

Buying the right accessories.

For self-serve ice cream, it's better to offer cups than cones. With a cone, it's far too easy for a customer to aim poorly and end up spilling the ice cream on the floor while dispensing it. Offer just one size cup to make your life easier. When you figure out your pricing scheme, figure that most customers are going to over-fill their cups. Charge accordingly to make up for this.

In addition to cups, you will need spoons. The kind that come individually encased in plastic are great because you don't have to worry so much about keeping them clean. Also, consider offering a few toppings. Set out a couple of bottles of chocolate or caramel sauce, or provide bowls with sprinkles and chopped nuts.

Scheduling maintenance and upkeep.

Adding an ice cream station to your store will expand your maintenance list a bit. You will need to clean the machine out a few times per week. This process will involve disassembling, thoroughly cleaning, and reassembling the machine according to the included instructions. Practice the routine once or twice to figure out how long it takes so you can schedule it accordingly.

You'll also need to plan on wiping up spills and tidying the general ice cream area a few times per day. Add this to the chore lists for employees, and ensure they know exactly what tasks need to be tackled during their shifts. Wiping up sticky spills around the machine, restocking cups and spoons, and adding mix to the machine are the main tasks to keep in mind.

With a self-serve ice cream station, your convenience store will stand apart from the rest. Customers will buy from you because they can get delicious ice cream at the same time.

For more information, contact professionals like Color Change Spoon.