Ice cream parlors sell ice cream, frozen yogurt, sundaes, milkshakes and banana splits. They feature take-out and sit-down service, although most chain stores have mostly take-out customers. Ice cream parlors stay open year round in warm weather locales and typically remain open only during the spring and summer in colder climates.
Decide on a location. Choose a space close to a park, school or entertainment venue to attract a high number of customers. Devise a catchy name or theme for your ice cream parlor unless you want to purchase a franchise.
Find a business plan for ice cream parlors. Check business plan publishers like entrepreneur.com. Determine the licenses or permits you'll need by visiting your state's official website. Look for financing in the form of a business loan, or use savings or even your credit cards.
Interview ice cream parlor owners. Ask them how they got started and observe how they run their shop. Work or manage an ice cream parlor to learn more about the day-to-day operations.
Contact ice cream vendors. Put together a list of the equipment and supplies you'll need to open the business. Consider the prices and types of soft serve ice cream machines, parlor tables and chairs, coolers, freezers and display cases. Then stock up on ice cream mix, cones, toppings, and fruits for your opening day.
Create a menu and advertising plan. Concentrate on the way you want to present your business. Attract kids by serving ice cream bars, sundaes and cones with funny names. Add hot foods like sandwiches and hot dogs to the menu to bring in more sit-down customers.