It's All About Kids

That's right, ice cream retailing to a very large extent, is all about kids. How to get them into our stores, make their ice cream experience pleasant and fun, finding a way to get them to want to come back.

While many of you might think this is no big deal, and not very difficult, it does require a maximum effort on your part to capture the imagination of kids in general, that your place is something special. So, how is done? With six integral parts:

  • Your attitude
  • Kid's menu
  • Kid's flavors
  • Birthday party room
  • Kid's toys given out as a promotion
  • Kid's birthday club

So let's begin, because if you think kids, you can't lose!

Your Attitude

Too many ice cream store operators have relied too much on ways business was done in the past. Simply having great tasting flavors in a dipping cabinet to appeal to the "high school and up" generation, "yuppies" and an "older sophisticated crowd" won't work today.

The driving force behind ice cream retail decision-making is the kids ages 5-12. They bring in the whole family, and to a large extent, tell their parents where they want to go.

To really learn how important this age group is, simply stand next to a cashier at a large supermarket, and see what is purchased: ice cream and ice novelties galore, and tons of snacks. And when it's time to go for that after dinner dessert, parents go where their kids will be most happy.

So, start thinking, how can I attract kids to my place?

Kid's Menu

The idea around designing a kid's menu is to play to the market of what parents want for their young kids in size, at a very good price, and is so enticing that the kids themselves ask their parents- "Can I have that?"

Kid's Cup or Cone

So what's so wrong with having a designated size strictly for kids? Many ice cream storeowners are very resistant to having this size because they say that parents in many instances want this size, and by giving it to them, it reduces the price of the overall sale. My retort to this is "So?" What's wrong with satisfying the customer? That is what we are in business for. The reality is that some parents might ask for a kid's cone or cup for themselves, but the percentage is so small, that it isn't worth getting worked up about.

So what is the proper size and cost of a kid's cone or cup?

  • Price at .99 cents. Why .99 cents? It's below $1.00 and is an easy sale.
  • Size at 2-2½ ounces hard or soft serve ice cream with ¼ ounce rainbow sprinkles- free of charge. In this instance the toy is the free sprinkles.

Kid's Sundae

Kids like simple things with lots of color that they can easily see with their eyes at first glance. That's why a kid's sundae must be bright, and easily identified with what they like in general. Price these at $1.59. Below are a few examples:


Offer what kids want, and if you make it simple, it will sell.


2 ounces Soft ice cream

½ ounce Bittersweet chocolate fudge

½ ounce Whipped Cream

¼ ounce Rainbow sprinkles

1 Cherry


Dispense two ounces of soft or hard ice cream into the cup. Spoon chocolate fudge and rainbow sprinkles over the ice cream.

Dispense ½ ounce of whipped cream on top of the ice cream. Sprinkle more rainbow sprinkles over the whipped cream. Using the tongs, place the whole maraschino cherry on the peak of the whipped cream.