So you’ve just opened an ice cream parlor and are dealing with the different issues that go into running it, one scoop at a time. Or you’ve been running the business for a long time now and are looking to grow your business. No matter at what point you are currently, one thing is always the same: ensuring customer delight.
What’s Your Flavor?
Way back at the advent of home refrigerators, some old style ice cream services closed shop as people began to buy and store ready-to-eat packaged products. And yet there are still many different types of ice cream service concepts available today, from the traditional ice-cream, dessert and cold-treat shop to specialty cafes that serve artisanal products.
Soda Fountains/Drug Store/Malteds Shops: These were 1950s icons, with their youth culture images of jukeboxes, ice-cream sodas, floats, giant sundaes and banana splits. They sometimes sold pharmaceuticals, candy, newspapers, and magazines and were a hang-out place for young people.
Diners/Fast-food outlets: These no-frills eateries serve a set menu, limited flavors of ice cream, pies, cakes, milkshakes, desserts etc. and appealed to people on the move or locals on a night out.
Niche ice cream parlors: Perhaps yours is one that serves unique flavors like tender coconut or natural fruit, yogurt, gelato, shaved ice drinks, smoothies, or vegan alternatives.
Customers want great products and fast, smooth and convenient payment options. Ice cream parlors are typically quick serve, in-and-out businesses that can be conceptually midway between restaurants and retail stores. Today very few customers carry cash and many of them prefer to pay by credit/debit card.
As a business owner, your focus should include providing a safe, convenient and affordable payment method that leaves you stress-free and able to concentrate on growing your business, building your brand and establishing your reputation. If you don’t offer this option, you’ll surely lose customers to one of your competitors that let’s them pay the way they would prefer.
What System Should You Choose?
Your point of sale (POS) system should have hardware that’s reliable, standardized, and upgradable, and that ensures consistent quality and is easy to use. Partnering with the right card processing company can be a huge advantage. This can help you keep costs under control and keep your cash flow healthy and streamlined.
When signing up with card processing companies, read the contract carefully. Avoid getting trapped in long-term contracts, with punative cancellation fees. Month-to-month terms are the best option to avoid getting locked in.
Versatility is essential. Your system should be able to process payments on different platforms and devices. You may offer discounts, loyalty points, gift cards etc. and the nature of the ice-cream business is particularly suited to these aspects that bring happiness and fun to your customers, their families and friends.
Management, reporting, tracking sales, and labor, are other aspects that your card processing company should be able to give you at regular intervals. This helps you keep track of business growth and health. Choose a credit card processing company with experience in this business for best results.
For more information on how credit card processing helps grow your ice cream parlor’s sales, or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.