Ice Cream Parlour: Start Your Own

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ice cream parlour

Brits love ice cream come rain or shine. Over the years new flavour combinations have been developed, yet the most popular flavours in the UK remain as vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.

With families turning to ice cream as an affordable family treat, theres no wonder that sales generate more than £1 billion for the UK economy. This makes it a great time to open an ice cream parlour. The initial start-up costs tend not as high as some other businesses and therefore is ideal for aspiring entrepreneurs who do not have large amounts of capital to invest. Ice-cream parlours are also very scalable; allowing you to expand to multiple locations as and when youre ready.

If youre considering opening your own ice cream parlour, then providing you find the right location and develop a robust business plan, you should enjoy success and profitability.

Start a business from scratch or buy a franchise?

But should you start your own independent business or invest in an established franchise brand? There are pros and cons to both options, and only you can decide which is the best path for you to take.

If you have a strong entrepreneurial spirit and like to do things your way, then maybe following a pre-defined franchise system may not be right for you. However, if you want to take advantage of the training and support that franchises can offer and are happy to comply with the rules, then this could be your ideal route to business ownership.

Theres also likely to be a difference in the cost of setting up your business depending on which option you choose. The initial expense of purchasing an ice cream parlour franchise will probably be far higher than buying the necessary equipment from scratch. However, it must be remembered, that although a franchise might cost more; they come with a considerable degree of brand loyalty. This could take many years and a significant marketing budget for an independent business to replicate.

If you do decide that buying a franchise is right for you, then there are plenty of investment opportunities for you to choose from.

Ice cream parlour London

With 37 stores already performing well in London, you might want to consider opening a Baskin Robbins store in the capital. With its instantly recognisable branding, Baskin Robbins is one of the worlds biggest chain of ice cream stores with more than 8,000 locations worldwide, including almost 150 sites in the UK.

This creative brand has expertly developed products to help keep customers returning for more. Baskin Robbins has something to tickle all taste buds: from cakes and speciality desserts to frozen beverages and take-home treats. The franchise also caters to customers who desire a healthier option. Dairy free, fat-free and sugar-free are all on the menu.

This big brand expects a significant investment. To become a franchisee, you should have experience in the fast food sector and be committed to developing the brand. Youll also need to sign a 10-year franchise agreement and have at least £100,000 liquid assets for a single store investment or £500,000 for multiple stores.

Creams ice cream parlour

As much as ice cream is enjoyed throughout the UK, there is an increasing trend for frozen desserts with less sugar and fat. Originating from Sicily and Naples, gelato has a lower fat content compared to ice cream and is traditionally made from milk, eggs and cornflour. No cream needs to be added making gelatos fat content a modest 6 7%, a lot lower than a traditional ice cream which contains between 12 and 16%.

Creams Caf opened in 2008 and specialises in gelato but also offers delicious treats such as sundaes, smoothies, juices, and desserts. With a 1950s retro Americana feel, there are more than 50 outlets across the UK. Thanks to the fun and adventurous menu with over 40 different flavours of gelato to cater to all tastes, customers keep coming back for more.

This is a very affordable franchise requiring an investment of just £14,950 plus VAT for each franchise unit depending on the size and location of your store. The brand has a proven track record of success with many employees being inspired to become the owners and invest in their own branches. The returns are attractive although Individual earnings are dependent on many factors, such as the overheads and operating costs of the individual stores.

Ice cream parlour with an Italian twist

If youd like to open an ice cream parlour with a difference, you should consider Amorino. Not only do the gelato, sorbets and desserts taste amazing but Amorino insists on using the highest quality ingredients. No artificial elements are included, and only the freshest fruit and milk are used achieve the most natural of flavours.

To be considered as an Amorino franchisee, youll need to demonstrate that youre prepared to dedicate time and effort into making your business a success. Youll also need to combine your commercial and organisational skills to manage your team of employees effectively. You should be prepared to get your hands dirty, listen to your customers and be willing to accept change as the brand is continually evolving and developing.

Depending on the size and location of the store, the franchise fee is likely to be between £30,000 and £150,000. Amorino also requires prospective franchisees to maintain financial liquidity of £200,000.

Training and support are available to help you prepare for the launch of your gelato boutique, with ongoing training programmes in place once your business is up and running. The purpose of the continual training is to develop your skills to get you ready to own and operate several Amorino stores.


If you have a sweet tooth and want to scoop up the opportunity to own and operate an ice cream parlour, then buying a franchise gives you the chance to be your own boss. Not only will you receive training and pre-launch support to get your business up and running in a competitive environment, but youll also benefit from ongoing advice and guidance as and when you need it.

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