Every day brings a new reality during the crisis we are facing together. Some of you have closed your shops - either by mandatory order or by your own decision making process. But others still have their shops open.
For those whose shops are open, or about to open, or will open again after the dust settles, you may be wondering how you’ll keep running your business during these uncertain times.
Successful entrepreneurs are flexible and adaptable.
You have an idea of what your business is, and you’ve done a great job running it. But, now it may be time to change how you see and run your business in order to keep your customers, and attract new ones – customers who are stuck at home pining for your ice-cream.
It’s time to switch it up.
Here’s the problem that you need to solve:
You have customers – families and other folks – sitting at home, bored, restless, and anxious. If they could, they’d pop over to your shop and get some good ole comfort food in the form of ice cream. But they may not be able to get out.
You need to figure out a way to deliver to them, but you need to do it in a way that helps your bottom line.
Why should you do this instead of just closing shop and waiting for the crisis to end?
1. By staying with your customers during this time, they won’t forget you once you open up.
2. This will help your bottom line and enable you to open your shop again
3. You won’t have to let go of all of your employees.
4. Who’s not up for a challenge?
PINTS - the solution that works
The solution we’d like to suggest and have actually seen shops doing successfully is to switch to ONLY PINTS and/or other larger containers as your new business model. No scooping. Why?
1. Pints, and other larger items such as cakes, and half gallons have inherent advantages:
a. They will be frozen solid and you’ll have a good 20-30 minutes to deliver before they start melting too much
b. You can produce the product and package them all at once ahead of time thereby reducing and managing labor costs more efficiently
c. If you have customers order ahead of time - even have a subscription service - you’ll have even better control of your inventory and sales.
2. Your customers might miss the experience of coming into the shop but at least you can whet their appetite and keep them thinking about you by offering a different option during this trying time.
3. Even after you open up your shop again, you may have discovered that this revenue stream stays alive into the future.
PINTS ARE BORING
...you say. Well, you can jazz it up by having specials that include cones, cups, spoons, toppings and sauces. Here are examples:
Ice cream sundae bar special: 6 pints, 12 toppings, 6 sauces, whip topping
Banana split special: 3 pints, 6 bananas, 6 toppings, 3 sauces, whip topping
Cones only bar: 4 pints, 20 cones, 6 toppings
Also: late night specials, children’s specials, holiday specials, first responder specials, etc.
Make sure you send along your cups and spoons - it’s part of the experience!
Thanks to Amazon Prime, many folks are familiar with automatic re-ordering thru subscription, so try to take advantage of this. Be sure to offer a discount!
Selling more than one pint at a time is the best approach - at least 2 or even 4 (better!) pints, and make sure to add discounts as they order more.
Don’t deliver for free rather give the delivery fee that you charge to your delivery staff as part of their payment. They should also keep their tips. A well-paid delivery driver is a happy delivery driver.
Offer a discount if they pick-up their order curbside or otherwise.
They want to make it easy, and they do. You might be amazed at how many people order online!
Be hopeful that these tips will give your business an edge, delight your customers, and provide some much needed revenue stream. It may take grit to stay in the game this time around, but we know you have what it takes!
As always, continue to promote the best sanitation practices as to protect yourselves, your employees, and your families.
With a lot of love and well wishes,
The Mami’s team
Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org We’d love to hear your success story!