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9 Tips for Starting a Successful Ice Cream Truck Business

Published Apr 07, 2022 Business
Nine Tips for Starting a Successful Ice Cream Truck Business
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“Quick Summary” Consider starting a mobile ice cream truck business if you love making and eating ice cream. Owning and operating an ice cream truck is a fun summertime business venture that can be extremely profitable. However, there are a few things you need to know before you start your own ice cream truck business.

How to start up an ice cream truck business?

This growing industry offers plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurs passionate about their products and services. Here are nine tips to help you get started:

1. Do Your Research and Gather the Resources

Before starting an ice cream truck business, you need to gather resources and understand your competition's business. You will need to buy a truck. This can be expensive, but you should ensure that the truck is well equipped with all equipment and ingredients. You need enough space to work around your truck.

The next thing you need to take care of is calculating your gasoline charges, maintenance charges, and ingredients. You have to plan everything carefully and precisely. It does not have a high start-up cost! Furthermore, try to familiarize yourself with the industry and popular trends.

2. Decide What Kind of Menu You Want to Offer

Is it a single flavor? Or multiple flavors? Will you be selling ice cream cones or frozen yogurt? If you offer a unique flavor, will it have its name? Will the truck only sell ice cream, or will you also sell other frozen treats like popsicles and snow cones? You need to answer these questions while making your soft-serve-ice cream business plan.

You can sell ice cream, frozen yogurt, Italian ice, sorbet, or even chocolate-dipped cones. There are many flavors to choose from and many different types of toppings. If you're selling your treats at special events, you may want to stick with simple flavors like vanilla and chocolate.

3. Get all the Necessary Equipment 

Some people purchase an old ice cream truck that is no longer in use and fix it up themselves. These trucks are usually cheaper than buying a new one but may require more work to get them up and running again. 

You will need to research what you need to buy and where you can get the best deals on the parts you need. The other equipment you need includes a refrigerator, freezers, freezable food storage bins, freezer bags, ice cream scoops, etc.

4. Decide On Your Route

  • What time of day do you want to operate?
  • How many stops do you want to make per day?
  • Where will you park for the night?

These are the questions to answer if you want to know how to make an ice cream van! The best way to promote your new ice cream truck is by mapping out your route successfully and hitting the busiest areas. You'll get more exposure and make more sales that way. Try to think about what times of day will be most profitable, and map out a schedule that works for you.

5. Choose Vendors and Make a Plan for Inventory Storage

Some companies will offer you a discount on your order upfront if you pay for it. This is a good way to save money and make sure that you can pay the balance before the vendor arrives at your business premises. 

Please get to know your vendors and check their reviews online before hiring them. Check with local ice cream truck owners to see who they recommend. You can also check out Yelp reviews or Google reviews of these businesses.

The first thing you need to do is figure out how much space you have for storing ice cream. If you have a garage, you can use it as your storeroom. You may also rent a small storage unit or buy a large freezer and keep it in your garage.

6. Get Your Business License and Zoning Permits

It's always good to check with your local government before setting up shop. Some cities and counties require food trucks to obtain permits, which usually entail some paperwork and possibly a fee. 

Before you can open your doors, you need to have the right paperwork. Talk to your local zoning board about getting a business license and the permits you need to run an ice cream truck.

7. Follow All Local Health Department Rules and Regulations

Most mobile ice cream truck businesses will need to be inspected by the local health department. They will look at refrigeration, water supply, hand washing facilities, and waste disposal. 

You can find out what you need to do by calling your local health department or reading the regulations online.

8. Purchase Your Insurance

You'll need it if you're on the road selling food or drinks, especially if you plan to serve your product at outdoor events. Most cities require a business license which typically costs around $100 per year.

Make sure you check with your city before starting a business to know what permits and licenses are required. Business insurance is needed to protect your truck and other assets from damage or theft. You'll also need liability insurance to protect yourself and your business if someone is injured on your shop or ice cream truck premises.

9. Advertise and Market Your Business

Business is all about creating demand for your product. It's up to you to get the word out about what you offer! Make sure your community knows about your new business by distributing flyers or handing out samples of your product. You'll need to build a brand and create a buzz around your business. This can be done through social media, marketing on the internet, or simply handing out flyers.

You could try guerrilla marketing techniques like giving free samples at community events if you're ambitious. Don't forget to be creative while coming up with a catchy name for your business. Also, try to come up with some funny slogans that will help you gain more attention from people around you. Start making delicious ice cream treats!


If you're looking to start your own mobile ice cream truck business, you need to follow these 9 proven tips to start a successful ice cream truck business. Align with OVVI’s modern POS systems and march your business to success.

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