The business of ice creamJune 2006
My brother and I were recently sitting in Cold Stone Creamery respectively enjoying Birthday Cake and Devil’s Delight concoctions. While everyone else was talking about what we were going to do with the rest of the evening, he turned to me and asked, “what do you think their margins are?”
Being the purveyor of hot air that I am, I instantly responded with all sorts of answers as if I’d been studying the balance sheets of ice cream retailers for years. We both proceeded to think deeply about the profitability of the store as if the owner had presented us with a business proposal, not a credit card receipt.
Let me pull you into the conversation with such intriguing ice cream industry questions such as:
- Why is there always a long line at Handel’s, even in the middle of winter.
- Why does Ritter’s close during the winter, and how does this affect their profitability?
- Why does Dairy Queen sell hamburgers?
It’s probably a sign that you have a businessman living inside of you if you’d rather the manager talk to you about sales figures than give you an extra scoop of ice cream. But it’s not like I’d turn down the extra scoop.