Nothing hits the spot like good ice cream. Heaped with flavor, sweet and creamy, and a prime vehicle for chocolate or caramel sauce, it’s the perfect dessert in high summer or on a cold winter’s day by the fire. But while those recipes look simple, it’s tricky creating that perfect batch of ice cream. Here are three secrets to the culinary art of making the best soft serve ice cream.
3 Secrets for Creating the Best Soft Serve Ice Cream
Start With the Best
Combine the best ingredients with the best equipment and you’ve got a good chance at making the best ice cream. Like how the quality of your water affects the taste of your morning coffee, good quality dairy, sugars, and flavorings can bolster the taste of ice cream. Think of it as the more flavor the ingredients have to offer, the more your ice cream has to work with.
A good machine also plays a part. Events have to happen in a certain order and at certain temperatures for a batch to turn out well, and if a machine can’t deliver, then your ice cream will suffer. ADI Electro Freeze soft serve machines deliver consistently smooth ice cream with traditional and low-fat mixes.
Freeze It Fast
Temperature plays a big part in ice cream recipes because it affects the creaminess of the batch. Ice cream is filled with ice crystals, and the smaller they are, the creamier the ice cream. Chill the ice cream fast and hard in a subzero freezer or try putting the ice cream in small, shallow containers instead of one large one. That way the cold can reach the center faster.
It also pays to keep air out of your containers. Air gives the moisture room to move around. If it evaporates and collects inside the container, those larger ice crystals have room to start forming up. If you find yourself with lots of empty headroom, cover the ice cream with plastic wrap or parchment paper before putting the lid on, to keep air out.
Keep It Ice (Cream) Cold
This might seem obvious, but ice cream melts. And once it’s refrozen, those ice crystals refreeze in larger clusters, making ice cream grainy and unpleasant. But it’s also a good idea to cool your mix before it’s actually ice cream. Keeping your ingredients cold means they won’t have to go through any temperature fluctuations that affect their quality or taste.
Flavorings also lose their strength in warm mixtures and churning a warm mixture means the temperature has further to drop, keeping it from freezing quickly. Also chilling your bowls can help the churning process along, especially if you have a small, at-home machine. Just make sure you start the bowl moving before you pour your mix in. There’s a chance it will freeze to one spot of the bowl instead of churning properly.
Making creamy ice cream requires precision. With the right ingredients, good timing, and a dependable machine, anyone can make their own favorite flavors. Learn more about ADI Electro Freeze ice cream machines so you can start your own delicious adventure.
So you’ve mastered your vanilla soft serve recipe and now you’re looking to add more variety to your soft serve line-up. Fruity ice creams are always a hit with the customers, as they’re cool and refreshing, marrying the tangy sweetness of fruit to the comforting deliciousness of vanilla and cream. But how do you use fruit in a soft serve ice cream maker? Read on to uncover the basics of making fruity soft serve flavors.
4 Rules for Using Fruit in a Soft Serve Ice Cream Maker
1. Don’t Use Whole Fruit
You may be thinking that making fruit soft serve is a simple as adding cut-up fruit to your vanilla ice cream base, but that would be a big mistake. Fruits have a high water content, which means that using fruit whole in your soft serve will result in icy chunks of fruit disrupting your smooth, creamy soft serve. Not only is this an unpleasant eating experience, but it can also be dangerous! If you want your customers to keep their teeth, don’t use whole fruits.
2. Using Frozen Fruit
Using frozen fruit may be the easiest way to add fruit into your soft serve. Following the first rule, it’s essential that you don’t use the frozen fruit whole. Even though it’s been frozen, this fruit still has a high water content and poses the same danger to your customer’s teeth if used whole. Instead, frozen fruit needs to be macerated in order to be safe to use in soft serve.
3. Using Fresh Fruit
4. Don’t Use Too Much Sugar
How Important Is Creating The Right Ice Cream Shop Menu?
Very. Since we are all complex individuals, let us start off by saying there is no ideal menu to suit everyone’s needs. However, a menu is such a big part of the success of your store that you should put a lot of thought, effort and attention into when first creating it.
Menu is Marketing
Menu is just a list of products and prices. Your menu is your branding. It’s something they read in the store and something they may take with them. For that reason alone it makes sense to have your branding and logo on it. Imagine when they take that menu home and hang it on their refrigerator, everytime they walk by and see your logo on that menu they’ll be reminded of your delicious creations.
Menu Matches Culture
When designing your menu keep in mind the culture of your store. The menu should reflect the personality and fun culture that makes up your store. Make sure it reflects the atmosphere you’ve built inside the store and has some character as a stand-alone piece. Remember menu matches culture and the dishes you are displaying on the menu should reflect that.
Help customers see the creations you offer by including pictures in your menu. Pictures sell and they can really help you sell the creations you can’t have out on display all day. This is a very visual business and pictures can be a big part of your marketing. Beyond pictures for your menu you should be thinking about your social media channels and using your pictures to attract new customers.
Though you want a visually unique menu that stands out, it’s important to clearly lay the content out. The last thing a customer wants is to be confused when reading the menu. Remember, people read left to right so you might want to think about placing the higher end items or best selling items on the left so people read them first. Product placement and legibility can have a big effect on sales for the best products you offer.
Keep the focus on the product and not on the cost. You can avoid tire kickers and price shoppers by ditching the prices on the menu. If you do put prices on your menu, you should think about eliminating the dollar sign. The dollar sign can have psychological impact on the customer to avoid higher end products. Remember to always due your diligence and see what the competition in your area is charging. This doesn’t mean you have to charge less, it just gives you a measure of price but does not take into account creativity and ingredients.
Be creative, don’t be boring and copy other people’s creations. One of the best parts of owning your own shop is that you can get creative and experiment with your own creations. You can be an artist and create your own editable masterpieces that will keep customers coming back. Make your products and business stand out from the rest. Use different ingredients and flavors to create unique products that customers can only get at your place.
You’ll want to make sure you get creative with your words when describing your creations. Don’t just settle for a direct description of what it is, try to convey how it will taste or how they will feel after while eating it. Get your thesaurus out and start using some delicious adjectives to describe the items throughout the menu. Think carefully about how you describe your sizes as well. Could you use something other than just small, medium or large.
It’s going to be important to review your menu every season to review what’s selling and not selling well. Analyzing your menu every year allows you to adjust your products, ingredients and pricing. If something didn’t make you money last year perhaps eliminate it this year. By constantly monitoring and adjusting your ice cream shop menu you’ll be setting yourself up for future success.
One question we get the most often is: What is the best commercial ice cream machine for my ice cream shop? It may seem like a simple question, the answer however is a bit more complicated than just spouting out a machine and model number. There are a lot of factors that go into buying a machine for your shop and being that your shop is different from the thousands of other shops out there – there are many variables you will need to consider before purchasing the best commercial ice cream machine. Now, overwhelmingly when we get asked that question, our immediate response is always Electro Freeze machines, but that’s only answers half of the question. Before we can provide a real answer, we’ll need some additional information about your store.
Ice cream and frozen dessert shop owners know that when it comes to making their product, the machines they use to make and serve it is in direct correlation to the quality of product they serve to their customers. As a shop owners we all want to provide the best quality ice cream to our patrons, no matter what, that’s what keeps them coming back. There are many steps that go into making ice cream on a large scale and being consistent with those steps every time gives you the best chance to keep your product consistent with quality. However if you throw a unreliable machine into that equation, your recipe for quality and consistency goes right out the window. So, the best commercial ice cream machine will naturally be made with care using quality parts and as you are aware, high quality usually comes at a price. Not that it’s a bad thing, because that saying, you get what you pay for is usually true. If you spend the extra money upfront on a quality machine like the Electro Freeze line then it will save you money down the road with less breakdowns and replacement parts needed, plus it will provide you with a consistent quality product time and time again.
As your ice cream shop partner and consultant we like to make you aware of several factors that you need to consider when purchasing, renting or leasing the best commercial ice cream machine. As we mentioned, most every ice cream shop is different or unique in their own way which means every location is a bit different. Depending where your store is located, the square footage available and the set up of your shop will be an important factor when choosing a machine. Whether it’s in a strip mall, retail mall, a downtown district or a stand alone building, how much room you have for your machines will be something to consider. For example if you have a self service shop with the machines in the wall, you may not need a standing full length machine…a counter top model might work better for you. If space is not an issue then using a full length standing machine can work for you and the nice thing about these machines are that they usually come with casters so you can move it wherever.
How much frozen product are you going to be making and serving to your customers. In order to find the best commercial ice cream machine for your business, you’ll need to know what capacity machine you’ll need. If you’re doing high volume then you’ll want a high capacity machine. If you’re serving a lower number of people, then a lower capacity machine might work better for your shop and budget.
What is your specialty product? You may specialize in one product that outsells everything else. Depending what product that is, there may be a machine specifically for such product. For example if milkshakes are your forte then you would want to look at the Electro Freeze CS700 milkshake machine.
Though these are just a few examples, there are many other factors that go into finding the ideal machine for your shop. If you’re interested in finding out more about specific machines then contact us for a consultation – we’ll help you find the best commercial ice cream machine for your business.
Ice cream shop success – Making your ice cream shop profitable.
There are a lot of searches online on how to open an ice cream shop, but very little online searches on how to make that ice cream shop a success. I guess a lot of people just want to open an ice cream shop and not have to worry about making it profitable. If you’re reading this, you’re different. You want to make your ice cream shop a success and turn a profit!
With over 30 years experience in the frozen dessert industry ADI Electro Freeze has helped thousands of ice cream shop owners achieve success throughout the years. So, here are some tips to make your frozen dessert shop a profit center.
The most successful frozen dessert businesses always have something in common.
- They make their own frozen dessert products!
Our customers that achieve the greatest ice cream shop success are the ones who also create their own unique products. Whether it be an Italian Ice, ice cream or gelato, each recipe or flavor you make is like your own taste brand. The food business has changed, people now prefer unique, custom, quality homemade products as opposed to processed products through huge companies that you can buy anywhere. Creating your own brand let’s you get more creative and gives you the ability to create distinct and memorable flavors your customers will only be able to get at your place. It allows you to be different than your competition and dominate them on flavors, taste, uniqueness and experience.
2. They Invest in the right equipment
Believe it or not, using the right equipment will have a huge impact on your overall business. The machines are the backbone of your business and should be considered with care. A machine that costs a little more upfront will pay huge dividends down the line as it will eliminate costly breakdowns, repairs and downtime with your products. Electro Freeze machines are the premiere commercial ice cream machines on the market and produce a product far superior to competitors brands. Using quality commercial ice cream machines like Electro Freeze will make your product taste better more consistently. Plus the quality craftmanship of the machines means they can take the constant wear and tear of every day use, thus saving you in down time costs.
3. They train their staff
It’s best to have some sort of procedures and training in place when dealing with customers. You want your store to be unique in the way your employees treat customers. The way employees greet and say goodbye to customers goes a long way. Having friendly employees along with a clean inviting shop makes for a more memorable and fun experience for the consumer. Be aware of how your employees interact with customers, all it takes is one poor interaction with a disheartened employee to ruin a relationship with a customer.
4. They create their own brand
Ice cream shop success means your creating your own brand of products. Creating your own brand sets your store apart from your competitor and allows people to instantly identify your shop. Your own brand means distinct taste, flavors and branding that only your store can provide. You can increase sales by selling and promoting your own handcrafted product. As an owner, it means your in complete control of your own ingredients and consistency of product. Not only do the shops produce to sell on-site but they package the products so people can take it home as well. Part of creating your own brand will be to create your own packaging, this will make your shop instantly recognizable.
5. They control product and supply costs
Take some time every quarter to review how much you’re paying for your product and supplies. Review your process, look to lower your cost when buying product and supplies. Buying ingredients as soon as you run out of something may not be the best approach if you can buy it in bulk and have it on hand. Seasonal items like fruit could be sourced locally when in season. Keep in mind the age and performance of your machines. If one machine is constantly breaking down and costing you in repairs, it might be time to upgrade the machine.
6. They adjust price points
Pricing your product right is key for staying competitive and making profits. Use data that you collected over the years to adjust prices. Focus on selling a high quality product first and then use data to adjust your prices accordingly. High quality means one thing to the customer: value. The product you serve and the service you give to the customer is unique and should never be compared to the store down the block. This is your formula and with it you’ll never have to worry what your competitor down the block is selling an ice cream cone for. They don’t have your product, nor do they provide the experience you provide.
Though these quick tips can help you get started on your ice cream shop success, they’re just scratching the surface when it comes to creating profits for your shop. If you want more tips or need help with any of the above, contact us and we’ll be happy to help.