How you can keep your frozen custard franchise operating successfully during the winter months

During the hot spring and summer months, sales at a frozen custard franchise can reach astronomical levels. This makes the idea of purchasing a frozen custard franchise very enticing. However, you must also consider the fact that there will be significantly lower sales in the colder months. This doesn't necessarily mean that you wont make any money in the winter—there are many things a frozen custard franchise owner can do to keep steady sales going through the fall and winter months.

Focus more on marketing

Unless you have a lot of competition in the area, you probably don't need to do much marketing in the summer. In the winter, however, you need to do what you can to keep potential customers thinking about purchasing a tasty frozen treat, even when it's already freezing outside. You can run promotions, introduce a loyalty reward program, offer discounts, and other incentives that will entice customers to keep coming back.

Offer seasonal flavors

Everyone loves limited offerings of seasonal flavors, even in the winter. Just be sure to get the word out, and to instill a sense of urgency so that people realize they need to purchase the seasonal custard soon, before it's all gone. Flavors such as pumpkin spice and cranberry, or something similar, are no-brainers in the fall, and something with peppermint or gingerbread during the winter is sure to be a hit. Seasonal flavors will likely be the biggest factor in ongoing sales.

Offer specials on to-go items

During the warmer months, it's not uncommon for people to purchase their frozen custard and eat it right there. However, chances are they aren't going to enjoy eating frozen custard while shivering in their winter coats and hats. But people still love to enjoy frozen custard at home, so offer specials on to-go options.

Frozen custard combo!

Giving people both a hot and cold treat is a great way to keep sales going during the winter. Customers can enjoy their frozen custard and then sip their hot chocolate to warm themselves up again.

Regardless of what works, don't expect to have sales equal to that of the summer months. To compensate, you might also consider shortening your opening hours to save on salary and expenses.

Sources:
http://money.cnn.com/2011/01/07/smallbusiness/ice-cream-makers-in-winter/index.htm
https://www.quora.com/How-do-ice-cream-shops-stay-in-business-during-winter

Josh Stewart

Hook Creative, 438 West McDaniel Street, Springfield, MO, 65806, United States

Josh is the Chief Creative / Partner at Hook Creative.