Are you looking for a new ice cream supplier for your ice cream shop? Saying goodbye to an old supplier can be bittersweet, but sometimes, moving on is just the right thing to do. You want to make sure though, at this early stage, to ask questions that give you more insight into how an ice cream supplier operates and how well their services will meet your needs. Here are a few questions to get you started.
How often can they deliver?
Does the supplier deliver weekly on the same day, or can you modify your delivery schedule? With ice cream, you usually want to schedule deliveries frequently. This way, if you run out of a flavor, you can order more soon and not make customers have to wait. Frequent deliveries also make it easier to make do with less storage space and a smaller freezer.
Do they supply anything other than ice cream?
Some companies strictly deliver hard ice cream. Others also offer soft serve mixes, cones, syrups, toppings, and other ingredients. If you find an ice cream supplier that can also supply some of these other necessities, that will allow you to cut out some other suppliers you use for the other ingredients. It's typically easier to work with one supplier for as much as you can.
Do they offer vegan, gluten-free, and low-fat options?
You're likely to have some customers who want vegan, gluten-free, or low-fat ice cream. Ask what options the supplier has. Have at least a few different flavors in each of these categories so you can rotate and keep guests coming back to try something new.
How many other shops use their ice cream in your area?
If the supplier has a good reputation and a lot of other stores use their products, this will increase customer familiarity. Customers will see that you sell the supplier's ice cream, and that will make them more likely to want to buy from you. On the other hand, sometimes signing with a lesser-known supplier also gives you the advantage of being unique. If most local shops sell Brand X and you sell Brand Y, you can capture a lot of customers who want to try something different.
If you ask the questions above, you'll have a better idea of determining which ice cream supplier best meets your needs. Talk to a few companies before you choose one.