Mon. Jun 27th, 2022
ice cream

Ice cream truck business is very lucrative and fun. Considerations are startup capital, a truck, equipment and operational license. Different formats of the business are truck, kart, stand or shop.

How to Start Ice Cream Truck Business

The first step is to write ice cream truck business plan. Then secure startup funds and purchase equipment. Buy the truck, plan the route and obtain necessary licensing.

Get a driving license, vehicle particulars and vehicle insurance. Try to plan inventory, select vendor and comply with health and safety provisions.

Stps to Start Ice Cream Truck Business

  1. write ice cream truck business plan
  2. secure startup funds
  3. purchase equipment
  4. buy the truck
  5. plan the route
  6. obtain necessary licensing and permit
  7. get a driving license
  8. vehicle particulars
  9. vehicle insurance
  10. plan your inventory
  11. select vendor
  12. comply with health and safety provisions


The business requires adequate funding to purchase or lease a truck, buy equipment. Others are legal fees, insurance, driving license, inventory. Secure funds through target saving or borrow from friends and family. Other ways are through bank loans, cooperatives, venture capitalist.

  • target saving
  • borrow from friends and family
  • bank loans
  • cooperatives
  • venture capitalist

Ice Cream Truck Equipment

There are a few equipment to consider such as a hand sanitizer, soft serve making machine, portable electric cart, cotton candy machine and flat pan. Others are freezer, shaved Ice, shake machine and stone cone machine.

More includes roll hot dog maker, popcorn maker and coffee maker. Make sure the coffee maker is durable has good thermostat regulator and brews fast. Others are toaster oven, different warmers, bun fryer, and food steamer. Use cold plate freezer to keep ice cream frozen for 8 hours even unplugged.


  • Hand sanitizer
  • Soft serve making machine
  • Portable electric cart
  • Cotton candy machine
  • Flat pan
  • Freezer
  • Cold plate freezer
  • Shaved Ice
  • Shake machine
  • Stone Cone machine
  • Hot dog maker
  • Popcorn maker
  • Coffee maker.
  • Toaster oven
  • Different warmers
  • Bun fryer
  • Food steamer

Ice Cream Truck Treats

The truck owner needs a good menu of treats. Popular treats are Orange Creamsicle, Lemon Ice, Drumstick, Snow Cone, Fudgsicle and Chocolate Chip Cookies. Others are Sandwich Firecracker, Malt cup, Push-up Pop, Ice Cream Sandwich, Choco Taco, Strawberry Shortcake Bar.

  • Orange Creamsicle
  • Lemon Ice
  • Drumstick
  • Snow Cone
  • Fudgsicle
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Sandwich Firecracker
  • Malt cup
  • Push-up Pop
  • Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Choco Taco
  • Strawberry Shortcake Bar


Licensing depends on your business plan and strategy. A brick and motor ice cream parlor requires business name, registration, permits. To run an ice cream truck find out local and state laws guiding the business.

Permits include food handler’s permit, vendor permit and insurance. You need a business license irrespective of running an ice cream stand, cart or truck. Some states have vending laws on areas you are permitted to sell your product.

You need a driving license, vehicle particulars and vehicle insurance. The vehicle should have a commercial plate number.

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Ice Cream Truck License

  • business name
  • business registration
  • food handler’s permit
  • vendor permit and insurance
  • driving license
  • vehicle particulars
  • vehicle insurance

Purchase the Truck

A truck affords wider reach easy accessibility to customer base. You can lease a truck, buy a new or used truck. Lease from a reputable distributor or buy a used truck.

The choice of truck should be large enough to accommodate your equipment and ingredients. Make sure the truck is maneuverable and fuel efficient preferably diesel.

Ways to Get Truck

  • Lease a Truck
  • Purchase New Truck
  • Purchase Used Truck


An ice cream truck manger makes from $20,000 to $30,000 gross revenue annually. The operator takes home 35% of daily sales after expenditure on gas, labor and rental fees.

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Use signage to draw customers to the food truck. Other gimmicks include having a distinctive sound to attar children of the trucks presence. Use flyers, posters, vehicle advertisement wrap to attract increase profit add edibles like biscuits, cakes, small snacks. Drive the truck to locations with lots of children like schools.

Bonus Article on Same Subject

How to Start Ice Cream Parlor

Food related business is more challenging than retail. This is because food is perishable and has expiration time. Things you need to start the business is a plan, location, operational permit, and food handler’s license. Others are equipment, company registration and insurance cover.

Steps to Start Ice Cream Parlor.

  1. Write a plan
  2. Get Funded
  3. Lease a shop
  4. Purchase equipment
  5. Register the business
  6. Obtain permit and license
  7. Plan inventory
  8. Advertise

Type of ice cream

Determine the type of ice cream to make. You have traditional ice cream shops, organic, artisanal. Types of ice cream are snow cones, fudgsicle, lemon ice, orange creamsicle. Others are strawberry ice cream, ice cream sandwich, and drumstick. More include sandwich firecracker, malt cup, Choco taco, push-up pop.

  • snow cones
  • fudgsicle
  • lemon ice
  • orange creamsicle
  • strawberry ice cream
  • ice cream sandwich
  • drumstick
  • sandwich firecracker
  • malt cup
  • Choco taco
  • push-up pop

Things to consider

Things to consider are branding, promotion and business plan. Offer customers brand experience, quality product, location, target customers.

Startup cost

Startup costs depends on the business format. You can start from scratch, join a franchise or try partnership. If you buy into an existing shop it can cost from $35,000 to $60,000. Joining a franchise is infinitely costlier than starting from scratch, a franchise can cost from $250,000 to $400,000.

Ice Cream Parlor Supplies and Equipment

Type of equipment you need depends on the type of ice cream you make. Common equipment are Stone cone equipment, dry toppings dispenser, batch freezers, soft-serve machine and dipper well station. More include glass storage containers, ice cream scoops, napkin dispenser, waffle bakers, refrigerated topping holders, dish washers and blenders.

Supplies and Equipment

  • Stone cone equipment
  • dry toppings dispenser
  • batch freezers
  • soft-serve machine
  • dipper well station
  • glass storage containers
  • ice cream scoops
  • napkin dispenser
  • waffle bakers
  • refrigerated topping holders
  • dish washers
  • blenders


Register the ice cream parlor as a limited liability company. get liability insurance, tax identification number. You need vendor permit, food handlers


You need a solid branding strategy to reach potential customers. Print flyers, banners, poster, business cards and signboard. Use word of mouth, social media, blogging or website to spread the word. Increase income by adding edibles that complement ice cream.

How to Advertise Ice Cream Parlor

  • flyers
  • banners
  • poster
  • business cards
  • signboard
  • use word of mouth
  • social media
  • blogging
  • website

Where to Sell Ice Cream

Sell them in stores, karts, street, shopping centers and schools.

Profit margin

Average profit margin depends on the amount of material used in the production. Costs variables are based on cost of production, portions or serving. More variables are kind of ice cream, cost of ingredients, sale price. If you keep costs down and produce high market ice cream you will make more profit. An average profit made by ice cream parlor is 40%.


The staff requirements depends on the business template. Hire a receptionist, server, desert chef, cleaner, manager, accountant or bookkeeper.

By Femi

webmaster with passion for good content