Ice Cream Shops Cost, Profit, Failure Rate 2024

Ice cream shops are one of the most popular places during summer. On the business side, they seem like a highly lucrative opportunity as the demand never decreases during hot months. That’s why opening an ice cream shop could seem like a great idea.

You might wonder if you are right and want to learn how much it costs to open one, the failure rate, and the potential profit you can make.

This article will answer these questions to show you more about ice cream shops.

Ice Cream Shops Cost Profit Failure Rate

How Much Does It Cost To Open An Ice Cream Shop?

Just like opening any other business, it’s also hard to estimate the costs exactly with an ice cream shop.

The total costs will vary based on your individual choices, the location of the store, and many other aspects.

On average, getting an ice cream shop up and running could cost anywhere between $25,500 to $192,000.

Here is a breakdown of the costs.

Cost TypeAverage Amount
Store renovations and construction$5,000-$100,000
POS System$1,000-$3,000
Legal & Insurance$2,000-$5,000
Licenses or permits$500-$3,000

As you can see, some of these costs are not a must, like marketing, but they’re a big portion of your chances of success.

Other things like rent, renovations, equipment, and inventory are based on the type of ice cream shop you want to open.

How Much Profit Does An Ice Cream Shop Make?

It’s hard to give an exact estimation of the profit of ice cream shops. The market range is generally between $20,000 to $72,000 annually in net profit.

Depending on your shop’s location, size, menu, and other business aspects, this could be lower or higher.

Factors Influencing Ice Cream Shop Earnings

  1. Shop Size: The size of your shop plays a big role. A small family-run shop will have different earnings compared to a big franchise with many branches.
  2. Location Matters: Where your shop is matters a lot. Shops in busy areas of big cities earn more than those in quiet places.
  3. Ice Cream Variety: If you sell many flavors like vanilla, chocolate, and mint, you might earn more than a shop that sells just one flavor.
  4. Extra Products: Selling other things like chocolates, cupcakes, or drinks can increase your earnings. Delivery services can also add to your income.
  5. How You Manage: A well-managed shop can earn more. A good manager can make a big difference.
  6. Your Business Plan: How you run your shop affects your earnings. A shop with online sales and delivery might earn differently than a shop without these services.
  7. Advertising: How you promote your shop can change your earnings. Good advertising can cost more but can also bring in more customers.
  8. Shop’s Age: New shops might earn less at first. But as they get older and more known, their earnings can increase.
  9. Special Days: On hot summer days, you might earn more. For example, on a busy day, you might earn between $200 to $500.

What Is The Failure Rate Of Ice Cream Shops?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t have specific information on ice cream shops, but they have information on small businesses.

According to this, 20% of small businesses fail within the first year, and 50% within the first five years. You can consider the odds pretty much the same for an ice cream shop.


Ice cream shops could be great businesses to own during the hot summer months, both for experienced and beginner entrepreneurs, as they’re easy to build and manage.

The average cost to open an ice cream shop is between $25,500 and $192,000. Then, you can expect to make a profit anywhere between $20,000 to $75,000 annually.


Is it expensive to open an ice cream shop?

Depends on what kind of ice cream shop you want to open. Smaller or kiosk ones are generally the cheapest and could cost around $25,000. If you go for a big shop, it could shoot up to $100,000 or more.

Why do ice creams shop fail?

There might be many reasons. Bad management, wrong location, not enough quality items, and many others.

What is the average profit for an ice cream shop?

The average annual profits vary between $20,000 to $75,000.

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