Ice cream is a classic popular dessert that satisfies the sweet tooth of all ages. Whether it’s hot outside or cold, ice cream and frozen yogurt always find takers. A business selling novelties in an ice cream vending machine or freezer attracts customers and strives to keep them coming back. The challenge is figuring out what works for your business model or future ice cream startup venture and the best way to keep your treats cold in any climate before investing in a freezer or vending machine.
In this blog, we will discuss the differences between ice cream freezers and vending machines, the benefits and drawbacks of each machine, how to identify the best fit for your business, and, most importantly, the cost comparison between them.
Overview of Ice Cream Freezers and Vending Machines
Ice cream vending machines have become common in many commercial locations like supermarkets, shopping malls, railway stations, and other places. Vending machines provide quick and convenient access to a range of products for consumers; without needing an employee to take cash from the customer.
Another popular addition for businesses and events is an ice cream freezer. These freezers are easy to set up and maintain, giving business owners and event hosts an easy way to interact with customers and sell frozen treats like popsicles, soft ice cream cups, and more.
The key to choosing an ice cream vending machine or freezer is to carefully analyze its features and specifications before deciding the best option.
Pros and Cons of using an Ice Cream Freezer
Ice cream freezers are popular because of their ability to store large amounts of product and provide greater variety than vending machines. They’re also easy to refill and maintain, making them economical and practical options for businesses offering customers a wide range of unique, flavorful, and soft ice cream options.
Freezers are easy to place in your business and usually come in various sizes and designs to suit your facility’s requirements. However, they sometimes use more energy than vending machines, resulting in higher energy costs, and many need access to a 110-volt outlet.
Additionally, depending on the capacity, ice cream freezers may be more costly than vending machines, so renting may be a better option. Many business owners take the renting route, which takes management stress away since most rental companies offer a freezer maintenance program.
Pros and Cons of using an Ice Cream Vending Machine
Vending machines are advantageous for a few reasons. They can hold and dispense a variety of products anytime. This makes vending machines an ideal choice for organizations seeking to diversify their offerings, particularly in sectors such as food and beverages, where there is minimal or no staff to market products.
Many have functional components like touchscreen interfaces and credit/debit readers, allowing you to operate without employees. That said, they come with maintenance headaches. If the machines go out, you will only be selling products for profit once you or someone else comes in to fix the machine.
Most vending machines offer a compact design, making them easy to deploy in a limited space. The open glass design reduces the chances of customers purchasing additional items that do not interest them—making it easy for owners to manage inventory efficiently and reduce costs when ordering the new product.
On the other hand, vending machines have limited selections compared to retail outlets. This is due to the limited availability of products that can be stored in vending machines; your ice creams, frozen yogurt, and other novelties, such as ice cream sandwiches and popsicles, must be a certain size to fit in the vending machine rings. Also, they cannot accommodate all dietary preferences and lack human-to-human interaction, which could be a turnoff for some customers.
How to pick the appropriate one for your needs?
For businesses contemplating investing in an ice cream freezer or vending machine, there are a few things you should consider:
Vending machines come in varying sizes, but the majority are about 72 “x 39” x 33″, and you should make sure you have enough area to open the ice cream vending machine when it is time to refill. Your storefront location will also determine the success of the machine. If you want your ice cream vending machine to be successful, it must be located in a prominent place where customers will easily notice it.
For ice cream freezers, there are many additional choices regarding sizing. You can get a more compact 24.6″ x 27.6 x 32.6″ or upsize to a bigger 39.4″ x 27.5″ x 33.5″ and many others. The storefront’s location will also impact your freezer’s success, but you can observe customers easily from the checkout and see if customers are aware of your selection of frozen treats.
If you don’t have a storefront or aren’t looking to attend a venue to manage an ice cream freezer for taking payments, then an ice cream vending machine might be a better option. An ice cream freezer requires an employee on hand to interact and sell products to customers, but this allows some upsells.
What is your brand mission? Do you want to have a face behind your logo and company? Having a freezer may be the better choice so you can interact with customers and build relationships while helping them purchase their ice cream. If you don’t need recurring customers and the focus is only on having passive income without creating a brand, then an ice cream vending machine might be the option you choose.
For a vending machine, the price can be anywhere between $1,500-$10,000, and with ice cream freezers, it spans from $650-$4,000. If you’re not sure yet, renting is an option before investing in your vending machine or ice cream freezer.
Both options have a way to control temperature, which is crucial because ice cream quality depends on storage temperature; customers prefer creamy soft ice cream, no one wants freezer-burned ice cream! In vending machines, you can control temperature by opening your glass front and locating the thermostat. Pro tip: It’s usually in the bottom right-hand corner. Most vending machines should be set to the factory’s optimal temperature so you don’t have to fiddle with it.
In an ice cream freezer, you will most likely have a dial-type or digital thermostat. Regardless of which one you have, it’s just as easy to change, and you can find the thermostat by removing the grill on your ice cream freezer.
Overall, both options make it easy to change the temperature, so businesses should weigh other factors when making their decision.
Ice Cream Storage Conclusion
Even after reading this article, deciding whether to use an ice cream freezer or vending machine is still a tough choice. It’s a decision that will indeed affect your business and its revenue. After carefully considering the aspects mentioned above, you can decide which machine would be best for your business and customers. Whatever option you choose, DeConna has a variety of novelties and is happy to help with all your wholesale ice cream vending machine or freezer stocking needs!