tasting spoonsRunning an ice cream parlor, especially in the summer, takes a lot of ice cream parlor supplies. Whether it's your first order or what seems like your millionth order, there are always a few key things that you will need to keep your business running as smoothly as possible. Read on for the most basic checklist you'll need --some may be obvious, but you would be surprised at what gets forgotten in the heat of summer.

Business Plan
One of the unique things about running an ice cream parlor is that your business will run differently depending on season and how harsh the seasonal weather is in your location. This is something a business plan will help you with. It can outline everything you'll need to run successfully throughout any season, as well as giving you an idea of what money you'll be spending.

Supplies
 The average American consumes ice cream around 28.5 times every single year, and about 90% of households regularly indulge themselves. The NPD group reports, in fact, that in any two week period, 40% of Americans eat ice cream. This means that many of them will come to you to get their fix. In order to serve them, you'll need cups. You'll need cups of varying sizes to go along with demand, and throughout the summer you'll need them frequently. Also, many people will come through your business and want to try new or specialty flavors. But they won't want to pay full price for a small sample. Tasting spoons allow your consumers to taste new flavors before actually purchasing something. Tasting spoons are pretty much an expectation.

Network
This is the most important part of your business, and because certain times of year lead to an increased demand, you'll want to make sure you're ordering enough product well ahead of time so that you never run out. Most people in the industry recommend planning about two to three weeks ahead in the peak season. Building your network of area distributors and even other shops will help with this.

Are you thinking about opening an ice cream business anytime soon? What will be on your first product checklist? We would love to hear your thoughts!