The sound of an ice-cream truck would always bring joy to me as a child. At that time, I wouldn’t bother with how much ice-cream trucks make. Here’s how much Ice cream trucks make:
|Time Period||Average Income of an Ice Cream Truck|
|Per Day||$200 – $350|
|Per Month||$4,000 – $6,000|
|Per Year||$45,000 – $60,000|
This table shows the average daily, monthly, and yearly income of an ice cream truck.
Recently, while I was running some errands, my eyes were set on a newly furnished ice-cream truck selling ice-cream treats for kids.
Just then, the thought came to my mind again. How much do these ice-cream trucks make? And then, I began my research. I got a ballpark figure (See title), and I’m going to share how you can actually come close to it, or even make more with the help of this guide!
I have written this guide to provide you with a detailed overview of not just how much ice-cream trucks make, but also the factors that come into play in this business. The guide will help you understand how you can make income with ice-cream trucks.
Furthermore, I’ve also provided a bit of insight into certain aspects required to start an ice-cream truck business. Finally, I’ve also covered attractive strategies that can bring customers to your ice-cream trucks.
So let’s get the ball rolling!
How Much Ice Cream Trucks Make, and How?
Ice-cream trucks make around $5000 in a month. After deducting monthly expenses ($2,500), the average monthly profit of an ice cream truck can be anywhere between $2,500 to $3,500. Ice cream trucks make more money in the summer than in the winter season.
Let’s discuss the business end. How much fortune can you make with ice cream trucks? I’ll tell you differently in’s and out’s in this regard. I’ll also tell you the factors that come into play in this business. Firstly, I’ll focus on the fortune part.
On average, you can make $4,000 to $6,000 from selling ice-creams in trucks. The peak season of these sales takes place in the summer season. However, you’ll also have to keep in mind the expenses that contribute, and are deducted from the said amount.
I’ll make it easy for you to understand the whole cycle: Supposedly, assume that your sales through the year remain consistent. So daily, if you’re making $200 – $300, and you sell ice cream for 20 days a month. Then, you’re making $5000 a month on average.
Now, you’ll have to take into account the expenses. These expenses include ingredients, fuel, cost of the truck, things related to the truck, etc. On average, these expenses account for up to $3000. At the end of the month, you’re left with $2000 on average.
So basically, the point is that if you’re making an average annual income of $60,000, then expenses will cut it down to $25000 annually. Now in the next part, I’m going to discuss the breakdown of the costs.
Cost Breakdown With Ice Cream Truck Business
When you start a new business, you have to make sure that you have all of your ducks in a row. That includes your budget.
The following is a budget template for an ice-cream truck business that you can use to see what your expenses are and how much money you’ll need to make to cover them.
|Vehicle||$10,000 – $20,000|
|Fuel and Maintenance||$500 – $1,000 per month|
|Insurance||$500 – $1,500 per year|
|Permits and Licences||$1,800|
|Ice-Cream Storage Hardware||$3,000|
This table shows the cost breakdown for an ice cream truck business.
The vehicle is the cornerstone of this whole business. It’s a major investment if you’re going to get into this business. Initially, you can get a van or a truck.
You’ll also be required to get the vehicle painted, wrapped up, and customized. The last most important thing is that the vehicle should have enough space to accommodate a freezer and a small counter.
An Ice-cream truck vehicle will cost you at a minimum near to $10,000, and a maximum of around $20,000.
» Read more about this in my post: How Much Does an Ice Cream Truck Cost?
#2 Fuel and Maintenance
Fuel is a very important factor coming into your monthly costs. On average, you’ll have to make two visits to a fuel station. But that again depends on how far the coverage of your vehicle is to deliver ice-creams.
As long as the fuel prices are well in range, the fuel costs will not be much of an issue. But keep an eye on the fuel prices, and plan accordingly, because these things can cut up a huge chunk of your profits if not managed carefully.
You could stock up a good number of ice-creams so that you don’t have to cover an extra distance for that.
You could expect a monthly cost of fuel and maintenance of up to $1,000
#3 Store Equipment
The cost for ice cream truck store equipment will depend on the kind of truck you have and what it needs. There are a few factors that will affect the cost of the equipment and these factors are the size of the truck and the number of days you’re open.
The cost for ice cream truck equipment includes the cost for the cash register, security, ventilation, signage, and the cost for the power supply.
Insurance is really important for any business, and the ice-cream trucks are no less than different. Getting your ice-cream truck insured will depend on many factors. Primarily, the location is very important.
Moreover, the type of vehicle you use, and your driving history will also matter. The insurance costs are variable in this case.
If your insurance cost amounts around $500 to $1,000 on an annual basis, it’s pretty good.
#5 Permits and Licenses
Special permits and licenses are required for ice cream trucks. There are many vendor-related matters and permit costs depending on the location.
I have explained in detail in this post: Do Ice Cream Trucks Need a License?
Often the fee required is around $1,800 but it can fluctuate greatly depending on the city.
Inventory costs are really important. These are not just the stocked flavors, but also cups, utensils, scoop, and cones. Daily inventory management is really important. It is crucial because, without a daily inventory, you’ll be running up costs.
In this business, you’ll need to replace cones, popsicles, and ice cream sandwiches frequently.
The wonderful thing about this business strategy is that it has a low waste cost. The product will maintain its quality as long as it is kept cool.
Most ice cream vans can get by with a respectable beginning supply of $500, which can be restocked as needed.
#7 Ice-Cream Storage Hardware
The cost of ice cream storage hardware is dependent on the size of your ice cream business and the amount of ice cream that you need to store.
For a small ice cream business, the cost would be a few hundred dollars. And for a larger ice cream business, the cost would be a few thousand dollars.
You should consider the cost of the ice cream bins, racks, shelves, and ice cream cases that you need.
You can be the only person to operate your ice-cream truck. Aside from your time, there are no labor costs if you operate it yourself.
Still, if you want to make this a more passive income running business, remember that you’ll need to pay someone by the hour to run the ice-cream truck starting from $15.00 per hour.\
You can consider making a passive income in the later stages of your career once you have established a successful ice cream truck business.
Important Factors Affecting The Ice Cream Trucks Business
#1 Peak Season
In the warmer seasons, you’ll get an opportunity to conduct more business. Ice-cream trucks in this season aim to make the most of their annual income.
A lot of vendors consider the ice-cream truck business as a seasonal business. It is a bulk of work, with a possible revenue generation of $15000 and more annually.
#2 Selling Consistently
The Ice-cream truck business can help you generate a lot of money. But nothing is a free lunch? For the days where the bulk of work is possible, it means there will be competition. The only way to beat your competition is to be there involved.
Here consistent efforts, longer hours, and increasing your number of working days (including holidays and summer month days), can help you stay ahead in the game. Moreover, you can make a good amount of money.
#3 Making Up For The Off-Season
While I have touched upon the bulk of work, always remember there’ll be an off-season. To make up for the off-season, there are special occasions that can help you gain some revenue.
During winters, ice cream trucks revenue will dropdown. But if you introduce a bit of hot and cold mix combination for your customers and diversify your ice-cream truck into something different, things may look on the upside.
One example could be a hot brownie with an ice cream scoop. Mix it up with a bit of hot chocolate, and the customers might like it.
Still, there’ll be days when your revenue will exceed a certain target. The extra money can go up to $1000-$1500. There’ll be the hottest days of the year, summer beach parties, 4th of July, other special occasions, wedding parties, and most importantly kids’ birthdays.
Whenever celebrations are going on, there is a good mood, and always an excuse to delight the taste buds with something sweet.
But making innovations in the off-season may also help. Either way, if you can innovate, and cash on the perfect occasion, expect big jumps in your revenue.
How To Start An Ice Cream Truck Business?
The reason I’d not talked about this earlier was that I had to lay y’all over a realistic picture and expectations from the ice-cream truck business. Now that I’ve covered in-depth, and got it out of the way, let’s talk about starting a business.
Many of you may be motivated to start it, and some of you might second-guess. In either case, I’m just going to go on thoroughly about the stuff you should know.
Firstly, an ice-cream truck covers ice-cream distribution directly to end-customers. It’s mobile, thus making it commercially feasible.
Whether you’re on one side of the town or another, whatever your route maybe, you’re going to have a handy amount of customers everywhere.
Here are 3 things that you should keep in mind!
#1 The Ice-Cream Truck Business Model
The business model of an ice-cream truck is very simple.
You buy a truck/van >> You go around town >> People will stop by your van, purchase, pay, and leave. So you get your money, they get the ice cream, everybody’s happy.
You’ll receive most of the payments in cash. But there are transactions through online means and cards. It depends if you’re in the position to introduce card machines. Online payments are a little easier comparatively.
This is the most precise ice-cream truck’s business model.
#2 Charging Customers For The Ice-Cream
While the actual price varies by area and commodity, you can charge consumers anywhere from one to four dollars for the various items you sell. Licensed characters, premium or gourmet ingredients, and items with a larger quantity of ice cream are all more expensive.
In addition to the usual choices of popsicles, ice cream sandwiches, and so on, some ice cream trucks will sell quarts of specific ice cream. Consider seasonal pricing, such as making ice cream less expensive in the fall, winter, and spring and more expensive in the summer.
#3 The Actual Profit You Can Make
You can make around $2,500 to $4,000 per month. This is for working roughly twenty days per month. However, various factors will affect your profit. This covers the number of days you work and the number of competitors in your area.
The working hours also matter i.e. the longer you work, the more money you make. The question is how ready you are to work long days throughout the summer or into holiday weekends (when more youngsters are free to buy ice cream).
Marketing your Ice Cream Truck Business!
Thanks to that instantly recognizable song, you provide a bit of advertising every time you drive down the street when you start an ice cream truck business. But you may need to bring more creativity to advertising your ice cream truck business.
Stick to an Scheduled Route
Adhering to a scheduled route encourages word of mouth. This helps your business to grow. Even children who aren’t aware of stuff can keep track of when your ice cream truck will arrive.
Consider printing fliers to let potential customers along your route know when to expect you if you vary your routes, hitting different neighborhoods on different days.
Speak with local event planners about being included in their fundraisers, and consider sponsoring a local Little League team to attend every game.
Build connections within the community. For example: Let the parents know you’re accessible for birthday parties and other events. If you start an ice cream truck business in the summer, you can advertise your arrival using flyers and social media.
Use Social Media
This is also a good time to start using social media. Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are terrific places to share delicious images of the ice cream you’re serving. You can use Twitter to let your dedicated consumers know where you’re at all times.
Maintaining a social media presence is also an excellent strategy to keep in touch with your customers. Keep your consumers informed about new ice cream flavors — You can also create a website.
You might offer exclusive incentives to people who follow your ice-cream truck business on social media. This could mean promo offers and recommendations.
You can also offer your customers a loyalty program. A loyalty program for ice cream trucks is useful, and at the same time profitable. There are high chances it will keep on bringing in repeat customers.
A spread of such incentives amongst kids is popular especially if you offer them a free scoop of ice cream after several purchases.
The main aim of marketing your ice-cream truck is simple: Identify ways to get new customers and retain current ones. As long as your product quality is not compromised, and your services are top-notch consistently, things will look up for you.
I have written this guide keeping in view how much ice-cream trucks make, and the whole overview of how this business works.
In my personal view, keep exploring and innovating in this business. There are many ways in which you can look to explore and innovate without restricting yourself.
Adding new routes, switching to more profitable routes, working longer hours, modifying the times you visit certain areas, diversifying the products, and even driving slower through your chosen neighborhoods are all ways to make the venture more successful.
If you live in a densely populated location, consider growing your business by leasing or acquiring another vehicle, saving money, and adding more employees. In the long run, this type of expansion might double or triple your revenues.