What it Takes to be a Successful Ice Cream Shop Worker

One good or bad employee can have a big impact on an ice cream shop.  Noone wants to do business with a worker who is rude and miserable. They will choose the shop that employs the pleasant, helpful worker that makes them feel special.  Whether you are a shop owner, or want to get your start in the ice cream industry, here are some tips to help you succeed.

The Work Culture

Before hiring and training begins, make sure you have the right culture at your ice cream shop.  Will people want to work there? Do you have a fun and inviting atmosphere? Is the culture positive and engaging? Do you reward your employees and treat customers well? These are some of the hard questions you need to ask yourself before you start hiring.

Ice Cream Shop Employee Traits

A Good Personality. A key trait to look for in a potential worker is personality. You want to hire someone who has a vibrant personality and can form a healthy rapport with customers of any age. 

Social Skills.  Make sure your future employees are able to socially engage with customers.  Having a good social demeanor and being able to engage in real conversation is crucial.  Make sure they can communicate in ways other than emails and text messages.

Careful Who You Hire.  A business owner will most likely be approached by family, friends and friends of family looking for a job.  Don’t hire someone you aren’t comfortable firing if they don’t work out.

Ask Good Questions.  Make sure your interview questions reveal a candidate’s true personality.  Also watch their eye contact, confidence, and general demeanor. 

The Training Process

Training Period. It’s a good idea to have a two-week grace period for any new hire before you put them into a regular position.  This gives you time to see if they’re a good fit for your store. 

Shadowing. Before a new hire begins, they should shadow you for a week.  This gives them time to ‘learn the ropes’ and gain knowledge from you.  Once they are through, follow them around for a week and offer suggestions for improvement.

Teach Them Well.  Show your new hires everything they need to know about product preparation and customer service.  Share your knowledge so they can gain confidence in their abilities. 

Show Your Interest.  To get the most out of an employee, be genuine and nurturing.  Take interest in their progress and check on them regularly.  Ask how they are doing so they feel comfortable opening up to you. 

Reward Them.  A simple reward like a new uniform can help a new worker stay strong and motivated.  It’s important to keep the momentum going and find ways to inspire and reward your staff on a regular basis.  Try holding daily contests and have a few gifts on hand for the winners.

Hold Employees Accountable

All of your employees should be performing their duties.  A system of checks and balances is one idea.  Have employees sign work charts when they have completed tasks, especially at opening and closing times.  Also, create an employee handbook so everyone is on the same page.

How to Find the Best Employees

Many businesses, including ice cream shops, have a lot of turnover when teenage workers and college students go back to school.  To ensure you have a pool of qualified workers, get active in the community and schools.  Hiring people you know, like and trust can help build mutual respect and reduce employee theft. 

Come to Us for Your Ice Cream Treat

If you want a special treat, or are celebrating a special occasion, Norwood Ice Cream is here to serve you!   We are a small ice cream shop, located in Eldersburg, Maryland.  Each unique ice cream flavor is handcrafted in small batches right in our store.  We caterweddings, parties, special celebrations, corporate events and more.  Drop by for a visit, or call us at 410-875-7238 for more information.