Restaurant Success Tips

Any food service operator, including small- to medium-sized restaurants, need to measure some key performance indicators (KPIs). The dining industry is vast with many layers, and that makes it a fiercely competitive space. Developing a short list of KPIs is essential to beat back the competition, and, if it’s in your plans, grow your business. 

Running an ice cream or frozen yoghurt parlor is very different from running a restaurant. Most shops don’t have seating, so popular restaurant KPIs like Table Turnover Rate or RevPASH aren’t relevant to your needs. Based on the unique needs of ice cream stores, we have developed a concise list of essential KPIs that explain the state of your business and help you steer it in a profitable direction; all of which can be monitored with an ice cream shop POS system

Track the Best-Selling Flavors

As the owner of manager, keeping up with ice cream trends should be on your radar. While not every trend should be incorporated into your menu, some trends are persistent and have a way of reshaping an industry (take, for example, the gluten-free dining trend). 

Gourmet and artisanal ice cream prevailed in 2016, globally-inspired ice cream flavors influenced 2017 shop owners, wacky ice cream flavors were trending in 2018, and in 2019, creative ice cream vessels appear to be the new hot trend (like Booyah’s ice cream taco). Also, designing the presentation of ice cream to be Instagram-worthy is still a “thing” in 2019 and appears to be one of those persistent trends that shouldn’t be ignored. 

When you add a new menu item (in fact, to keep customers interested, you are encouraged to frequently update the list of ice cream flavors), you want to track how it sells. Additionally, you want to know what the top-selling flavors are and how consistent their sales are. 

Knowing which flavors perform the best and which don’t is crucial for both profitability and cutting costs. For instance, you might have not seen that one flavor is a dud and costs more money to purchase ingredients for and store than it’s earning. Removing it from the menu removes a set-back from your business. In its place, make a top-selling special flavor a permanent menu item.

3 Examples of How Knowing Your Best-Sellers Can Help Boost Sales:

  1. Create special promotions for the best sellers, like purchase two pints of ice cream for a discount.  Customers will jump on the chance to take their favorite ice cream home for a good price, and it’s a great way of promoting your take-away option. 
  2. Find a pattern among the favorites and develop flavors that will attract more customers. If your sales reports show that exotic fruit flavors and chocolate are consistent top sellers, make a special combo flavor of both. 
  3. Improve on inventory management to always have these flavors in stock and avoid disappointing customers.

Average Ticket Size 

This KPI shows you the average of how much money each customer spends at your ice cream shop. (It’s also known as Sales per Guest.) It’s important because you can find out which flavors are underperforming, and if you’re selling enough ice cream to cover costs and be profitable. 

To calculate the average ticket, take the total value of all transactions and divide it by the total number of transactions. 

3 Ways to Analyze Business and Make Improvements with the Average Ticket Size 

  • Track the average ticket every day for one month. Then, you have a decent amount of time to see patterns in consumer behavior. A common spending trend for ice cream parlors is higher ticket averages on the weekend because of groups of friends or families enjoying the day together. 
  • If you find that the average ticket price is lower than what’s needed to be profitable, then you can make strategic changes. For instance, you might be selling the ice cream too cheap and can’t cover all related costs. Raise the prices to what’s necessary and explain the increase to customers in a thoughtful message on the board so they understand why. 
  • Identify the slowest day of the week and increase foot traffic with promotions and a loyalty program

Labor Cost Percentage 

The labor cost percentage reveals how much money is spent on labor, and it’s mistakenly viewed as the metric that determines overstaffing. It can also reveal if you are understaffing. Without enough hands on deck to take orders, serve ice cream, and keep the shop tidy, you might be creating an undesirable customer experience (with long wait times, messy tables, and slow service). 

To calculate the Labor Cost Percentage, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Multiply your employee hourly rate with the number of hours worked (including benefits and taxes per employee).
  • Step 2: Add the values for all employees together to get the total labor cost.
  • Step 3: Divide the total labor cost with the restaurant’s total sales (begin with total sales per month), and multiply by 100.

Now that you have the total labor cost of your ice cream shop, analyze how much is spent on ingredients, rent, packaging and other costs, and compare it to the sales figures. Your labor cost should be between 25% and 35%, although it’s more common for self-service shops to be nearer to 25%. 

With these three KPIs, you have a strong understanding of how well three key pillars of your ice cream shop are functioning. The trick to having useful KPIs is to avoid a lengthy list, otherwise, it’s just too time-consuming. Your KPIs should make you, as owner or manager of an ice cream parlor, more efficient. 

Find out what the top four traits of successful ice cream shops are!


Facebook: 40-160 characters/ occasional 240 

  1. Ice Cream Shop Owners: Stay on top of business with these 3 KPIs. 
  2. Which KPIs are the most useful for ice cream shops?
  3. If you run an ice cream shop, not monitoring these KPIs would be a huge mistake. 
  4. The importance of monitoring KPIs for any foodservice operator cannot be stressed enough. Key performance indicators are the best way to become more profitable, increase foot traffic, and cut down on costs. 
  5. Identify the weakest points of your ice cream shop business with these KPIs, and make strategic changes to increase profitability.

Twitter: 70-100 characters 

  1. Ice Cream Shop Owners: Are you tracking the right key performance indicators? 
  2. Ice Cream Shop Owners: Track these KPIs for a complete understanding of business. 
  3. Identify the weakest points of your ice cream parlor with these essential key performance indicators. 
  4. Track these KPIS and put the possibilities for your ice cream shop front and center.
  5. Ice Cream Shop Owners: Make smart businesses decisions with these essential KPIs. 

LinkedIn: Fewer than 140 characters/ 25 words 

  1. As the owner of an ice cream shop, you have unique key performance indicators to track. See the essential three here. 
  2. It’s easier to identify your business’s weak points and find the right solutions with KPIs. 
  3. Ice Cream Shop Owners: Are you using the best KPIs for business? 
  4. It would be a mistake to overlook these KPIs. 
  5. Monitor theses key performance indicators to increase sales and foot traffic to your ice cream parlor.