Do you want to start an ice cream truck business by buying a franchise? If YES, here are 8 best mobile ice cream truck franchises and their cost. Starting an ice cream truck business can be an excellent choice for an entrepreneur looking to venture into a lucrative and fun career. The financial barriers to entry aren’t overwhelming, and to some extent, the business allows a fair amount of flexibility regarding hours.

Also, an ice cream truck business is highly scalable. To expand, all you need to do is to purchase a second truck. However, there are two options to consider when looking to venture into this industry: starting from the scratch or acquiring a franchise.

Having an ice cream truck franchise is a good investment because everyone loves ice cream! You can never be too full or too cold to eat ice cream. With a franchise, you begin with investment capital. Then you will have to purchase, rent or lease a truck – or comparable vehicle.

You will need to also purchase all the licensing, permits, and inventory. Also take into account the expense of having your ice cream truck painted with advertising, as well as your business name. Also, have it in mind that the inventory you choose for your ice cream truck and the delivery route is crucial.

In addition, since operating laws vary from state to state, and sometimes city to city, obtaining the proper licensing will take a little research. You will also have to realize that it is up to you to make yourself aware of the ice cream vending regulations and laws, and then you must obey them! These regulations provide comfort and safety for you and your customers.

A good number of vending regulations cover litter control, noise restrictions, and safe driving practices. Partnering your ice cream truck business with an existing franchise can be very helpful. Not only will people automatically be attracted to your business-on-wheels because you represent a name they are familiar with, but also you have the advantage of working with a successful company whose business is working well in the vending industry.

8 Best Mobile Ice Cream Truck Franchise Opportunities

There are several different franchises available to you, and they include;

  1. Softee

Mr. Softee is a family-owned ice cream truck franchise offering customers soft-serve ice cream and the musical tune that means summer to millions. There is a huge nostalgia factor with this brand and its logo/mascot and music that has never changed. To keep up with the times, the company has rolled out an app that lets people track the locations of nearby trucks so they can get their summer soft-serve treats quicker.

Established by William Conway in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1956 but only franchising since 2000, the number of locations has expanded in recent years from 587 in 2014 to the most recently reported total of 624 in 2018, none of which are company-owned and all of which are located in the US.

  1. Kona Ice

This is a well known mobile ice cream truck business that provides flavored shaved ice, ice cream, and other iced sweet treats. Since Kona Ice franchisees are mobile, they can be hired for different parties and events to serve up shaved ice that customers can flavor themselves.

Shaved ice carts, kiosks, and trailers are also available. Kona Ice was established in Northern Kentucky in 2007 and started franchising in 2008. A total upfront investment of $120,225 to $143,025 is needed if you want to become a Kona Ice franchisee. There are currently over 790 units available nationwide. The agreement length is 10 years and the ongoing royalty fee ranges from $3,000 to $4,000 per year.

  1. Carvel Ice Cream

In 1934, Tom Carvel borrowed $15 from his future wife Agnes, filled a battered vending truck with ice cream, and drove off in search of the American dream. The report had it that his truck broke down in Hartsdale, NY, but the dream never faltered.

On that very site, Tom Carvel started selling his ice cream which would one day become New York City’s number one ice cream brand and would create a cult-like following that has existed for over 70 years. Today, that company has grown massively and are now offering you the opportunity to share the many reasons why you should consider a Carvel franchise.

  1. The Tikiz Shaved Ice and Ice Cream Truck

This business offers more flexibility and allows you to “go where the crowds are”, which includes residential and workplace locations, schools and daycares, carnivals, fairs, festivals, sporting events, or special events like parades, air shows, and parties. All are great at providing a captive customer base.

The Tikiz Shaved Ice and Ice Cream Truck was designed from the ground up to be a one-of-a-kind experience with a patent-pending “Surv-Board,” where customers can dispense their own fruit syrup creations, custom signage, water misters, top-of-the-line shaved ice dispenser, high impact light, and sound package and a 20’ tall inflatable Tikiz character for use at special events, parties and FUNdraisers.

  1. Sweet Pea Homemade Ice Cream

The company’s mission is to offer a premium homemade ice cream that the community will crave, in an Eco-Friendly environment that the community will enjoy and support, for many years to come. They strive to be the example for other Green Companies that would like to incorporate Eco-Friendly practices into their own business.

The franchises to be offered are electric-powered trucks that have refrigerated units for the storage and mobile sale of the Sweet Pea Homemade Ice Cream products that include ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet, and more!

  1. Duck Donuts

Duck Donuts serves Warm, Delicious, and Made to Order donuts as well as a variety of coffees, donut breakfast sandwiches, donut sundaes, and milkshakes. These donuts are always fresh and made to order, customized just the way you want, creating a unique and engaging experience that sets the company apart from your typical donut shop. Duck Donuts offers a simple, fast-growing, and easy-to-run concept with a small footprint. In addition, they offer:

  • Multi-unit development options.
  • Multiple store layout designs to fit a variety of scenarios.
  • Non-traditional locations and food trucks.
  • Catering and events for additional revenue opportunities.
  1. Kilwins Chocolates Franchise, Inc.

Started in 1947, Kilwins has been a celebrated part of Americana having earned a reputation for providing high quality products and excellent service. Their heritage was built on the simple premise of creating their products from the finest ingredients and providing customers with great service. Today they continue the tradition by uniquely combining high quality products with a warm friendly customer experience that is supported through a successful community of caring owner operators.

  1. One Hour Parties

This is the most exciting and fun franchise concept on the market today. They provide easy, creative, and affordable party planning solutions for corporate celebrations, kid’s parties, social events, and beyond. One Hour Parties are designed to meet the demand for quick, creative, and affordable celebrations. All parties typically include a theme, food, table décor, and many other unique add-ons that a customer may request.

Customers are allowed to pick from an extensive list of “off-the-shelf” parties like Luau, Cupid’s Arrow, Football Fantasy, Margaritaville, Ice Cream Social, and Virtual Ice Cream Truck (plus a whole lot more!) or they can create their own custom party with One Hour Parties’ “Have It Your Way” service which features full-service event planning, catering, decorating and entertainment options.

8 Best Profitable Mobile Ice Cream Truck Franchises for 2021