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How Big a Space is Needed for an Ice Cream Shop?

On average, anyone looking to venture into the ice cream shop business will need from 80 square feet, for smaller shops, to 2,500 square feet for larger ones.

Also note that the exact location of the shop, the number of customers they are serving, the type of ice cream they offer, as well as other factors, will determine its dimension and footage.

Nevertheless, you have to understand that a good number of small ice cream shops we have these days are from 80 to 1,000 square feet of space.

These types have a few tables or chairs for customers and a small counter area where customers can order treats and pay for them.

However, if you look towards medium-sized ice cream shops, they are known to be within the 1,200 and 2,500 square feet range.

According to experts, these facilities tend to possess a comfortable production space, more seating for customers, and a wider assortment of flavors and treats to select from.

Larger ice cream shops are more or less over 2,500 square feet and tend to have multiple stories. You will notice that these facilities can adequately accommodate a sizeable kitchen as well as production and storage areas that are necessary for bigger ice cream operations.

These shops also feature more selections of flavors and menu items, ample seating, and extra features such as music, TVs, and outdoor seating.

Factors to Consider When Determining the Space Needed for an Ice Cream Shop

1. Location

This is indeed one of the most vital factors every business will want to take into account to guarantee business success. Always remember that the space you get will depend largely on where your store is located.

If you intend to offer your products and services in a mall or high-traffic area, a larger shop might be necessary to ensure that you have enough space for the heavy flow of customers. In the same vein, if you want to offer your items in a more rural area, then you might make do with a smaller shop.

 2. Number of employees and customers

This is another consideration you wouldn’t want to skip especially owing to how important and vital they are to the success of your business. Your employees are the face of your shop and their appeal to patrons will mean a lot.

Also keep in mind that the number of customers that visit your ice cream shop will vary and most likely depend on your shop location, size, and specialty offerings.

In terms of your employees, small-sized ice cream shops can effectively be managed by just one or two people, maybe the owner and another family member.

However, bigger establishments will have to leverage the expertise of several staff members in order to cater to the increased demand for ice cream.

 3. Menu items

Ice cream shops that offer a wide assortment of menu items will most definitely require a bigger space especially since this will need more preparation and working space.

Meanwhile, businesses that provide only a handful of flavors to patrons can genuinely get away with a smaller shop. If your plan is to only serve scooped ice cream to patrons, then you won’t require as much space as when serving ice cream sundaes or milkshakes.

A good number of stores are known to carry a wide range of specialty sundaes, milkshakes, and other desserts. You will also find that some might even possess a few flavors of frozen yogurt or vegan ice cream options.

Nevertheless, note that the more ice cream offerings, the more space an ice cream shop will need to accommodate the preparation and serving of these products.


Just as was noted above, ice cream shops are known to be around 80 to 2,500 square feet on average in size. However, you would want to know that the location, the number of employees and customers, as well as the menu items, will determine the amount of space any of these businesses need to cater to the cravings of patrons.

As such, when looking to start this business or decide on the amount of space you need, take into account the number of customers you plan to serve and how much space you’ll need for your products. Also don’t forget that guests tend to be more generous with their spending if they have more personal space.