From the Top of the Tree

Marco CasolThe beginning of the warm season is upon us, making it a prime time for frozen desserts! Countless hours of preparing, training and marketing have all been accounted for, and now it’s time for the summer rush to come through your doors. Before the season’s official arrival, if I may offer you one piece of advice, “Be at your best when your store is the busiest.”

The goal of your business is to have lines out the door, so make the experience worth waiting for. Customers expect establishments that offer great products to be busy, but also efficient. Prepare your staff for these situations by assigning specific roles (i.e. register, production, sampling, etc.), and make sure that they are always customer-focused. If a customer asks a question, take the time to properly answer it – the people behind them may have the same one. Also remember that customers are always watching; if your staff is attentive and creating a positive experience for customers ahead of them, they too will feel at ease with the wait.

Engage the crowd and encourage customer interaction. You might be able to sell a great cup of pistachio gelato just by providing a description and a sample, but another customer’s recommendation or reaction to a sample can easily sell a flavor. Customer interaction also creates a friendly environment that contributes to the overall experience and ambiance of your store.

Maintain the flow and keep the store clean. Because I am fixated on neatness, I may be biased, but there is nothing appetizing about an unkempt store. Busy or not, send one staff member to do a quick round and always make sure you are continuously discarding the trash, wiping the display case (little finger-prints have a way of easily finding themselves on the glass) and sweeping the floors and outside area. The flow will stop if patrons refuse to sit at dirty tables and, worse, in a dirty shop. The work area should also always be a “clean as you go” space.

And, finally, when you’re busy, don’t sacrifice the products you serve. Consistency is what will keep customers coming back; if there are noticeable differences every day, they will fail to become loyal. You’re busy because you provide something unique – quality products, an educated staff and a passion that animates your store. And, you have the full support of PreGel AMERICA to continue to aid in your success.

As summer sweeps in with warm temperatures and sunshine, remember this advice, and you will see the fruit of your labors rewarded. Buon lavoro!