View Full Version : Working at an Ice Cream Shop

10-02-2010, 12:26 AM
What's it like? Is it easy, hard? Hectic or slow-paced? What does it entail? What kind of hours would you have? What's the pay like?

10-03-2010, 09:32 AM
I've never worked at one, so I may not be the best source but one of my friends worked at a local one for awhile that i've spent plenty of time at. It's a small town so the ice cream shop is kind of a social hub for the town. It seems like there a periods of fast paced working and a lot of goofing off among the empoyees when it is slower. Most of the employees are high school girls and the pay is minimum wage plus whatever is in the tip jar (so not very much.) The hours this one is open run from 12pm-10 or 11pm. I'm not sure about the details of the job other than collecting money,serving the ice cream and light cleaning. Hope that is of a little help.

10-03-2010, 12:41 PM
If it were me (since I love ice cream :D), I'd go to an ice cream shop, buy some ice cream, and start asking questions of the people who were actually working there. Then, since I'd want my research to be complete, I'd repeat the process with as many ice cream shops as needed until I found enough common themes to answer my question. And satisfy my appetite. :D

10-03-2010, 05:12 PM
I worked at Bruster's for about a year in high school. It's an easy job. Even when there were huge lines, it never felt terribly hectic. I made minimum wage plus tips. My shifts were usually four or six hours long.

The repetitiveness of scooping ice cream can get a little hard on your hands, though, but it was never awful. My training day was the worst, because they had me scooping 5oz scoops for an hour so I'd learn the correct portions and how to 'structure' the scoop so it didn't fall out of the cone.

Other stuff the job entailed: making waffle cones (which was actually fun), restocking, cleaning and waiting on customers. The managers were the ones who made the ice cream and decorated the cakes and pies.

I used to come home smelling like vanilla every day. :)

10-03-2010, 06:27 PM
An acquaintance in college worked at an ice cream place the summer before her freshman year, intending to quit in the late fall when business slowed. But she had a problem the store owner told her had happened before to her employees: Scooping with her dominant hand for several months built up the pectoral muscle on one side of her chest only, making that breast appear markedly bigger. (The breast itself was the same size as before.) So she stayed on until Christmas--scooping with her other hand.

Maryn, who always wanted to work that into a story but never has

10-03-2010, 07:21 PM
I worked at a TCBY one summer, back in high school. We sold both soft-serve and hand-scooped, as well as fountain sodas and cookies.

Little details can make all the difference in authentic research. We used to chop the candy bar toppings by hand in the back room (Snickers, reese's cups, etc...). We'd eat the balls of frozen cookie dough that were for our "fresh baked" cookies, which were baked in a tiny little convection oven in the back room. We'd take jugs of the liquid soft-serve mix from the freezer to the fridge to thaw overnight (both were big, walk-in's). Portion sizes are very specific by store, and we had to use a little scale until we could eyeball it correctly. We'd give our friends extra scoops of toppings, or charge a smaller cup size than they ordered.

My strongest memory, though, is of the scooped ice cream. There is a little tray in front of the freezer that fills with water and has a drain, and that's where we keep the scoops between scooping. The water was always cold. Every time I'd scoop, my wrist would press against the ice cream tub and get sticky stuff on my skin. Water would drip off the scoop, sometimes into other ice cream flavors, sometimes on the front of your shirt. But I always felt sticky in that store, and I washed my hands a lot.