Bill Kim tore out the large espresso machine at his new Belly Shack restaurant in Chicago to make room for a soft-serve ice cream dispenser. He figured he’d make more money from the soft serve than from hot beverages.
He was right. In fact, the frozen dessert has been so profitable, he plans to buy a new, faster machine this August, he said.
Kim and others across the country are finding strong sales in fun and unusual soft-serve flavors, such as coconut water, olive oil and those reminiscent of kids’ breakfast cereals. And this spring, as the weather warms, they expect the interest in soft serve to grow even more.
“Soft serve is cheap, and you can make good money on it,” Kim said, noting that the product is also cost-effective and consistent. If you are using a machine to make all your desserts, “you don’t need a $40,000 pastry chef,” he said.