Profitability of a Shave Ice Business?

Profitability of a Shave Ice Business?

Money talks.  The weather has been heating up lately.  I'm sure everyone's getting very busy.  How much money does a shave ice business generate?  that's an important question for anyone who wants to start a business full time, or possibly want to supplement with a secondary income.  Shave ice is actually a very profitable niche business if you do it right.  I recently read a article that's very informative, so I want to share it here.  There are many types of shave ice business: kiosk, push-cart, food trucks and brick-and-mortar store. The truth is Shave ice business has a very healthy profit margin, which makes it an ideal business to dive into.  Read the full article here:

I took some charts from the article that have very nice breakdowns of the expenses and expectant revenues.  

Shaved Ice Business Monthly Costs – Ballpark Costs

Expense Type Estimated Cost Notes
Monthly Rent $500 – $3000 Variable cost depending on location.
Shaved Ice Machine $1,000 – $2,000 One Time Expense.
Permits and Licenses $100 – $500 Varies a lot depending on where you operate.
Phone / Internet $100 – $200
Register / POS $50 – $1,000 Can also use an iPad and an app for credit transactions.
Insurance $100 – $500
Cups $80.00 Approx. 2,000 per Month at $0.04 per cup.
Spoon Straw $40.00 Approx. 2,000 per Month at $0.02 per spoon straw
Ice $260 Approx. 2,000 per Month at $0.13 per sale.
Napkins $20 Approx. 2,000 per Month at $0.01 per sale.
Labor $3,600 Assumes $10 per hour for one employee. 12 Hours per day for 30 days per month.
Electricity $100 – $300
Total Low End Monthly Costs $6,450
Total High End Monthly Costs $13,500
Shaved Ice One Time Expenses / Startup Costs
Item Monthly Est Cost Notes
Shaved Ice Machine $1,000 – $6,000 This will vary greatly depending on the quality of shaver you purchase. New or used.
Signage $2,000 – $25,000 Variable expense.
Employee Uniforms $500 – $1000 This will vary a lot.
Freezers for Ice $2,000 – $10,000 Variable expense.
Syrup Display Setup $5,000 – $25,000 Variable expense.
Total: ???
Revenue Estimates
Sales Daily Revenue Monthly Revenue
67 sales per day at an average of $3.00 per sale $201.00 $6,030
100 sales per day at an average of $3.00 per sale $300.00 $9,000
150 sales per day at an average of $3.00 per sale $450.00 $13,500
200 sales per day at an average of $3.00 per sale $600.00 $18,000

Annual Revenue Expectations:

Annual Revenue @ 67 sales per day: $72,360

Annual Revenue @ 100 sales per day: $108,000

Annual Revenue @ 150 sales per day: $162,000

Annual Revenue @ 200 sales per day: $216,000

*All revenue numbers assume $3.00 average per sale. 

Hope this is helpful for anyone who's interested in starting a business, or for existing business owners to read for pleasure.  Please comment below if you have any interesting things to add!  Thank you so much for reading. Until next time, stay cool and eat a shave ice.

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I loved shaved ice and I’m just about to open a shop up in Mexico.
If anyone could share some info with me that would be awesome. How many cones do you think on average you sell a day?


Thanks For Sharing! So Many Suppliers Wouldn’t Take The Time To Share, It’s All About The Sale. Especially When It Benefits Us All. Hey Y’all Have Any Recipes For Shaved Snow Ice Cream Blocks For Our Shavers Like Some KAKIGORI Types Or Maybe I’m Thinking Thailand Shaved Ice?
… Thanks Again!

Mark Houck

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