Is working at an ice cream shop fun?

Someone on Yahoo answers asked, “Is working at an ice cream shop fun?” He also asks a bunch more questions in the details. I answer each one of them below:

I worked at an ice cream shop in Chicago for two summers. You have some really great questions. Here are my answers.

About how old do you have to be to work at an ice cream shop for instance Carvel or Baskin-Robbins, where you live?
I was 17 and 18 years old when I worked there. My co-workers were all between the ages of 17 to 21. But there was one older woman who worked the daytime shift. She was about 40 years old.

What are the ups and downs of working there?
The downs were when the shop was totally crazy. Like a Saturday night when the line would go out the door. Wow. That was busy. But that really didn’t happen all that much for us. Most of the time we had a few people in the shop. The best days are when it rains because people don’t get ice cream in the rain. And when you have the “closed” sign displayed, people barely ever come in at all. We accidentally learned that one time! lol.

The ups are having fun with your coworkers. And it’s about bringing happiness to your customers. Think of ice cream at home. Isn’t it fun to scoop out ice cream at home? It’s just as fun—wait—it’s actually MORE fun to do it at work. Because you have all these different flavors and different toppings. Everything is set up at work to create the ultimate in ice cream creation. Ice cream creating is one of the fine arts in this world. It’s a delight to do. Even when there is a long line, that can get a little stressful, because people don’t want to wait. But really, in the back of your mind, you think that you are still serving ice cream. And that’s just totally rad.

And because of the incredible ice cream/frozen yogurt skills you attain on the job, you keep those for the rest of your life. Anytime you see a self-serve frozen yogurt machine, you can approach it in confidence, and a level of mastery nobody else can attain. That is, unless you have a twin brother like me, who also worked at an ice cream shop for not just two summers, but three summers. In college, we had a self-serve ice cream machine, and we would have ice cream cone build-off competitions.

Another up about the job is being able to meet cute girls. Cute girls love to come into ice cream shops. And cute girls love it when guys make their ice cream cones. Oh yeah.

How long do you work there for, hours a day, hours a week, how many days a week?
I worked there for two summers. I worked about 20 hours a week. Our shifts were 3-4 hours per day. The day woman worked 40 hours a week on weekdays. She would open the shop around 11 am, and her shift would end around 7 pm.

Do you get breaks or at least get time just to relax and sit for a while? Breaks?
I worked 3-4 hour shifts, we got no official breaks. But often there would be lulls in traffic coming in. So there was time to sit. But there were also times when we had a line. But for the most part, I would say that there wasn’t a ton of work. It was pretty relaxing. And you didn’t get bored out of your mind, because there’s always stuff to clean. You want your ice cream shop to be really clean. That’s essential. Plus we as humans like things clean. So to make things clean makes you feel good. It makes you feel productive.

While I got to relax, it wasn’t relaxing to the point of being boring.

At least how much they’d pay per week/month?
I got paid minimum wage. But the joy from the job is the best. Consider it. Everyone who comes into the shop is coming for ice cream. Everyone loves ice cream. Everyone who comes into the shop is in a good mood. It’s ice cream time!

Plus since we were in a strip mall, there were other stores next to us. We had an unspoken deal with the Little Ceasars that we would make whatever ice creations they wanted, and they would build us any type of pizza we wanted. Some of the best pizzas I ever had were from that deal.

Can you eat free ice cream?
We weren’t supposed to, but we did all the time. But a big-time warning on this. Many of the people I worked with got chubby. I avoided eating the ice cream at all costs. I simply drank water during my entire shift. The only time I would get free ice cream is when during slow times we would have frozen yogurt throwing wars.

The owner of the shop was a very very picky man. He had a scale next to the register, and we were supposed to weigh our ice creams, so we weren’t giving out too much. But according to his expectations, he wanted us to put way too little into each size cup. People would get upset if we gave out the correct weight. So we always went over. The only time we would use the “proper” amount is when the boss would work alongside us. Over two summers, I worked with him maybe three times. And yes, people totally complained about the amount, but then I would just simply point over to the boss.

But for the most part, when the boss wasn’t there, it was totally a blast. When people would ask for whip cream, I would give them so much whip cream that it would tower so high. People were amazed. And that’s one of the life lessons I learned working there: Always please the customer. Over-deliver what they are expecting.

Often we had a partner to work with. We would have competitions on who could create the better ice cream cone for our customers. people want incredible ice cream cones with the most ice cream they can get. We didn’t let them down. You always want to put more ice cream in your cone than your partner does.


I wrote a blog post, “Ice cream shop life lessons” at

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Tom Saaristo
11 years ago

Outstanding! Not only did you give a great answer, you got a BEST ANSWER and maintained your 100% I KNEW that you would get the BA if you answered! And I just went over there and gave you #5 of 5 “Thumbs Up”s for your Best Answer!!

Tom Saaristo
11 years ago

I knew you would enjoy answering it and that it would lead to getting a BA! I never would have sent it to you otherwise!

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