The success that hand-crafted gelato has had in Italy in recent years is due in large part to bars: in fact, over 15,000 of them now serve gelato, especially in the hotter months. What’s more, if you’re currently thinking of getting into the gelato business, the option of opening up a gelato café is definitely worth looking at.
If gelato isn’t your main business or you want to open up a gelato café and give your customers some excellent hand-crafted gelato, there are great opportunities around to help broaden your product selection.
We recommend serving a limited number of flavours – no more than 12, and mainly the timeless classics, such as hazelnut, pistachio, vanilla, and chocolate fiordilatte. The reason for that is sales volumes: it’s better to serve fewer flavours and make your gelato more often, so that your product is always fresh and therefore better quality.
Various different factors help create the consumer experience: a gelato with natural, genuine, microbiologically safe Italian ingredients, together with knowledgeable and well-trained cone staff, as well as a warm welcoming environment and furnishings in line with the latest trends.
A “gelateria” inside your bar, smaller than a standard parlour, enables you to turn over your products regularly in the display case, which makes them easier to sell. Today's consumer is used to seeing top-quality produce, is more sensitive to quality and has sophisticated, demanding tastes.
How to make gelato and which machines
There are companies on the market which manufacture specific ingredients for making excellent hand-crafted gelato as well as machinery for parlours both large and small.
You can use a rotating display case or a modern showcase, while you can equip your workshop with a compact batch freezer and a small pasteurizer, or else with a combo machine that will handle both the batch freezing and the pasteurization. Another great design innovation that has recently hit the market are mobile batch freezers that double up as showcases.
Another alternative to the traditional batch freezer is the soft-serve machine. These machines can make up to 2 flavours of gelato. No pasteurizer is needed. The ingredients are mixed cold and poured straight into the machine. The gelato is created almost instantaneously as soon as the machine is turned on. If you have a whole row of soft-serve machines, you can serve a reasonable range of flavours of classic gelato: this is what is known as “express gelato”.
Soft-serve machines also mean you can create a yoghurt corner. Alongside the soft-serve machine you’ll need a yoghurt counter with several containers for storing fruit, sauces, granules and fillings for yoghurt.