How to Start a Milkshake Business (2024) [Plan, Ideas, Steps]

Are you looking to start a milkshake business? Now is a great time to do it.

A milkshake is a creamy and delicious beverage made by blending milk, ice cream, and various flavors. It is a popular treat enjoyed by people of all ages.

To successfully start, it is important to have proper market research, a good understanding of the target market, a strategic business plan, legal compliance, and a marketing plan.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the step-by-step process, covering all the important considerations and points that will help you get started from scratch.

Here’s an interesting statistic on the milkshake market.

According to a report by grandviewresearch the global packaged milkshakes market was valued at USD 238.6 million in 2018, and it is projected to grow at a CAGR of 6.3%. For detailed information you can visit the official website.

U.S. packaged milkshakes market size

Benefits of starting the business:

  • High-profit margins
  • Wide customer base
  • Low startup cost
  • Easy to start and run
  • Different menu options
  • Franchise opportunity

If you’re ready to start, here are the first steps you need to take:

  • Define your business
  • Research on market
  • Write a business plan.
  • Create a menu and pricing.
  • Buy equipment and supplies.
  • Find a suitable location.
  • Choose a business name.
  • Setup a website
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Sell milkshakes online

We will provide you with more detailed information on each of these steps in the following sections of this blog post. Are you ready to learn? Let’s jump into the next steps.

How to start a milkshake business? steps guide

milkshake business

1. Define your business model

Defining your business model and deciding on the type of service you want to provide to your customers is a crucial step before getting started.

  1. Independent milkshake business
  2. Milkshake franchise opportunity

Starting an independent milkshake shop can be a profitable idea, but it is still important to decide on your service type (food truck, physical shop, or online delivery).

Milkshake business ideasTarget marketLocation
Traditional shopAll agesPermanent storefront
Milkshake truckAll agesTemporary location
Online milkshake delivery serviceAdults and teensOnline

Difference between franchise and independent shop:

You can also go with a franchise; it depends on your goals, target market, resources, budget, planning, and personal choice.

Here is the difference between owning a franchise and starting your milkshake bar.

FactorFranchiseOwn shop
Brand recognitionEstablished brand advantage.Build your brand.
Support & trainingReceive franchise support.Self-manage operations.
Menu controlFollow the standardized menu.Create your unique menu.
Start-up costsHigher initial investment.Lower but independent costs.
FlexibilityLess decision-making freedom.Full control and flexibility.
MarketingBenefit from franchise marketing.Handle your marketing.
Profit distributionShare profits with the franchise.Keep all profits, higher risk.

A franchise business model is a licensing agreement where individuals can open and operate their store under an established brand.

Franchisees benefit from the brand recognition, support, and proven business strategies provided by the franchisor.

To start with a franchise, you can consider the franchise brand below; make sure to research on your own to find more helpful information (brand details, fees, customer reviews, popularity, growth potential, services offered by the company, etc.).

milkshake franchise google listings
FranchiseFoundedKnown forLocation
The Milkshake Factory1940Thick, creamy milkshakesUnited States
Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers2002Frozen custard, milkshakesUnited States
Smoothie King1973Smoothies, milkshakesUnited States, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, Central and South America, Middle East, Philippines, India
Orange Leaf2008Customizable ice cream treats, milkshakesUnited States
Jamba Juice1990Healthy smoothies, milkshakesUnited States, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, Caribbean, Asia, Europe

2. Conduct proper market research

Conducting proper marketing research and identifying the target audience is crucial for a successful business; without proper research, you can’t grab the opportunity and are unable to find the demand and needs of the customers.

SWOT analysis for the milkshake business:

  • Strengths: Identify the unique strengths – high demand for milkshakes, good profit margins, Low start-up costs, flexible business model.
  • Weaknesses: Competition, food safety, seasonal demand, high labor costs.
  • Opportunities: Look for opportunities in the market, such as new trends, untapped customer segments, expansion, product diversification, and partnerships.
  • Threats: New competitors, changes in consumer behavior, new regulations, and economic downturns.

Here are some steps for conducting market research:

  • Demographic research: Conduct demographic research to understand the demand for Milkshake according to (age, gender, income, occupation, location, lifestyle, interests, and flavor preference).
  • Identifying target customers: Analyze the popularity of nutritional drinks in your area, know the customer’s needs, check customer behavior data, and analyze social media.
  • Know the market competition: Understand the market competition and analyze your competitors, their pricing model, flavors, taste, and additional toppings of milkshakes.
  • Researching about products: Flavoring options, ingredients, different types of menu options, benefits, pricing, packaging, serving, and distribution methods.

Your target customers can be the following group of people.

  • Children
  • Families
  • Teens and young adults
  • Health-conscious consumers
  • Fitness enthusiasts
  • Coffee and dessert lovers
  • Tourists and travelers
  • Event-goers
  • Late-night cravers
  • Students

These are some ideas about target consumers.

With proper market research, you would know about the market competitors and competition. According to the market competition, you have to prepare your plan.

3. Write a milkshake business plan

To create a successful venture with a proper strategy and run the business as a brand, the most important step is to write a solid business plan.

This plan is the foundation of your business; without it, you won’t be able to make good decisions and will not be able to track your progress.

Write a proper business plan, including a business summary, market demand, target market, market research, business expenses, funding, legal documents, and promotion strategy.

A business plan should include:

  • Executive summary: Write the complete overview of your business, unique selling proposition, target market, goals, service, financial plan, etc.
  • Services: Outline what type of product and services you will offer to your customer (flavors, topping, customization options, and diverse tastes). 
  • Business model: Define your service model to deliver the services to customers. As a physical store, online delivery service, or mobile food truck.
  • Establishment plan: If opening a physical store, then find the location, layout, design, and plan to create a friendly environment for your customers. 
  • Marketing plan: Develop a marketing plan to attract more and more customers to your shop through social media, influencer marketing, local advertising, and public relations.
  • Financial plan: Initial startup costs, funding sources, ongoing expenses, and profit margins. 
  • Business requirements: List the essential equipment, supplies, ingredients, and staff needed to operate the shop.

Hope you understand how to write a business plan.

You can read blogs, use templates, and hire a plan writer or business consultant.

4. Setup milkshake menu and pricing

milkshake menu

Creating a menu and a competitive pricing chart is the primary part of attracting customers.

Create a menu that includes a variety of milkshake recipes with flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, coffee, fruity, peach, berry, oreo, mint, etc.

When you prepare your menu, focus on customer preference, market demand, and supply availability in your location.

Also, your pricing, quality, ingredients, service type, and freshness matter in your success, and according to your customer demand, you need to prepare milkshakes for them.

Creating a unique milkshake recipe requires proper skills and experimenting with flavors, ingredients, and presentation.

Create a menu focusing on the following;

  • Your target audience: Their age, preferences, flavors, ingredients, and choice.
  • Milkshake pricing: Clearly state the price of each milkshake recipe and menu item.
  • Ingredients details in menu – use fresh and quality ingredients to make a perfect recipe.
  • Toppings: Add a variety of toppings to your menu to customize milkshakes.

5. Buy the essential equipment and supplies

Once you’ve finished menu planning and researching your milkshake business, the next step is to list out the equipment, ingredients, and supplies that you will need.

For buying equipment, the best and easiest way is online e-commerce sites like Amazon, Alibaba, and eBay. You can find a variety of products at a competitive price.

When you purchase, consider size, quality, features, and brand.

Benefits of buying equipment online:

  • Convenience: You can shop from home at any time.
  • Selection: It is easy to find the best equipment and supplies.
  • Comparison shipping: You can compare prices and products.
  • Reviews: Before making the purchase, you can read reviews and ratings of customers.
  • Free shipping: Free shipping on orders.
  • Returns: If you’re not satisfied, then return the items for a full refund.

Here are some basic tips for making a great purchasing decision: Do your research, read reviews, compare pricing, and check product descriptions and return policies.

Buy milkshake-making equipment

  • Milkshake machine
  • Blender
  • Ice cream dispenser (optional)
  • Ice cream scoop
  • Syrup pumps
  • Toppings dispensers
  • Storage containers
  • Lids, straws, and utensils
  • Refrigerator and freezer
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Decorations
  • Menu boards


Milkshake Glass

Plastic Cups with Lids

Milkshake-making ingredients and supplies

The ingredients you have to list according to market demand are different flavorings, toppings, menu options, and milkshake types.

  • Ice cream (vanilla, chocolate, or other flavors)
  • Milk (whole milk, skim milk, almond milk, etc.)
  • Sweeteners (sugar, honey, maple syrup)
  • Flavorings (vanilla extract, cocoa powder, fruit puree)
  • Mix-ins (chocolate chips, cookie crumbs, nuts, candy pieces)
  • Toppings (whipped cream, maraschino cherries, sprinkles)
  • Fresh fruit (bananas, strawberries, berries, etc.)

For buying freshened ingredients, you can explore the best suppliers in your local area.

Find the best supplier for buying ingredients:

  • Local grocery stores
  • Restaurant supply stores
  • Online retailers
  • Farmers markets
  • Local food producers

Some tips for buying ingredients:

  • Read the labels
  • Check the ingredient’s quality.
  • Compare prices of different suppliers.
  • Ask for recommendations (friends, family, colleagues)
  • Try to find the best brands.
  • When buying, consider bulk purchasing.
  • Use fresh ingredients

6. Decide a suitable business location

Finding a good, suitable location for a milkshake shop is also an important step.

Need to find a location according to the local demand, where there should be all kinds of facilities, space to rent, workforce, and a good environment.

After deciding on a good location, launch your shop with preparation and setup.

Your target location should be near:

When choosing a location for your milkshake store, you can consider some important points, such as target market, high foot traffic, market competition, and zoning laws.

Here are some tips for selecting a suitable location:

  • Target market: Choose a location that should be convenient for your target market.
  • Demographics: Analyze the demographics of the area, such as age, income level, and preferences, to match your target market.
  • Visibility: Open your shop in a good location that is visible to potential customers.
  • Foot traffic: Target an area with a lot of foot traffic, which should be a potential location and a busy area.
  • Competition: Avoid locating your business too close to another milkshake shop.
  • Cost: When selecting, consider the cost of rent/lease and other costs.
  • Zoning laws: Check the zoning law of the selected area and permission.
  • Parking: There should be a good parking area available for customers.

7. Choose a business name

Choose a brand name to create an identity in the market. Also, the name can help to stand out from the market, and customers can remember your shop.

For creating an online presence, promoting the milkshake shop, and for other marketing efforts, having a good name is crucial.

Determine your competitor, their branding, servicing type, food quality, and business name; after that, choose a unique, memorable, attractive, easy, short, web-friendly name for your shop.

Use a business name generator tool to find attractive and unique names.

milkshake business names ideas

Here are some name ideas you can choose:

  • Shake Bliss
  • ShakeWave
  • Milkshake Marvel
  • The Shake Oasis
  • Shake Haven
  • ShakeMasters
  • Dreamy Shakes
  • The Shake Lab
  • Shake Sensations
  • Milky Magic
  • The Shake Spot

Make sure that without checking the uniqueness of a name, don’t use it as it is; properly research the location, target market, and product type, then select the best name.

8. Setup a website for your shop

For promoting your business online, for online presence, and for building a huge customer base, a website is also a vital part.

On this website, you can provide information to the audience about your menu, pricing, and milkshake type, and even you can connect with your customers and audience.

To create a professional website, some basic steps:

  • Step 1: Choose a domain name
  • Step 2: Buy hosting
  • Step 3: Set up your website
  • Step 4: Create essential pages
  • Step 5: Promote your website

9. Promote your milkshake shop

To promote your milkshake, you can follow different types of marketing methods.

Here, we have discussed some basic marketing ideas that can help to attract your target customers and be helpful for brand building.

  • Build your social media presence.
  • Partnerships with local businesses
  • Focus on unique flavors and toppings.
  • Word-of-mouth promotion
  • Influencer marketing is a good idea.
  • Create eye-catching packaging
  • Sponsorship of local teams or activities
  • List your service on local directories.

Use social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to share high-quality images of your milkshake, promote specials and discounts, and engage with potential customers.

If you are opening your shop in a high-traffic area, other businesses partner with them (coffee shops, hotels, or fitness studios), which is important for branding.

Highlight what makes your Milkshake store different to stand out from the competition.

Set up a special menu item, offer some different dishes, set up affordable pricing, etc.

10. Sell milkshakes online

Online business models are indeed proven ways to sell products and services.

In the case of a milkshake business, you can provide a virtual platform for your customers to order milkshakes online. Then, you need to deliver the milkshakes to their location.

Setting up an online milkshake service requires proper step-by-step planning and research with a good understanding of the online business model.

You can expand your milkshake business’s reach by creating an online presence through your website and listing your products on popular food delivery apps like DoorDash, Uber Eats, Postmates, Grubhub, Swiggy, and Zomato.

list food delivery services

Here is the process and difference between those two ideas;

FactorThird-party food delivery serviceOwn online store
Process1. Partner with a food delivery service.
2. Create your menu and Pricing.
3. Promote your business.
4. Receive orders and deliver milkshakes to customers.
1. Create your website or use an e-commerce platform.
2. Set up your shipping and fulfillment system.
3. Create your menu and set your prices.
4. Promote your business.
5. Receive orders and ship milkshakes to customers.
Setup RequirementsFood delivery services: Uber Eats, DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates, CaviarWebsite creation platforms: Shopify, WordPress, WooCommerce, Squarespace, Wix, Weebly
Advantages1. Reach a wider audience without having to set up your own shipping and fulfillment system.
2. No need to worry about customer service or refunds.
3. Take a commission from each order.
1. More control over the customer experience and branding.
2. Can build customer loyalty over time.
3. Keep all the profits from each sale.
Disadvantages1. Higher commission fees.
2. Less control over the delivery process.
3. May have to pay for marketing and advertising.
1. More time and effort required to set up and maintain.
2. Need to have a shipping and fulfillment system in place.
3. May have to deal with customer service issues.

You can choose an online selling model; it depends on your priorities and resources.

To reach a wider audience quickly, a third-party food delivery service is a good idea, but to create a brand and for high-profit margins, setting up your online store can be better.

Research the market, understand your target customer, and create a customer base through online branding (Social media, SEO, and other tactics).

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is milkshake a good business?

The main reasons why milkshake is a good business opportunity (high demand, low startup cost, good profit margin, low competition, and scalability opportunity).

What is the profit margin on milkshakes?

The profit margin on milkshakes varies (40-70%); however, it still depends on ingredients, toppings, cost of preparation, competition, market price, and market demand.

What equipment is needed for a milkshake shop?

Equipment is needed to open a milkshake shop, including a milkshake machine, blender, ice cream dispenser, syrup pumps, toppings dispensers, storage containers, lids, straws, and utensils.

How To Start A Milkshake Business From Home?

If you want to start the business from home, here are some steps:
-Buy the required equipment and supplies
-Set up an online delivery setup
-Prepare proper ordering facility
-Learn milkshake making process
-Promote your business
-Receive orders from customers
-Deliver with proper packaging

This is the way to start a business from home without opening a physical store. Hopefully, this is useful.


Starting your own milkshake business is a great way to make good money and enjoy some delicious nutritional drinks; you can run it both online and offline.

By following the steps mentioned in this blog, you can start your successful business.

Success depends on your skill, planning, hard work, patience, and strategies.

Hopefully, this blog post is informative and helpful; if you have any other doubts regarding this business, then comment us in the given comment section.

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