If you are in the planning stages of opening a "GELATERIA" or in the design stages, or in negotiations to consider a franchise........or even in the farthest thinking of doing that listen up, I have something to tell you that will most likely save you hundreds of thousands of dollars. I have been involved with gelato equipment and establishments that use such animals and after 28 years I feel I have quite a story to tell. I have known for the longest time that to open a true gelateria and make a lot of money is as rare as finding a white fly. The gelaterias that have established themselves as a destination have been in busy now for years and although not impossible to open one and achieve the goals you are entitled after spending between a quarter and three quarter million dollars is a rare occurance. I have been very loud in my concern with people going all out and building such temples to gelato, and although I am a lover of the product I believe that gelato should be part of an operation rather than "the operation". Quite often I note on auction sites how sad it is to see gelaterias closing and going for pennies on the dollar, yesterday I made the owner of a franchise with a big name hailing from Dallas, TX that after investing over 300,000 smackers and still struggling after two years wishes had never made this mistake and wouldn't suggest it to the worst enemy to do the same. My firm belief is that instead of going for the "WOW" factor it would be wiser to open a cafe that offers espresso drinks from early in the morning, (if the location warrants such an early start) start serving panini at around 11 to 2 or 3PM, and then make gelato available to the customer that would frequent such a location if it was a gelateria alone. By 3PM the time when you most likely would start putting some money in the till selling gelato, you would already have the till happy and laughing with a profitable day already in it. And if gelato was meant to be in that location, you will definitely complete the day completed with it a most successful business day. Forget those 16-24 pan cases that will cost you more in power and waste than you can afford, I know that about 75% of the people that use such big gelato cases either cut down on the pans that are filled with gelato or regret every minute that the losses accumulate. Either way, they all wish they had bought no larger than a 7-10 pan case because it surely would not have been too little. Unfortunately the media has not helped the consumer by hailing "gelaterias" as the next true money maker other than the BIG MAC. Let me prove to you how wrong they were by this article.