HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — The local Mister Softee franchise announced a price increase starting June 1.
Prices will go up $1 as fuel and ingredient prices rise. Serina Regan, owner of Mister Softees in Horry County said she waited as long as she could to raise prices.
“We have a lot of loyal customers and we try to keep the price base low for them because we want everyone to have ice cream,” Regan said. “Ice cream is a happy thing. Unfortunately, our prices just keep going up as far as our supplies so we really need to meet that on the other end of the spectrum.”
Mister Softee trucks rely on diesel fuel and gasoline to stay in business when they are not hooked up to another power source.
“They are fully-operated with that diesel engine running to keep everything cool in the trucks and then of course we’ve got the gasoline that runs the motor to keep us on the road,” she said.
The trucks run about 12 hours a day and sometimes more. The fuel costs really add up.
“It’s about $3,000 a week right now,” Reagan.
Roughly $1,200 of that cost is just for diesel.
Regan was told by her supplier the diary industry is bracing for higher costs and possible diesel shortages. She said it creates a domino effect between suppliers, companies and customers.
“So its about $2,100 now and that’s going to go well over $3,000 a week on the dairy based on our sales and based on the good quality we use,” she said.
She did not want to raise prices but she had no choice. She felt the dollar increase for now is enough to get them going in a good direction.
“I’m the sole owner of the business and I have to be able to support what we do and our employees have to be able to support their families as well.”
Regan said she is always going to deliver quality product and make sure her staff is taken care of.
“We’re going to continue to serve Horry County as we do — the same way,” she said. “We won’t change our product, we’re not going to change our services or compromise the value of what they’re getting. They’re still going to get that great value, same great tasting ice cream with our wonderful employees that work for us. That’s just not going to change.”
Regan believes her prices are some of the lowest in the country for the franchise. She does not know if she will have to increase her prices again, but said she is always going to make sure her ice cream is as affordable as she can make it while still making a living.
“Its stressful right now,” she said. “You never know what tomorrow is going to bring. I could raise it in June and they’ll tell me by the end June something is going to go up again.”