The milkshake has its place in American culture starting in the 1880s. It began as a tonic mixture of whiskey, eggs, dried milk and ice, hand-shaken before the invention of the electric blender. In 1897 the milkshake was made of malted milk, flavored syrups of chocolate, strawberry or vanilla. In 1922, a Walgreens (Chicago based drug store) employee Ivar “Pop” Coulson was first known to mix ice cream, malted milk and syrup together, which created the malted milkshake.
The invention of the electric blender in the 1920’s and Freon refrigerators in the 1930’s brought automation to the milkshake. Those inventions prolonged the shelf life of ice cream and cut the time in the milkshake process. By the 1950’s drugstore soda fountains became popular across the nation and which was due in part by Ray Kroc, founder of a chain of well-known restaurants. He was a milkshake machine salesman during the time and bought rights to Earl Prince’s milkshake maker. That was developed to speed up the process of making milkshakes. Today milkshakes comes in various forms, such as the smoothie or the frappe. But the staple ingredients of the milkshake, ice cream and milk (or some form of a milk product) continue to be the source of a milkshake. The flavors of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry continue to be a mainstay of milkshake ingredients.
The machines that mix or blend milkshakes have developed over the years from a single spindle cup to large product dispensers. The machines serve the flavors, ice cream and milk product all at the same time while keeping ingredients cold/frozen. Some restaurants keep these machines behind their counter, while others place them in traffic aisles where customers can serve themselves. Milkshakes have developed into a standby snack for consumers and will continue to be a food item for restaurants and convenience stores.
A Chicago research firm reported that from the first quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2014 milkshake sales increased 12%. The average price of a milkshake is $3.85 and customers would be willing to pay more if the ingredients and taste are to what they like. Eighty seven percent of restaurants (across the US) have milkshakes as a part of their menu. Some restaurants lower the prices of milkshakes during certain hours of the day to their boost sales. Taking a look at Seattle, WA, it has about 3,358 restaurants, which could mean every restaurant in Seattle may have milkshakes as a part of their menu. With so many milkshake machines seattle wa in the U.S. they probably dispense about 30300 milkshakes if one milkshake is sold per hour for 9 hours per day. The average cost of a milkshake is $3.85, so about $116, 655 is made in one day, divided by the number of restaurants, 3358. Therefore, each restaurant has made about $34.75 from selling 9 milkshakes per day. According to the report restaurants profit 75% from the price of one milkshake. Consequently, each restaurant would profit about $26.05 from a day’s worth of milkshakes if one was sold per hour.
The evolution of the milkshake process continues to satisfy the tastes of the consumer and keep restaurants and stores in business, which makes up a small part of the buying and selling of goods and services. The milkshake will be a mainstay on restaurant menus. Manufacturers of milkshake products and milkshake making machines will continue to create ways and satisfy the needs of the consumer and the restaurant owners that provide.