Do you ever feel like when you go to order your favorite ice cream treat at your favorite ice cream parlor, you end up playing 20 Questions with your server? It gets awkward, and as an ice cream scooper myself, I an attest that it's awkward for us too. During my time as an ice cream scooper, I have seen many interesting ice cream orders and even more ways in which people order ice cream. In order to avoid the friendly game of 20 Questions next time you're ordering, here is the perfect way to order ice cream and why. 

1. Size 

Size comes first really for simplicity's sake. Sometimes it can be hard to remember what size someone ordered when you're also trying to remember their flavor, toppings, and other ice creams in the order. If size is the first thing you hear, it makes it easier for your scooper to remember how many scoops exactly they're getting you. 

2. Cup or Cone

Cup? Sugar cone? Cake cone? Waffle cone? Right after size comes what you want your ice cream in. This is very important information for an ice cream scooper because it let's us start to prep to get your ice cream. In most ice cream shops, on the other side of the window the scooper has stacks and stacks of all the different cups that their parlor has. Once we know the size, we can grab that size cup (if that is what you've ordered) and it serves as a mental place-keeper for your ice cream while we take the rest of the order. If you have ordered a cone, it's not as easy because we don't have the cones right there, but we can picture the type of cone we are going to need in our mind. 

3. Flavor

This is the most important part of your order, and the reason you've come to the shop in the first place. Because this is the most important part, don't be afraid to ask questions about our flavors (especially the specials flavors) or about what flavor is your scooper's favorite. Any ice cream scooper knows the flavor list inside and out and can make suggestions about what flavors would match what you're looking for best if they don't have the specific flavor you want. Also, don't be afraid to try a flavor. Scoopers are happy to let you try a spoonful of the flavor you're eyeing in order to make sure that you get exactly what you want (but don't try every flavor in the store, that's when it gets annoying). 

4. Toppings?

Finish off your order by letting us know if there is anything else we can get you on your order. In general, we can do just about anything you want on your ice cream, and in the chance that we can't do exactly what you want, shops are usually quite accommodating and do their best to give you what you want. For example, it is hard to get toppings like M&Ms, Reese's, or nuts to stick to an ice cream on a cone, but we can give you a small dish of them on the side if you want to enjoy the candies with your ice cream. 

Other Things You Should Know

There is no such thing as a "smmedium." This is a real thing I have been asked for and it is what people occasionally try to order when they want a little more ice cream than a small, but not quite the amount of a medium. Trying to order this is just all around confusing because how much do you scoop? What size do you charge for? Make it easier and just pick a size; you can always grab a to-go lid and take the rest home. 

Please don't say "surprise me" when it comes to your order. This is incredibly stressful because everyone has very different likes and dislikes when it comes to taste. What I would think is an awesome flavor may be the worst to you, and vice versa. If it's a busy summer night this also adds unnecessary stress and chaos to your server. 

The next time you order ice cream, remember these four small steps to constructing your perfect order. I guarantee that you will eliminate the back and forth of the server asking you clarifying questions, and you will get the perfect ice cream every time. And please remember, we're people just trying to do our jobs and make you the perfect ice cream possible, so please be nice, it'll make our day.