How to Pick the Right Commercial Ice Machine
When running a restaurant, having a constant supply of clean, fresh ice is paramount to keeping your customers happy and healthy. To that end, you need a commercial ice machine that meets your needs. Ice comes in all shapes and sizes, however, so you need to choose the right one that accomplishes your commercial restaurant goals. There are many aspects to consider, so here’s how to pick the right commercial ice machine.
There are numerous ice options available, and some work better than others for your needs. From full cubes that are great for cocktails and alcoholic beverages to flaked ice to use for blended drinks or mold around salad bars and meat displays, it’s important to choose the right commercial kitchen equipment that produces the ice you need. Be sure to discuss with the team at Restaurant City what type of establishment you have. We’ll help you choose a commercial ice machine perfect for you.
There are three main types of ice machines, each with different configurations. It’s important to choose the one that is designed for your audience. The main types are modular, undercounter, and dispenser. Modular ice machines are perfect for producing large quantities of ice. Going hand in hand with ice storage bins, these are meant for staff use rather than customers. Undercounter ice machines are helpful for smaller spaces that regular ice machines can’t fit, and are often used for bars so staff can quickly access ice for drinks. Dispensers are more customer-friendly, as they’re designed with the public in mind. They’ll be able to get their ice and prevent cross-contamination or germs from people reaching into an ice storage bin. Each of these styles can produce different types of ice, so think about where you want your kitchen equipment and what you need it for before purchasing a machine.
You’ll just waste money if you purchase a commercial ice machine only to discover that it can’t handle the amount of ice you need. Any machine you purchase needs to meet your production needs. Figure out your ice requirement per customer, and choose one based on that need. Be sure to also take into account what you use the machine for and peak business hours! Restaurant City suggests you purchase an ice machine that can handle production output during your busiest time. That way you won’t have to worry about whether the machine can meet your needs.
Along with the style of ice machine and type of ice you want, what type of compressor you choose can make or break your commercial ice machine. With three types of compressors (air-cooled, water-cooled, remote-cooled), each one impacts the consistency and quality of your ice. Air-cooled compressors, although they raise the temperature in the surrounding area, are less costly and can be great eco-friendly options. Water-cooled machines have a higher price, but don’t raise the temperature and are much quieter than the other types. Remote-cooled compressors are for ice machines that produce over 500 pounds of ice per day, as they are very efficient. Be aware that remote-cooled compressors are expensive and usually require a wall or roof penetration for installation.
Choosing the right ice machine for your commercial kitchen all depends on your individual needs. If you’re looking for a new commercial ice machine for your restaurant, drop by your nearest Restaurant City. We’d love to speak with you and help you pick the best ice machine for you.