Are you planning to add a new commercial ice machine to your foodservice operation? Well, for restaurants and hotels, both large and small ice machines are a significant investment and often necessary component.
From hot summer days to cold winter, using ice in foodservice operation is never out of reason. Regardless of the type of foodservice you operate, ice is a crucial element to more than cocktails and beverages. Ice is used in three primary methods in a restaurant or hotel including cooking, displaying, and beverages. However, no matter what style of ice you need for your operation to function on daily basis, you’ll need a commercial ice machine that is reliable, efficient, and more importantly suits your restaurant operation. Yes, the right ice needs the right ice machine.
As there is a wide range of ice machine for sale, you may find it difficult to choose the one that suits your needs and budget. So, consider the following factors while you are hunting for commercial ice machine for your restaurant and you’ll be able to pick the suitable one.
Types of ice
The first thing you need to look for when selecting a commercial ice machine is the type of ice your operation requires. Determine whether you need ice for beverages or displaying the catch of the day? By determining the type of ice your business needs, you can choose an ice maker that is capable of producing the style of ice, be it flake, nugget, or cubed.
Size of the ice machine
The quantity of the ice you need for your day-to-day restaurant operation will help determine the size of the machine. Every type of operation needs a specific amount of ice per day. A hotel needs more ice than cafeteria and restaurants. Moreover, if you are using a salad bar, you will need more than 30 pounds of ice per cubic foot.
So discuss with your operation manager and get the details of the quantity of ice you need to run the operation daily and then choose the best. Once you determine your operation demands, you can find the suitable one.
Air cooled or Water cooled
There are two type of ice machine including air and water cooled. While air cooled ice machines are energy-efficient, affordable, and use less water, they are not suitable for small restaurants and hotels as they need sufficient space for air to circulate. Whereas, water cooled ice machines are a better choice for that features higher ambient temperatures.
Module or Self-contained
For small foodservice operation, self-contained flake ice machine is suitable as they consume less space than modular and produce and store ice within the same unit. Commercial kitchen often prefer modular ice machines as they produce large amount of ice quickly. However, it produces only ice and it needs additional bin to store the ice.