CHOOSING THE RIGHT ICE MAKER FOR YOUR RESTAURANT OR BAR
INTRO TO ICE MAKERS:
Ice plays a vital role in the food and drinks industry, especially in restaurants and bars. Whether it’s chilling drinks, crafting signature cocktails, or preserving the freshness of ingredients, having the right ice maker is essential. However, with many options available in the market, choosing the right one can be confusing.
From considering capacity and ice types to evaluating energy efficiency and maintenance requirements, we will cover all the crucial factors to help you make an informed decision.
ASSESSING YOUR NEEDS:
The first step in choosing the right ice maker is to assess your specific requirements. Consider factors such as the volume of ice you need, peak service hours, and the types of drinks or menu items that will require ice. Assess your restaurant or bar’s capacity and projected growth to determine the appropriate size and output of the ice machine.
UNDERSTANDING ICE TYPES:
Different types of ice serve various purposes in the food and drinks industry. Before selecting an ice machine, familiarise yourself with the most common ice types available:
a. Cubes: The classic ice cubes are versatile and widely used in most drinks applications.
b. Flakes: Soft and moldable, flaked ice is ideal for salad bars, seafood displays, and blended drinks.
c. Nuggets: A cross between cubes and flakes, nugget ice is chewable and maintains drinks flavour.
d. Half cubes: Also known as half-dice or half-cubes, these are smaller than regular cubes and excellent for high-volume applications.
e. Gourmet ice: Clear and slow-melting, gourmet ice enhances the presentation of premium drinks.
Understanding the unique characteristics of these ice types will help you select the machine that produces the desired ice for your specific needs.
CONSIDER CAPACITY AND PRODUCTION RATE:
Estimate the amount of ice your restaurant or bar requires during peak hours. Look for an ice maker with a production rate that matches or exceeds your anticipated demand. A machine with a larger production capacity may be necessary if your business experiences high volume customer traffic. Additionally, consider the storage capacity of the machine to ensure that it can meet your needs during busy periods without running out of ice.
EVALUATING ENERGY EFFICIENCY:
Energy consumption is an important consideration when selecting an ice maker. Models with energy-efficient features such as ENERGY STAR certification, programmable timers, and low water consumption not only reduce operational costs but also contribute to sustainability efforts.
UNDERSTANDING WATER FILTRATION:
Water quality is crucial for producing clean and clear ice. Look for a machine equipped with robust water filtration systems that remove impurities and contaminants. This ensures that the ice you serve to customers is of the highest quality and taste.
AIR-COOLED V WATER-COOLED ICE MAKERS:
Ice makers can be either air-cooled or water-cooled. Air-cooled units are more common due to their lower water consumption and operational costs. However, water-cooled units are a better option in environments with limited air ventilation or where air temperature is consistently high.
The ice maker can enhance the overall efficiency and profitability of your establishment, contributing to the creation of refreshing drinks and maintaining the quality and freshness of food.
COMMERCIAL ICE MAKERS
We provide the very best commercial ice machines and refrigeration equipment from the top ice machine brands such as Follett, Hoshizaki, Scotsman and Manitowoc.
Click on the button below to browse our range of ice machines. Alternatively, contact us if you’re looking for advice, or upgrade your existing machine.