Having a constant supply of ice is important for both small and large restaurants. From being a part of a finished entree to displaying food, the use of this product is essential in the day to day functions of a commercial kitchen. This is why purchasing the right ice machine is so important. You cannot afford to buy equipment that produces too little or one that breaks down often. The following can help you choose the right commercial ice machine for your restaurant.
Do you need different types of ice?
Identify what type of ice you use daily in your restaurant before selecting a commercial ice machine. This product is mainly is used for chilling drinks or keeping seafood and poultry displays cold. Although it may not seem like it, it is important to choose an ice machine that is capable of producing the style you prefer. Flaked ice is best for displaying food at the front of your restaurant or the meat section of a food store. Nuggets and cubed ice are ideal for keeping beverages cold.
What are your size requirements?
The quantity of ice needed on a daily basis will also determine what type of commercial ice machine you need. Typically, a restaurant needs approximately 1.3 pounds of ice per customer in a 24-hour span. A full-service bar that serves cocktails and other alcoholic beverages will use around 3 pounds per each patron. A cafeteria uses at least 1 pound of ice per customer, while a hotel must have at least 5 pounds of available for each guest. Salad bars or food displays will need at least 30 pounds of ice per cubic foot. These numbers are good reference points for figuring out the amount needed by your business each day.
Modular vs. self-contained commercial ice machines
Restaurant owners often choose to put a modular ice machine inside their kitchen because they have the capacity to produce large amounts. However, modular ice machines aren’t capable of storing the end product like other models.
Most commercial kitchens will need more storage space for the excess ice. Self-contained ice machines can store this product without taking up much space within the kitchen. Some restaurants will store a self-contained ice machine either underneath or on top of a work counter because they need so little space to work. However, these ice machines produce less than modular models.
Air-Cooled vs. water cooled options
There are only two types of condenser ice machines available on the open market. These are air-cooled and water cooled. Air-cooled ice machines are more affordable, energy-efficient, and use less water than their competition. However, because air flow is an important component for air-cooled machines to work properly, they may not be ideal for restaurants with small kitchens. You will need a large amount of space because this ice machine gives off excessive amounts of heat and the air needs to circulate during the freezing process.
Water-cooled ice machines are better for high-impact food service businesses that have a fair amount of temperature fluctuation inside the kitchen. These operate with little noise and always produce despite the outside temperature. The one drawback with these commercial ice machines is that they use a large amount of water during the freezing process. This could cause an increase in your water bill each month.
Finding the right commercial ice machine for your restaurant
When it comes to choosing restaurant equipment, there is no one solution for every food service business. Ultimately, it is necessary to choose the right equipment to fulfill your restaurant’s specific needs. Golden Light Equipment Company can help you choose the right equipment for your business and can even help Design your commercial kitchen. Give us a call today at (806) 373-4277 or Contact Us via email to learn more about our Products and Services. You can also stop by in person at 1010 SW 6th Ave in Amarillo, Texas.