Cold Hard Facts | 3 Golden Rules of Ice Machines To Run A Successful Food Business

As the sweltering summer heat approaches, more and more people refresh themselves with thirst-quenching cool drinks. Foodservice providers must equip themselves with the right tools to maximise food and beverage sales during peak summer when nearly everyone is outdoors. An ice machine is highly popular in summer, as it generates ice quickly and helps foodservice operators save time and money – there's nothing worse than running out of ice in the middle of service. When choosing a commercial ice machine, follow these golden rules to run a successful food business.

Storage is Vital to Function

Most businesses focus on ice production and ignore storage. It's critical for an ice machine to have sufficient storage capacity to survive through peak business periods. Imagine if your business uses sixty kilograms of ice during peak service, but your ice machine can only store half that amount – you're bound to run out of ice mid service. Your ice machine must have the same storage capacity as the amount of ice you require for service. To retain customers, you must always have enough ice to meet demand – otherwise you can rest assured that they'll quench their thirst elsewhere. Most commercial kitchens prefer air-cooled ice machines, as they are the most cost-effective. However, to run at optimum production, you must ensure that the filters are cleaned regularly for the machine to breathe properly.

Climate Plays a Role

Climatic temperatures play a role in the ice producing capability of ice machines. As water and air temperatures rise, ice production capacity decreases. Typically, when air temperature rises, so does the water temperature – that means that the ice machine will take longer to convert water to ice. Water-cooled machines generally have two water lines – one that fills the ice making section and the other runs on the condenser to eliminate heat from the refrigerant; so water-cooled machines stay efficient even in warmer climates. However, you must keep in mind that they consume a lot more water than air-cooled machines – you must be prepared for the extra water bills.

Monetary Value

Value for money is a big consideration when you purchase an ice machine. Consider buying an ice machine with greater production capacity that you presently need – this will cost you extra in the short-term, but will deliver much more long-term value. How? The fact is if you run a good business, you're bound to increase the number of patrons over a period. A machine that is just adequate for your current service means that you are bound to run out of ice when you have more customers – reducing your efficiency. When you purchase ice machines with higher production initially, you'll be safe knowing that you are unlikely to run out of ice even during higher demand periods and you won't have to worry about the expense of a second machine to meet growing demand. The idea is to consider long-term value and not just short-term gain. While air cooled machines are the most cost-efficient, consider your climate and foodservice requirements  before arriving at a decision.

An efficient ice machine will make a big difference to the way you run your business – so invest wisely and follow these golden rules.

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