Imagine your business on a hot summer day, and customers are lining up for cool refreshments. That’s where the magic of an ice machine comes in. You see, an ice machine isn’t just another piece of equipment – it’s the heart of your business’s chill game. But wait, before you dive into this icy world, there’s something you need to know. If you’re not careful when picking your ice machine, it could end up causing more trouble than it’s worth.
Let’s make things easy. We’ve put together a guide that spills all the secrets of finding your perfect ice machine match. We’ll walk you through questions you need to ask, ice shapes you need to know, and even how to find the right spot for your machine – we’ve got you covered.
Before you start searching for ice makers on sale, the first step is to determine how much ice you’ll need for any service time, particularly during peak periods. Although difficult to calculate, this number will help determine the correct storage capacity followed by the ice makers production per 24 hours.
To correctly assess the basic requirements your machine will need, see the examples below of how two businesses, that both use 30Kg’s per day, would require different unit specifications.
At first glance, both businesses may search for a 30Kg ice machine, but this would lead to them being very short-handed.
Café A should look for a unit that has at least 10kg of storage that can refill the storage bin three times over the 14 hours they are open. This would then require a unit that produces at least 50Kg per day with 10KG storage. Bromic’s IM0050HSC-HE would be a perfect fit. It has a 17kg storage bin that would be full when they come in every morning then create enough throughout the day so the bin never empties.
Bar B would need a larger binned unit such as the Bromic IM0064HSC-HE, its 20kg bin would be full when they come in for service and would refill with another 13kg during their 5-hour service, the unit would then automatically shut off when full as to not create ice when not needed.
Now, let’s talk about the amount of ice you actually need.
To give you a general idea, we’ve put together some averages based on what our customers usually go for. Keep in mind, though, that your business might have its own unique needs. So, while these averages can be a handy starting point, it’s a great idea to reach out to us for personalised guidance.
Ready to dive in and find the sweet spot for your ice needs? Let’s keep going!
|Business Type||Average Weight of Ice Usage||Bromic Recommended Product|
|Restaurant||0.68kg per person||IM0065SSC|
|Bar/Cocktail||1.4kg per person||IM0064HSC-HE|
|Cafe||0.45kg per person||IM0034HSC-HE|
|Hotel||2.7kg per bucket requested||IM0250HDM + SB178 bin|
|Fast Food Restaurant||0.235kg per 475ml drink||IM0250HDM + SB129 bin|
|Seafood/Deli Counter||40kg per square m of a display at 100mm deep||IM0320FM + SB243 bin|
|Convenience Store||0.3 kg per 600ml drink||IM0250HDM + SB178 bin|
|Construction/Mine site||1.5kg per person per shift||IM0485HDM + SB406 bin|
Just like finding the right puzzle piece, picking the best ice cube shape for your business is about making everything fit perfectly.
So, whether you’re running a café that serves the yummiest lattes or a bar known for its awesome cocktails, let’s find that ideal ice shape that complements your style and product range. Let’s dive in!
This is by far the most well-known form of an ice cube. Although a common household style, this cut is ideally used for high-end spirits.
As the drinks themselves have less actual liquid than most, the solid cube provides a classic design as well as one of the slowest melting times which allow for the natural flavour of the drink to be retained for as long as possible.
This is a common style of ice cut that is used primarily in drinks.
The cylinder hole in the ice cube allows for the drink to cool faster by maximising the surface area but also allows for more liquid to be in the cup when compared to the traditional, solid ice cube. This decreased density reduces your ice cubes per serving, helping to decrease costs of drink production per serve.
Hollow ice cubes are also a lot gentler on blender blades compared to the traditional solid cube, which is especially handy when creating smoothies or cocktails.
If your business requires a high yield ice cube style for either consumption or storage, this ice cube style is the way to go.
These cubes have a thin shape and generate around 160kgs – 485kgs of ice in 24 hours, making them perfect for restaurants, fast food and bars looking to maximise their cooling and capacity.
Additional support of an ice storage bin allows you to comfortably keep up with high-production situations and bulk requirements.
Ice doesn’t have to be used just to keep things cold.
This style of ice is cut into a smaller, malleable “flake” form, used primarily to create a dazzling effect on salad bars & seafood displays as well as for storage of delicate produce at just below freezing temperature.
Choosing the right ice machine is only part of the equation. The next piece of the puzzle is where to put it. Believe it or not, where you place your ice machine can significantly impact its performance and longevity.
We’re talking about ventilation, drainage, and water supply – the three factors that ensure your machine works flawlessly. Neglecting these factors could spell trouble for your ice production and even pose health risks.
Ice machines generate heat as they produce ice throughout the day. So, it’s important to have a way for that heat to get out. Lack of ventilation often leads to the compressor overheating and the ice machine not performing as expected and, eventually, breaking down well before its time.
When you buy an ice maker for your business, you’ve got to think about where the extra water goes. This is really important for safety. All commercial ice machines must have adequate access to drainage to ensure all local health codes are met and prevent bacterial build-up inside the units.
A solid supply of clean water is also incredibly important. Most units will require a filter to be fitted regardless, but a clean water supply extends the life of this filter drastically. It is also worth investigating whether your current water infrastructure will be able to adequately supply a machine suited to your production goals. Failure to properly filter water can lead to scale build-up and other mineral deposit related issues.
With any commercial ice machine you must ensure the product you are purchasing has the WaterMark Certification. This is a mandatory certification for drainage products to ensure they are fit for purpose and have been appropriately authorised for installation. Purchasing a product without this could lead to a breach of local standards and producing a product not fit for human consumption.
So there you have it! Choosing the right commercial ice machine can make a world of difference for your business. From figuring out how much ice you need to deciding on the perfect ice cube shape and finding the best spot for your machine, it’s all about making informed choices.
But remember, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. If you’re still unsure about which ice machine is right for you, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. They’re here to help you find the perfect fit for your business needs. Good luck and keep those drinks cool!