Many establishments still buy bags of ice from suppliers that are delivered daily to their restaurants. Once it is delivered, storage of these ices would be important as ice contaminates easily – on top of melting quickly if not stored correctly. This is one reason why more and more operators are now opting to have an ice machine installed in their premises.
These machines are no longer large, noisy, wet, messy and a maintenance hassle for operators. From undercounter units to upright units with small footprint to tabletop dispensers and even one with remote compressors to keep the noise and heat away inside your working space, there are a few points that you need to consider before choosing one.
To find one that suits you, you would need to look at what do you need the ice for. We would suggest that you look at your food menu as well and not just your beverage menu before you decide. Kitchens that use ice for desserts or outlets with fresh produce that uses ice for display should definitely heed this advice. Unless you have ample space and budget, some might opt to have 2 machines but this would be luxury for today’s kitchen as real estate is expensive.
So, once you identify where you need them, you need to determine the shape that can accommodate both your kitchen and bar. You have options from cubes to half cubes to crescents to nuggets to flakes to tubes and some other customised options as well. Each has its advantages and benefit that you could decide how best to serve your menu. Next would be working on the capacity. Like any other equipment, buying one too big or 1 too small is a risky investment. See our expert’s opinion below for guidance.
These machines not only take up space but it also requires connection – power, water and drainage should be accessible. Water supply should be checked if filtration is necessary to ensure that the ice you serve is safe and clean. And these machines do generate heat. If you need a larger unit, a remote compressor unit might be better to keep the heat out of the building. Placing these units within your layout is also important. Space for transport bins should also be considered if you operate a largely spread operation with a few stations that you need to transport ice to.
And maintenance. It is important that you service and clean these machines often as it affects the quality of your ice. Just like refrigerators, these machines run the whole day, therefore you need to do periodic checks. Sign up with the dealer on a service programme and pick one with a good warranty and service response time.
THE COMMON SHAPES OF ICE
[box style=”rounded” border=”full”]
MR KAZUHIKO YAMASHITA
Hoshizaki Singapore Pte. Ltd. – Managing Director
“How we calculate consumption is on a basic guideline of counting your number of expected guests. For e.g. 2 lbs per person in a restaurant or 3 lbs. per seat in a lounge or cocktail bar. It is not a golden rule but something that would help you to buy one closest to your needed requirement.”[/box]