Tips for Choosing the Right Ice Cube Machine

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Ice is an essential component of food and beverage service, often overlooked until it’s not available. Whether you’re running a restaurant, bar, or catering business, having the right ice cube machine can make a significant difference in your operations. In this guide, we’ll explore some key considerations and provide recommendations for choosing the perfect ice cube machine for your needs.

Types of Ice Cube Machines

Before diving into specific models, let’s review the different types of ice cube machines available:

  1. Undercounter Ice Cube Machines:
    • These compact machines are designed to fit under countertops or bars.
    • Ideal for small to medium-sized establishments.
    • Produces ice cubes directly into a storage bin.
  2. Modular Ice Cube Machines:
    • These larger units are designed for high-volume production.
    • Typically used in large restaurants, hotels, and banquet halls.
    • Requires a separate ice storage bin.

Choosing the Right Machine

Consider the following factors when selecting an ice cube machine:

  1. Production Capacity:
    • Determine how much ice you need daily. Consider peak hours and seasonal variations.
    • Undercounter machines are suitable for lower production needs, while modular machines handle higher volumes.
  2. Space Constraints:
    • Measure the available space for the machine.
    • Undercounter machines are space-efficient, while modular machines require more room.
  3. Ice Cube Type:
    • Full cubes, half cubes, or specialty shapes (nugget, flake, etc.).
    • Choose based on your menu and beverage requirements.
  4. Energy Efficiency:
    • Look for Energy Star-rated machines to save on utility costs.
  5. Maintenance and Cleaning:
    • Regular cleaning and maintenance are essential for longevity.
    • Consider machines with easy-to-clean components.
  6. Warranty and Support:
    • Check the warranty terms and availability of service support.

Here are five ice machines available at The Foodservice Equipment Depot (The FED) that cater to various needs in the foodservice industry:

  1. Ice-O-Matic Undercounter Ice Cube Machine Maker & Bin (185 lbs)
    • Space-saving 24″ wide undercounter design.
    • Produces up to 185 lbs of ice per day.
    • Harvest assist technology for increased production and reduced energy consumption.
    • Available in full or half cube options (half cube is great for blended drinks).
    • Quality control ensures reliable performance.
    • Energy Star rated for energy savings.
    • Pure Ice® antimicrobial agent inhibits bacteria growth.
    • Filter-free air system.
    • 7-year warranty with optional water filter purchase.
  2. Atosa HD350-AP-161 Hotel Ice Machine & Dispenser (23″ Wide, 350 lbs Ice Production / 24 Hours)
    • Ideal for hotels and other establishments.
    • Combines ice production and dispensing in one unit.
    • Efficiently produces up to 350 lbs of ice per day.
  3. Follett Ice Storage Bin (652 lbs capcity and transport cart system 240 lbs capacity)
    • Designed with speed, safety and sanitation in mind
    • elevated ice storage bin uses gravity to dispense ice through a chute 15 times faster than scooping
    • one pull of the gate bar fills the SmartCART™ 240 ice cart with 109 kg (240 lb) of ice without any hand contact
    • dispensing directly into cart eliminates scooping by hand to help prevent cross-contamination
    • cart reduces the risk of back injuries by eliminating carrying containers of ice
  4. Countertop Ice Machines
    • These compact machines are suitable for bars, restaurants, and medical centers.
    • Consistently create ice cubes, crushed ice, or customized ice varieties.
    • Perfect for smaller spaces.
  5. Modular Ice Cube Machines (Explore a range of modular ice machines at The FED)
    • Designed for high-volume production.
    • Typically used in large restaurants, hotels, and banquet halls.
    • Requires a separate ice storage bin.

Remember that ice quality matters. Crystal-clear ice enhances the presentation of drinks and ensures customer satisfaction. Whether you’re serving cocktails, soft drinks, or seafood displays, investing in the right ice cube machine is a smart decision for your business.

In conclusion, selecting the right ice cube machine is crucial for any foodservice establishment. Whether you’re running a small café or a large banquet hall, consider factors such as production capacity, space constraints, ice cube type, energy efficiency, and maintenance when making your decision.

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