Ice machines play an integral role in all foodservice locations. Consumers demand ice for cold beverages like sodas, cocktails, water, tea, etc. In addition to beverage service, ice is important for chilling, storing or displaying foods, too.
Uses for Ice
- Holds cold foods at lower temperature for extended periods of time (prevents bacteria growth)
- Adds aesthetic appeal to salad bars and other food displays
- Allows for foods to be displayed outside of refrigerated areas
- Keeps drinks at desired temperature
- Helps maintain the carbonation in soft drinks
- Create slushy, frozen drinks
Ice Machine Types
Undercounter Ice Machines
An ice maker and bin in one. They are perfect for low volume applications that leave a small footprint, making them great for areas with limited space. They are also front breathing, which is ideal for installition under bars or counters. Want to learn more about undercounter ice machines? Check out our Undercounter Ice Machine Buying Guide.
Modular Ice Machines
An ice-making head only, which goes on top of either an ice dispenser or storage bin (purchased separately). Good for medium to high volume applications— can make between 300 to 2400 lbs. of ice in 24 hours, depending on the unit chosen.
A variety of accessories are available for your ice machine, including dispensers, bins, bin top adapters, water filters, scoops and scoop holders, ice totes and more. Ask your Product Consultant for assistance in choosing the perfect accessories for your application.
What Cooling Method is Best Suited for Your Facility?
An ice machine removes heat from water to produce ice. Most ice machines come in two different options:
- Heat is exhausted into surrounding areas
- Production slows down as intake air temperature rises
- Needs clearance for air flow
- Noisier than water cooled machines
- Heat is removed via water
- Operates efficiently in hot or cramped spaces
- Doesn't add extra heat to room
- Quieter than air cooled machines
- Higher installation and operating costs
- Not allowed in areas with water conservation laws
What Ice Type Does Your Facility Require?
Classic Cubed Ice
- Suitable for most applications
Gourmet or Crescent Cubes
- Also known as top hat, octagon or cublet
- Higher displacement = higher profit
- Great for bars, restaurants, banquets
- Dry flakes that cool quickly
- Great for meat/seafood displays, salad bars, blended cocktails, therapeautic use
- Soft, chewable ice
- Drinks stay colder longer
- Great for carbonated drinks, salad bars, meat/seafood displays
- Learn more about the original chewable ice at luvthenug.com
How Much Ice Do You Need?
Selecting the appropriate ice machine production size for your foodservice establishment is essential. If your ice machine production is too small, you risk not having enough ice for all of your customers and food preparation needs. If your ice machine is too large, you may pay too much for energy and operating costs than you really need to.
The following charts should only serve as a reference in estimating the production size of the ice machine you purchase. The numbers below are based upon filling glass volume with 25% ice. However, there are many other factors to consider when selecting the appropriate production size for you. Ask your Product Consultant for assistance in choosing the correct ice machine for you.
Volume Guide—By Glass and Capacity
|Number of Glasses||4 oz. Glass Size||6 oz. Glass Size||8 oz. Glass Size||10 oz. Glass Size|
|200||25 lbs.||37 lbs.||50 lbs.||62 lbs.|
|400||50 lbs.||75 lbs.||100 lbs.||125 lbs.|
|600||75 lbs.||112 lbs.||150 lbs.||187 lbs.|
|800||100 lbs.||150 lbs.||200 lbs.||250 lbs.|
|1,000||125 lbs.||187 lbs.||250 lbs.||312 lbs.|
|2,000||250 lbs.||375 lbs.||500 lbs.||625 lbs.|
Volume Guide—By Foodservice Location
|Foodservice Location||Estimated Ice Consumption|
|Restaurants||111⁄16 lbs. per customer|
|Cocktail Lounges||3 lbs. per customer|
||Add 35 lbs. per cubic foot on display. Multiply by 2 or 3 depending on estimated refills required.
||7⁄8 lbs. per customer or 73⁄8 lbs. per seat. Estimate 2 oz. ice per 8–10 oz. drink, 4 oz. per 12–16 oz. drink, 6 oz. per 20 oz. drink, and 8 oz. per 32 oz. drink.
|Hotel/Motel/Inn||3 lbs. per room (substantially more if guests are allowed to fill ice chests).|
|Health Care||7 lbs. per patient bed and 2 lbs. per employee|
Don't Forget the Filters!
Regardless of the production size, manufacturer or design of the ice machine you decide to purchase, an ice machine water filter is important. Ice machine water filters clean out dissolved solid impurities like rust, lime, chlorine and calcium from the water before it enters the ice machine. Even if you think that your water quality is above average, an ice machine water filter is a must.
Here's how you can benefit from cleaner water entering your ice machine:
- Prolongs life of your ice machine
- Lower service costs
- Helps eliminate cloudy, smelly ice
- Produces clearer, better-tasting ice
- Keeps ice machine running at full capacity
Shop ice machine water filters or, for more information, visit our Water Filter Buying Guide.
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