Things to Consider When Buying a Commercial Ice Machine for Your Restaurant

April 18th, 2017

 

A commercial ice machine is one of the most important pieces of equipment found in any type of food service establishment. The ice it provides can be used to cool fountain beverages, blend smoothies, or keep seafood displays and salad bar fixings looking fresh and enticing. And of course ice is a critical component in many alcohol-based favorites at the bar, including daiquiris, margaritas, and cocktails.

Because your commercial ice machine will be used on a daily basis, it’s important that you choose a model capable of supplying your establishment’s ice needs without overstraining your budget. To help you make the right choice, here are a few things to consider when buying a commercial ice machine for your restaurant.

  • Amount of ice needed: The industry-wide rule of thumb is that restaurants require approximately 1.7 pounds of ice per guest, so start your estimate there. Then move up or down accordingly based on the patterns observed at your own eatery, such as the lunch and dinner rush, weekday vs weekend patronage, and the extent of your alcohol service.
  • Desired ice shape: Full and half-cubes are the most common, as they are slower to melt and may therefore reduce overall ice consumption, but nugget ice is fantastic for blended drinks and for customers that like to chew their ice after finishing a beverage (think children and soft drinks). Meanwhile, ice flakes are the preferred shape for food displays and salad bars.
  • Type of unit: Bigger, busier restaurants will likely need an ice machine head with bin. These are the most powerful units and are capable of producing anywhere from 300 to 900+ pounds of ice over a 24-hour period, depending on the model selected. Self-contained undercounter ice machines are preferable for smaller restaurants and cafes that go through only a couple hundred pounds of ice in a day, while countertop ice dispensers are best for places with self-serve beverage stations.
  • Condenser: All ice machines have a condenser that is responsible for removing excess heat from the machine so it can continually make ice. Condensers may be air-cooled, which is a popular choice for most restaurants where the ambient temperature usually stays below 80°F; water-cooled, for establishments that require very high ice output; and remote, which is best if you want to keep the heat and noise of the ice making process out of earshot of diners.
  • Plumbing and power: Before buying any commercial ice machine, check the manufacturer’s specifications to confirm that you have compatible plumbing and power sources to accommodate the unit.

Hotter outdoor temperatures will be here before you know it, so make sure you’re ready to satisfy your customers’ cravings for cold refreshments by buying a new commercial ice machine for your restaurant. Use the considerations above as a guide when browsing the selection at ShortOrder.com.

Ideas to Help Your Restaurant Spring Forward

March 14th, 2017

  Spring is a great time to make all of the changes to your restaurant that you’ve been considering for a while but haven’t yet put into place. The changes can be of the cosmetic variety, such as updating the decor or adding a fresh coat of paint, or they can be more meaningful, such

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Best Equipment for Small Restaurant Kitchens

February 21st, 2017

Of the many difficulties involved in running a successful restaurant, overcoming the problems of a small kitchen is one of the most challenging. Not only does your staff have to navigate tight quarters without bumping into appliances and each other, but you have very limited space in which to fit all of the equipment you

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Tips to Improve Your Restaurant’s Menu

January 17th, 2017

 Menus are an important yet often overlooked tool in restaurant promotion. When designed correctly, a menu can convey a specific brand image, nudge consumer choices, and increase sales of side dishes, desserts, and other complementary items. If your current menu is not helping in these areas or is due for an update anyway, you can

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2017 Food Trends Forecast

December 13th, 2016

Some restaurants appeal to customers by offering an unchanging menu filled with predictable and comforting favorites year after year while others carve out a niche by adapting their menu and services to reflect the evolving preferences of their patrons. If your establishment falls into this latter category, here is a forecast of some upcoming food

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Prepare Your Restaurant for the Holiday Season

November 8th, 2016

Everyone knows that the holiday season represents a prodigious boon for retailers. All across the country, big-box stores and mom-and-pop shops alike rake in a reported 20 to 30 percent of their total annual sales in the period between Black Friday and Christmas. This is a significant portion of any bottom line. But retailers aren’t

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Celebrate National Dessert Month

October 4th, 2016

October is National Dessert Month and features a number of specialty days sprinkled throughout, including National Angel Food Cake Day (October 10), National Pumpkin Pie Day (October 12), National Chocolate Cupcake Day (October 18), and National Boston Cream Pie Day (October 23). With desserts taking center stage all month long, there’s no better time to

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Think Outside the Pumpkin Spice: Alternative Fall Flavors

September 20th, 2016

Now that summer is giving way to fall, it’s once again time for seasonal menu changes. Many restaurants and cafes will simply offer trendy pumpkin spice versions of traditional food and beverage favorites and call it a day, but we find that approach to be very limiting. There are far too many other terrific fall

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Back to School Restaurant Marketing Ideas

August 9th, 2016

If the end of summer is typically a slow time for your restaurant, one terrific way to drive sales is to jump on the back to school marketing bandwagon. Offering various discounts and specials aimed at cash-strapped college students and families with school-aged children can help bring in new customers, establish goodwill within the community,

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Cold Desserts Your Restaurant Should Serve This Summer

July 13th, 2016

Nothing lifts the misery associated with hot, humid summer weather faster than a refreshing dessert. So as the heat index rises to unbearable levels all across the country, be sure to have the following cold and frozen desserts on the menu to ease your customers’ suffering. Ice cream & sorbet While it’s perfectly acceptable to

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Attract Guests with (the Right) Outdoor Seating

June 23rd, 2016

There’s no question customers love outdoor dining in the spring and summer. In fact, many restaurateurs report that patrons would rather wait for a table on the patio than be seated immediately indoors. So if you’re looking for a proven way to attract even more guests to your establishment this season, follow these tips to

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Get Ready for Summer Drinks

May 17th, 2016

Summer beverage sales have the potential to contribute big bucks to a restaurant’s bottom line. The profit margins for alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages alike are among the highest in the food service industry, and can provide your establishment with a welcome boost in what might otherwise be a slow season. Check out these great tips

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Get Your Grill On: Lighter Options for your Spring Menu

April 12th, 2016

With spring in the air, it seems that everyone suddenly has a hankering for freshly grilled foods. And while nothing beats a classic burger charbroiled to perfection on a Globe broiler with cast iron radiants, it’s always a good idea to offer your customers a variety of mouthwatering options to choose from. So as you

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Getting Your Restaurant Ready for Spring

March 15th, 2016

The snow has melted in most parts of the country, temperatures are gradually warming, and the calendar shows that the official start of spring is just a few days away. This means customers are ready to shake off any lingering symptoms of cabin fever and patronize their favorite eateries with renewed enthusiasm. Be sure you’re

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Protecting Your Investment: Fryer Maintenance

February 24th, 2016

All equipment needs TLC. The “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mindset is really only applicable to prep-tables. Almost everything else in your kitchen needs routine maintenance. Consider the workhorse of many American facilities, the fryer. Fryers are a pretty simple machine. They have targeted jets of flame that heat-up the underside of a

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This Valentine’s Day, Romance Them with Non-Alcoholic Drinks

February 9th, 2016

A simple, and often overlooked, way to increase per-table sales is non-alcoholic beverages. They can quickly add up, leading to a higher check total, which is good for the server and the restaurant! Valentine’s Day is coming up, one of the busiest days of the year for any restaurant. Try these tips to help boost

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Ways to Share Valentine’s Day with Your Customers

February 2nd, 2016

Dining out is one of the most popular ways for couples to celebrate Valentine’s Day, which gives restaurateurs a tremendous profit making opportunity in the midst of the winter lull. And with February 14 falling on a Sunday this year, there’s a chance to generate even more revenue than usual by offering breakfast and/or brunch

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A New Year Means a Clean Slate

January 26th, 2016

Chipotle has been in the news a lot lately, and not for the reasons any restaurant would want! They’ve shut down and promised a “deep clean” of all locations and hope to recover from the PR beating they’ve had lately. What can you do to help prevent an outbreak of sick guests at your location?

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Ways to Improve Your Food Business in the New Year

January 12th, 2016

Now that the New Year is officially under way, this is the perfect time to evaluate your restaurant, cafe, food truck, or other food-related business to uncover and shore up weaknesses. Chances are, no matter how well your business did in 2015, there is still room for improvement in a major area such as quality,

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January Equipment Checklist: Clean, Repair, Replace?

January 5th, 2016

After the holiday craziness is finished, and you catch your breath, take a few minutes to celebrate yourself and your team for a job well done. Then, take a moment to reflect. As you pushed through crunch time, did you take mental or actual notes? How did you do? What things were the most stressful?

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Tips to Help Your Food Truck Survive Winter

December 16th, 2015

According to industry experts, food truck operators can expect revenues to drop off by nearly 50% in winter. That’s a huge decline, especially if the truck is your sole source of income. Does this mean you should put your vehicle into long-term storage and get a different job until warmer weather returns? Maybe not. Try

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2016 Food Trends – Should You be Trendy?

December 8th, 2015

Last month, the National Restaurant Association came out with the top food trends of 2016. Many of the trends involved local sourcing and environmental sustainability, which was similar to the trends in 2015, and the year before that, but they note that trends tend to evolve slowly over time. Trends that are more lifestyle changes,

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A Happy Staff Leads to a Great Customer Experience

December 1st, 2015

The holiday season is here! Let the hustle and bustle begin! Rushed customers at lunch, and worn out customers at dinner leads to a staff that has to be at the top of their game. How do you make sure your customers have a great experience every time? According to Matt Hood, Habit Burger’s chief

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Restaurant Safety Tips for Surviving the Holiday Season

November 19th, 2015

Even during the holiday season—one of the busiest in the industry—restaurant safety should take top priority. When the day gets hectic, it’s easy to let little things like a lax cleaning regimen or unsafe clothing go unnoticed. However, that’s when keeping an eye on safety matters most. To make sure workers and guests are safe

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Raising the Bar for the Holiday Season

November 12th, 2015

‘Tis the season, as they say… to raise the bar! Did you know that alcohol consumption goes up 12% over the holidays? As a bar owner or restaurant owner, this is not news. Though it comes with increased liabilities, it can also come with margin-rich sales. Responsible service of alcohol during the holiday season is

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3 Ways to Spice Up Your Fall Menu

November 4th, 2015

As it gets colder, customers’ taste buds start to beg for something warm and comforting. Out with crisp summer salads and barbecued meat, and in with the soups and baked goods. However, standard recipes can become stagnant over time, so it’s important to spice things up every once in awhile. Here are few ideas to

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A Day with Pumpkin Puree

October 20th, 2015

It’s that pumpkin-carving time of year and that leaves the question: What do you do with all of those pumpkin leftovers? We’ve scoured the internet and have found some delicious recipes that use pumpkin puree. Here are the ones that sounded the best to us: Breakfast Pumpkin Pancakes Recipe from MarthaStewart.com We’ve all had pancakes,

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The Value of the Microwave in the Restaurant Industry

October 8th, 2015

Back in the day, seeing a microwave on the cook line or assembly area of a restaurant was considered bad form. I knew some folks that would judge the quality of a place by first looking for the existence of a microwave. I think those days have passed. Seeing a microwave on the line is

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Restaurant Industry (finally) Embracing New Technology

September 22nd, 2015

Restaurants have been around for centuries, dating as far back as Ancient Rome. Over the years, the food, the atmosphere and the service have improved by leaps and bounds. I mean, we have air conditioning and electricity folks! The problem is, even though we have seen massive changes since the Roman times, until very recently,

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Top Tips for Running the Show Behind the Bar

September 17th, 2015

Running a bar seems like a fairly straightforward and common operation. Open doors, serve drinks, count tips, close shop, right? However, once you realize that about 50 percent of bars fail within the first 3 years, the picture gets a little more complicated. How does an owner effectively operate a bar? What are the tricks

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Back To School!

September 10th, 2015

Now that school is back in session, parents around the world get their schedules back. Many have to work on homework at night, sign agendas, fill out school paperwork and get up every morning to make a healthy lunch before sending their kids off to a day at school. Wait… you don’t make a homemade

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School House BBQ: To Be Or Not To Be

August 18th, 2015

Recently, a friend of mine asked me about turning a piece of property he has into a restaurant. To be clear, he doesn’t have a passion for foodservice per se, he is a successful operator of several assisted living facilities. The property he owns was purchased with the ambition of opening a new assisted living

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Football Frenzy: Prepping Your Restaurant For The Season

August 13th, 2015

The beloved American football season is fast approaching. Whether or not your restaurant caters to gathering around to watch the game, the game’s spirits are high no matter where you are. To prep your business for the frenzy of football, consider the best ways to prepare food and drink for the season that fans love

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Hey True, What’s With The New Model Numbers?

August 4th, 2015

You may have noticed that some of the True model numbers that you’ve known for years have grown a bit longer. If you haven’t noticed, they’ve all been tagged with “HC” in the model number. The change will affect all of the model numbers, but it’s a slow change over at True Manufacturing, taking place

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What Equipment Do You Need For A Food Truck?

July 21st, 2015

Don’t you wish you could open a famous restaurant? Do you want to share your food with the world? What’s stopping you? Afraid of the investment? Afraid of locking in a long-term lease and the cost build out? If so, consider… a food truck. Thousands have and many have succeeded. Sure it’s a trend, but

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3 Ways To Outfit Your New Restaurant Affordably

July 16th, 2015

You’ve always wanted your own commercial restaurant, but you never thought it was possible – yet, here you are. The financing is secured, a location has been chosen, and the menu you’ve been perfecting over the years is finally complete. If all goes well, you’ll be the proud owner of your city’s soon to be

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Do You Know Your Customers?

July 7th, 2015

As a restaurant owner or manager, you spend a lot of time thinking about food costs, employee schedules and generally how to keep things running smoothly while making a profit. What about customers? Without them, you won’t have much else to consider! So, let’s talk about customers for a moment. Is the customer always right?

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A Cheap Fryer Is Hard To Afford

June 23rd, 2015

Have you ever looked at the fryer market and wondered why there was such a difference in prices? Why are some fryers $600 and others $2,000? A fryer is a fryer is a fryer.. right? The answer is yes, and no. Let’s keep things simple. Cooking is a function of temperature over time. If you

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Top 3 Things You Need To Know About Commercial Fryers

June 18th, 2015

Fryers aren’t just for fast food restaurants. Kitchens all around the country are using fryers to make new culinary creations. From deep-fried squash blossoms to tempura-battered Oreos, commercial fryers offer restaurants and their chefs the opportunity to create unique, fresh food served up crispy and hot. Whether you’re new to the restaurant business or a

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Best In Class Equipment

June 10th, 2015

Each year Foodservice Equipment & Supplies (better known as FES) Magazine polls their subscribers and asks them to evaluate equipment and supplies manufacturers on seven characteristics. The seven key factors are: Product Quality Product Value Product Design and Aesthetics Service and Support Sales Representation Product Inventory and Availability Product Information Availability   The results come

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