Choosing the Right Ice Machines for Your School

Ice machines are a vital component of any kitchen, be it in a large restaurant, a mom-and-pop diner, or a school cafeteria. Ice machines are used in schools to chill food in the serving line, as additions to soft drinks, and even in medical capacities. Athletic programs need ice to treat sports injuries, making ice machines an important part of a school’s sports facility. School nurses often make use of school ice machines, as well. In lieu of a countertop ice maker or a large in-office freezer, school nurses can use ice from the school’s cafeteria ice makers and use it throughout the day as needed. Because schools utilize ice machines regularly, having quality ice machines is important to keep things running smoothly in a school kitchen day after day.

Here are some tips from ShortOrder that will help you choose the ice machine you need for your school, plus some bonus tips for maintaining ice machines.

How Much Ice Will You Need?

First, you will need to make sure your ice machine will keep up with the needs of your school. Aim for about 1.5 pounds of ice per student when deciding what size ice machine you should purchase.

What Kind of Ice Do You Need?

To choose between different ice machines, you should next decide what types of ice you need. Dice sized, half dice sized, flake ice, and nugget ice are all common options of ice types in ice machines. Cubed ice is generally limited to food service settings, while flake and nugget ice are flexible in use and can be used in medical settings, as for sports injuries or in a nurse’s office.

Where Will You Put the Ice Machine?

The last thing you want is to buy an ice machine, only to find you have no place to put it! Measure the spaces in your kitchen where an ice machine could potentially fit, as well as the dimensions of the doors into the kitchen, factor in how much ice you will need on average, then shop with those dimensions in mind. You should also allow five to eight inches on either side for maneuverability. If you will need a compressor, remember to factor that into your configuration, as well.

Choose Your Ice Machine’s Brand

When choosing between ice machines, it’s best to go with a quality brand that will stand up to regular use and continue to produce quality ice day in and day out. Manitowoc ice machines and Scotsman ice machines are both dependable and energy-efficient options for ice machines.

Choose the Best Price

Saving money is always a concern for schools, especially when ordering new equipment. Order ice machines and other restaurant equipment through ShortOrder, and receive free freight and consistently low prices. In fact, we will beat any ice machine’s advertised price by refunding 110% of the difference.

After You Buy Your Ice Machine

Once you purchase your ice machine, make sure you change the water filter at least twice yearly, since dirty ice can make students ill. Also be sure that you clean and maintain your ice machine properly to save energy.

Do you have tips for purchasing ice machines? Share them with us by connecting with ShortOrder on Twitter and Facebook!

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