Unruly Ice Machines? 5 Common Ice Machine Problems and How to Fix Them

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Unruly Ice Machines? 5 Common Ice Machine Problems and How to Fix ThemSometimes ice machines just won’t cooperate. Whether you have too much ice or too little, a leaky unit, or a loud ice maker, ice machine malfunctions can throw a real wrench in the works at your establishment. But don’t worry—ShortOrder is here to help you troubleshoot. Once you’ve checked the obvious culprits (like the ice machine’s indicator lights and power supply) it’s time to take a closer look at the issue. Here are our tips for the top 5 common ice machine problems and how to fix them.

1. Combating Ice Machine Slime

Without proper maintenance, ice machine slime is a common problem among ice machine owners. This slime that accumulates inside the machine is a type of mold or fungus that forms when surfaces that are constantly covered with water droplets are exposed to warm temperatures. The result is a pinkish slime that can eventually become red, green, brown or black, coating your ice and lending it an unpleasant taste and smell. To prevent ice machine slime, wipe down and sanitize your ice machines regularly. To combat existing slime, use quaternary ammonium chloride (QAC). This will eliminate the slime and prevent it from reforming for a period of time after its application. If the mold is in your water lines, hoses, or fittings, however, you may need to get them replaced altogether.

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Choosing the Right Ice Machines for Your School

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

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!

5 Energy-Saving Tips for Your Ice Machines

Friday, April 19th, 2013

ShortOrder knows that ice machines are vital to your business. Foodservice operations need ice machines for any number of purposes day in and day out, most often requiring ice in large volumes all day, throughout the week. This can result in high costs, not only in terms of ice machine wear, but in energy, as well. We have already touted the benefits of Manitowoc ice machines and Scotsman ice machines, and we’d like to share some more tips with you on how to stay green and save money when it comes to operating your ice machines.

1.  Make sure that your ice machine is of the proper capacity for you restaurant. An ice machine that produces too much or too little ice for your needs can be a big waste of energy.

2.  Invest in an air-cooled ice machine. Air-cooled ice machines use less energy and less water than their water-cooled counterparts.

3.  Close your ice machine’s lid. Keeping the lid open for longer than is necessary makes the ice machine work harder to remain at the correct temperature, causing a further loss of energy. Make sure your employees know to close the ice machine’s lid promptly after every use.

4.  Clean your ice machine regularly. This includes changing out the water filter according to the manufacturer’s directions. Cleaning ice machines on a regular basis allows the machines to remain in proper working order to operate smoothly.

5.  Maintain your ice machine regularly to ensure that all components function correctly. Regular maintenance will prevent the ice machine from breaking down later, leading to not only major repair costs, but to disruption of your business.

For more tips about ice machines and other quality restaurant equipment, keep reading our blog. You can also visit us on Twitter and Facebook for ShortOrder updates, news, and more.

Scotsman Ice Machines Win 2013 Energy Star Partner of the Year

Friday, March 29th, 2013

This month at ShortOrder, we’ve discovered yet another reason to praise Scotsman ice machines. In March, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) named Scotsman ice machines’ systems the 2013 Energy Star Partner of the Year. Scotsman’s accomplishments were recognized on Tuesday at an awards ceremony held in Washington D.C.

What is the Energy Star Label?

The Energy Star label was created to encourage and promote the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and pollutants, as well as to assist consumers in finding energy-efficient products. It is backed by the EPA, and can be found displayed on products like computers, TVs, kitchen appliances, air conditioners, water heaters, light bulbs, and, of course, Scotsman ice machines.

An Energy Star certified product earns its label by providing significant energy savings, increasing the product’s energy efficiency, and performing as well as or better than a higher energy consuming product of its kind, along with several other requirements. These factors are carefully measured and tested in order to be verified, at which point the product receives the Energy Star label.

Scotsman: 2013 Energy Star Partner of the Year

Scotsman was selected from among almost 200,000 organizations to be the recipient of the 2013 Energy Star Partner of the Year. The winner of this award is credited for a dedication to the successful promotion and distribution of its Energy Star products, thereby saving consumers money and reducing levels of greenhouse gas emissions.

ShortOrder and Scotsman Ice Machines

ShortOrder carries a variety of Energy Star certified Scotsman ice machines. From the Scotsman Ice Machine CU1526SA-1A, producing up to 150 pounds of ice in 24 hours, to the Scotsman Ice Machine C1448MA-32B, which produces up to 1,553 pounds in 24 hours, ShortOrder is dedicated to bringing you Scotsman ice machines that can save your business time, money, and energy. For more Scotsman ice machines and other Energy Star certified commercial kitchen products from major brands like True, Panasonic, Delfield, Hobart, and more, visit ShortOrder.com and view all of our restaurant equipment.

Shaken, Not Stirred: Ice Machines for Mocktails

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Ice machines, while useful for every restaurant, can be particularly useful for a restaurant with special drinks on its menu. Ice machines allow a restaurant to have fresh ice available in large quantities at any time. But how to prepare your drinks using an ice machine’s ice? James Bond, the famous fictional British Secret Service agent, is known for preferring his martinis prepared “shaken, not stirred”. What is the difference between shaken and stirred? There has been much debate among cocktail connoisseurs about whether shaking or stirring is the better method, and in what case each ought to be utilized.

Shaken Drinks

A drink that is “shaken” is made using an ice machine’s fresh ice cubes in a cocktail shaker. About 5 or 6 ice cubes should be used per individual drink. Shaking a drink for about 10-15 seconds (longer is acceptable, depending on the beverage’s components) quickly chills it while aerating the drink. It is obviously works faster than stirring a drink, but can also dilute it.

Stirred Drinks

A drink that is “stirred” is made just the way it sounds—it is mixed with an ice machine’s ice in a glass. A stirred drink takes longer to chill, and in fact could take several minutes to achieve the temperature that shaking does in seconds. However, stirring allows a drink to remain less diluted, keeping its texture and appearance fairly unaltered.

Mocktails

Are you looking for a new drink to add to your menu? Consider the mocktail. A “mocktail” is a drink made by mixing two or more non-alcoholic beverages. Types of mocktails may include versions of an actual cocktail modified to eliminate the alcoholic components (called a “virgin” drink), or a drink unto itself, with no alcoholic counterpart. The mocktail is a friend to all, as it pleases all ages and can be drunk at any time of day. Ice from ice machines will help you add the finishing touches to delicious mocktails. We recommend that you try Manitowoc ice machines or Scotsman ice machines for brands that will deliver high-quality results. Below are two clever mocktails that will guarantee you get plenty of use out of your ice machines.

Fruit Punch – Shaken

This drink bears no resemblance to your average packet of cherry Kool-Aid. A Fruit Punch is made with orange juice, mango juice, pineapple juice, grenadine syrup, and fresh cream. All ingredients should be added to a cocktail shaker (already equipped with an ice machine’s ice to chill the drink), and shaken well. It is then strained into a highball glass, and served most often with a slice of pineapple and a cherry as garnishes.

Virgin Mary – Stirred

A Virgin Mary is, of course, a non-alcoholic version of a Bloody Mary. This drink is often served as a breakfast or brunch menu item, and is a great way to mix up your beverage choices at the beginning of the day. Use a mixing glass with ice from your ice machines to stir the ingredients together, then pour into a roly poly glass and garnish with a stick of celery, mint leaves, or a lemon wedge.

Scotsman Ice Machines: What Would You Do Without ‘Em?

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Without ice machines like Scotsman Ice Machines, the restaurant industry would be on it’s knees in a heart beat. It’s easy to look at ice machines as the wall flowers of the restaurant industry. They just sit there making ice. There’s no sizzle, no heat. Nothing sexy or dazzling about them. They just make cube after cube of frozen water. Not a lot of magic there, right? Who needs them? But imagine ordering a beverage that comes to the table with no ice. Or a salad bar of luke-warm vegetables, tepid dressing and wilting lettuce? Ice may seem invisible to the hungry patron, but take it away, and you take away the experience of fresh food.

Scotsman Ice Machines do one thing and they do it really well: they make great ice. They’re consistent, energy efficient, and reliable. In 2011, Scotsman Ice Systems was nationally recognized for energy efficiency by ENERGY STAR®. According to Mark McClanahan, president, Scotsman Ice Systems, customers using Scotsman Ice Machines can save up to 20 percent on their energy bill annually. We are very proud to offer a wide selection of these ENERGY STAR-rated Scotsman Ice Machines, such as our Scotsman Ice Machine C0322MA-1B. In fact, nugget and flake models of Scotsman Ice Machines use up to 50 percent less water and 15 percent less energy than other cube machines. And, as if that weren’t enough, many Scotsman Ice Machines are also rated for the maximum “Consortium of Energy Efficiency” (CEE) Tier 3-rated performance criteria, which exceeds the current ENERGY STAR standard.

Sure, Scotsman Ice Machines are straight forward, unromantic machines. But what a difference fresh ice makes, and where would you be without it? Just remember that when you start dreaming about all those other fancy pieces of restaurant equipment. Sometimes the hardest one to see is the one that was there all along.

Going Steady With Scotsman Ice Machines

Friday, July 6th, 2012

There’s something to be said for consistency. Your customers rely on it, and so do you. Consistency is what makes your dishes famous and your customers coming back for more. Consistency is what allows you to turn on the stove and expect the flame to ignite every time. While we tend to overlook the simplicity of reliable performance, without it, where would we be? With Scotsman Ice Machines, you’ll get bin after bin of fresh, cold ice. In fact, almost every one of the Scotsman Ice Machines has earned our Editor’s Choice award and five star rating.

Scotsman Ice Machines are not only reliable, they’re efficient too. Prodigy® cubers like the Scotsman Ice Machine C0530MA-32B/B530S exceed both California and Federal regulations for the use of energy and water. And who says reliability has to be old fashioned? This machine has indicator lights to alert you when its time to sanitize or descale, operational data that can be shown onscreen or remotely and an ultrasonic ice control system that allows you keep ice levels exactly where you want them. And with a hefty capacity of 536 lbs, that’s a lot of flexibility in one piece of restaurant equipment.

Then there is the Scotsman Ice Machine AFE424A-1A. This guy fits under the counter, producing flake style ice up to 400 lbs a day, 80 lb bin storage capacity. So your produce and seafood stay fresh and chilled. Short Order carries Scotsman Ice Machines in just about every shape and size, ranging from the petite models with 24 pounds of storage to heads that produce 1900 lbs a day.

But when it comes down to it, whatever the size of the machine or the shape of the cube, and whatever your use. consistency is what you want most in an ice machine, and that’s where Scotsman Ice Machines take the lead. Thanks, Scotsman Ice Machines, for keeping the food industry that much cooler.

Now Serving – The Makings of a Great Manager and Pancakes

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

 

June 2012 A monthly newsletter showcasing the taste of cookware ISSUE 42
Now Serving
Greetings!

Next weekend is Father’s Day – what do you have planned for the big-guy’s celebration? Popular ideas include: bar-b-ques, sports and fun in the sun. Are you doing the typical or trying something new?

I think the summer heat is taking its toll on the economy – as the prices increase, and the economy slows, what are you doing to cut costs? Share your tips on our Facebook wall – and check back frequently for special one-day only deals!

Here’s a way to save on your equipment costs: You can earn some money while helping other people out. Go to Shortorder.com and submit a product review! We’re giving away a $50 ShortOrder.com Gift Card to one reviewer per month. Join me in congratulating this month’s winner: Beth Gaudet!

Don’t miss the clearance section, full of scratch and dent and discontinued inventory! These products have only minor physical imperfections and are protected by the full manufacturer warranty. Clearance inventory changes often so check our clearance section for the best deals.

In this issue: The makings of a Great Manager, a recipe for Fluffy Pancakes and our Featured Items: a Scotsman ice machine, a Gen2 fryer and a Lakeside cart.

Remember, this newsletter is for you and if there is anything you’d like to know more about – give us a shout! We’d love to hear from you.

Enjoy!

Tylee Van Waes

 

The Makings of a Great Manager 

A discussion on what it takes to be a great restaurant manager          

 

Growing up, my mother helped make ends meet by waiting tables part-time. As we grew older, and required less of her time, she was able to focus further on her career in the restaurant industry and eventually worked her way up to an award-winning General Manager of a successful restaurant. Seeing my mother at work was watching her in her glory – when serving: her customers were immediately regulars, requesting her service and waiting for a table in her section, when managing; her employees loved her, joked with her and respected her. What made her so good at what she did?

In his blog, “What Great Restaurant Managers Do Differently,” Chef Robert Krzak discusses some important traits of a great restaurant manager. He correctly mentions that “their success depends on so many intangible factors that it is impossible to clearly define what the job entails,” and that there are rules, but all rules can be broken when the time is right! He breaks it down into 5 key components of a good manager:

This is not my mother.

Hold the Reigns Tight – Then Let Go – Great managers know how to define the task at hand, but then know when to step back, let the synergy take over and let people do what they do best.

Honor Diversity – Appreciate the diversity of a team, each person’s unique strengths will work together to build an unstoppable team.

Communication is the Key – He suggests taking communication courses and learning to listen can empower a manager with tools to solve problems and effectively handle difficult situations.

Place the Right People in the Right Job – A great manager takes the time to get to know the employees, identify their strengths and weaknesses and encourages them to try new things and take on new tasks.

Make Time – Krzak notes that there’s never enough time in a restaurant manager’s day, but a great manager is able to organize and delegate to make time.

What do you think? Can being a great manager be learned, or is it just a special kind of person that is a glutton for punishment (kidding… sort of)? Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas for great managers on our Facebook page.

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Featured Recipe  

Fluffy Father’s Day Pancakes

Start Father’s Day out right with these pancakes from allrecipes.com!
Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Combine milk with vinegar in a medium bowl and set aside for 5 minutes to “sour”.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk egg and butter into “soured” milk. Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and whisk until lumps are gone.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and coat with cooking spray. Pour 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the skillet, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side.
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Scotsman Ice Machines: A Successful and Slightly Secret Ingredient

Monday, February 20th, 2012

There are possibly 10,000 or more secrets to success in the restaurant industry. All sorts of unique ways are devised and implemented in an effort to create ambiance, serve great food and drinks and make customers happier than a kid experiencing their first trip to Disneyland. But perhaps the most basic and simple secret used by great rests is using high quality restaurant equipment that makes daily tasks easier. For example, you need ice for drinks, produce, seafood or meat displays. That’s not top-secret information. But, when it comes to those incredibly important chunks of frozen water, Scotsman Ice Machines, are an important ingredient on that path to success.

Scotsman Ice Machines don’t exactly perform quantum physics; nor will you need a security clearance to purchase one. But knowing about these ice machines is pretty important stuff. Scotsman has been on the leading edge of technology and innovation in the world of ice production since 1950. The Scotsman ice systems we carry are quite diverse and built to incredibly high standards. Although Scotsman Ice Machines are incredibly good at freezing good old H2O, the real secret is in how they will also save on resources. Prodigy® cubers exceed both California and Federal regulations for the use of energy and water. This value is evident in the Scotsman Ice Machine C0530MA-32B/B530S. Between the savings, the fantastic features, and long-term reliability, this and virtually all of our Scotsman Ice Machines are more than worthy of our Editors Choice and 5-Star rating.

So, while you’re busy working at crafting secret recipes, planning engaging marketing initiatives, and serving your customers, Scotsman Ice Machines are doing more than just making ice. They are quietly operating with the highest levels of reliability and efficiency, all so that you never have to worry about something as simple as needing ice. You can easily find the C053MA-32B/B530S and a host of other fine Scotsman Ice Machines on our website and discover one of many fine ingredients to restaurant success. 

Scotsman Ice Machines: Innovation Under the Hood

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Innovation. When we imagine the advancements in technology today, often we think of mobile phones, social networks, computers, and software. However, one company has been revolutionizing its place in the restaurant equipment industry for over a half century. Scotsman Ice Systems and their high-powered Scotsman Ice Machines have been at the forefront of ice systems since 1950 and we are proud to carry a wonderful selection of ice machines that keep drinks glacial, produce fresh and seafood chilled.

If you currently have an ice machine in your establishment, then it is likely you know how critical ice is to your foodservice operations. If you don’t have an ice machine, the alternative is having truckloads of ice shipped to your front door, and that can’t be very fun. So, if you’re current ice machine is giving you fits, or you’ve yet to buy one, then you should really take a look at our line of Scotsman Ice Machines. What’s so fancy about ice machines? Well, we are glad you asked. Many of the Scotsman Ice Machines we carry are in their Prodigy® line, which means they “use significantly less energy and water than other cube ice machines, exceeding California and Federal energy efficiency regulations.”

But, Scotsman also added some nice technology into their ice machines. Two of our favorites (and there are many) are the Scotsman Ice Machine C0322SA-1B/B222S and the Scotsman Ice Machine C0322MA-1B/B222S, which both include AutoAlert™ indicator lights that can tell you when it’s necessary to descale and sanitize. The patented WaterSense adaptive purge control, “delivers maximum reliability by reducing scale buildup for a longer time between cleanings. The majority of the Scotsman Ice Machines we carry received our 5-Star rating and Editors Choice pick because they combine all that innovation with incredible reliability and mammoth efficiency.

So, if you’re simply looking for the best, most innovative ice machines, think Short Order. Scotsman Ice Machines may never make the cover of Wired Magazine or Popular Mechanics, but they should.

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