4 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying an Ice Machine for Your Restaurant – 2024 Guide

A wide variety of business venues may require a constant presence and need for a quality ice machine. This is especially true for those involved in the food and catering industries, simply because preparing, serving, and storing food and drinks is impossible without ice. If you need a new ice machine for your restaurant, you might have had a headache while deciding on the best one out of all the possible options.

When buying a new ice machine is what you need to do to take your place of operations to the next level, it may seem like a very important decision. Therefore, naturally, as an owner you want everything to go well and avoid mistakes. In this article, you will learn about four mistakes to avoid when buying a new ice machine for your restaurant. Once you have made up your mind on the right one, head on over to ckitchen.com to explore their wide range of products.

1. Ice Machine that Cannot Satisfy your Ice Needs

Source: pdx.eater.com

The absolute number one factor on your list while choosing the right ice machine for your restaurant is the volume and rate at which it is able to produce ice. When browsing through catalogs of various shapes and sizes, make sure to pick out the one that meets your capacity needs so that your place of business never runs out of ice. Imagine falling short on something as crucial as ice during the peak hours of your restaurant. This is a clear recipe for disaster you should avoid at all costs.

Similarly to low amounts of ice, you should also not make the mistake of buying something too big and powerful if you do not need it. If you have a smaller restaurant with limited kitchen space and not a lot of guests at once, you do not need the biggest and fastest ice machine out there, because you will have too much ice on your hands. Before making up your mind about the right ice machine, try to calculate the amount of ice you need on a daily and weekly basis on average. Go from there to purchase the best fit for your employees and guests.

2. Ice Machine Incompatible with your Plumbing

Source: altitude24-7.com

One of the most important features of every restaurant is the plumbing system, and not solely because of the comfort and satisfaction of the guests. In order to prepare the food, your employees need the plumbing to be top-notch and working at all times. Ice machines require a constant supply and flow of water, so it is of the utmost importance for your new ice machine and your plumbing system to be compatible. Before buying a new machine for the kitchen, inspect the desired area where you want to store it.

Call in a plumber to get a better knowledge of the current state of your whole kitchen plumbing, just in case of any leaky valves or pipes. Failure to do this can lead to weird ice shape, too much ice buildup in the machine, leaking, and various hygiene risks that might result in fines or put your place out of business entirely. Ice machines always have to be placed near floor drains, because there is always excess water around. If you do all of this, your new icemaker will have no issues with the plumbing.

3. Wrong Type of Ice Machine

Source: icemac.net

Next on the list of mistakes, you should definitely go out of your way to avoid is choosing the wrong type of ice machine for your restaurant. There are different types of these machines meant for different purposes and places, so picking a wrong one may prove to be a costly mistake that was easy to avoid. Depending on where you wish to put it in your restaurant, there are three distinct types of ice machines you must know about.

  • Modular Ice Machines

Also known as ice machine heads, these devices are made to sit on top of ice machine bins into which they dispose large amounts of ice throughout the day. Remember that bins are almost exclusively sold separately, so make sure to buy a few. Modular ice machines give out anywhere between 250 and 1,000 lbs. of ice daily, depending on the kind you buy and the settings they have. These machines are the best choice for larger food services, including mid to large size restaurants, cafeterias, or ice packing retailers. If you need lots of ice for preserving and serving food daily, look no further.

  • Undercounter Ice Machines

As their name suggests, these ice machines are meant to fit under the counters, be it at the bars or inside of restaurant kitchens. They also use ice storage bins, but smaller ones. Standard counters are usually 40” and these ice machines are made to fit under them. They produce up to 350 lbs. of ice per day, which means they are the best solution for bars that need ice for cooling and serving various types of drinks, as well as smaller restaurants, motels, and fast food joints.

  • Countertop Ice Makers

On the other end of the spectrum from the undercounter icemakers are countertop ice machines, which sit on top of kitchen and bar counters. If your establishments lack the necessary floor space for a larger ice machine like a modular one, why not fit a countertop icemaker on one of your kitchen elements. An additional benefit of these icemakers is that almost all of them also dispense cold water, meaning they are great for cafeterias of any kind, common areas at cafes, bars, pubs, restaurants and hotels, and even in front of a fast-food place in some cases. A small ice bin is sometimes included in the package. These ice machines can produce about 400 lbs. of ice pin a day.

4. Ice Machine with the Wrong Compressor Type

Source: kold-draft.com

Last but not least, similarly to the wrong type of machine, a wrong compressor may hurt your business. Three different compressors exist in ice machines, air-cooled, water-cooled, and remote-cooled.

Air-cooled are the most economical, as they use nothing but the ambient air to cool the ice. No water is needed so your water bill will be lower.

Water-cooled compressors obviously use water and connect to the plumbing in the walls. For ambient temperatures above 80 degrees F, as well as dusty areas, this is a better option than the air-cooled variety.

The third and final kind of compressor utilizes a fully independent air-cooled usually mounted outside, away from the ice machine. Roofs and exterior walls are the most common places to attach them. Remote-cooled ice machines are the quietest because of the distance and are mostly used if conditions prevent both air- and water-cooled varieties from being utilized.