The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your business. More than any other room, it directly affects your bottom line and what you can offer to your customers: everything from how appetizing that salad looks (or doesn’t) to whether or not they want to pay for a refill of iced tea. If you’re operating with an under-powered ice machine, though — especially an old unit — then you could be running into efficiency issues, putting yourself behind the proverbial 8-ball. It’s time to update your equipment! Here are a few things you should look for in an instant ice machine.
The first thing that matters about any commercial ice maker is its productivity, arguably one of the most important buying factors. You want to make sure that you’re purchasing an instant ice machine that can keep up with your business, and this means checking out its capacity. More importantly, it should be able to produce the kind of ice cubes you need as well as the quantity — of those two things aren’t covered by a given device’s specs, then there’s no point in buying it. The right machine will fit seamlessly into your existing kitchen set-up and complement your existing processes. Think about what other equipment you have and how all of them work together: does this potential piece connect to everything else? If not, then perhaps an alternative model or manufacturer will work better for you.
What other needs do you have beyond pure productivity? You might want to consider other factors, like whether or not the ice machine is flexible. For instance, if you need just one kind of ice cube for your business (like nugget ice), then you’ll need a device that’s capable of producing it at enough volume to keep up with your high-volume business needs. You might also want something that can keep up with unique requests from specific customers: if this is the case, make sure you look into either customizing your machine or buying an all-inclusive one. Even if both options are more expensive than ad hoc models, what they offer in terms of after-sales service and long-term savings should make them worthwhile investments in the end.
Durability & Maintenance
Of course, no matter how productive your ice machine might be, if it’s not sturdy enough to handle constant use, then you’ll have to replace it fairly quickly. You want something durable and reliable that won’t fall apart the moment you turn around — after all, a faulty unit can put a serious damper on your productivity! To this end, make sure you check out both the quality of parts as well as its manufacturer’s warranty. If they offer either a lifetime warranty or at least five years’ worth of coverage, they’re probably confident in their product’s ability to hold up. This will give you some extra peace of mind when buying, as well as ensure that you’re covered for any major malfunctions down the line.