Cooking Healthier Meals

Three Types of Ice Makers to Buy for Your Restaurant

by Paul Watson

If you're working toward opening a restaurant, you need a plan for how you'll have ice available. Restaurants go through a significant amount of ice daily. Although most of it goes in patrons' drinks, there are other ways that ice can come in handy. Instead of continuously buying bagged ice, it's a better idea to make your own — and for that, you'll need a commercial-grade ice maker.

One thing that you'll notice upon visiting a local restaurant equipment supplier is that there are several different types of available ice makers. Here are three machines that you may wish to add to your restaurant.

Full-Sized Ice Maker 

There are all sorts of full-sized ice makers on the market, and they all share the common trait of being large in size. This means that they can produce and store a large amount of ice—which is something that you'll appreciate if you anticipate having a busy restaurant. Because of this machine's size, it's important to have a plan for where you'll situate it. You need it in a convenient location to allow your kitchen staff and/or servers to fill patrons' glasses with ice, but also need to be sure that employees standing around the machine to use it won't block the path of other employees.

Under-Counter Ice Maker

If you anticipate having a bar area in your new restaurant, an under-counter ice maker will be a valuable addition. As its name indicates, this is a machine that is designed to sit under a counter—typically, the counter of a bar area. While this type of ice maker won't have quite as much storage space for ice as its full-sized counterpart, its big advantage is the convenience that it provides. Your bartender will be able to easily retrieve ice from this machine for patrons' drinks, all without moving away from the bar area.

Ice Dispenser

Another device to consider buying is a commercial ice dispenser, a device that makes and dispenses ice with the push of a button. This machine is useful if your restaurant will have a buffet area. In this space, you'll need to provide equipment for people to serve their own drinks. While you'll likely want one or more commercial beverage machines, an ice dispenser will also be valuable. Some ice dispensers solely provide ice and water, while others are integrated with beverage machines to provide ice and all sorts of soft drinks. Learn more about ice makers by contacting a restaurant equipment supply store.