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What Style Of Ice Is Right For Your FoodService Operation?

Ice is a simple, yet critical element of a successful restaurant kitchen. If you’re in the market for restaurant equipment and looking for a new ice machine, it’s important to learn which machine is right for you.

Different ice makers, different ice

Different ice makers produce different types of ice. While different manufacturers coin terms for their “style” of ice, in actuality there are three primary types of ice for commercial use:

1. Cubed Ice
More than 80 percent of ice consumed in U.S. commercial settings is cubed-style ice. Cubed ice has a slower melting time which can be beneficial. Cubed ice is commonly used for drink purposes, but is also sometimes used for ice displays and salad bars. Cubed ice is often preferred when using a dispensing gun because the shape eliminates splashing.

2. Flaked Ice
The most economical type of ice to produce is flaked ice, which is small, hard bits of ice that are often shaped like small pebbles. Flaked ice cools more quickly than other forms of ice and is very easy/cheap for a machine to produce. Flaked ice is great for food displays – for example, meat, seafood and produce displays – as well as salad bars and some blended cocktails.

3. Nugget / Pearl Ice
Ice machines that make nugget or pearl ice produce a less dense type of ice that is easier to chew, and slightly more porous than cubed ice. Nugget / pearl ice is used in beverages and is often preferred in soda shop / bar settings because it gives patrons a different style of beverage than traditional ice cubes.

Find the right size ice machine

In addition to knowing the right type of ice for your establishment, you need to get the correct size machine. For help determining the best size and style for your operation, call one of ACityDiscount's experienced sales associates at 404-752-6715. Here are basic guidelines:

  • Full service restaurants use 1.7 pounds of ice per customer

  • Fast food restaurants use 0.9 pounds of ice per customer

  • Cocktail lounges use 3 pounds of ice per customer

The right ice machine can help your business succeed, so make sure you get the best restaurant equipment for your needs.

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