Buying Guide for Head-only Ice Makers

Buying Guide for Head-only Ice Makers


Ice is one of a few items in your operation
that is served to every customer, so it’s crucial to keep a constant supply of clean,
fresh ice flowing. While shopping for a new ice maker, it’s
important to select a unit that both meets production demands and fits your intended
application. Full-cube ice is slow melting and used in
a variety of applications, such as restaurants, bars, and bagged ice operations. Because full-cube ice has a relatively small
surface area compared to its volume, it lacks the cooling power of other ice types, and
since it doesn’t displace as much water, full-cube ice will likely cost operators more
to serve than drinks poured over smaller ice. As the most versatile ice type, half-cube
ice is ideal for serving soft drinks, frozen cocktails, and smoothies and is found in restaurants
and convenience stores. Because of its smaller dimensions, half-cube
ice can cool drinks quickly and nests together to reduce the cost of each drink. One of the most popular varieties is nugget
ice, a favorite of ice chewers. Nugget ice is used for serving soft drinks,
frozen cocktails, and smoothies and is found in quick service restaurants, cafes, and diners. Flake ice is often used for chilled food on
buffet lines and is also found in healthcare facilities. Gourmet ice is the largest ice type, perfect
for high-end liquors and cocktails in operations such as fine dining establishments, bars,
and lounges. Remember, for your new ice machine head to
work properly, you will need to pair it with an appropriate bin. Ice production is measured in pounds per day,
and savvy operators need to be aware how much ice each application is likely to use in order
to purchase a unit that can meet their production needs. Restaurants require roughly 1.5 pounds of
ice per person, self-serve applications and cocktail lounges use 3 pounds of ice per person,
hotel rooms require 5 pounds per person, and hospitals use 10 pounds per person. Seasonal factors, the addition of new drink
types, and a growing business can increase ice demands to affect the volume of ice you’ll
need each day. There are three types of ice machine condensers
to consider when selecting a new ice machine head. The first and most popular are air-cooled
ice machines. These units are equipped with fans that move
air across the condenser and are the simplest to install and maintain. Water-cooled units pump a constant supply
of cool water by the condenser’s coils. They are not practical for most establishments
since they require hundreds of gallons of water each hour, but locations that already
have water-circulating chiller systems can benefit from tying in water-cooled condensing
units. Remote condensers place the condensing unit
in a separate location – generally on the roof – to reduce noise and heat inside the
operation. Let’s sum all that up: First, decide which ice type your operation
will be offering. Second, determine the level of production
you will require each day. Make sure to select a unit that exceeds your
projected demands. Third, select a condenser location. Most likely, you’ll be looking at air-cooled
units. And fourth, call our customer care team at
(800) 541-8683 or visit katom.com to pick the perfect ice machine for your operation. And don’t forget to add a bin!

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