Bars and restaurants are a profitable business model. However, you will need a thorough business plan and framework before opening a cocktail bar. Make sure to also opt for the right commercial kitchen equipment to implement your business model successfully. You will need commercial kitchen equipment like commercial ranges, commercial blenders, and commercial ice machines for your restaurant business. With professional and high-quality ice maker machines, you can serve chilled smoothies, shakes, and cocktails.
In this article, we discuss the things to consider before buying an ice machine for your restaurant business, the pros of owning an ice machine for the restaurant business. We also discuss the cons of owning an ice machine for the restaurant business and whether you should consider buying a commercial ice maker machine for your restaurant.
Things to Consider Before Buying an Ice Machine for Your Restaurant Business
Smart restaurant owners and foodservice owners do their research before purchasing new commercial kitchen equipment. They spend on appliances and equipment that will give them a positive return on investment. Here are some pointers successful restaurateurs consider before purchasing an ice machine for their food service establishment:
- Purchase the wrong type of ice machine:
The type of ice machine will depend upon the type of ice you want to serve in your foodservice establishment and the total available space in your kitchen. You can serve gourmet cubes, full cubes, half cubes, grande cubes, and ice flakes.
- Avoid shortening the life of the ice machine:
Maintaining a commercial ice maker machine needs time and effort. You also need an expert who can maintain or clean the machine regularly. If an ice machine is not maintained correctly, it can shorten the device’s lifespan. The deterioration can start with lower ice cube production. Ice machines tend to break down at the most unfortunate times. The repair cost of a damaged ice machine can run into thousands of dollars. So, it is essential to have a backup plan ready during the peak summer months for a hassle-free customer experience.
- Place the ice machine in the wrong location:
Purchase an ice machine after considering the available space, accessibility, and needs. It is essential to place the ice machine in a clean and dry place away from grease. Additionally, there should be enough space around the ice machine for proper ventilation.
- Do not install the ice machine without a licensed professional:
Ice machines are complicated; take the help of a licensed professional to install your commercial ice machine. Many ice machines get damaged because of poor installation. It is also essential to have the ice machine installed by a licensed professional for warranty purposes.
- Purchase an ice machine unsuitable to your restaurant’s plumbing:
Consider purchasing a commercial ice maker that can be outfitted with your existing plumbing. Buying an ice machine that does not fit seamlessly with your current plumbing can become expensive.
The Pros of Owning an Ice Machine for the Restaurant Business
Here are some essential pros of owning an ice machine for the restaurant business:
- It helps to save time and increase efficiency:
Ice machines are practical and convenient. With ice maker machines, you can save time and be efficient. You will always have clean ice ready for your patrons. You can also bag and store the excess ice depending upon your business needs.
- Keep the customer satisfied:
Customers love chilled cocktails and smoothies. You can serve ice cold Pina Coladas and LITs for your patrons. You can also serve various types of ice with professional ice maker machines. Flake ice, ice nuggets, crescent moon ice, and cube ice are the most popular ice-related drinks.
- It adds a sense of freshness:
Ice is essential for restaurants and cocktail bars. With a commercial ice maker machine, you can get fresh ice immediately. With fresh ice, all your margaritas, mojitos, and pina coladas will feel fresh. And, because iced drinks are in high demand, especially during the summer, it’s a good idea to invest in a commercial ice machine. A commercial ice maker machine is a significant investment for your business if you want to take advantage of this opportunity when it comes.
- The permanent presence of ice:
You will never run out of ice with ice maker machines. You can serve chilled beverages at any time with instant ice from commercial ice maker machines.
The Cons of Owning an Ice Machine for the Restaurant Business
Here, we list some critical cons of owning a restaurant business:
- More expenses:
Commercial ice maker machines are expensive to own and operate. These machines will make you money in the long run, but the initial cost of commercial ice maker machines is huge. It does not make sense to spend thousands of dollars just for ice for small restaurants.
- Require deep cleaning and maintenance:
Commercial ice machines need to be cleaned strictly. You will need a dedicated person to clean and maintain an ice machine. The person should have the requisite knowledge of disassembling and assembling an ice machine. The consequence of not cleaning an ice machine regularly can be gruesome. Your customers can find dirt in their drink, and additionally, unclean ice can cause various infectious diseases.
- Unpredictable cost:
Ice machines need constant maintenance and are prone to sudden breakdowns. This can result in additional repair costs, which can burn a hole in your pocket. To run a successful food service venture, you need to eliminate equipment and processes which can be costly. A general repair cost for commercial ice machines can cost a few thousand dollars. It is wise for small restaurants and establishments to abstain from commercial ice maker machines.
- Loss of productivity as a result of ice machine problems:
Like all appliances, ice machines can stop functioning without any prior warning. Most ice machine-related problems occur during peak season, which can cause a headache. Many patrons will refrain from consuming cocktails and other cold beverages without ice. You will need ice from the market, which can drive up the cost of a drink. It also reduces overall productivity and makes you inconsistent.
Should You Buy a Commercial Ice Machine for Your Restaurant?
Commercial ice machines are essential for most food service establishments. With high-quality commercial ice machines, you can satisfy thirsty customers. You can serve various icy chilled drinks and smoothies in the summer months. It is essential to factor in that commercial ice machines are costly and difficult to maintain. So, choosing the perfect ice maker machine for your establishment is necessary. Purchase an ice machine that can serve you satisfactorily in the peak summer months. You should conduct thorough research on the requirement of ice machines for your business because ice machines are unpredictable. For creating a successful and sustainable business model, it is essential to eliminate unpredictability from the equation.
With commercial ice maker machines, you can serve chilled cocktails, smoothies, and Slurpees to your patrons. However, there are various pros and cons that you should factor in before purchasing an ice maker machine for your foodservice establishment. Choose an ideal commercial ice machine that suits your business needs. If you can bear the initial cost of investment, then commercial ice maker machines can provide huge dividends in the long run.
Author BIO: Damon Shrauner, Senior Sales Consultant and VP on B2B Sales at CKitchen, working in the foodservice equipment sector since 1994. With his expertise in market analysis, product placement, sales and project management, he will always tell you what to do for the best of your business.