1. Protecting your online reputation: what you need to know

    We live in a digital world. Your customers will be posting their pictures and opinions of you on Instagram, Google, Yelp, Facebook, and more! While we hope that everyone is a fan, it's easy to have issues (or unhappy customers) who can hurt your reputation and influence whether future customers frequent you - or your competition.

    Even though it's time consuming and sometimes no fun at all, it's very important to protect your online reputation. Here are some tips to help you stay on top of your game:

    1/ DON'T offer free items to make the problem go away. It's easy to respond to a negative review with an offer for a free beverage, meal, heck, anything to make the customer happy. But it's a much better idea to find out WHAT the problem was and try to fix the issue and apologize (if warranted). That way, you are improving the success of your business and guarding against future (false) negative reviews from folks looking for a freebie.

    2/ DON'T ignore negative commentary. Even though it's no fun, it's very important to respond to unhappy customers online. There may be an easy fix to the problem, and even if someone really 'dropped the ball' on food or service, at least by responding you are showing your dedication to the customer and that it's important for them to have a good visit. Avoid long, drawn out public conversations and provide a phone number or email for follow up, and make sure to get to the bottom of their issues whenever possible.

    3/ DO respond to positive commentary. A 5 star review is a wonderful thing to have. Make sure to take a moment to say thank you when someone goes out of their way to say something nice about your business! I simple 'thank you' goes a long way and helps to reinforce the positive relationship.

    4/ DO Know your rights and manage your online presence. If someone is being unnecessarily vulgar, abusive, or even works for your competition and is writing false reviews, you have every right to flag and remove them . Get to know the terms of service for Yelp, Google, and Open Table so that you can flag anything that doesn't belong or is dishonest. It's also important to find out where your customers are talking about you - stay on top of social media trends and monitor your restaurant pages across as many sites as your customers do to ensure that you don't miss the conversation.

    5/ DO encourage people to talk about you! Most of your customers are biggest fans - that's why they are in your restaurant! Engage these people by letting them know your Instagram handle and other social media presences, as well as asking them to review you. By asking for reviews, you'll ensure that the happy people take some time to write about you: unhappy people are more likely to take to the internet if they feel the need to report an issue. And of course, encourage your front of the house staff to ask for feedback often so that any problems can be fixed (hopefully) before they make their way online.

  2. Different Ice Sizes for your Cocktail Needs

    Ice is one of many things in life taken for granted. Yes, there many different forms of ice such as shaved ice, cubed ice, dry ice, and so on but there are many different uses. One of the best way to put your ice to best use is dropping a few cubes inside of your favorite summer cocktail.

    The type of ice used can either make your beverage of choice, a hit-or-miss. Serving the best possible ice possible starts with the quality. Be sure to use high-quality water such as filtered water as opposed to tap water from your home’s facet. Ice cubes made from poor quality ice tend to melt quickly resulting in watered-down drinks.

    If limited dilution is your preference, be sure to use large rock cubes. This is perfect for whiskey lovers. A large, square cube is sure to impress your customers. If you're looking for something with 'wow' factor - try a perfectly spherical cube! These may also contain frozen flowers which look gorgeous in your cocktails and will impress your customers. And if you tend to be on the lighter side, crushed ice is perfect for a Mint Julep or Moscow Mule. Choose your ice wisely and may your summertime margaritas be full of color and flavor! Dry ice is a great addition to evening cocktails with flair.

  3. Sushi for all!

    Sushi isn't just for traditional Japanese restaurants anymore. From French to haute cuisine, restauranteurs all over the country are experimenting with adding a sushi bar to their restaurant line up. And why not? Crude has long been a staple of fine dining, and the knife and flavor techniques used for sushi are a great showcase of talent for many chefs. Just make sure you're using the right equipment when handling delicate, raw materials - we have an excellent line of Hoshizaki cases to keep your sushi cold and fresh.
  4. The joys of Spring - Shaved Ice Season is almost here!

    With the spring season well underway, the hot weather is almost upon us once again. People, young and old, are seeking their summer favorites such as burgers, watermelon and most importantly, shaved ice! With the shaved ice phenomena trending as one of the season’s best cool-down treats, be sure to stock up on ice at all cost as well keep your ice machines fresh and ready for what the summer may hold. For those more concerned about the treat itself, the wait will be soon over. Nothing completes a hot summer day more than some shaved ice.
  5. Ice-O-Matic GEM0450A Ice Maker

    The Ice-O-Matic GEM0450A is a blessing to ice lovers everywhere. It produces ice that is not only easily chewable and crunchy, but it’s also to keep up with the volume necessary in a restaurant setting. This ice machine practically does it all with less water and power.

    Benefits of the Ice-O-Matic GEM0450A Ice Maker

    This pearl ice maker takes it to the next level by bringing great ice to the people on a large scale. Producing over 400 pounds of ice a day, it helps you keep up with the customer load.

    Easy cleaning, too. With such a durable unity, you can just wipe the system down and it looks good as new. The sleek curves on this Ice-O-Matic ice maker shine when you’ve clean.

    The bacteria and slime are minimized because of the AgiON system of anti-microbial protection. The bin will develop less scale and biofilm, meaning that you can take more of your time making great drinks in your bar and restaurant.

    The nugget ice itself is inexpensive to create, so you won’t have to worry about breaking the bank.

    What do you look for in an ice machine? Is it just something that runs, or would you prefer something that stands out from the crowd, an ice maker that people will talk about?

  6. Scotsman CU1526SA-1 Small Cube Undercounter Ice Machine

    Small cube ice has a number of uses. It cools beverages quickly due to the high surface area to volume ratio. Small cube ice also will soak up the flavors of the beverage it inhabits, making it a favorite among those who love to chew ice. It will displace more liquid, saving money. Small cube ice is also ideal for bars serving blended drinks because it is less likely to clog blender blades.

    The Scotsman CU1526SA-1 is an air-cooled undercounter ice machine that produces small cube ice. Capable of producing up to 150-lbs of small cube ice per day and storing up to 80-lbs of ice, this unit ensures that you will have ice on hand. It is ideal for establishments with small to moderate ice needs.

    Features of the Scotsman CU1526SA-1

    At only 33” high and 26” wide, the CU1526SA-1 lends itself to numerous installation possibilities. It will install under most commercial counters and the front intake and discharge vent means no side clearances are necessary. This allows the unit to be installed between appliances or counters, as needed. A 115-volt power supply and an incoming water line are needed for installation.

    Scotsman's AutoAlert external indicator lights inform the user when regular maintenance and cleaning is needed. WaterSense technology helps to fight against scale buildup by voiding waste water and dirt deposits at the end of every freezing cycle. The removable top panel and door allow for quick access for cleaning and maintenance.

    The Scotsman CU1526SA-1 is energy efficient, requiring only 11.5 kWh of electricity and 18 gallons of water per 100-lbs of ice produced. The unit exceeds Federal energy efficiency regulations.

    When it comes to warranties, Scotsman has you covered there as well. The CU1526SA-1 has a 3-year parts and labor warranty on all components. The compressor and the condenser come with a 5-year warranty on parts.

    If your business needs a small-cube ice machine, the Scotsman CU1526SA-1 will fit your needs. Whether it is a private club, executive boardroom, or a humble breakroom, the Scotsman CU1526SA-1 is a machine you should consider.

  7. Must-Serve Slushy Cocktails

    It's getting warmer and that means one thing: it's time to grill and entertain friends outdoors. While there are a number of places to get recipes to throw on your grill, you'll also need to provide tasty beverages for your guests. Here are just a few ideas on what to prepare.

    The Recipes

    1. Slushy Cosmopolitan

    It's like a traditional Cosmopolitan, but this speaks to the slushy lover in all of us.


    10 oz citrus flavored vokda
    ½ cup Rose's lime juice
    2 cups cranberry juice
    4 ice cube trays
    2 cups water


    Combine vodka, lime juice, and cranberry juice in a pitcher with 2 cups water and stir to blend. Divide between ice cube trays and let freeze at least 4 hours. Just before serving, empty the trays into a punch bowl and gently break up the ice cubes. Serve in a tall stemmed glass.

    2. Frozen Cranberry-Moonshine Lemonade

    Still have a hankering for those holiday flavors? This will quench your thirst. Be advised, however, this one requires some advanced preparation. The cranberry-moonshine has to sit out at room temperature for at least 3 days.


    1 (12-oz) can frozen lemonade concentrate
    ¾ cup cranberry-infused moonshine
    1/3 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce
    2 tablespoons orange liqueur
    2 tablespoons fresh lime juice


    Combine all ingredients in a blender. Fill with ice to the 5-cup level and then process until smooth.

    3. Porter Float

    Ice cream floats are a delicious way to beat the heat. Turn this idea into an adults only version using ice cream and a creamy porter or stout.

    Premium vanilla ice cream
    Few tablespoons of creamy porter or stout
    Fresh Raspberries
    Fresh Mint Sprigs


    Top premium vanilla ice cream with a few tablespoons of a creamy porter or stout (Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout). Add a sprinkle of fresh raspberries and mint to top off this adult dessert.

    4. Orange Creme Refresher

    If you liked creamsicles, this drink will remind you of those delectable treats. It's sure to invoke nostalgia among your guests. This recipe is designed for the Magic Bullet Blender. If you don't have one, you can use a regular blender. Simply start with 2/3 cup ice and add more as needed. For the kiddies, simply nix the alcohol.


    ¼ cup 1% low-fat milk
    1 ½ oz white rum
    1/3 cup orange sorbet
    1 tsp fresh lime juice
    ice to fill cup


    Fill the Magic Bullet blender cup (or your blender) with the ingredients in the order presented. It is important to really fill the cup. Blend until smooth.

    These are just a few icy cold cocktail recipes for you to enjoy as the weather gets warmer and those grills begin to get fired up.



  8. Ice-O-Matic EF250A32S Undercounter Flake Ice Machine

    Flake ice is widely popular due to its number of uses. This type of ice has uses in retail, healthcare, and many other industries. Because flake ice is highly moldable and can cover a large area, allowing for rapid cooling, it is ideal for seafood and produce displays. It is also ideal for the treatment of sports injuries and for patients who might be in danger of choking on larger cubes.

    The Ice-O-Matic EF250A32S is an undercounter ice machine that produces flake ice. Under the optimal conditions of 50 degree water temperatures and 70 degree air temperatures, this unit is capable of producing 400-lbs of flake ice every 24 hours. The built in storage bins can hold up to 143-lbs of ice. A production rate of up to 17-lbs of ice per hour ensures that you will always have ice on hand to meet your business needs.

    Features of the Ice-O-Matic EF250A32S

    The EF250A32S stands just 41” inches high, so it will easily install under most commercial counters. The stainless steel finish is durable and compliments most commercial food service appliances. The unit is air-cooled, saving water, but does require clearances on the left side for the air intake vents. The manufacturer recommends a minimum of 6” clearance for the vents to function properly. A 115-volt power supply, an incoming water line, and an external drain are all that is required for installation. A pump drain is available if no floor drain is present.

    Ice-O-Matic's ice extrusion process removes the excess water from the ice. This allows the EF250A32S to produce a drier, higher-quality ice. The unit is energy efficient as well, requiring only 5.6 kWh of electricity and 12 gallons of water for every 100-lbs of ice produced.

    Ice-O-Matic also provides outstanding warranty protection for their ice machines. This unit comes with a 2-year warranty on parts and labor for the ice machine. A 5-year warranty for the compressor also comes with the unit.

    If your business has need of flake ice, the Ice-O-Matic EF250A32S has a small profile, yet a large production capacity. It will more than meet the needs of your business and is worthy of your consideration.

  9. How One Squirrel Survives Being Frozen

    It's no secret that most mammals abhor the cold. They will hibernate or will migrate to warmer climates once temperatures drop below freezing. Science is still trying to unravel the mysteries surrounding the mammal that actually embraces the cold. The arctic ground squirrel is the only known mammal to tolerate subzero body temperatures. Figuring out how the squirrel accomplishes this feat could lead to breakthroughs in organ transplants, allowing the organs to be frozen without damaging them.

    When water freezes, it becomes ice. This presents a problem for most living creatures because when ice crystals form in the living cells of most creatures, they expand and rupture the cell. To survive freezing temperatures, animals must find a way to prevent water from freezing within their cells.

    Some animals, including frogs, turtles, and midges, produce a chemical similar to antifreeze within their bodies to prevent ice from forming. Another tactic is to produce ice nucleating compounds in the right place – between the cells – to encourage ice to form in that space and not within the cell.

    The Squirrel's Secret

    However, this isn't possible in the bodies of mammals. It is the absence of ice nucleating compounds that are the key to the ground squirrel's abilities.

    Before entering into a hibernating state, the arctic ground squirrel cleanse their bodies of any would-be ice nucleators. These nucleators can include small particles of dust and dirt that ice tends to form around. Without these nucleators present in the squirrel's bodies, ice simply cannot form.

    Whatever method is used to prevent freezing, it is evident that the process is a strain. Most animals can only pull off the feat once per year. When tested after the spring thaw, scientists found that even though they could still tolerate freezing temperatures, they could not survive the excessive freezing that they withstood during winter.

    Whatever the method of preventing ice crystals from forming and surviving freezing temperatures, the study of these animals can result in advances in science. These advances could possibly revolutionize organ transplantation. Currently, organs are kept cold, but not frozen and are viable for only a few hours. Figuring out the mysteries of how these animals survive sub-zero temperatures could mean longer viability in the freezing of organs intended for transplant.

  10. Scotsman CU50GA Undercounter Gourmet Ice Machine

    Gourmet ice cubes are the perfect ice for people who understand that the ice used can make or break a drink. When it comes to top shelf and exclusive liquors, regular ice cubes sometimes just do not make the grade. Gourmet ice is clearer, denser, and larger than traditional ice. Due to the clarity of the ice, it is purer, imparting neither taste nor odor into the beverage. Because it is larger and denser, it melts more slowly so that the beverage does not become too diluted.

    The Scotsman CU50GA is a small undercounter ice machine. It is capable of making up to 65-lbs of gourmet ice cubes per day and can store up to 26-lbs of ice. Because the amount of ice produced is small, this unit lends itself well to executive board rooms, VIP suites, home bars, and other places with light ice needs.

    Features of the Scotsman CU50GA

    At just 34”-36” high and 15” wide, the unit lends itself to a wide array of installation opportunities. The unit is air-cooled and the intake and discharge vents are located on the front of the unit. This means that no side clearances are needed for installation. All that is needed is a 115-volt power outlet, an incoming water line. This unit utilizes a gravity drain. Clearances for the water line and power supply are needed at the back of the unit. The Scotsman CU50GA is even approved for outdoor installation, making it perfect for outdoor bars and patios.

    The user-friendly control panel on the Scotsman CU50GA will alert the owner/user to any changes in the machine's status. The CU50GA is Energy Star certified and is energy efficient. It uses just 14.4 kWh of electricity and only 34-gallons of water for every 100-lbs of ice produced.

    After every freezing cycle, the WaterSense technology flushes hard water and minerals from the machine after every freezing cycle. This helps to prevent scale build-up within the unit.

    The Scotsman CU50GA comes with an outstanding warranty package as well. A 1-year warranty is provided for parts and labor on all components. A 5-year warranty comes for the compressor and the condenser.

    If you have need of gourmet ice for your distinguished customers, staff, and guests, then you need a gourmet ice machine. With all of the benefits and the amazing warranty, the Scotsman CU50GA delivers.

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