Monthly Archives: May 2013
During the major October snowstorm about a year and a half ago, the bar at which I was employed offered use of our ice machine to our customers, as many were left without power for up to two weeks. We would fill coolers with ice for our customers and do our part to help out those who had lost power and could not store their perishable, refrigerated goods. While we had an ice machine that produced standard ice cubes, a larger flake producing ice machine would have been best for storing refrigerated products. An ice machine like Ice-O-Matic’s MFI0800A would have been ideal as it can produce nearly 800 pounds of flake ice on a daily basis.
Last year’s east coast snowstorm was followed by Hurricane Sandy, which left a trail of devastation in its wake on the east coast. Recently, tornadoes in Oklahoma have torn homes apart, leaving many to recover. With snow, you can find creative ways to store perishable food. But in summer's heat, the task can be a lot more daunting. For emergency service personnel, having a high quality flake ice machine on hand is a must. The MFI0800A is an ideal ice machine to have at your service in times like these. Flake ice is designed for storage, not for cooling beverages like other ice styles. Items stored in or on flake ice remain cooler for a longer period of time. It is also long lasting, and can be stored in coolers for days on end.
This type of Ice-O-Matic ice machine sees frequent use in fish markets or for produce displays at the supermarket. In more extreme instances, the MFI0800A will greatly benefits those that require access to ice - especially in times of emergency. Ice-O-Matic's MFI0800A has a mid to high level output, with the ability to produce 768 pounds of flake ice on a daily basis, when air and water temperatures are ideal. The MFI0800A features an all stainless steel evaporator and auger to ensure reliable ice production every day. These features also ensure a long life for this flake ice machine from Ice-O-Matic. When faced with a disaster or an emergency situation, it will be nice to know that you have an ice machine that can be reliably counted on.
Ice-O-Matic’s MFI-0800A measures only 21 inches wide, so finding space for it to operate is not incredibly difficult. Sensors in the MFI0800A reduce and eliminate machine failures in adverse water conditions, and eliminate no-water or low-water failures. The MFI0800A SystemSafe feature constantly checks the workload on the gearbox, and shuts down the system before problems get worse, which could lead to more costly problems and repairs. This way, you won't be faced with an ice emergency on top of your current emergency.
If you're waiting for the next storm to realize that you and your community will need ice, you'll be waiting until it's far too late. That's why we have a variety of flake ice machines from Ice-O-Matic that are ready to serve you and the people you care about most. While even a year later, we on the east coast continue to repair from the damages of the most recent hurricane, it becomes clearer that ice has never been more important. Consider Ice-O-Matic’s MFI-0800A before Mother Nature strikes again, leaving more of us in the dark. No emergency service should be without the ability to provide ice to the people in their community when they need it most.
Those from Texas are undoubtedly familiar with the late Marvin Zindler’s weekly report of foodservice establishments that had slime in their ice machine (Sliiiiiime in the ice machine!). Even after Zindler’s passing, slime in the ice machine continues to be a problem for bar and restaurant owners and can be terribly harmful to a business. This may define the business's overall character and speak volumes to how clean and sanitary the rest of their establishment may be. On a simpler level, it also sounds gross. No one wants to eat or drink at a place that is reported for having slime in the ice machine!
Oftentimes, mold and slime are found side by side and go hand in hand in, living happily in your unclean ice machine. Mold buildup, especially black mold, is increasingly common, and rears its ugly head in when ice machines are not properly cleaned or sanitized. While few health problems are associated with the consumption of this mold, it is quite off-putting when customers get wind of its existence, or when they find unwanted black specks floating among the ice in their beverages. Think: Ruined reputation.
We’ll admit, we did not expect this one to be on the list when we undertook the task of making it. We were surprised, but apparently, this became a serious concern for one unlucky business (as you can see by the sign posted on the ice machine’s bin!) For those of you leaving your children in the ice machine, please stop. Unlike perishable food, your children do not need to be put on ice to be preserved. Quite the contrary.
Better advice than, “Don’t put your children in the ice machine”: Think twice before having any more children!
4. Chow from The Hangover
Unfortunate tattoos, angry tigers, lost teeth, and missing friends are just some of the problems that must be dealt with when Leslie Chow shows up to a party. In the second installment of The Hangover, you may recall that Chow “died” and was thrown in the ice machine by the wolf pack. When the cast finds him there, a series of unfortunate events befalls them once again. So, if you find Chow in your ice machine, run, don’t walk, away as fast as possible, unless that is, you’re looking for the worst (or possibly best?) night of your life.
5. No Ice
If you’ve bartended, served, or worked as a barback, you probably know this feeling: It’s happy hour, or the token late night rush, and you don’t have any ice. Even if you have an ice machine at your house, why does it always seem to be empty or break down on the hottest day of the year? You had one job, Ice Machine, one job. Sponge Bob knows how it feels when you need ice... but you just don't have it.
6. Beverages (In Any Form)
Listen, we all know how delicious and refreshing our favorite drink is, especially when it’s pulled straight from the ice machine's bin, but the truth is that placing your drink in there is equivalent to rubbing your dirty hands all over the ice. Blame the media for all their commercials that portray your favorite beverage in all of its sweaty glory, residing comfortably in a bed of fresh ice. Forget the risk of spilling the drink all over the clean ice. This is one of the most unsanitary practices seen in many bars and restaurants, and will get you marked down significantly should the health inspector happen to show up at your establishment.
7. Your Phone
Hey, at least it wasn't a baby or an orphan this time right? While definitely not as serious, this one still left us with a “Seriously, how do you manage that?” sentiment. Dropping your phone in the toilet is more acceptable and understandable, but dropping it in the ice machine, well you’ve defied some serious laws of gravity and physics by achieving this. It leaves one to question whether you should be reprimanded or congratulated on your monumental (failing) achievement. Only the Verizon guy gets a pass, because that dude is bent on getting his customers service EVERYWHERE!
8. Tater Tots, Turd-Shaped Brownies, or Food in General
A picture is worth a thousand words. In this case, a tweet and a picture are worth a thousand OMGs… (And we’re hoping that that IS in fact a brownie there.) Anytime you find food in your ice machine, it’s time to burn the ice and give your ice machine a thorough cleaning.
Don’t worry though, we have all the cleaning and sanitation supplies you could ever need to keep your ice machine running like new.
9. People! (Or any body part for that matter)
Got ice? That’s just Melissa doing her daily inspection. This tweet and picture are enough to make you swear off ice from the ice machine for quite some time. I don’t care how hot is outside, no one wants to see a picture of your head in the ice machine bin. Ever. Not shown is a tweet from "Meg" about losing a fingernail in the ice machine bin, which is enough to keep us from ever eating at her restaurant!
10. No Scoop!
If you own an ice machine or work in a bar or restaurant, you’ve undoubtedly felt your heart sink at one point or another because the scoop has gone MIA. Maybe last night’s closer left it to get buried under hundreds of pounds of ice after his or her shift ended, leaving you with the chilling task of recovering it. Aside from the headache, this is one of the most unsanitary issues that one can be forced to deal with in the foodservice industry, as you must dig through a great amount of ice. You may be required to burn it if it comes in contact with your skin, or if the scoop remains unretrievable (something we learned when our first ice machine arrived in the Ice Machines Plus break room.)
Certainly, there are only two things that you ever want to see in your ice machine: ice and an ice scoop. After reading this Top 10 list, you're going to want to check your ice machine twice before you start scooping though. You can avoid slime and mold buildup with regular cleanings and maintenance. Keeping an eye on those using your ice machine will help limit the amount of children and orphans left behind as well... and not going on a bender in Bangkok will keep Chow away - hopefully.
If your ice machine is facing minor problems or issues, you may be able to repair it. If it is due for its bi-yearly cleaning, or you find anything on this list in your ice machine, we have products that can help it to keep producing the cleanest, clearest ice possible. Some of these issues may cause irreparable damage to your ice machine however, and you may be required to purchase a new one. Conveniently, we offer the greatest selection of new ice machines on the web (Go figure!). Whether you’re looking for an ice machine for your bar or boat, home, hotel or hospital, we have a unit that is sure to suit your establishment perfectly. What happens to it from there however, is completely your responsibility!
Whether you choose to accept it or not, the following is true: The ice machine is one of the most important parts of the hotel, and can positively or negatively affect the outcome of your guests’ stay. If your hotel ice machine frequently runs out of ice, or keeps your guest up all night by rattling and clanging through the ice making process, you can undoubtedly expect to see your name listed among the various “Do Not Stay” Lists on travel websites across the internet. The web has given travelers the ability to better communicate and share personal insight regarding the hotel and motel industry. It would be foolish to let a bad review caused by your ice machine deter guests from booking a room at your establishment.
Fortunately, Scotsman provides ice machines that operate quietly and hotel ice dispensers which also keep noise to a minimum. Scotsman ice machines operate more efficiently than the competition as well, using less water and electricity to create more ice in the same period of time. This sort of efficiency has earned many Scotsman ice machines their Energy Star label. Energy Star appliances are synonymous with money saving as they often cost markedly less to operate. Scotsman’s Prodigy ice machines can be programmed to create ice based on your hotel’s expected occupancy levels as well, so your unit can rest on days where lower amounts of ice are required. This also means that you can extend times between service and cleaning, since the ice machine will not be working as frequently, and it will help increase the expected lifespan of your ice machine.
Scotsman hotel ice machines and ice dispensers were designed to be seen, not heard. The ice dispensers were built with a modern, stylish look about them- not like some of the eyesores of the past. Scotsman provides two different hotel ice dispensers sizes that can be used with their ice machines. The HD22B was built to operate in conjunction with Scotsman’s 22 inch hotel ice machines. The HD30B measures 30 inches wide and perfectly accommodates any of Scotsman’s 30 inch ice machines. If you need to dispense ice to your guests, these hotel ice machines and ice dispensers should receive much consideration. The ice machines that are compatible with these ice dispensers make either half cubes or full cubes, though the half cubes tend to dispense with greater ease, minimizing ice clogs or jams.
The size of your hotel or motel will be one of the greatest factors in determining which hotel ice machine and ice dispenser will be required in your establishment. The HD30B can store up to 180 pounds of ice in its self-contained storage bin, while the HD22 stores up to 120 pounds of ice. This ice is kept safe, and insulated at proper temperatures until it is required by your guests. Both units are equipped with an 11 foot power cord, so they can reside away from a wall outlet if necessary. Ice is accessed by your guests with ease, as they simply push Scotsman signature “push chute” to operate the machine and initiate the ice dispensing process. Scotsman hotel ice dispensers also feature an oversize sink area in order to accommodate a greater variety of ice buckets and containers.
Scotsman ice machines and hotel ice dispensers operate quietly, create and dispense ice reliably, and consume water and electricity conservatively. These characteristics have made Scotsman’s ice making appliances a top choice among hotel owners as well as hotel guests. Don’t risk a scathing review from a disgruntled patron because they couldn’t fill up their cooler before spending the day at the beach, or because their night was ruined by an unruly, disruptive ice machine. Find the best hotel ice machine and ice dispenser for your hotel or motel at Ice Machines Plus.
Scotsman Leads the Way with the MDT Series
If you’ve never considered the ways in which ice can positively or negatively affect your business, then you probably haven’t done a great deal of research. In our March Madness “Best Ice Ever” Tournament, we proved that there are clearly some ice styles that are preferred over others. Nugget Ice (known affectionately as Sonic Ice and Hospital Ice by its followers) is the preferred ice of the people, and since it was created over 30 years ago by Scotsman Ice Systems, this ice has grown in popularity at an incredible rate. Scotsman now offers more countertop ice makers that make and dispense nugget ice than ever before, and owning one can be greatly beneficial to your establishment.
Countertop ice makers differ from standard ice machines and undercounter ice makers in a few ways. They make, store, and dispense ice from one compact unit. Though they are smaller, they generally have the ability to create a great deal of ice per day (500+ pounds) because they are constantly creating ice as it is dispensed. Most countertop ice makers dispense water too, and all of the following ice makers mentioned in this article are operated “hands-free”. Users simply place a glass or container beneath the appropriate spout and ice or water is dispensed automatically. Countertop ice makers are not flawless however, as they offer very limited storage space. These units cannot house hundreds of pounds of ice that commercial ice bins have the ability to store.
The following countertop ice makers are perfect for cafeterias, offices, health care facilities, hospitals, and cafes. These units are incredibly versatile since they do not need a lot of room to operate effectively. Here are Scotsman’s top countertop ice makers:
This countertop ice maker is classified as a “cubelet ice maker”. This ice form is similar to nugget ice in size, shape, and texture. Cubelet ice is a bit harder than nugget ice however, and is not as well known for its chewable nature. The MDT2C12A-1A can make up to 273 pounds of ice per day and stores 12 pounds of ice when filled completely. Users can select whether they want this countertop ice maker to dispense ice, water, or a combination of both. Unlike other ice makers from the MDT Series, this unit features one spout that serves water and ice. Other ice makers feature two spouts, which allows users the freedom to choose their ratio of ice to water. The MDT2C12A-1A measures less than 16 inches wide, making it one of the slimmest countertop ice makers available*.
The MDT5N25A is one of Scotsman’s most popular countertop ice makers. It makes up to 523 pounds of nugget ice on a daily basis and stores 26 pounds when filled completely. The MDT5N25A measures 26 inches wide and stands 41 inches tall.* Unlike the ice maker mentioned above, the MDT5N25A features two spouts – one for dispensing ice, one for dispensing water, so users can choose how much ice and how much water they desire. Hands-free countertop ice makers like this improve sanitation as well since the user is not required to touch the machine to access the ice or water they desire, making them an excellent addition in the doctor’s office or hospital.
This countertop ice maker is the next step up from the MDT5N25A. There are only a few differences between the MDT5N25A and the MDT5N40A however. Both make the same amount of nugget ice per day (523 pounds). The MDT5N40 can store a greater amount of ice with its 40 pound storage capacity, and it measures only a few inches taller than the MDT5N25A at 48.5 inches. The two measure the same width- 26 inches wide.* The larger storage capacity of the MDT5N40A is helpful if your ice maker sees a lot of its use at one point during the day (say, at lunchtime, or to start the day.) This way, more people are served, and fewer are left waiting for ice to be created.
This countertop nugget ice maker is essentially “The Big One” from Scotsman, with the ability to make over 700 pounds of nugget ice in a 24 hour period. The MDT6N90A best suits establishments where the ice maker sees non-stop, round-the-clock use. Hospitals and health care facilities that are required to be in operation 24 hours a day will benefit greatly from this ice maker. The MDT6N90A also has the largest storage capacity out of any of these ice makers, with the ability to hold up to 90 pounds of nugget ice when filled to capacity. It is not incredibly large either, measuring 35 inches wide and 45.75 inches tall.
*Note- Scotsman recommends that all of these countertop ice makers have at least six inches of clearance at the back, left, and right sides to create ice effectively. This allows air to be taken in and released freely, and promotes more consistent ice making. All of these countertop ice makers operate via a 115V electrical connection.
If you require a countertop ice maker for your business, these Scotsman units are at the top of the line. The nugget ice produced is a customer favorite, and your employees will undoubtedly love the upgrade from the boring, square cube. If you lack counter space, consider adding the stand that Scotsman provides for these countertop ice makers, the DMS21S-B. Scotsman’s countertop ice makers make a great deal of ice on a daily basis, and require very little space to operate. Very few countertop ice makers compare to those from Scotsman’s MDT Series.
A few days ago, I spent some time visiting a friend who was tending bar at a small, downtown pub. While it was nice to catch up, I was still keen to observe the place, noting what type of restaurant equipment was being used (a couple of back bar coolers, one from True, one from Beverage Air, a Hoshizaki ice machine and ice storage bin, and an ice well were all noted if you were interested.) While all of these fine products are available at Ice Machines Plus, I was more concerned with whatwas missing from the bar – a quality undercounter glass washer.
When the bartender began washing glasses by hand in the three bay sink, she put on disposable latex gloves – something I found to be a bit odd. When I inquired, she noted that the hot water and chemicals in the water wreck her hands, causing them to crack, drying them out, and causing them to itch incessantly – all things no bartender wants to deal with throughout a shift. While washing glasses without a glass washer is not difficult work, and does not take a great deal of time, it can become a thorn in the side of your employees and your customers for a variety of reasons, while a quality glass washer behind the bar alleviates many of these issues.
Not having an undercounter glass washer for your bar means that your bartender must take time to wash glasses many times throughout the night. The task cannot be ignored or put off as glasses are required at all times to provide proper service. This means that your employees spend more time ignoring customers and their needs for 2 to 3 minutes every 15 minutes to half hour. This time may seem inconsequential, but it can take up to 20% of your bartender’s time, and in a busy bar, it does not take a long time to get backed up or “weeded” with dirty glasses. When your bartender is occupied washing glasses, customers are not being served, server tickets are not being tended to, and money is not coming across the bar. Requiring your bartender to hand wash glasses may save a little money, but it is nothing compared to what you lose without a steady flow of income.
Undercounter bar glass washers are not as expensive as large commercial dishwashers. They do not require the same amount of space to operate either. Most bar glass washers were designed to fit under the standard bar counter, so they are easier to accommodate. This also means you will have more room behind your bar since the three bay sink can be eliminated and removed if desired. Most bar glass washers wash at a rate around 20 racks per hour. At this rate, you can keep the glasses clean, and get them back into the hands of your customers faster. A quality glass washer like Fagor’s AD-21W also comes equipped with a manual “cool water rinse” feature, so glasses are ready for use as soon as they come out of the glass washer. (Trust us, your bar patrons hate drinking from those warm, wet glasses fresh from the sink water).
Having a bar glass washer makes your bartenders’ job much easier. It will free up time that can be devoted to more pressing tasks, like serving and interacting with customers, or cleaning areas or items that cannot be cleaned or washed automatically. Undercounter bar glass washers take a tedious task and make it simple. Most glass washers are operated by simply loading them, pressing a button, and unloading them. They’re not meant to be glamorous, but the job they do is incredibly important. Save your bartenders’ hands, their time, and make your bar more money by not requiring your bartenders to wash glasses by hand any longer. Check out our line of undercounter glass washers and dishwashers to find the best one for your establishment. They will undoubtedly improve productivity and free up time to generate more revenue as your bartenders are allowed to serve more customers.
Who knew your bar sink was causing so many problems?
Whether you’re building a new home or simply redesigning your kitchen, there are a few appliances that deserve some consideration due to their quality and the services they provide. Scotsman’s CU50 is one of the best in-home ice makers on the market if you desire high quality, elegant, gourmet ice. U-Line’s beverage centers and refrigerators are a great complement to your personal bar or recreation room, and for the wine aficionado, no home is complete without one of U-Line’s expertly constructed wine captains. The best part about these appliances is that they combine style with functionality, and will fit in (or stand out if you desire) with any existing cabinetry or appliances you may already have in your home.
The Scotsman CU50 allows owners the convenience of having ice of the highest quality available at all times in their own home. Perhaps you’ve had (or have) an ice maker in your refrigerator. This ice is generally cloudy, lower quality, and can adversely affect the flavor of your beverages. Gourmet ice from the CU50 is far superior – composed entirely of water, and free from minerals and sediment. This ice cools drinks effectively without watering them down. If you are a fan of fine spirits and enjoy them on ice, there is no better option than with gourmet style ice. This ice maker from Scotsman creates up to 65 pounds of ice per day and stores 26 pounds, making it a great addition to any home that requires quality ice in smaller quantities. Making the CU50 exceptionally diverse is its ability to operate in an outdoor environment, so you can have ice virtually anywhere it is desired. Very few ice makers are approved for outdoor use (only six at Ice Machines Plus) so this is truly a unique benefit offered by very few. Consider the Scotsman CU50 for reliable ice production of high quality gourmet ice cubes.
Turning our attention to undercounter refrigerators, we find ourselves examining the 1115R from U-Line. U-Line is the gold standard for most undercounter appliances, and the 1115R excels at small-scale storage of refrigerated products. The 1115R offers 3 cubic feet for storage of your favorite beverages, and its compact size allows it to fit nearly anywhere. It is available with a black or stainless steel exterior. Coupled with Scotsman’s CU50, you can have ice and perfectly chilled beverages on hand at any location in or around the house. Whether you work up a sweat with the kids on the ping pong table, or spend hours working with your tools in the garage, you can find comfort in the fact that cold, refreshing beverages are stored conveniently a few steps away.
For those seeking a refrigerator that is geared more towards storage of “adult beverages”, consider the U-Line 1075BEV. The 1075BEV is one of U-Line’s beverage centers that has the ability to store a variety of different beverages. It was designed to hold 12 ounce bottles, cans, and wine bottles – all of various sizes. The 1075BEV offers 5.5 cubic feet for storage, with two sliding wine racks, two shelves, and floor space for storage. Like many U-Line products, the 1075BEV also features a dual cooling zone, so your contents – though varied – can still be served at their ideal temperatures. If you have a bar in your home, or simply enjoy a variety of beverages, the 1075BEV can be a great addition. The Scotsman CU50 undercounter ice machine also pairs perfectly with the 1075BEV.
Perhaps you have an affinity for wine over other beverages. U-Line offers the 3018WC which can store up to 31 .75L bottles of wine. The 3018WC is from U-Line’s 3000 Series, a stylish, technologically advanced series of undercounter appliances that provides owners with a stylish way to store their favorite beverages. The U-Line 3018WC can be adjusted from 38 to 65 degrees, and makes use of “convectional cooling” which, like convectional ovens, circulates cool air around the entire cabinet, ensuring that there is no temperature fluctuation or discrepancy in the unit, and that all of your wine remains properly stored at all times.
Whether you’re building a house from the ground up, or simply making over the kitchen, these stylish, functional undercounter appliances deserve a good amount of consideration. Each one excels in the service it provides and will add an extra layer of convenience to the room it occupies. Consider making these undercounter appliances from Scotsman and U-Line part of your home. Whether you're building a house or redesigning your kitchen, these stylish, functional undercounter appliances are sure to impress your guests and improve the quality of your home.
With spring in full bloom, the sound of batted balls, popping mitts, and competitive chatter has filled the majority of baseball and softball diamonds across the country. The beginning of America’s national pastime signifies the end of winter, and the start of longer, warmer days. This also means that it’s time to dust the cobwebs out of the old concession stand, and fire up the grill or griddle for business once again. You may also require a new ice machine for your snack bar so you can serve those delicious, ice cold beverages on hot summer days.
If you run a concession stand or snack bar, the challenges you face are a bit different from those in a commercial restaurant. You may close up shop during the winter, and most of your equipment is probably used seasonally, which could help or hinder its performance depending on how it is stored and cared for. Today however, we focus on finding the proper ice machine for your snack bar, and will provide information on what you should look for when searching for a new snack bar ice machine.
The snack bar ice machine will be used far less than an ice machine in a bar or restaurant. Knowing this, we can assume that the daily ice requirements will be lower as well, and an undercounter ice machine, a countertop ice maker, or a small ice making head and bin should suffice for your ice making purposes. Which type of ice making unit you choose depends largely on the setup of your snack bar, the climate in which you live, and how you wish to serve ice to your customers.
Countertop ice makers are a good idea if you wish to allow your customers uninhibited access to ice. Ice makers like Scotsman’s MDT5N25A are incredibly convenient, as they can make over 500 pounds of nugget ice per day, and are compact enough to sit on any standard counter. They also dispense ice and water, making them a high quality, practical ice maker. If there is a drawback to having the MDT5N25A in your snack bar, it is that ice use is not easily regulated by those running the snack bar, and customers are generally allowed to help themselves to the ice they desire.
Undercounter ice makers allow for much greater control over ice consumption, and they require very little space to operate. Ice-O-Matic’s ICEU150 can make up to 150 pounds of cubed ice per day, and requires no more than 24 inches of horizontal space to operate. The ICEU150 stands no taller than 40 inches. Undercounter ice makers, while self-contained and compact, can still provide a good deal of ice making power. Some of the highest producing undercounters can make north of 300 pounds of ice per day. These high production undercounter ice makers all have a bin capacity around 100 pounds. You can read more about high-production undercounter ice makers by following the link provided.
While most snack bars are appropriately housed and are not exposed to the elements, some may be negatively affected by heat or rain. If your snack bar is not air conditioned and located in the south or Midwest, your ice maker may produce ice at a slower pace than an ice maker in a cooler environment. In this case, you may want to consider a small ice making head and bin combination to ensure ice is on hand when needed. Some undercounter ice makers are approved for outdoor use, so if you live in a suitable climate, you may want to consider the outdoor ice makers mentioned here.
Before your snack bar is overwhelmed with thirsty ball players clamoring for ice cold beverages, be sure you are adequately prepared for the rush! Our selection of undercounter ice machines, countertop ice makers, and ice machine and bin combinations is unmatched by anyone on the web. If you’re looking for a quality ice machine or ice maker for your snack bar or concession stand, be sure to consider the variety of options available at Ice Machines Plus.