Monthly Archives: September 2013

  1. Broken Ice Machine? Here are Some Tips to Get By

    Ice is the backbone of the foodservice industry. There is not a bar or restaurant in the United States that cannot go about their day to day operations without a properly working ice machine. Unfortunately at times, your ice machine may not want to cooperate, can shut down, or malfunction, leaving you and your customers without ice for an extended period of time. While this is never ideal, there is no need to panic! Keep a level head, and follow these instructions to get yourself out of this unexpected predicament. Temporarily losing your ice machine does not mean your business must suffer over the next few days.

    Call an Ice Machine Technician

    While we are in the business of selling ice machines, we unfortunately do not make house calls or perform repairs, so the first thing that you should do is call an approved ice machine technician. Some ice machine issues are no more serious than a dirty or dusty condenser. Ideally, the problem and the labor will be covered by warranty, and will not be too costly to repair. Either way, you will need a technician on the scene as fast as possible. Some ice machines like Manitowoc’s Indigo and Scotsman’s Prodigy units feature onboard computers and added technology which can provide you with the exact information required to solve your ice machine’s problems. This allows for repairs to be completed in a timely fashion, and eliminates any guesswork that would otherwise be involved. The operating data of Manitowoc’s Indigo ice machine is constantly stored and can be remotely monitored too, so any problems can be resolved quickly. To find an approved repair person, here are the technical support phone numbers of the major ice machine companies offered at Ice Machines Plus:

    Scotsman- (800) 726-8762 Scotsman website
    Ice-O-Matic- (800) 423-3367 Ice-O-Matic website
    Manitowoc Ice- (920) 682-0161 Manitowoc website
    Hoshizaki- 800-233-1940 Hoshizaki website
    U-Line- 800-779-2547 U-Line website
    Cornelius- 800-238-3600 Cornelius website
    Follett - (877) 612-5068 Follett website

    Plan on Being Without Ice

    No Ice in Ice MachineIf you have an ice bin that holds 1,000 pounds of ice, and your business uses only 100-200 pounds per day, you have a bit of time to find someone to repair your ice machine or to buy a  new ice machine. But, if your ice storage bin only holds 400 pounds of ice and your business uses 200 pounds per day, the situation is far more urgent. In this case, you have a few options to consider in order to acquire the ice you need:
    -Shut down your business for a few days while you wait to have your ice machine to be repaired.
    -Get to the nearest grocery or convenience store and buy enough ice to get you through each day.
    -Ask around locally to see if a bar or restaurant nearby will let you borrow ice until your machine is back in operation.
    While the last option may seem unrealistic, many businesses (even your competitors) will be apt to help you out with ice, especially if they’ve been in the same situation in the past. If not, you may be forced to buy bags of ice where you can find them. You can always resort to shutting down your business for a few days too, but this option often ends up costing the most money, since your income will remain stagnant.

    Prepare for the Worst

    More often than not, it will take a bit of time (from hours to days) for a service technician to arrive at your business and resolve the problem with your ice machine. It may take even longer to get your ice machine working again, especially if it requires a replacement part, or extensive repairs. If you know your ice machine will be down for a few days, make arrangements ahead of time. Be sure all managers, bartenders, and servers are knowledgeable of the situation, so they can inform your customers if required. Also, be aware of at least two places where ice can be purchased quickly, so if you end up running low on a busy night, ice can be replenished easily. Those same bars and restaurants that leant you ice on a Monday afternoon may be less inclined to offer you use of their ice machine on a Saturday night, when they are running at full capaity.

    Call Ice Machines Plus for a New Ice Machine

    Scotsman ice machineSometimes, not all that is broken can be fixed. If your ice machine has faithfully produced ice for your business for 10 years, it may be time to move on. Thankfully, Ice Machines Plus has a selection of the newest, most technologically advanced ice machines available to date- and these ice machines are covered with excellent, extended warranties. If your ice machine is over ten years old, you can find a new ice machine that is more energy efficient, and will operate at a lower cost than your antique unit. Some new ice machines from Manitowoc and Ice-O-Matic are available with a “Quick Ship” option, where we can get your ice machine to you within 48 hours. Read our press release regarding the Quick Ship Program for more details. We can also offer detailed advice to make sure you get the most out of your new ice machine over its lifetime, with proper care and maintenance. Our Ice Expert Center provides the latest in product reviews and ice machine information, so check it out to stay up to date with all the latest ice machine happenings.

    We know that it can be tough to operate your business without ice. That’s why at Ice Machines Plus, we do everything in our power to get your new ice machine to you as quickly as possible. Without it, your business will inevitably suffer, and you will not be able to survive over a long period of time. Take the first few steps into consideration when your ice machine goes down, and if there’s no chance that your ice machine can be repaired, give our Ice Experts a call at Ice Machines Plus at (877) 900-4423 and we'll help outfit your business with a new ice machine right away.

  2. A Beverage Cooler Can Increase Revenue at Your Gym

    Gym membership sales in the United States continue to increase, with more people taking their personal health and well-being seriously than in the past. Most gyms’ revenue comes in the form of membership packages, training fees, and rental equipment (racquets for racquetball, court time rentals), but if you own a gym and fail to offer some sort of refreshments, protein shakes, or energy drinks, you may be missing out on an even greater source of revenue that comes at very little cost. While it may cost quite a bit to install a new basketball court or Olympic sized swimming pool, blending up a smoothie or offering cold sports drinks are simple, low-cost options that can help elevate income. The right beverage cooler will help increase these sales exponentially. With over 45 million gym memberships nationwide, it is important to take the extra step separate your establishment from others.

    When your gym members exercise, they will naturally sweat and lose essential nutrients and vitamins. These should be replaced soon after a workout, so offering a protein shake, an all-natural smoothie, or sports drink at your gym will not only help improve your bottom line, but will be a massive hit among gym-goers. This is where the juice bar and beverage cooler make a huge difference.

    At my previous gym, pizza was offered on the first Monday of every month. Despite the drawbacks of pizza as a post-workout meal, the gym always seemed to be twice as full on this Monday.  (I can’t say I was a fan of Bertha enjoying a meal on the weight bench when I wanted to work out, however.) Our beverage cooler was also rarely full- offering little selection, and the beverages in the cooler were markedly overpriced. Needless to say, I didn’t really enjoy these “perks” very often. With a beverage cooler and health shakes, your members’ post-workout needs will always be met, a

    Beverage Coolers in Gym taken from Above Note the Beverage Cooler at Bottom Right

    A few weeks ago, my brother invited me as a guest to check out his gym, citing the benefits of what he called a “real gym”. It cost twice as much, but the benefits far outweighed the cost difference. There were no “Pizza Mondays”, but instead,a full smoothie bar, with seemingly unlimited options. These included freshly blended fruit drinks, protein powders, and all natural additives that were designed to help you reach whatever goal you were trying to achieve. Aside from that, three glass door merchandisers - beverage coolers - lined the wall immediately to the right upon entering. These beverage coolers were found keeping their contents illuminated and perfectly visible as soon as anyone walked through the door. It was the first thing I noticed, and provided a beverage selection that would make any convenience store owner envious. From energy drinks to sports drinks and vitamin water, this gym had an unbelievable selection, and the right beverage cooler to house everything – in an exceptionally visible, well-lit display. With 87% of Americans taking some sort of dietary supplement¹, the ability to offer a few at your gym will greatly boost your popularity, as well as your income.

    True GMD45 Black Glass Door MerchandiserAside from being able to offer a great variety of beverages and shakes to increase revenue, the ability to offer these perks make attending your gym far more desirable than a gym without these amenities. The shakes do not take a lot of time or effort to make, and require only a compact ice machine, commercial grade blender, and the food products which will be used. When it comes to displaying pre-bottled beverages, few can provide benefits like the True GDM-45 can. This glass door merchandiser from True lets you show off your beverages while keeping them cool and ready for consumption. The ratchet locks keep its contents safe and help prevent theft. True also offers smaller and larger beverage coolers if you wish to offer a greater or lesser amount of beverages in your gym.

    There are ways to improve earnings at your gym, even if you are not signing up new members. Adding a few items like an undercounter ice machine, a new blender, and commercial beverage coolers will allow you to offer healthy refreshments that others may be unable or unwilling to provide. There is more that goes into a successful gym than benches, weights, and treadmills. Gym-goers now have an increasing amount of options when it comes to value, selection, and working out. Providing a few options aside from the water fountain may be one way to separate your establishment from the competitors’. And that’s why we’re here to help. Ice Machines Plus can provide you with all of your gym equipment… that isn’t gym equipment.

    ¹ Statistics acquired from Partnership Capital Growth

  3. The Manitowoc NEO: The Next (Little) Big Thing is Here

    NEO LogoIf you look up the definition of the word ‘neo’ at dictionary.com, you will find that it means “ … ‘new,’ ‘recent,’ ‘revived,’ or ‘modified’…” . That is exactly what Manitowoc is introducing with their newest undercounter ice machine, the NEO – a revolutionary, state of the art ice maker. This machine is unlike any that has ever been created before. Manitowoc has in essence infused the technology of their Indigo ice machines with the compact convenience of an undercounter ice maker. The result was extraordinary – a smaller ice maker with a greater output, which used less water and energy than any of Manitowoc’s previous undercounter ice makers. It is fair to assume that the NEO will soon become the new standard for the undercounter ice makers of the future.

    As the old adage goes, if you were to rewrite the dictionary, you would want to place a picture of the Manitowoc NEO right next to the definition of the word “neo”. This undercounter ice machine will revolutionize the way we think about undercounter ice making. This is no surprise though- Manitowoc has been leading the technological revolution in the ice machine world for quite some time now. It helps greatly that they invest much of their time and money into creating the newest, most up-to-date ice machines in the world. For as successful as their appliances are, Manitowoc rarely rests on their laurels, and they continue to strive for perfection, even when their ice machines are so far ahead of the competition. Manitowoc reinvests much of their profits in their ice machines, to outfit them with the latest technology and to pass on a much finer end product to the user.

    Manitowoc NEO Control PanelManitowoc’s NEO was designed to offer a positive user experience, but it was also created to lower the cost of operation, and of course, continue Manitowoc's tradition of making high quality ice. Energy and water prices are on the rise, so Manitowoc created an ice machine that operates with at least 10% less energy consumption and uses a minimum of 25% less water than previously released undercounter ice machines. These stats not only allowed Manitowoc to offer an ice machine that is Energy Star qualified, but an ice machine that exceeds ENERGY STAR qualifications. The NEO’s overall conservative nature helped it earn its ENERGY STAR qualification, but its Delay Feature also helped – allowing users to delay the ice making of the NEO for 4, 12, or 24 hours. This allows the ice machine to rest and not create ice when it is not needed, saving you even more on water and energy costs, and providing your customers with fresh ice when it is needed. The Delay timer is also easily activated too, with a simple press of a button.

    The Manitowoc NEO is a pioneer for functionality and convenience. It is also one of the easiest ice machines to operate and care for. Operated with a simple button, the power indicator remains illuminated when the ice machine is on, operating, and in ice making mode. A red wrench will light up when the ice machine requires service, so there is no guesswork if your machine begins to falter or fails. These features are enhanced by a completely removable, forward sliding storage bin, which allows full access to the NEO’s operating components. There has never been an ice machine easier to service than Manitowoc’s NEO. Even the scoop has been modified, reducing its bulkiness to allow for easier scooping and simplified access to the ice.

    While ice requirements vary by location, so too do the NEOs’ outputs. Manitowoc created four different sized versions of the NEO- the U-140, U-190, U-240, and the U-310. These ice machines can produce between 130 pounds and 320 pounds of ice per day. All of their self-contained bins hold 90 pounds of ice, except the U-310, which holds up to 100 pounds of ice. Manitowoc made additional bin space available inside the NEO in order to allow for more ice to be stored on hand when the bin is at maximum capacity.

    At times, it can be difficult to highlight certain ice machines. At Ice Machines Plus, we try to provide all of the information essential to making a smart purchase. We highlight the facts and make known the drawbacks. With the Manitowoc NEO however, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. For the newest undercounter ice machine that can offer your business a great deal of ice and some of the newest ice machine technology, consider the Manitowoc NEO in the Manitowoc undercounter section of Ice Machines Plus. An ice machine by any other name is simply old news.

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