Monthly Archives: August 2015

  1. Praise for the Barback

    BarbackWe love going to busy bars and seeing how they operate. The bartender entertains the guests and makes sure that the drinks are delivered on time, but it’s the bar back that is often the true hero of the bar. They are the ones who keep it running smoothly by making sure that all of the ingredients are in place for a successful performance.

    If the bartender doesn’t have an undercounter ice machine, barbacks are the ones who are in the kitchen, speedily working their ice scoops and ice shovels at the combination ice machines to get their ice buckets back to the ice storage bins.

    These people are also responsible for making sure that the undercounter refrigerators are well supplied, cutting and preparing fruit, and getting everything in place. They’re the ones who wash the glasses, take the plates back to the kitchen, and wash everything.

    The barback’s position is a hands on apprenticeship with a lot of physical labor. They are the ones who make it happen so that the bartender looks good. This is the perfect position for those who want to learn the field, or be in a place where they can be the person behind the bartender.

  2. Will Ice Machines Move into Hotel Rooms?

    Hotel RoomRight now, in most hotels, you’ll find one ice machine for each floor. In a lot of cases, these hotel ice machines are your standard full cube or half cube ice machines - the same cubes that you’ll find in restaurants, buffets, and convenience stores everywhere. What do you think that the ice machine of the future is going to look like?

    Do you think we’ll see more ice machines in the rooms?

    We hope that there will be more ice machines in the rooms. There are several quiet ice makers, and since there are some hotel rooms which can accommodate several people, it only makes sense to put a crushed ice maker in the room to make room parties even better.

    What about the standard hotel ice machines?

    There are a few hotels who have tried keying their ice machines to prevent abuse. Basically, you put the hotel room key into a slot, then it dispenses ice. This would be much the same mechanism as using the hotel room key to get to certain floors on the elevator. There would be two great reasons to go over to this method: 1) it encourages users to carry their room key, meaning they won’t get locked out as much, and 2) Prevents abuse by non-hotel guests on the ice machine.

    If you’ve got a hotel ice machine, what do your guests do to it? Do they complain because it’s too close to their room, or do they rejoice because they can chill their drinks?

  3. Ted's Montana Grill Impresses us by Ice Choices

    Ted's Montana GrillRecently, we went to Ted’s Montana Grill to have a couple of their Caesar salads. We didn’t get a good look at their ice machines to find out whether they’re Ice-O-Matic, Hoshizaki, or Scotsman ice machines, but we did get a sampling of their ice. My friend ordered water, and I ordered a soda. And, something fascinating happened.

    Each of us got different types of ice for our drink. One of us got the nice finely crushed ice, the other got the standard half-cube that you’ll see everywhere. It was wonderful, because the ice itself was tailored to the drink. That’s the primary reason that there are so many different Scotsman ice machines out there.

    In fact, the folks at Ted's Montana grill have something that bartenders all over the country already know: ice makes the drink. The right ice cube can make or break the drink. Melt too fast, and you have a drink that gets watered down way before its time. Melt too slow and you have patrons who believe that they’re not getting the most for their money.

    So, should there be many ice makers on hand for those establishments that want to make an impression with their ice? That’s just one of the things that Ted’s did and it’s the little things that make the drink.

  4. Don't Clean your Ice-O-Matic Ice Machine? Ew!

    Ice-O-Matic Ice MachineAs a restaurant owner, you know how important it is to clean your Ice-O-Matic ice maker. There’s nothing so bad as to get a nearly perfect score on the health inspection, but then have it come down to a few demerits on the ice machine.

    There are some restaurants who are definitely not in the running for being the cleanest in the land. We’re just waiting for a version of the Columbus ABC6 On Your Side Dirty Dish Award to come out on a nationwide basis.

    One restaurant, a Chinese buffet, has had the distinction of winning this award twice. One of the violations was black residue spotted in the ice maker and brown residue in the ice bin. It’s very disappointing to read about these because we know how easy it is to clean an Ice-O-Matic ice maker and other restaurant ice machines.

    When it comes to cleanliness, there are no reasons to cut corners. Having a poor inspection can lead to public shaming, but it can also lead to having your restaurant shut down and the loss of business. You wouldn’t want an ice maker to stop you from meeting your revenue goals, would you?

    In contrast, there’s also a Clean Plate Award. The owner of the restaurant says, “Keeping a safe and tidy restaurant is like taking care of your teeth. You need to stay on top of it every day. Let them go and they’re going to fall out of your mouth.”

    Take a look through our blog and find out the many ways that you can use to clean your Ice-o-Matic ice machine.

  5. Where did that Hoshizaki Ice Machine in your Hotel Come From?

    Hoshizaki LogoWhen we’re thinking about hotel ice machines, the name of Kemmons Wilson comes to mind. He was the first one to offer ice to the guests. He decided that ice would be free in all hotels. And, through his Holiday Inn chain, he made that happen.

    Other hotels decided to keep up, because the ice on the floors was quite the selling point. On a hot day, guests would be ordering up the room service, but with Mr. Wilson’s idea, guests could get it themselves – leaving the kitchen to work on more lucrative ventures.

    If we flash forward to today, there’s a Scotsman, Ice-O-Matic, or Hoshizaki ice machine on every floor. There are specially made nooks for the hotel ice machine so that guests within the hotel aren’t bothered by the ice machine’s rumbling (or, the hotel managers are getting the newer and quieter ice machines).

    So when you’re chilling drinks in your room and you make that trek out and down the hall to the Hoshizaki ice machine, you can thank Mr. Wilson that you didn’t get charged for the chance to chill your drink. There’s nothing like freshly iced soda in those wonderfully heavy glasses that some of the more popular hotel chains have.

  6. Ice Chewers Love Crushed Ice

    Crushed IceTake a moment to think about all of those people who are chewing ice. They’re on, by the way, and there are recipes for creating the best cup of ice, stories about chewing ice, and places where the ice chewers of the world can unite. Get a crushed ice maker, and you can tap into the thousands of ice connoisseurs that might want to have YOUR ice.

    Having a crushed ice maker on the scene of your restaurant has the chance of boosting your profits. Right now, there is a bit of a rush to get residential ice machines that makes crushed ice, or nugget ice, but there are several crushed ice makers that are already on the market for commercial use.

    All of the major brands make some form of crushed ice maker, it just depends on the volume that you’re wanting. There is the Ice-O-Matic GEMU090 for instance. There are also speciality ices like pearl ice machines and nugget ice that are especially chewable.

    Whether they come for your crushed ice maker or for your food, every little bit helps when you’re talking about finding the perfect restaurant ice machine for your customers. Take a look through or select, or try going to and see what they recommend in a cube of tasty ice!

  7. Want Smoothies? Need Ice!

    SmoothieIce makers are crucial to the making of smoothies, especially to the chefs in their institutional settings. We’ve recently discovered some of the trends that are becoming more popular with the kids in schools. Fruit and vegetable smoothies are not only becoming more popular with the kids at school, their popularity means that we can see more ice machines there.

    There are two big pieces of equipment that you need for your perfect smoothie. The first is going to be your ice machine. We suggest that you use one of the Manitowoc ice machines that makes the small cubes. That way, it will be easier to blend. Add to that a high powered blender for the mixing, and you’re on the way to fruity Nirvana.

    Now, having the fruits and vegetables available to students means that you’ll need to source local produce, but there are several farm to table programs which can help out. Some of the more health-conscious school districts are using those programs instead of buying food that might be well on the road to spoilage.

    Those Manitowoc ice machines are made so they’re easy to run, easy to understand, and easy for any food-service worker to dip their scoop in and start creating.

  8. Countertop Ice Dispensers for the Break Room

    Countertop Ice DispenserIce machines can be used for many purposes. You can use a flake machine to pack in your meat and fish for the night. You can use cubes from your restaurant ice machine, and you can even have a few nugget ice machines for your stay at the local hotel. Today, however, we’re going to talk about countertop ice dispensers.

    A long, long time ago, one of our employees used to work in a real estate office. The real estate office itself was kind of boring (from what they said), but the biggest perk about working there was the fact that their office was near the break room where there was a full convenience store soda setup for coworkers.

    Yes. Everyone could have sodas on demand. And, lo and behold, there was a state of the art countertop ice dispenser that came with it. It was a beautiful sight, and our person mentioned that they loved seeing the smiles on people’s faces when they came into the breakroom to find their favorite sodas available.

    Now, as the prices of counter top ice dispensers have come down a little, there is no reason not to set up the perfect office for others out there – and help bring a smile to their face.

  9. Ice Machines in Converted School Buses

    School BusTransforming school buses into living quarters has been around for at least 75 years. The premise is simple: get a school bus and start converting it to resemble the home that you’ve always wanted. Don’t forget the ice machine, though.

    Regulations prohibit the rolling homes from being their original color, and they need to be stripped of the stop gear, but having a school bus might be perfect for those who are wanting to wander around the country and have their home life right with them.


    When people are thinking about converting their school buses into rolling homes, they measure their available space in windows. The bed might take up 3 windows, where the bathroom might take up only 1. The installation of a U-Line ice machine in the bus only takes 1 window, as well if you get the right model.

    We’re hooked on ice, of course. We also know that there are several U-Line ice machines which are a combination of the refrigerator and ice maker, providing two functions for one in very little space. Done right, you won't have to stop at gas station after gas station for ice.

    U-Line ice machines can be installed in other types of homes, too. Small or large, U-Line ice machines fit right in. Just hook up a waterline and you can get all the ice you'll ever need. Check our our selection today.

  10. Hospital Donates Old Ice Machine to Clinic in Africa

    When new hospitals open, there is usually a lot of equipment that’s left over in the old building. There are decisions which need to be made about that old equipment, including perfectly working ice machines. Preston Memorial Hospital in Kingwood, WV did very well by its peers and to its mission by donating some of the equipment to a hospital in West Virginia and a clinic in Ghana.

    The Webster County Memorial Hospital was the beneficiary of this equipment, as their own equipment was damaged by flooding. Preston Memorial just had it on hand, and knew that the other hospital needed that type of equipment. “When we caught word that Webster County Memorial was in need of some items that were lost, it was easy to decide where the best use and utility of the items would be,” Gessler, VP of Financial Services at Preston Memorial, said.

    The clinic in Ghana will be receiving equipment and clothes which are vital to the operation of their acute care clinic. “My primary goal with the clinic is to take care of acute cases and emergency cases. There’s malaria and other tropical diseases, high blood pressure, colds, TB, snake bites, insect bites, and cuts from farming accidents.” It’s quite the blessing that the clinic will be receiving these goods.

    Praise goes out to the Preston Memorial Hospital for their donation of an ice machine. We hope that the ice machine does everything that it needs to do, that it works well for those who need it.

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