Monthly Archives: October 2015

  1. Supermarkets Get Health Inspections Too

    Supermarket Health InspectionsRestaurants aren’t the only places that get inspected by the health inspectors. In fact, it’s any place which serves food. And, those delicious pieces that fall from the nugget ice machine are considered food. This means that ice machines all over the country, including in your supermarket, are getting inspected for health violations.

    One Giant Foods in Pennsylvania learned this the hard way when they were recently inspected. We encourage everyone to read their ice machine manual to learn when their ice machine should be cleaned, but there are places out there which don’t actually take this into consideration.

    In the bakery department, employees were unhappy to have health department officials discover that there was old food residue in the cake pans and that black and tan residue was on the bottom chutes of the ice bin.

    The bakery department is one of the hotspots for ice machine cleaning because it represents a breeding ground for bacteria. Yeast, flour, and other items get airborne and accumulate, which leads to mold growth, sick customers, and a low health inspection score.

    Have you cleaned your grocery store ice machine lately? Are you finding that there are growths where you don’t want them to be on the chutes and the bins? Clean your ice machines regularly!

  2. What Separates Your Convenience Store from the Rest?

    Circle KPeople will shop at your convenience store for a number of reasons. The first, of course, is your location. Are you indeed convenient to the people you’re serving? But, how do people make the choice between one convenience store and another if it’s just as convenient to go to both? It honestly comes down to the little things.

    One of the convenience stores in our area serves a dynamite pizza, and they get plenty of patrons coming into their location because the food is just top-notch. Another thrives on having two types of countertop ice dispensers. They have a nugget ice dispenser and a full cube ice dispenser available so that their customers have the choice.

    In fact, a countertop ice dispenser can be paired with custom syrups for sodas, as well as slushes and other drinks. Syrups are easily available, and all it takes is the right ice machine to really make it happen. The only limitation is the imagination that it takes to come up with new drinks and new options for the people who come into the store.

    Convenience store ice machines might not be the most glamorous, but they pave the way for patrons to get the drinks that spark their imagination and drive.

  3. Does Your Bar Cater to Designated Drivers?

    Designated DriverBartenders are responsible for mixing alcohol, ice, and other mixers together to create the perfect drink experience. And yes, some of the more creative mixologists are using their ice machines and blending some fantastic drinks, but what about the designated drivers out there?

    The current message is to drink responsibly and have a designated driver, but the driver doesn’t get better choices than the ‘same old, same old’ soda, in most cases. All of that pent up creativity combined with mixing prowess is wasted or lost.

    Fortunately, this issue has been recognized by mixologists, and they’re starting to do something about it. They’re handcrafting soda syrups to use with their drinks, and they’re starting to put more thought into what they can do without alcohol as a factor.

    What do people want? They’re wanting more juices, more coffees, more sodas, and less alcohol. They want adult beverages that spark the imagination in both presentation and style. Beverages should enhance the bottom line of your restaurant, so the biggest question is whether your restaurant has the right restaurant equipment to make it happen.

    With the right undercounter ice maker, the right blender, and the proper ingredients, you can make sophisticated drinks that take advantage of these types of trends.

  4. Is Your Bartender Judging You?

    BartenderWe found out in a story posted on (who sourced their information from Reddit) that bartenders believe that you are what you drink. Yes, your bartender could be judging  you based on your drink order. Here's some of the things they revealed.

    If you tell the bartender to "make it a strong one", then you’re in for an interesting night. The bartender will view you as being cheap and annoying. If you want more alcohol, order a double instead and be prepared to pay for a double, and don't second guess the bartender's skills.

    If you’re getting up and ordering a Midori sour, then you’re viewed as a lightweight and possibly underage. However, if you order a strong drink like a Manhattan, you might be seen as someone who just wants to get drunk quickly. 

    Of course we all have judgments about particular types of customers in our jobs, so don't let their opinions bother you too much. But if you want to get into the good graces of a bartender, compliment them on their skills and tip well. If you can see down the underside of the bar, check out their undercounter ice machine and other equipment. Do they use them well? Tip them more! A consistent tipper will get extra service, and maybe even some extra alcohol in a drink or two down the road.

  5. Chip Warmers a Must for Mexican Restaurants

    Chip WarmerWhen you go to a Mexican restaurant, the first thing that you expect to be treated to is a bowl of chips and salsa. It’s become such an expectation that it becomes a strange experience when the restaurant doesn’t serve it, or they charge for the experience. Regardless of whether they charge or give it away, you can be pretty sure that there is a Carter-Hoffmann Bulk chip warmer somewhere in the back.

    Busy restaurants don’t play around with a single bag. They make gallons of chips and salsa for their patrons, pushing it out the door like it was nothing – in fact, there are restaurants that will stake their reputations on the chips and salsa, it’s such a serious business. That’s one of the reasons to get the Carter-Hoffman chip warmer.

    It’s a convection heater, which means that the chips are being warmed all the way around, rather than only near the heater. The air is circulated, and that translates into less energy usage for the whole thing. Lower power bills make restaurant owners very happy.

    What restaurant managers are really concerned about is the ability to keep their equipment clean. That’s one place where the chip warmer excels. The crumb pan is removable, allowing anyone to get into all of those vital nooks and crannies that the warmer has.

    What is the most important piece of equipment in your Mexican restaurant?

  6. Manitowoc Ice Machines

    Manitowoc Ice SnowflakeIn the recesses of any restaurant, you’re most likely used to seeing the huge Manitowoc ice machine along with its bin. It stands there like a majestic beast, proud, tirelessly providing full- and half-cube ice for your patrons. Large or small, these machines keep up with the demands that are placed on them.

    For instance, space is always at a premium within a restaurant. Everything past the front/back demarcation line becomes a work surface, and it’s often never enough. With a 22” wide space, the Manitowoc ice machine and bin don’t take up that much space. They go tall instead of wide, a welcome feature for chefs everywhere.

    The Manitowoc ice machine and bin are perfectly suited for those who have been selected to clean the restaurant. They’re easy to open and delve into, and the doors stay open as they need to for wiping down the bin’s interior. The stainless steel exterior is perfect for cleaning, as well. There are no nooks and crannies for the debris that’s so often common in a restaurant to get into. The whole unit looks authoritative sitting there.

    Your patrons depend on having good ice served to them. You depend on having a good ice machine backing you up. Take a look at our selection of Manitowoc machines or tell us about your experience with your current Manitowoc

  7. The Cornelius CHD22P1

    Cornelius CHD22P1Cornelius ice machines. You rarely hear the name Cornelius without it being associated with the beverage dispensing industry, but their ice machines are paving the way for new innovations. Their company was built on strategic engineering advances. Cornelius' hotel ice machines are not only compact, but they are easy to maintain.

    Take, for example, the IMI Cornelius CHD22P1. It’s perfect for the smaller hotels who need to have an ice machine, but don’t need the HUGE amount of firepower that the larger hotels have in their ice machine. Just because it’s a lower volume doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have the great qualities that all of the Cornelius ice machines have.

    • IceValet Hotel Ice Dispenser

    • Push chute system for easy dispensing

    • AntiMicrobial protection means it doesn’t have to be cleaned as often.

    The best part of the ice dispensing system that the Cornelius has is that it can accommodate all sizes and shapes of buckets. Patrons are no longer tied to the ice bucket that is given to them in the hotel (after all, that doesn’t have very much capacity, does it?) and so they can get as much ice as they need. And with mold, mildew, and fungus controlled with their antimicrobial surfaces, you end up with some great cubes from your Cornelius hotel ice machines.

  8. Refrigeration Regulations Changing

    RefrigerantThe designs of ice machines and refrigerators are changing to reflect the new regulations for refrigerants which are coming down the line. With each change in the rules, the ice machine makers and refrigerator makers of the world have to follow. The Hoshizaki Ice Machine makers are not exempt.

    Unfortunately, “Like a lot of people, we’re in a little bit of a holding pattern. We have some concepts about the volatility of R-290, not only from the perspective of the service technicians who will be working on the units, but also as far as shipping and transport… We all want sustainability and a better planet, but we need to make well-thought-out choices, too,” says Barbara Harrison, director of customer support at Hoshizaki (in a press release dated July 10th, 2015).

    In the design of those Hoshizaki ice makers, they are looking to balance the need for ice cube variety that the customers have with the necessity to keep the ice machines with a small footprint and easy cleanability. The operators are quick to point out, “Remember, we have 16-year-old employees behind the counter cleaning those machines, so make it simple. And that’s one of the biggest things we keep in mind as we develop new product.”

    Indeed, that is one of the reason that the Hoshizaki brands have risen to the top of the ice maker world in North America. Achieving that balance means that there are more machines sold, and more happy customers out there. What do you want in your restaurant ice machine?

  9. Ice-Powered Central Cooling Makes Appearance Again

    Ice BearBefore the use of Freon and other chemicals, actual ice was used to cool buildings. The basic premise was that you have a giant condenser which froze the ice, then a series of fans which would distribute that cool air around the room after it was refrigerated. In fact, this was something that was used in ancient times.

    Enter Ice Bear. This unit runs off of solar power and creates a huge block of ice for the air conditioning unit. It makes the whole operation run cheaper because cool air is piped into the building without having to run compressors. In other words, they use the fans to make the magic happen.

    So, there’s solar powered units right next to the air conditioning units. And, the biggest question becomes: what if you took that one step further? Solar powered units that make cooling buildings that much easier – especially in the most energy-demanding parts of the day.

    We’d love to see the technology taken one step further. What would happen if Scotsman Ice machines took that technology of linking the air conditioning units with the ice maker, and made an ice maker which also worked with the air conditioning unit? So, instead of there being a frozen block of ice, there would be a working block of ice at any given point in time, with potable ice being produced on a regular basis.

    Think about it.

  10. Omcan Triton 17137 Ice Shaver

    Omcan Triton 17137Today, we’re going to take a look at the Omcan Triton 17137 Ice Shaver. This is a powerhouse ice shaver if you’ve got bucket or three of ice that need to be shaved down for your customers. Let’s say that you’re making some of the alcoholic smoothies that we’ve talked about, or you’re just making something similar to a snow cone or snow ball.

    With as much volume that this can put out, you can just set this wonderful tool in your workspace and go to town. Got a bucket that you need to push through? This one does 2 liters at a time, a perfect thing for your patrons.

    There are knobs available to adjust the thickness of the ice, as well as a nice plastic chute which can keep your ice in check while it’s being shaved. This workhorse can churn through cube ice like it was water. The heavy-duty ice shaver has blades which can spin at 1,500 RPM, along with a 12,000 RPM motor.

    It truly is a powerhouse, one which all you have to do is feed it. When you DO feed the Omcan Triton 17137, be prepared for all the snoballs, snocones, and smoothies that you can eat. For more information about the device, read the full product description at the page linked above.

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