Monthly Archives: November 2015

  1. The Scotsman N0422A-1

    N0422A-1There is a moment that happens just before the ice drops, that moment of hesitation, where you wonder what kind of ice is going to fall out of the machine. This happens every time that we go to a restaurant and press the dispenser lever. We’d like to think that more smiles happen when pressing the lever to get ice out of a dispenser hooked up to the Scotsman N0422A-1.

    This Scotsman produces nugget ice, which is (in our humble opinion) the best ice in the world for drinking. Crunchable and delicious, it’s like the ice itself is in a rush to get into the glass. As restaurant ice or hospital ice, nothing beats it. Imagine our delight when we got to see one of these at the same diner that had the Turbo Air equipment.

    When you’re thinking about the ice to put in your restaurant, what qualities do you want in it? Do you want the nugget style ice that would come out of a Scotsman N0422A, or are you more interested in the cube or half cube? Or do you simply love that moment of anticipation before the cubes drop?

    Most people don’t notice the ice machine, but to those in the business, it’s one of the first things that we look for. Ice machines are everywhere, but they are usually hidden in plain sight. We think about the ice machines all the time. Let our experience help you with your next ice machine purchase.

  2. Playing "I Spy" with Turbo Air

    Turbo Air LogoOne of the best things in the world is to spot equipment that we sell ‘out in the wild.’ Today was a perfect example of that: we spotted several Turbo Air merchandising cases at the diner that we happened to be at. The experience just brought a smile to our faces.

    The first thing that we spotted, right by the counter, was a Turbo Air Bakery Display case. This was one of the larger models, of course, because the entirety was filled with luscious cakes and pies. We know that presentation has as much to do with the taste as the taste itself. These cakes and pies looked like they were heaven sent.

    Near the display case, there was one of the Turbo Air one section glass door merchandisers. It was filled to the brim with strange sodas and other mixtures, drawing people to it with its seemingly magical qualities. On peering at it, it seemed like it had everything that one would want tucked inside.

    There was another merchandiser that was near the other door. It was also a Turbo Air, but not of the same make and model as the first one. It looked pretty empty, but there were people inside the restaurant scurrying around it to fill it.

    Once the meal was over, we had to leave the land of the Turbo Air merchandisers, but they won’t be forgotten. Do you have a Turbo Air merchandiser in your restaurant?

  3. Choosing an Ice Machine Size

    Machine Size RangeA lot of businesses fall into the middle ground where they don’t need to have a huge ice machine on their premises, but they do need to have something that produces more than the standard residential ice machine.

    The ice machine companies have thought about this and produced small undercounter ice machines for those who need them. These types of machines produce nugget and other styles of ice for those who need it. So, you can have the super performance of the Ice-o-Matic or the Scotsman without having to commit to hundreds and thousands of pounds of ice per day.

    These types of small undercounter ice machines are perfect for applications like doctor’s offices, gyms, and more. Do you have lots of home parties? These are good for those, too.

    Of course, there are larger machines available for those who need them. The biggest machines we sell, before heading into the ‘industrial’ territory, go up to at least 1500 pounds of ice production in a day. These types of machines are used for schools and other institutional settings.

    What type of ice machine do you need? Take a look at the Ice Machines Plus ice machine buying guide to get an idea of the possibilities.

  4. Aching Back? Get an Ice Machine Stand

    Ice Machine StandIf there’s anything that restaurant owners from all over the country will do, it’s mention that there is no space for their tools and equipment in the kitchen. Sometimes, there’s very little room to put the ice machine, and it ends up being stuffed into highly awkward places. For some, the ice machines are a bit too low, and workers have to crouch down to get the ice. That’s where ice machine stands come in.

    An ice machine stand can take the bending out of getting ice. One simply mounts the ice machine, whether you’re looking at a Hoshizaki, Manitowoc, or Scotsman, on the stand, and you’re good to go. Some of the stands even come with cabinets to really make the ice machines stand out (and make them significantly easier to get to).

    All of the stands are stainless steel, which means that they continue with the sleek looks of most commercial kitchens out there. Servers no longer have to contort to get to the nugget ice, they can simply go up to the ice machine and stand and get what they need.

    Stainless steel is extremely easy to clean – just wipe it down and you’re good to go. This is perfect for those restaurants who have an ice maker and dispenser, but little counter space. Try one if you're tired of stooping for ice.

  5. Cocktails for Thanksgiving

    CocktailsThanksgiving conjures up images of turkey, stuffing, and green bean casserole, but what do some people do after the festivities? They head out and watch bartenders create drinks using ice from their undercounter ice machines. Here are some combinations for drinks that you might not have thought about.

    Identity Crisis

    Thanksgiving puts a mishmash of delights on a collision course. You can have your celebration any way that you choose, even create your own tradition. This drink brings together the blending of the cultures with Mezcal, Angostura Bitters, Agave Syrup, Lemon Juice, and dry sparkling wine. You can get the fizz, the smoky, and the sweet all together.

    Mix these ingredients together with ice cubes to chill. Strain it out, then garnish it with a little mint. For proportions and a few more recipes, check out this Houston Press article.

    Fall Fashioned

    If you’re tired of the old fashioned and want to spruce it up for Thanksgiving, you can have a Fall Fashioned. This takes your traditional ingredients and throws a bit of cider in the mix. Whiskey, apple cider, simple syrup, orange juice, and some bitters blend together to make the magic happen.

    Muddle a bit of orange, add some ice from your undercounter ice machine, and stir it up. You can read about more cocktails over here in this Maxim article.

    What kinds of drinks are you going to make to honor the season? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

  6. Vitamix Gets the Job Done

    5028Doing your job well means that you have to have all of the right tools at your disposal. Bartenders have a lot of help in the back, from the undercounter ice machine to having a blender that’s powerful enough to turn ice into slush at a moment’s notice.

    The Vitamix 5028 has everything that a bartender could need. There is scalable acceleration so there are no hassles with getting the speed wrong. Scalable acceleration also allows chefs to use the blender for many different purposes like grinding, pureeing, blending, and chopping.

    Mixologists also use these features to make different types of drinks. As a barkeep, have you ever let something go a little bit too long and you end up with mush rather than something that you just intended to grind? Maybe the puree is a little TOO pureed? The Vitamix can help with that. This model has a timer and an automatic cutoff for those bartenders who need to take care of their customers while the blender is running (and who doesn’t need this feature?)

    The Vitamix 5028 is part of the BarBoss series. It has stainless steel blades which are incredibly resilient for any purpose, including crushing ice. Ingredients can be broken down without any hassles.

    If you need a blender that can handle it all, you really can't go wrong with any Vitamix blender. Check out our full selection.

     

  7. Choosing an Ice Machine for a Food Truck

    Food TruckIf you’re going to be serving drinks on your food truck, you probably want to get your hands on an undercounter ice machine. That way, you won’t have to depend on only the shape of the ice that you’ get from the ice vendors. But, what do you look for in an undercounter ice machine for your food truck?

    Size

    Size will most likely be the deciding factor for whether to put a specific ice machine on your truck. Many of the modern commercial ice machines can fit up to 18” wide, and they definitely fit under the counter for usage.

    Volume

    How many customers do you expect to be serving in a day? Think about it in terms of pounds of ice per customers – we’d suggest that for your average day, you should allot 1 pound of ice per customer, and then spread it out from there. We’d suggest to go a little higher than what you believe you need, to accommodate extra demand.

    Shape

    No, not the shape of the ice machine – most of those are already rectangular. We’re talking about the shape of the ice. And for that, it depends on the usage of the ice. Just as a note, your customers really like crunchy Sonic-style ice for their drinking pleasure.

    These are just a few things that you might need to take into consideration as you’re getting your food truck. There are also considerations of restaurant ovens, utensils, and other items to make it complete.

  8. Fire Chief in Hot Water for Buying Ice Machine Without Permission

    NewbernOlen Parker, the mayor of Newbern, TN, had some hard questions for the fire chief of his fair city. Apparently, there were several policy violations, including insurance billing, expenditures for the Fireman’s Fund, and other purchasing decisions. The ice machine might have been the final push to cause the fire chief to resign.

    Fire Chief Phillip Cottrell, Assistant Fire Chief Trevor Cottrell, and Dylan Cottrell and Dustin Warren left the fire department amid irritation about improper billing and paperwork. The fire chief didn’t bill insurance, which resulted in the loss of revenue to Newbern’s coffers.

    In fact, the loss is estimated around $33,000.

    The fire department’s discretionary fund has been hit with consistent drains on it, to the point where it was in debt for over $7,000. Most of the aggravation that the Mayor’s office has had over the fire chief’s spending has been in lack of notification.

    The fire chief decided that he was going to purchase an ice machine. Unfortunately, he did not submit the request for approval to the City. The ice machine was supposed to be delivered to the fire department, and it was viewed as misconduct not to actually talk with the City before its purchase.

    Ice machine or not, the city of Newbern now has to find a new fire chief in light of the resignation.

  9. Do you have a Noisy Hotel Ice Machine?

    Old Ice MachineIt’s the little things that make a guest’s stay special and memorable. People, when they stay at hotels, want everything to go right. They want there to be a special experience rather than something run of the mill. Little changes can be made to make that happen, starting from the hotel ice machine.

    Hotel ice machines have the reputation of being the loudest things in the hotel, next to the compressors for the air conditioner. In most cases, the reason for the ice machine’s noise is that it has not been well maintained or looked after.

    Another reason for people hating the ice machines at hotels is that they are usually older than the hills, something that some hotels are proud of. “We’ve had this ice machine since the Reagan Administration,” is not something that you ever want to hear.

    Hotels are going over to the newer Energy Star ice machines all the time, because it saves them countless dollars over the life of the machine. By using up to 30% less energy and significantly less water, the Energy Star hotel ice machines just make sense.

    It’s in your hands. Do you want to have the ‘little things’ that happen in your hotel marked against you? Changing out the ice machines might be an excellent first step.

  10. Mechanics Turn to Amenities to Avoid Bored Customers

    AmenitiesIt’s all about the experience. Businesses want to provide their customers with an out of the ordinary experience so that customers will talk about it on social media and encourage their friends to go. It's all about the experience these days.

    Even mechanics are no longer about just providing the best service, they want to give their customers a delightful waiting room experience. Shops are investing in the large screen televisions, ice and water dispensers, even chai and coffee machines. And, some are going all out.One Houston repair shop has a huge aquarium, designer chairs, gourmet coffee, candy, and biscotti. There are even kid’s areas which include recycled coloring books and more. There are some shops which even have the work areas set up with wi-fi.

    The idea is that if people are going to be stuck there waiting for a car to be repaired, they should have the best experience possible. And, with that great experience, they talk about it. “I ditched all my car guys,” said one person, “this waiting room is so nice I bring a book and just have a good time.”

    How would you trick out your waiting room? Start with the Follett ice machine with the chewblet ice, add in some iced coffee blends, maybe some free snacks? Tell us in the comments.

     

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