Countertop Ice Machines
Ice 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.
Having a pearl ice machine in your home means that you can get deliciously prepared crushed ice at any time of the day or night. It means that you don’t have to worry about getting dressed to go down to the store or down to Sonic just to get a cup of cubes (yes, there are some people who do that). By getting your own pearl ice machine you’re avoiding the middleman and taking control of your ice destiny.
One of the ways to make your home office feel more like an office is to have an ice machine available there in conjunction with the ice machine that you have on the fridge. Ice for your ‘work’ self and ice for your ‘home’ self. For that true office feeling, put in an Ice-O-Matic GEMD270 pearl ice machine which gives you all the volume that you would need, all with a convenient dispenser.
You’ve been told that you have to drink more water. Having ice on hand makes water taste just that much better, encouraging people to drink more. We love how the pearl ice crunches under our teeth, and that crunchability doesn’t change when we’re at home. More ice water means that you’re flushing your body of more toxins.
Pearl ice is also great for those frozen libations that you might want to have on the weekend. We can see them going well with margaritas and daiquiris. Pleasing guests is always easier when you have the best equipment and the best ice on hand. That’s the biggest reason to have pearl ice with you - for pleasing other people.
There are more reasons to have a pearl ice machine in your home. You deserve the best, and frankly that’s the best reason of all.
While your customers might not talk about it much, the ice machine that you have in your small convenience store can make the difference between whether customers stop in or just get their gas and move on.
If you’re not experiencing high traffic, it’s necessary to do something to set yourself apart from the competition. What can set your place apart better than having convenient ice?
Follett ice machines have been leading the way in the small ice machine market. While their machines don’t produce a million pounds of ice in an hour, you are able to get up to 400 pounds of delicious Chewblet ice in a day.
The Chewblet ice is ice which was specially made for chewing. T’s a softer ice, turning slushier when you need it to, perfect for those convenience store drinks. It’s also good enough that customers will get the ice just to chew on it!
The newer Follett ice machines are winning innovation awards. Their new 15 Series ice and water dispenser was named one of the top ten “Cool New Products” at the Association for Convenience and Fuel Retailing show in Las Vegas.
These wonderful innovations might be just the tip of the iceberg for Follett ice machines. Their research team has been active, and who knows what they’ll have for convenience stores in 2015?
We love our ice machines here at Ice Machines Plus, and one of the machines that we feel doesn’t get enough attention is the MDT5N25 Touchfree Nugget Ice Machine and Dispenser. There are a ton of reasons that we like this particular offering from Scotsman Ice Machines, but we narrowed it down to give.
The Scotsman Ice MDT5N25A-1H provides great tasting ice every time without having to bother with germ-attracting scoops or a huge bin. Just good ice and water with clear buttons to press for each of them.
2. Stainless Steel Exterior
There is something so modern and clean about the stainless steel finish. For convenience store clerks and buffets where self-service water is necessary, the silver box is just easier to clean.
3. Fits Large Cups
One of the things that we hate at Ice Machines Plus is trying to get our cups underneath the dispenser only to be thwarted when they don’t fit underneath there. There are some folks who have HUGE cups that they use for ice and water, and it made them quite unhappy – but not with the MDT5N25A.
4. Two People can Use It
One person getting the ice, one person dispensing it, just like it was meant to be. Yes, for those who enjoy the self-service applications here, it might just be a dynamite church ice machine, too. Heavens know that we need the ice.
5. NUGGET ICE!
Our apologies for the enthusiasm, but NUGGET ICE! It’s the chewable, wonderful restaurant ice that you’ll find served at Sonic. You’ll also find that it’s popular with the folks in convenience stores. It’s crunchy and somewhat slow melting, and the Scotsman Ice MDT5N25A makes it.
This ice machine makes the perfect installation for self-serve restaurants, catering events, churches, and other places where there is only a small amount of ice needed at once. The machine fits nearly anywhere, letting you put it on the countertop in break rooms and at nurse’s stations.
(Note: MDT5N25A has been discontinued, replaced by the HID525A-1).
All of the major ice machine brands make countertop ice machines that might fit your needs. Many companies use their countertop ice makers in self-service functions or in break rooms. Today, we’re going to take a look at some of the countertop ice machines that have caught our eye.
We’re especially fond of the kind that have both ice and water dispensers. In break rooms, people like having the all-in-one unit. It saves space on the counter. Plus, these systems have water filtration units that can fix that nasty tap water.
Most of the countertop ice makers are completely touch free. You can just put your cup against the lever and the ice comes out. Some models even use sensors to detect when a cup is available.
Here are some countertop ice machines that you’ll want to put into your break room:
Scotsman MDT5N25A-1 523 LB TouchFree Nugget Ice Machine and Water Dispenser
Most of these machines are ready-made for putting in your favorite settings, be they in a hotel, a residence, or at your self-service convenience store. This is just a small sample of what we have in this category. Take a look through our full list by browsing to the product listing pages.
Let’s take a look at the standard break room. What do you see? There’s a fridge, a microwave, a couple of chairs, and maybe a table. Most break rooms have five gallon water dispensers or bottled water available for their employees. Why not a sink? An ice and water dispenser is cheaper, cleaner, and more sustainable in an office environment.
What are some advantages of an ice and water dispenser over tap water?
- Ice and water dispensers are hands-free. You don’t have to worry about contamination from other employees in the office.
- Some people love having ice with their water. Cold water isn’t enough to satisfy their thirst.
- There are no disposable plastic bottles necessary, which means that nothing additionally is going to our already overfilled landfills.
- Aside from the gas that’s being spent to get the machine out there and maintenance calls, nobody has to make a special trip each month to send you another ice machine.
- Ice and water dispensers, with proper maintenance, last a very long time.
- With maintenance, the water remains fresh and clean.
- Although there are payment programs for additional bottles, ice and water dispensers have a one-time cost.
- Sometimes it’s just really fun to crunch ice at your desk.
Putting an ice and water dispenser in your office might not solve any inter-office political problems, but it would make your office just a little bit more environmentally friendly and pleasant for your employees. If you’re tired of having pallets of bottled water around or drinking bad tap water, consider getting an ice and water dispenser for your break room.
With proper maintenance and care, our ice machines can last for decades. However, our technology keeps improving and your business might have grown since your last purchase. You might have noticed that your machine is lagging a little bit behind the icepack. What are some signs that you might need to replace your commercial ice machine?
Over the past 20 years, advances have been made in energy efficiency. The modern Scotsman ice machines make ice using less energy than their 20-year-old counterparts, leaving more money in your pocket. Is your current ice maker as energy efficient as it could be?
You have been putting your heart and soul into making your business grow. Those efforts have really paid off, as you now have twice the number of customers as you had five years ago. And yes, your Scotsman ice machines have been working hard to keep up. However, there comes a time where you just need an upgrade to keep up with the volume of ice you need.
Anything with moving parts breaks down. Unfortunately, that’s just a fact of life. There comes a tipping point in every machine’s life where proper maintenance and care don’t necessarily do the trick anymore. If you find yourself spending more money keeping your current ice machine repaired than you would spend on getting a new one, maybe it’s time to switch?
Efficiency is the name of the game. To stay efficient in your restaurant, you have to make sure that you are using the space you have as well as you can. You might have a huge ice machine that you bought when dinosaurs walked the earth, but there might be something new on the market which offers the same volume of ice without the footprint of a T-Rex.
Your Scotsman ice machines might have been producing LOTS of flake ice for your buffet setup, but now you might need more cube ice for your bar, or perhaps you want a gourmet ice machine for specialty cubes.
There are some restaurant owners out there who want to make sure that their equipment is always under warranty. When the warranty runs out, they are out to get a new machine, because they believe that machines ‘know’ when their warranties run dry. Personally, we believe that our Scotsman ice machines will last forever with proper maintenance, but it’s up to you!
If any of these signs apply to you, then it might be time to get a new ice machine installed in your establishment. Check out our selection and see what’s new on the market.
Like you, we’ve been watching the ALS ice bucket challenge spread like wildfire around the Internet. People have been challenging their friends, neighbors, celebrities, and even orange traffic cones to take the challenge. They’re complying, too (well, we haven’t seen the orange cone video yet). Judging by the number of Youtube videos, over 1 million people have taken up the challenge.
This is incredibly encouraging news, because not only does it draw attention to a degenerative disease, it also means that more than one countertop ice maker out there is working a little more to make perfect cubes of ice. Yes, there are some people out there who are putting ice in their ice buckets to make it extra cold! We wondered just how much ice has been used in all those buckets?
For the sake of discussion, we’re going to say that each bucket holds 5 gallons of water. Let’s also say that 25% of those ice buckets contain 2 gallons of crushed ice (weighing around 16.68 pounds) and 3 gallons of water. The rest were just wimps using cold water. Let’s do the math…
25% of 1 million recorded videos of water dumping is 250,000 buckets.
250,000 buckets containing 2 gallons of ice is 500,000 gallons of ice
500,000 gallons of ice in pounds is 8.34 MILLION pounds of ice!
Think about that for a moment as you look at your average countertop ice maker. That countertop ice maker most likely produces between 400-600 pounds of ice per day.
One Scotsman ice machine (the HID525A-1) that produces 500 pounds of delicious nugget ice per day would have to be in constant operation for 16680 days or over 45 years (45.69) to produce that volume of ice. Wow!
Even if you’re talking about one of the largest ice machines, the Scotsman C1448MA-BH1600BB which makes 1553 pounds of ice every day, it’s still going to take many years to make all of the ice for a short challenge on one machine.
Fortunately, for individual challenges, it take a bit less than an hour to make 2 gallons worth of ice to fill the ice buckets for the ALS ice bucket challenge. Just let your countertop ice maker run while you’re watching ice bucket challenge videos, and before you know it, you’ve got your own.
Participating in the ice bucket challenge is up to you. Because of the challenge, the ALS Association has already raised $80 million and encourages others to keep pouring buckets of ice water on their heads. And, if you need ice, you know where to turn.
Each variety of ice machine serves a definitive purpose and function. The modular machines are the stand alone workhorses that you’ll find on hotel floors and in commercial kitchens. Undercounter machines can be found in many bars, as they are perfect for bartenders to just grab a scoop of ice to put into their bar blenders. Countertop ice machines bridge the gap between the front and back of the house.
Scotsman Ice makes incredible countertop ice machines. Because of the company’s devotion to quality and longevity, this company has become one of the major players within the ice machine industry. What can you expect from Scotsman ice machines?
Convenience for the user
Countertop ice machines are traditionally smaller than modular ice machines because they are designed to fit on top of a countertop. The Scotsman ice machines are intended to be convenient for both customers and servers, and fit anywhere there is a connection to a water line.
There are two types of countertop ice machines:
1) Countertop ice dispenser – This countertop ice machine only dispenses ice. You can fill it with ice made in the modular ice machine that’s out of the customer’s view. Most of the Scotsman ice machines can accommodate the three major types of ice. The Scotsman Ice ID150 series can hold around 150 pounds of ice in its bin.
2) Countertop ice maker and dispenser – An all-in-one unit which makes the ice that it dispenses. Often a smaller unit, because there doesn’t need to be as much storage capacity. The Scotsman ice MDT2C12A can both create and dispense cube ice for its users.
Fresh, clean ice every time
Most of the countertop ice machines offered by Scotsman ice have a dispenser attached to them. The dispenser removes the possibility of contamination from scoops and dirty hands entering the bin of ice. You just put your ice into a container and you are ready to go. This is perfect for those areas where you’d like the customers to get their own ice and drinks.
The amount of noise that an ice machine makes is often a major factor within a restaurant, hotel, or health care setting. The Scotsman ice machines were designed with quiet in mind, each one has been engineered to be 25% more quiet than their counterparts from other brands.
Before purchasing your countertop ice machine, there are factors which must be taken into account. After all, you don’t want to get something which isn’t suited to your needs. Water filtration systems and bin capacity both play a part in the machine which is ultimately chosen. For these and other considerations, take a look at our ice machine buying guide.
Scotsman’s Nugget Ice Still Leads the Way.
While it may no longer be a well-kept secret (or a secret at all anymore), it can safely be said that, when it comes to the various ice styles served in foodservice establishments everywhere, nugget ice (the ice used by Sonic Drive-In, among others) is the most sought after by customers throughout the foodservice industry. This is the only ice style that has a steady social following, and if you are even remotely familiar with social / internet marketing, you know there is nothing more desirable than having your customers do much of your promoting for you. Potential new customers are far more likely to listen to and trust information provided by friends and family than they are a company or brand that engages in shameless self-promoting.
Several restaurants already serve chewable, nugget style ice. Taco Time and Zaxby’s are a few of the more notable, and they are also receiving social exposure similar to Sonic. Go to Twitter and search “Sonic Ice” or “Zaxby Ice”, and you will see that the nugget ice served in these locations has accrued quite a following. Publicity like this is free, and genuinely heartfelt. You and your business will get exactly what you want by adding a nugget ice machine to your establishment – EXPOSURE! Not only do people enjoy this ice more, but they enjoy telling their friends and followers that they enjoy it! (See Image on Right). When was the last time you read a social post regarding boring, square ice cubes from your restaurant? Ever notice that no one seems to pay much attention to these cubes? That’s because they’re simple, standard, run of the mill, and somewhat boring.
Scotsman’s nugget ice is written about, blogged about, tweeted and re-tweeted, and the best part about it is, this ice style is not owned by any single restaurant chain. It can be yours in whatever line of business you are in. Nugget ice is beloved in hospitals, restaurants, health care facilities, and even in the comfort of your own home. We even found a blog post singing the praises of the nugget ice served in hospitals! When we call nugget ice “The Ice of the People”, we're not exaggerating. During the 2013 NCAA March Madness Tournament, we created a “Best Ice Ever” Tournament to run simultaneously in order to find the most popular ice in the country. While the response was decent at first, Sonic and Scotsman then got wind of the tournament, and they passed on the link to their followers and nugget ice absolutely crushed the competition! These are loyal ice lovers who take their devotion to Scotsman’s nugget ice very seriously.Our tournament went viral and people remained interested throughout the NCAA tournament!
As we mentioned earlier, Scotsman offers a great deal of ice machines that provide nugget ice in different capacities. The standard nugget ice making head is the choice for most restaurants and quick-serve establishments. Nugget ice machine heads must operate with a suitable ice bin or ice dispenser beneath them to have a place for ice to be stored. In many hospitals, health care facilities, and cafeterias, Scotsman’s countertop nugget ice machines perform more than capably enough in most situations. Most of these ice machines operate via a hands free dispenser, so the operator is never required to touch the ice machine. This makes Scotsman countertop nugget ice machines a top choice, especially if they will be used and operated by a large number of people. They help minimize the spread of germs, bacteria, and illness. In the home, the GEMU090 is now the “go-to” option for those that want a high quality, commercial, undercounter nugget ice machine. The GEMU090 is sold by Ice-O-Matic, which is owned by Scotsman.
Some may see serving nugget ice as a gimmick, but gimmicky or not, this ice has developed an immense following, and you can expect to improve your bottom line with the addition of a nugget ice machine from Scotsman. These ice machines may cost slightly more than Scotsman's standard cuber heads, but they will prove their worth as soon as your customers get word of the nugget ice you now offer in your establishment. They often require less water to create ice while using less or comparable amounts of electricity. The only purpose that nugget ice does not serve incredibly well is in alcoholic mixed drinks. Nugget ice does however accompany blended drinks exceptionally well, as it is soft, and breaks apart easily.
Of course, you can always carry on serving the standard, solid ice cubes too. Scotsman has quite a few ice machines that will satiate the needs of those who would rather enjoy cubed ice. But with so much potential free exposure, you must ask yourself, “Can I really not benefit from a bit of added publicity?” Nugget ice may very well be the ice of the future, and those who do not adapt will be left behind, falling victim to the latest “Ice Age”. No one wants to fall behind or be left frozen in time. That is why you should strongly consider nugget ice from Scotsman’s ice machines.