Choosing the Best Commercial Undercounter Ice Maker

Reading Time: 4 minutes Ice Machines 101

Hoshizaki IM-200BAB commercial undercounter ice maker

Bar owners, restaurateurs, or businesses with limited space can benefit greatly from utilizing a commercial under counter ice maker to fulfill their need for ice. With versatile placement options, they make it easier to keep above-counter spaces clear, increasing customer appeal.

Deciding the machine that is best for your business is important. Here are some helpful key points to consider when choosing the best under counter ice maker for your business.

Commercial Undercounter Ice Maker Styles

A standard commercial undercounter ice maker is designed to fit under most counters and bar tops with measurements of 40” in height and below.  Some machines only measure 33” high, meeting the recommendations the federal government lists for ADA ice makers.

There are two styles of undercounter ice makers generally found on the market.

A typical commercial undercounter ice maker has an easily accessible, front-facing sliding or hinged door. Having quick access to the ice supply directly under the counter makes it easy to continue excellent customer service while providing cold and quick ice.

Undercounter Ice Machine Leasing

Our team will help you choose the right ice machine for your business. We will also install it for you and provide ongoing cleaning, maintenance and repairs!

Another commercial under counter ice maker popular on the market is a cabinet-style ice maker. It blends discreetly into the existing counter space. These ice makers are most popular amongst offices, boardrooms and small bars. However, since these are smaller machines, their yield is only around 50 lbs. of ice per day.

Does a commercial under counter ice maker sound like the right fit? Before deciding, here’s some more information you should know in order to make sure you’re picking the right machine.

The Ice Machine May Fit, But Should It?

With a wide range of ice machine sizes, many machines can fit under counters. However, just because a machine fits doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily the best place for it.

Ice machines require ventilation to remove the hot air from the unit in order to maintain the right temperature.

A commercial undercounter ice maker has front-to-front ventilation, meaning that there must be cool airflow in the front of the machine so that it can cool internal components.

While the ice machine pulls in cold air from around it, hot air from inside the machine is pushed out. As the heat is emitted into the air, it needs to be removed as far away from the machine as possible. These machines require a well-cooled or ventilated space. Nothing should block the front of the machine, like boxes or crates.

A commercial undercounter ice maker has front-to-front ventilation so that it can work well in a confined space. Other ice machines utilize front-to-back or front-to-side ventilation which requires more open-space under the counter to keep vents unobstructed.

Is a Modest Amount of Ice Enough?

Many businesses use over 300 lbs. of ice a day, making an undercounter ice maker impractical as the main source of ice due to its lower yield.

Since they are smaller, undercounter ice makers are not designed to produce enough ice to support larger businesses. However, they may work great for smaller shops like restaurants or coffee shops that use much less ice per day.

If you’re sold on the convenience of these machines, looking into an additional ice maker may be beneficial. A second machine provides the convenience of extra ice on demand.

Undercounter Ice Makers Include their Own Storage Bins

A traditional ice machine usually requires two pieces, the ice maker itself and an additional ice storage bin. Undercounter ice makers have a convenient, permanent-built storage bin.

Self-contained ice makers allow you to have everything you need in one unit. However, because it is built-in, it can’t be replaced with a larger bin to keep up with growing demand.

Although an undercounter ice maker can’t necessarily grow with you, it can provide additional ice for your business.  For instance, IM series Hoshizaki undercounter ice makers produce large square ice cubes that are perfect for whiskey-drinkers. Many restaurants use this machine as their dedicated bar ice machine and grab ice for diners from a larger unit.

Quick and Convenient Ice, What Can Be Better?

A commercial undercounter ice maker fills the ice needs of many businesses that don’t require a large yield or have a small amount of space. Bartenders and baristas rely on the convenience of ice machines to continue great customer service while completing orders.

If this sounds like the right fit for you, contact us. Our ice maker rentals come with the best commercial ice maker models along with maintenance, cleaning and ice machine service for one monthly charge. Check our our commercial ice maker lease!

Our team is available to help you get started today!

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