A Guide to Hotel Ice Dispensers
The hospitality industry is all about taking care of your guests and providing them with a hotel ice dispenser keeps them happy during their stay. There are several things to keep in mind when choosing the best ice machine for your Kansas or Missouri hotel. We've created this handy guide to help help you choose the right ice machine for your hotel, motel, or resort.
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Choosing the Best Hotel Ice Machine
The hospitality industry utilizes hotel ice dispensers so that guests can access the ice themselves without needing a staff members’ assistance. Hotels also need ice machines to serve guests in their kitchens, restaurants and bars. Below are some types of ice makers for different business needs:
Hotel Ice Dispensers
Hotel ice dispensers are the safest way for guests to serve themselves. These machines produce plenty of ice for guests so they can get more throughout the day. There are even dispenser models that are ADA ice makers so you can accommodate all your guests.
Modular Ice Machines
A modular ice maker is the best choice for hotel kitchens and restaurants. These large-capacity ice machines work well for any sized hotel in the Kansas City area. Since these units only come with the ice making components, you’ll need to purchase a separate ice bin or dispenser. However, this does allow you to customize a modular ice machine to fit your exact needs.
Undercounter Ice Machines
For hotel bars and coffee shops, an undercounter ice maker is great way for employees to have quick access to ice. Bartenders and baristas can simply reach below the counter to serve guests while maintaining friendly customer service. They also don’t have to rely on a barback to fill bins for them anymore, helping them provide fast service.
These smaller, self-serve units are great for continental breakfasts and hotel buffets. Countertop ice makers work great in tighter spaces where a modular ice machine wouldn’t fit. Their built-in dispensers also make them a sanitary option for guests to serve themselves.
Choosing the Right Type of Ice for Hotels
For both hotel ice dispensers and bar ice makers, choosing the right type of ice is important. Here are a few ice cubes that are best for guests and bar service.
Hotel Ice Dispenser Installation Requirements
Since hotel ice dispensers require quite a bit of space to run properly, you need make sure you have the accommodations for it and that it won’t get in the way of guests. Hotels usually will install an ice dispenser in a small room on every floor that’s conveniently located but out of the way. There are a few requirements that you’ll need to meet before an ice machine can be installed in your Kansas or Missouri hotel.
An ice machine is constantly pushing out heat and can easily overheat in a small or crowded room. When your hotel ice dispenser continually overheats, not only will it produce less ice, but it will also break down faster. It’s best to try and keep air temperatures around 70 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal ice machine function. We recommend providing your ice machine with at least 1 foot of space on each side for better ventilation.
When ice is stored in a dispenser or bin, the residual water needs somewhere to go as it melts. You’ll need to provide proper drainage for your hotel ice machine to prevent backups or overflows. Floor drains are a good option, but for hotels with ice machines on every floor, it’s best to contact a plumber to see what your best options are.
Small commercial ice makers producing under 800 lbs of ice a day only require a standard 115v outlet. However, if you need a large ice maker you may need to call an electrician to get a 220v outlet installed. This type of outlet is what’s commonly used for washing machines and dryers.
Everyone knows, you can’t make ice without water. But more importantly, you can’t make ice without the correct water flow. Most hotel ice dispensers require between 3-5 gallons of water per minute, otherwise you can be left with misshapen and small ice cubes. You can call a plumber to check your water line if you don’t have the proper flow rate for an ice machine.
Hotel Ice Machine Cleaning and Sanitizing
Cleaning Your Ice Bin
Mold and slime can grow in your hotel ice machine's ice storage bin. Excessive amounts can lead to health code violations from an inspector.
Hotel Ice Machine Cleaning
Keep your hotel ice machine free of mold and slime, so your ice supply stays sanitary, and your customers stay safe.
Cleaning Schedule for Hotel Ice Machines
Even hotel ice dispensers are susceptible to accidental contamination. A routine cleaning schedule can help to eliminate harmful contaminants and keep guests safe.
Professional Ice Machine Cleaning
Hotel Ice Machine Cleaning
Manufacturers recommend at least two professional maintenance visits per year to maintain consistent ice production and to expensive ice machine repairs down the road.
How Much Does a Hotel Ice Dispenser Cost?
Commercial ice makers can cost anywhere between $1,500 to $10,000 depending on size. Any modular or stackable units you install will also need a separate ice bin or dispenser. In addition to these initial costs, there are more hidden expenses that are necessary to have a well-maintained ice machine.
Hotel ice machine preventive maintenance costs around $300 per visit.
With manufacturers recommending at least two professional maintenance visits per year, you’ll need to budget out at least $600. During these visits, a technician will make sure your ice machine is running smoothly and check for any potential problems. This can save you from costly repairs down the road and give you more consistent ice production on the daily.
An ice machine repair can cost anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to thousands, depending on how bad the damage is. These are a few common repairs and an estimated cost of parts and labor:
- Hot Gas Valve Replacement - $600
- Expansion Valve - $600
- Compressor Repair - $1500
- Evaporator Repair - $2500
All-Inclusive Hotel Ice Dispenser Program
Ice-Masters all-inclusive ice equipment rental program offers you hotel ice makers, hotel ice dispensers and accessories from the industry’s best ice machine brands for a fraction of the cost.
Having ice on demand for your guests whenever they need it is important to the quality of their stay. With our program, not only do you get a quality ice machine, but you also get twice-yearly preventative maintenance, cleanings and repairs at no extra cost. We will even provide you with backup ice if your hotel ice maker is ever down for repairs.