Kansas and Missouri Restaurant and Bar Ice Maker Guide
Having the right ice machine in a restaurant or bar can make or break a business. Before choosing a machine, you need to consider what size you need, the type of ice and the daily production yield that meets your needs. It’s also important that your location meets the proper installation requirements so that your ice machine is set up for success. We’ve put together this helpful guide to take the stress out of finding the right restaurant or bar ice maker for your Kansas or Missouri business. .
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What Kind of Ice Machine Do I Need for My Bar or Restaurant?
The type of business that you run in Kansas or Missouri will help determine what type of ice machine is best. Fast-casual and self-serve dining establishments may look into an ice dispenser for its convenience. Popular Kansas City barbeque joints and busy sports bars might need larger, high volume ice machine that can even keep up with larger crowds. Regardless of what your needs are, there’s an ice machine out there that’s right for you.
If you need a large amount of ice on hand to serve customers, then you need a high-capacity ice machine and a large ice bin. Modular ice machines are the best choice for full-service restaurants because they come in a wide range of sizes. These types of machines require an ice bin or a dispenser to store the ice until it’s ready to use. We have restaurant ice machines that range from 500-1900 lbs of ice a day.
Quick Service Restaurants
Commercial ice dispensers provide an easy way for quick-serve restaurants and fast-casual businesses to let customers serve themselves. Without the need for staff to serve ice, customers don’t have to wait and your employees can focus their time back on the job at hand. Ice dispensers are also the easiest way to ensure that your ice supply is staying safe and sanitary. Although some dispenser units can produce ice themselves, most will need a modular ice machine installed on top. These systems give users more sizing options.
Bars and Cocktail Lounges
If you’re interested small ice makers for bars and you don’t have space to waste, consider an undercounter ice machine. Measuring under 40” tall, these ice makers can fit in smaller spaces that traditional ice machines can’t. Front-to-front ventilation allows them to run properly in tight spaces without the risk of overheating. Bartenders won’t have to run back and forth for ice as it’ll be conveniently placed under the bar for them. This helps them complete service quickly while still maintaining focus on customers.
What’s the Best Type of Ice for Bars and Restaurants
Each ice shape provides a different business need. Choosing the right type of ice can help to elevate your drinks, display food, or even save you money on product loss.
What Type of Ice Machine Condenser Do I Need?
An ice machine condenser is the most vital refrigeration component, keeping your ice machine running well. Condensers help remove heat from inside the ice machine so that it can easily freeze new batches of ice. If an ice machine overheats, you’ll be left with a low supply and unhappy customers. There are three common types of ice machine condensers.
Ice Maker Installation Requirements for Restaurants and Bars
Restaurant and Bar Ice Maker Cleaning and Sanitation
To prevent mold and slime growth in your ice maker, it’s important that you clean and sanitize the unit regularly. Having a professional clean your ice machine allows even internal components to be free of contaminants. If mold and slime are left unchecked, you could be facing a health violation., When internal components aren’t cleaned regularly, scale buildup can cause damages and expensive repairs.
By cleaning regularly you’re reducing the chances of your ice machine getting contaminated. Even if the ice itself is clean, accidental contamination poses a risk every time someone uses the ice machine. If your commercial ice equipment is dirty, mold and slime will feed off the particles becoming a major problem.
Mold and Slime
Mold and slime feed off the yeast in the air and love to grow in damp, dark places – like your ice machine. Mold and slime aren’t necessarily a danger to your customers, but if a health inspector sees it, you’ll be given a citation.
Don't Forget About Ice Bin Cleaning
Ice bins are one of the most common places you’ll find mold and slime. It’s also where ice is stored. Your ice supply can easily become contaminated by mold and slime if you don’t clean your ice bin regularly. Not only is this unsanitary, but your customers will be very upset.
How Much Does a Restaurant or Bar Ice Machine Cost?
Ice machines best suited for bars and restaurants start at $1,500 and can be as expensive as $10,000 depending on the size. With modular and stackable ice machines, it’s important to remember that you’ll need to factor in the cost of an ice bin or dispenser as well. Many business owners don’t consider the less obvious cost associated with owning an ice machine. Here are some common hidden expenses that can arise:
Preventative maintenance is necessary for your ice machine to make ice reliably. At the time of a visit, a technician can check that everything is working properly. They can also catch any potential problems early which saves you from expensive repairs. Manufacturers recommend at least two visits per year, with each visit costing around $300.
Ice machine repairs vary in price depending on how bad the damage is. For smaller repairs, you may only be charged a few hundred dollars. While complicated repairs could cost you thousands. These are a few common repairs and their estimated costs:
- Hot Gas Valve Replacement - $600
- Expansion Valve - $600
- Compressor Repair - $1500
- Evaporator Repair - $2500
Keep in mind, if an ice machine is down for repairs, it’s likely not going to produce ice. If it’s a long repair, you’ll have to buy ice retail or from a delivery service.
All-Inclusive Restaurant and Bar Ice Maker Program
Ice Masters’ commercial ice equipment rental program goes beyond a traditional ice machine lease. With our program, you’ll receive 2 preventative maintenance visits per year, cleanings and repairs for one low monthly cost. In challenging environments like bakeries and breweries, we provide extra maintenance to keep the ice machine in top shape. We know restaurants and bars throughout Kansas and Missouri don’t have time to waste on a broken-down ice machine, which is why we provide you with 24-hour customer support. We also keep track of your maintenance visits for you to make service even easier and if your ice machine is ever down, we’ll even give you backup ice free of charge!
If you’re finding it hard to choose the right ice maker for your restaurant or bar, call one of our experts today! They have years of experience with all kinds of restaurants and bar ice machines throughout Kansas and Missouri.
Our team of Ice Machine Experts is ready to help you choose the perfect restaurant ice machine for your business.