An ice machine is one of many pieces of equipment you’ll need to successfully run your business. It’s also one where leasing is worth serious consideration. The decision of whether to buy or lease an ice machine for your restaurant or bar depends on your specific business needs, budget, and long-term plans. Here are some factors to consider:
Ultimately, the decision comes down to your business's financial situation, preferences, and future plans. If you have the upfront capital and want full control over the equipment, buying may be the better option. On the other hand, if you prefer a lower upfront cost, predictable monthly expenses, the ability to easily upgrade and guaranteed ice, leasing might be the way to go. Be sure to carefully review lease agreements and consider the total cost of ownership over the equipment's expected lifespan before making a decision.
Any business that values flexibility, consistency, maintenance support, and the ability to easily upgrade to newer ice machine models as their needs change should consider leasing their ice machine.
Leasing an ice machine offers peace of mind and frees up time for you to focus on other areas of your food service business. Predictable monthly costs that include maintenance as well as emergency back up ice delivery means you never have to worry about ice again. Benefits of choosing ice maker rental (support, investment, get what you need)
There are several types of ice machines, each designed to produce a specific type of ice that caters to different needs and preferences.
For example, Cubed Ice Machines produce traditional, solid ice cubes that are versatile and commonly used in a variety of beverages.
Nugget Ice Machines produce soft, chewable ice nuggets, also called cubelets. This type of ice is popular in fast-food restaurants and for use in beverages where a softer ice texture is preferred.
Flake Ice Machines produce small, soft, and irregularly-shaped ice flakes. Flake ice is often used for seafood displays, salad bars, and in healthcare settings for cooling and packing.
Gourmet Ice Machines produce clear, dense ice cubes with a high-end appearance. These can be spherical, perfectly square, or even top hat shaped. These cubes are ideal for upscale bars, restaurants, and cocktail lounges wanting to make a lasting impression.
Crescent Ice Machines produce crescent-shaped ice cubes. These cubes are commonly used in self-serve drink dispensers and commercial applications. Selecting the type of ice for your operation is a critical first step in the decision making process.
To get an ice machine installed in your establishment, you'll need to be prepared to answer several installation-related questions posed by the installation technician or the equipment provider. Providing accurate and detailed information is crucial to ensure a smooth installation process. Don’t worry, they’ll help guide you through the process and ask for photos if there’s any confusion. You’ll be asked questions about the location of the machine, where the water source is located, ventilation and drainage options, as well as any local codes and regulations that need to be addressed.
In addition to producing different sizes and shapes of ice, ice machines also come in different sizes and types. Undercounter Ice Machines are designed to fit under countertops and are commonly used in bars and restaurants where space is limited. Countertop ice machines are even more compact and can sit on a counter or tabletop. They are ideal for small bars, cafes, and offices. Modular ice machines are larger and more powerful units that can produce a higher volume of ice. They are typically used in commercial kitchens and high-demand settings. Your technician will help assess what size ice machine is right for your business.
You may need to consider a Remote Ice Machine or an Air-Cooled vs. Water-Cooled Ice Machine. Remote ice machines are designed to be connected to a remote condenser or compressor located in a separate area. These machines are preferable for locations where noise and heat are of concern. Ice machines can be categorized as air-cooled or water-cooled, depending on how they dissipate heat. Air-cooled machines use air to cool the condenser, while water-cooled machines use water. The choice between the two depends on the availability of resources and environmental considerations. Having an expert work with you ensures you’ll select the right ice machine for your specific needs.
An ice machine requires almost daily maintenance to ensure clean and safe ice, not to mention a longer lifespan of the machine. The ice bin needs to be sanitized regularly - daily is recommended.