Are You Ready for An “Ice Little Earner”?

What can we say about the ice machine that hasn’t already been said? Well, an ice making machine is almost a necessity for nearly every type of food service business, but it is also useful for any other establishments that serve food and drinks. The key to deciding on the particular type of commercial ice machine you will need is knowing what your ice usage needs are. If you own a bar, ice will be used mostly in beverages. If you own a hotel or a restaurant, you may use ice in beverages, but you may also need ice for food display, such as in a salad bars are buffets.

With some notable exceptions (hot tea, coffee and beer, for instance), most drinks only feel right if they come with ice. Ice adds sparkle and profit to all sorts of drinks, from soft drinks, G&T’s, cocktails (and mocktails), to iced coffee, with ice machines now offering a plethora of different shapes and sizes of ice. “With the summer season now upon us it’s more important than ever for operator’s to offer impressive and intriguing chilled drink selections in order to increase sales.

Cocktails and mocktails, for example, welcome an impressive array of colours, tastes and textures onto the drinks menu, and when it comes to producing quality profitable drinks that both look and taste amazing, ice plays a pivotal role. As well as being used to chill the beverage or the glass itself, ice can be used within the mix itself, being shaken, stirred or crushed in order to create various textures.

3 questions to ask when deciding on ice machine size:

• Will the ice maker be able to meet peak usage during the hottest part of the year?
• What are the various locations or stations in the establishment that will need ice, and will they be serviced from one or multiple ice makers?
• Have you planned for future growth? Consider building in at least 20% additional capacity on new installations.


It always pays to consult the experts when purchasing equipment for your business, and CLHNews caught up with some of the industry’s leading manufacturers who share their advice.

When selecting a Maidaid Ice machine it is imperative to firstly establish what type of ice you need your machine to produce. The lack of awareness as to what type of ice is best for different applications is something that Maidaid Halcyon are aware of and are happy to advise on the types of ice and there usage. Entry level ranges of equipment will tend to offer limited sizes and types of ice.

Maidaid ice cubes are available in sizes ranging from 7 to 33 gram. Pebble ice is now becoming very popular for many uses with the added advantage of one litre of water producing 1 kilogram of ice. Granular ice is traditionally used for cocktails and displays and finally flake ice which is superb for displays.

The Maidaid range caters for everyone, from small businesses in need of an attractive, compact model for a small space, through to businesses with large scale demands.

Restaurants, hotels, bars, fish markets and supermarkets, hospitals and laboratories – Maidaid has the perfect product for every application.

Standard ice cubes are generally our most popular range; however we have been seeing an increase in demand in pebble ice due to its multiple uses.

Selecting a suitable location and ensuring there is sufficient space available is vitally important. A few questions that need to be answered are as followed; Make sure the environment does not exceed the air and water temperature limitations for the equipment. And that the necessary utilities are available including the correct voltage electrical supply. The last thing that is often forgotten is the space around the machine for service, 15 cm. minimum left, right, and rear for air-cooled models is recommended. Cellar installs will effect change the ambient temperature throughout the seasons, resulting in a dramatic change to the machines performance.

To achieve the best results from any Maidaid Icemaker it is important that the machine is supplied with high quality water. To achieve this it is strongly advised that from installation the machine is installed with the correct filter and softener. An experienced distributor will be able to advise what is best for the machine selected. To maintain high quality ice being produced Maidaid advise that all filters and cartridges are replaced every 6 months dependant on water quality & usage, this will prevent the ice maker suffering from premature breakdown due to scale.

Ice storage bins are just as important to maintain as the machine itself. The bin should always be cleaned & sanitized on a regular basis.

In the interest of hygiene every Maidaid ice machine supplied leaves us with a ‘wash hands before use’ label to help battle ice contamination.

Ice on tap for hotel guests

The Scotsman DXG35 was developed specifically for self-serve ice, for guests in hotels. The latest version combines reliable performance with quiet operation – so it can be sited in hotel corridors alongside guest bedrooms.

“The demand for ice shows no sign of decreasing,” says David Rees, marketing manager of Hubbard Systems, which distributes Scotsman systems in the UK. “As guests’ expectations rise, more hotels are feeling the need to offer self-serve ice machines.”

That rise in expectations is also why the DXG35 produces gourmet supercube ice. These crystal clear, hard and pure cubes look great, last a long time and chill very effectively, so there’s no fear of melted ice spoiling the drink.

The DXG35 is a space-saving, slimline unit, with a footprint just 380mm wide by 515mm deep, so it can fit into narrow openings and corners. The dispensing system is at waist height, making it comfortable and safe for guests to use. Operation is simple: place a container in the dispense cavity, push the button and the ice portion is dropped in. The cavity is large enough to accommodate an ice bucket.

The ice maker can produce up to 36kg of ice per day, and its 11kg integral storage bin ensures there’s always enough to meet demand.

The unit’s exterior is stainless steel, making it smart, resistant to tarnishing and easy to keep clean. It’s also simple to look after, with a front-access condenser air filter that is easily removable for washing. The DXG35 runs so quietly thanks to the integral insulation design and simple and reliable electro mechanical controls.

The list price for the DXG35 is £4837.00 + VAT.

The four most popular types of ice produced by commercial machines are cube, flake, bullet and spray, each with their specific benefits within business sectors.

Cube Ice (both half cube and full cube) is probably the most widely used, and is normally used in beverages as it takes much longer to melt in the glass compared to flake or bullet ice. Cube ice is ideal for keeping the drink chilled, refreshing and appealing. Cubed ice can vary in size, however it’s normally suitable for drinks in bars, restaurants, pubs or quick service restaurants.

Flaked Ice is ideal for chilled displays And buffets, keeping foods cool and prevents foods such as fish from receiving “freezer burn”, as the ice can be used as a cool bed, shaping itself around containers and storage trays. It is also used in the production of cocktails, mocktails and smoothies, as it reduces wear and tear on blender blades.

Bullet Ice can be used for both of the above a and is generally produced a little faster than cubes, however it can tend to melt faster than typical cubes due to the speedy way the ice is produced. Bullet ice is sometimes called “chewable” ice as it is softer and easier to blend – useful for the healthcare or childcare sectors. Bullet ice is commonly produced by manual fill ice makers.

Spray Ice is generally considered the best quality ice. Perfect for top-end banqueting or occasions, this ice is crystal clear and takes much longer to melt in comparison to other types. However, spray ice machines can take longer to make the ice, so you need to ensure you select an appropriate machine to meet your expected demand.

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