Tag Archives: ice machine

10 Helpful Tips For Your Restaurant

Owning a restaurant can be difficult – you need to know a lot about your facility to have a successful business.  Central has compiled some helpful tips that range from dining room apparel to cleaning supplies to keep your restaurant in tip top shape.

Dining Room

  • Don’t Know What Size Gloves To Order? Gloves need to fit properly in order to ensure proper sanitary and safety conditions. To measure, wrap a tape measure around the widest part of your palm. This measurement is closest to your actual glove size shown in the chart on this link.
  • Keep Your Liquor Pourers Clean! Pourers allow a smooth flow of liquid out of a bottle by providing a path for air to enter the bottle. Liquid will not come out of the bottle if the air vent is blocked. You need to clean your pourers so that sugar cannot build up inside the vents. For information on the dos and don’ts of pourer cleaning, click here!
  • Are Your Bar Glasses Crystal Clear? Everyone wants a nice-looking, freshly cleaned glass when they order a drink at a restaurant, so make sure yours are sparkling! Glass washers are designed to fit in any bar sink and are best used with a three compartment sink. The first compartment contains the washer, luke warm water and liquid detergent. The second compartment should have clean water while the third should have clean water with a sanitizer.
  • Easily Turn Any Table Into A Showpiece! Looking to turn your table from boring to wow-worthy? Consider an ice sculpture! Ice sculpture models that are filled with tap water will turn out bright white. Simply fill the mold with water and freeze it for 48 to 72 hours. Cut away the mold starting at the base. Sculptures lasts for about four to five hours at room temperature, and last longer in cooler temperatures!
  • Think Ahead, So Your Chafers Are Ready When  You Are When you’re catering a big event, your worst fear is unappealing, cold food! Don’t let this happen to you! Ensure warm food by heating water in your chafer before dropping in your hot food pans about 20 minutes before you’re supposed to serve. Don’t forget to light the fuel either!
  • How Many Bar Glasses Do You Need? Estimating how many glasses you need for your restaurant can be a chore, so take the guess-work out of it and use our handy chart!
  • Ordering The Correct Glass Rack Size  It’s important to remember to choose a glass rack that has a greater compartment size than the maximum diameter of your glass. Also, select a rack that has a higher height than your glass.

Food Preparation

  • Advantages Of Cooking With Steam  Steam cooking has been around for thousands of years, and has many benefits. Here are some of the advantages: 1. “Steam-cooked foods look much brighter and fresher than those foods cooked by other methods. 2. Steam cooking saves energy. 3. Steam cooking retains more nutrients in the food. For example, a food that is steam-cooked loses 40% of its original amount of Vitamin C. A food that is boiled loses 70%. 5. Foods are more tender at the end of cooking. 6. You can use less fat additives when cooking with steam because you won’t need to use oils to keep food from sticking.” This information about cooking with steam is from our helpful link, located here.


  • Choosing The Best Ice Machine For Your Needs Ice machines are essential to any business in the foodservice industry. It’s important to choose the correct one to ensure you’re getting the most out of your machine. First, you must choose between air cooled and water cooled machines. Air cooled machines remove the heat from the water and into the air surrounding the machine. Water cooled machines remove the heat from the water by moving that heat into waste water. These machines are quieter, but use more water than air cooled ones. Click here for a chart that helps you choose what level of ice production you’ll need for your business.


  • Installing Your Grease Interceptor & What Size You Need A grease interceptor should be installed as close to the fixture it is servicing as possible. An interceptor is crucial because it prevents grease from accumulating in the piping. Consult a professional for help with installation. A helpful calculation  can determine the correct size for your kitchen.

Buying for your restaurant can be a hard task. Choosing the right equipment is essential to a profitable business, yet it can be complicated. Central has also put together buying guides to help you make the best informed decision you can.

Ice, Ice and More Ice! Which Type of Ice Is Best for You?

When the Scotsman Luv the Nug truck made a visit to Central on St. Patrick’s Day of 2011, we learned a little bit more about ice than we already knew—people love it and some are even borderline obsessed with it.

Of course, people enjoy ice in their beverages.  But with the large selection of styles now available, people have preferences.  These range from different types of ice to how much ice they want in their beverage.  Then on the other end of the spectrum, there are certain types of ice ideal for displaying and serving food on.

So with a variety of ice types to choose from, it may make you wonder which type of ice is best to use at your establishment.

While different ice machine manufacturers may have different names for the different styles of ice,  all the styles can really be categorized to the following four: classic cubes, gourmet or crescent cubes, flake ice and nugget ice.

 Classic Cubes

This is your simple standard ice.  Its simplicity makes it great for most applications.  According to Scotsman, this type of ice works well for ice dispensing, mixed drinks, carbonated beverages, ice displays, ice retailing and banquet services.

Gourmet or Crescent Cubes

There are a few different kinds of gourmet or crescent cubes.  If you browse through Central’s selection of ice machines, you will see many machines produce “top hat,” “cublet” or “octagon” cubes.

These different types of ice are slow-melting and have a higher displacement which means a higher profit for you.  They are usually found in restaurants, bars and banquet facilities.


Flake Ice

Flake ice consists of small, hard bits of ice that are dry and cool quickly.  It’s great for meat or seafood displays, salad bars, blended cocktails and even therapeutic use. From the Manitowoc website, flake ice is great for serving because the soft, small pieces of ice form around an object without bruising.

Nugget Ice

There are so many different names for nugget ice from “chewable ice” to “Sonic ice.”  Nugget ice is flaked ice compressed into small nuggets—and because of its soft texture, it’s easy to chew. Also, it keeps beverages cooler longer.  It’s commonly used for carbonated beverages, meat or seafood displays and salad bars.

“It’s more energy efficient than cube ice because it uses 50 percent less water than making cube ice,” added Terry Toth, marketing communications manager for Scotsman.  “It also lowers syrup cost per cup, (there’s a) higher liquid displacement.”

Nugget ice is seeming to be a favorite among ice lovers.  So adding nugget ice to your establishment may differentiate you from surrounding stores, which may help you get a leg up on your competitors.

Luv the Nug

Delving in a little bit deeper in to nugget ice, last year marked the 30th anniversary of Scotsman’s nugget ice, so they created a social media campaign and built a truck (Luv the Nug) to travel across the country.  This enabled them to witness people’s love for nugget ice first hand and hear personal stories.

Image: Luv The Nug

“Usually food equipment companies don’t get to taste the product they create, so it was really unique,” Toth said. “It’s a different type of interaction that I’ve never experienced.”

With their different campaigns and contests, they learned people loved chewing on ice for a variety of reasons.

“Some chew on it because they were introduced for medical reasons; people have said nurses said to chew on it to prevent ulcers from forming,” Toth explained. “Then some just went to Sonic and got lots and lots of ice, or went to a convenience store and purchased bags.  There were many different reasons which is why we looked through social media.”

The Luv the Nug truck will be touring again this year, kicking off in Boston this June.  They also have added a free app people can use to find the nearest location to them that serves nugget ice.  The app and tons of other nugget ice information can be found at LuvTheNug.com.  Also–if you serve nugget ice at your establishment, be sure to check and see if are on the list! If not, you can add your location so people can come to you for their nugget ice.

So How Much Ice Do You Need?

It’s important to purchase an ice machine that produces the correct amount of ice for your establishment. Too much or too little ice runs you the risk of wasting money or not having enough ice for your customers.

While it may seem small, ice is a huge asset to a foodservice establishment, so you need to be sure you’re set. Central put together this buying guide which not only explains how much ice you need, but includes other helpful tips about ice machines too.

What’s your story with ice? Why do you love it? What have you seen with your customers?

How to choose the right ice machine

Selecting the right ice machine can seem like a daunting task when you consider the wide variety of models available. Selecting the proper unit for your needs is crucial to running a smooth operation. Not having the right production capacity can be a nightmare. You also need to consider your unique setting and style of foodservice operation.

Air cooled or water cooled?
An ice machine removes heat from water to produce ice. Most ice machines come in two different options – air cooled or water cooled.

  • Air-cooled machines cool the water by moving the heat into the air surrounding the machine. These machines are noisier than water-cooled machines but use less water for ice production.
  • Water-cooled machines cool the water by moving the heat into waste water. These machines are generally quieter than air-cooled machines but use more water.

Level of ice production?
Under-sizing can be a nightmare, while having too big of an ice machine can mean unnecessary costs. Use the following guide as a basis for determining the best production level of ice for your institution.

Restaurants: 1-11/16 lbs. per customer
Cocktail Lounges: 3 lbs. per person
Salad Bars: Add 35 lbs. per cubic foot of display. Multiply by 2 or 3 depending on estimated refills required.
Fast Food:7/8 lbs. per customer or 7-3/8 lbs. per seat. Use 2 oz. per 8-10 oz. drink, 4 oz. per 12-16 oz. drink, 6 oz. per 20 oz. drink and 8 oz. per 32 oz. drink.
Lodging: 3 lbs. per room (substantially more if guests are allowed to fill ice ches
Health Care: 7 lbs. per patient bed and 2 lbs. per employee

For smaller operations, or as a secondary unit, a countertop ice machine might make sense. Countertop units come in a variety of styles, many with food-safe, hands-free options.

Also consider the type of ice you would like to serve. Nugget, or crunchable ice has become wildly popular in recent years.

Other Tips
Replacing your ice machine’s filter as often as the manufacturer recommends (usually six months) will extend the life of your machine, provide a better tasting and cleaner product and in some cases, extend the warranty of the machine.

Other accessories include ice bagging kits, ice scoops and holders, and caddies for easier transportation.