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Commercial Ice Machines - What size do I need?

Q: Our old machine used to always run out of ice on busy days. It finally died and we need new machine. How big of an ice maker do we need?

A: You should get as large of ice machine as you can. Running out of ice is never any fun, and the minute you skimp on ice in a beverage you are losing money because you are using more beverage to fill those glasses. Your customers might not get that excited about an icy soda or glass of water, but try serving the same drink with no ice.

(Pictured: Hoshizaki Ice Machine)

Think of ice the same way that you think of any other ingredient in a menu item except your ice machine is going to work 24 hours a day to make a product for you that you can sell for nearly 100% profit. If you sell a 16oz soda for $1.50, half of that soda is ice. If you can sell 100 sodas a day your ice machine will be paid for in one or two months. After that your ice machine will be making you about $75 a day. We typically see a quality ice machine lasting about 7 years. 7 x 365 x $75 = $191,625 - is there anything else in your restaurant that is going to make money that easily? Probably not. Invest in a well sized ice machine and push those beverage sales. So how much ice do you need? While your specific needs may vary, here is a general reference from the folks at Hoshizaki:

  • Restaurant: 2lbs per person served per day

  • Cocktails: An additional 3lbs per seat

  • Water glass: 4oz per 10oz glass

  • Salad Bar: 30lbs per square foot

Quick Service:

  • 5oz per 7-12 oz. Cup

  • 8oz per 12-16 oz. Cup

  • 12oz per 16-24 oz. Cup

If you have any more questions about what Ice Machine to get give us a call or send us an e-mail, 1-800-BIG-TRAY (1-800-244-8729) or

#IceMachine #Independent #FoodEquipment #Profit #Hoshizaki #BeverageSales #Cocktails

1-800-BIG-TRAY (1-800-244-8729)
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