Purchasing an Ice Machine

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3 Questions to Help You Find the Right Ice Machine for Your Business


A commercial ice machine can be the foundation of many businesses. For those in the food industry service, ice is vital to the success of your business. Before you make such a big purchase there are questions you need to ask yourself to ensure you choose the machine that best meets your needs.

Stand alone ice machine

1. What type of machine is best for your business?

There are 2 main types of ice machines: modular and self-contained.

  • Modular units produce ice but do NOT store it. An additional dispenser or storage bin will be a necessary add-on to the cost and function of the machine. A modular unit produces a moderate to high output of ice. Common industry use comes from hotels, hospitals, and large night clubs.
  • Self-contained ice machines are typically undercounter units where ice storage is included. If your daily ice requirements are low or you have storage constraints, a self-contained machine is your best bet. With a lower ice output, a self-contained machine can meet the needs of small restaurants and bars, day care centers and churches.

2. What is the daily ice output required for your business?

Most commercial ice machines produce anywhere from 300-600 lbs. per day. High capacity machines can produce upwards of 2500 lbs. per day. Of course, in every business, your daily needs will fluctuate. Your ice machine should meet the demands of your busiest days. Don’t buy a machine with a low production rate simply to save money. Low ice production on a busy day could lead to unhappy customers. Remember to plan for the growth of your company. Find a machine that can exceed your current needs by 10 to 20% so you are prepared for the future.

chart for ice needs based on industry

3. What type of ice do you need?

Different types of ice are ideal for specific applications. Determining which type of ice best suits your business can increase profitability. See the chart below to learn more about 3 different types of ice.

Types of ice

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If you would like to learn more about commercial ice machines, read the Ice Machine Buyer’s Guide. If you are ready to get free price quotes on commercial ice machines for your business, please fill out our form. We can put you in touch with up to 5 suppliers who will answer any further questions you may have.

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