Ice Machine Question

We will be opening a small shop with seating for no more than 20. Our drinks will be bottled Italian water/soda and local artisan sodas. It has been 20 years since I worked in a privately owners shop and back then we would scoop ice out of the machine into cups. With todays world I wonder if that will still fly or would we need to have a covered container that we served the ice from after we scoop it out of the machine? Thanks. Walter

Hi Walter:

Will all yuor beverages be bottled?
George Mills

George: It will be bottled and in a glass door cooler on the customer side of the space. The customer will pick their own and if they want ice we will give them a cup. My wife and I are big green folks and want to cut back on throway via cups we wash, blow dryers in restrooms, no napkin dispensers on tables (we will give a couple out per person. We will have a sign up advertising our desire to go as green as possible. Thanks for the repy! Walter

What we used to do was have a large ice trough for customers to grab bottled drinks right out of the ice, and have a wall mounted bottle opener. We used to freeze gallon buckets of water and chop up the ice to fill the troughs. We had a walk-in freezer at that location, so there was plenty of room to have 25-30 buckets frozen at all times.

Where we ran into a problem is people having zero clue how to use a friggin wall mounted bottle opener!! So we went with a handheld opener, still had problems with cluelessness.
Now our cashiers pop the tops, and ask the customer if they want a glass, maybe one out of every 300 people asks for a glass.

We recently added fountain service, and found that in summer that a 300-pound/day ice machine is undersized. So I suggest you get the largest ice machine that you can afford, or get an ice service delivery until you can get a machine.

Hi Walter I suggest you get a combination Ice maker dispenser and place it next to the beverage cooler.

Assures sanitary ice handling and save time over filling cups from an ice bin.

George Mills

GotRocks: That is more intense than I want to do with the ice buckets. My goal is to have twist tops as much as possible and hopefully like you said few will ask for cups with ice. My main concern is the rules around scooping ice out of the machine or cooler with ice in it to the cups. My gut tells me there is probably some rule about how that has to be done. In our bakery/pizzeria I sell SanPeligrino glass bottled sodas with twist off tops. If people ask for ice we have a bucket in the freezer and scoop some into the cup. We plan on serving no more than 50 pizzas a day so I was thinking a smaller machine would do fine? It is a trip going through all this stuff. I worked in the buisness most of my life but never did the owner side. Everything was there and all I did was work :slight_smile: Walter

George: Thanks! Here is one I found. We will be small with most likely no more than 80 sodas a day consumed on site. Walter

That unit looks good.

George Mills

George: Thanks for taking the time to check it out. Walter

Maybe I should have clarified, we only used the solid ice from buckets for chilling the bottled drinks, we did not use that for ice to serve in cups or glasses.
We had bagged ice delivered for serving in drinks until we purchased an ice-maker.

An ice-bin is fine, just use an NSF scoop to fill glasses, and hit the bin with sanitizer each night and let it air dry. Getting ice from the machine to the bin should also be done with buckets that cannot nest inside of each other.

Got Rocks: Thanks for all that info. I envisioned you using an ice pick to break apart those buckets of ice. Walter

George: Thanks for taking the time to check it out. Walter
always happy to help.
George Mills

How I envisioned Got Rocks getting ready to break up all that ice: