Ice used to be an expensive luxury. With time, it became cheaper and more plentiful and more and more people developed a preference for cold beverages. People had ice boxes before refrigerators and freezers to keep food from spoiling.
Keeping up with the demand for ice came at a high price for hotels, so they were among the first customers when ice makers were invented according to Slate. These machines not only keep costs down for hotels, but also make it easy for customers to get their own ice when on vacation.
Americans Love Ice
One of the things foreigners in the US notice is how many ice makers there are everywhere – practically on every floor. The US is unique in that regard. The first hotel that offered free ice was the original Holiday Inn in Tennessee, and a tradition grew from there. People expect there to be ice makers in hotels now. Most people drink in their rooms, so ice makers are pretty useful.
What Ice Makers do Hotels Use?
Hotel vending rooms normally have commercial ice maker dispensers. It makes ice, stores it in a container, and dispenses it. These appliances have to be hooked up to water and electric lines and connected to a drain.
A great solution is a portable ice machine. It’s smaller than even a microwave. All you need to do is plug it into an outlet. It’s also quieter than a dispenser and your guests don’t need to leave their rooms for ice.
Hotels have ice machines of all shapes and sizes that make ice nuggets, flakes, cubes, chips, and more. These ice pieces go to make smoothies, cool cocktails, or are put on wounds.
What Kind of Commercial Ice Makers are there?
Some hotels have commercial ice machine heads, which don’t have any storage space for ice cubes. These are usually placed on top of soda machines and other dispensing appliances. Others have commercial ice bins, which can’t make ice, but they can store it. There are also self-contained ice makers that can’t dispense ice, but they can produce and store it. Finally, there are commercial ice maker dispensers, which can make ice, store it, and dispense the pieces at the touch of a button. Most hotels are equipped with the last kind because it’s the fastest and healthiest option in terms of commercial ice makers.
Essentially, guests have access to unlimited ice without having to grab it out. Like with other commercial ice making machines, such hotel dispensers require connections to a power and water line and a drain. In contrast, you will rarely see a portable ice machine in a hotel. It is a feasible option notwithstanding this fact. Big hotels, boutique hotels, and cozy bed and breakfasts that want to add a dash of personalized comfort for their guests could provide a portable ice machine in each guest room. It’s a better option than a big, noisy, commercial ice maker in the hallway.
All “portable” means is that you don’t need to plug the ice machine into a water line or a drain. It’s light enough for people to move around to different rooms or spaces if needed. On average, portable machines make around 10 cubes every 15 minutes, with a maximum of 30 pounds a day.
That’s the ideal amount for a guest in a hotel room to make a cocktail or nurse his sore feet. Portable ice makers have the added benefit of not using much power.
Another reason a countertop ice maker is a good alternative to a commercial ice maker is that it takes up a lot less room. In many hotels, space is an issue.
What to Look for in a Commercial Ice Maker
If you have a hotel, you need to make sure there is plenty of ice for your guests. Keep in mind that you’ll have more guests in summer (most likely.) They will want ice in their drinks with rising temperatures. Of course, there are exceptions, but you want to cater to the majority of guests rather than the exception. There will also be that one or another person who always has a cold or avoids cold beverages for some other reason. To address the issue of ice deficiency in hotels, several producers have introduced ice maker machines for commercial use. These commercial ice makers will make the required amount in minutes so you can avoid guest dissatisfaction.
Buying a Commercial Ice Maker
Making fresh ice available is key to the wellbeing and satisfaction of your guests. You need to choose the ice maker that will fulfill the demand for ice in your hotel the most because every commercial ice machine has its own configuration and style.
Here are some things to take into consideration if you’re shopping for one or more commercial ice machines for your hotel.
There are various types of ice machines in the world of commerce. Under counter ice machines are a great option to fit into small places such as small bars and cafes. Modular ice makers can produce up to 1000 lbs of ice in just a day. You will need a separate unit to store the ice made using one of these ice makers. A countertop ice maker will give your staff easy access to the machine. Ice machines with water dispensers are ideal for cafeterias.
Ice machines can make ice in various shape and sizes. Some will make ice flakes that are easier to chew, while others will produce ice cubes which do not melt easily. Still others will make ice nuggets, which are not only easy to chew, but won’t melt easily. The US government sets certain standards on automatic ice makers that you will need to take into account.
Finally, some hotels are experimenting with solar-powered ice makers in order to render ice making more energy efficient. There are a few reputable producers of such machines. The number of guests and your budget are the main factors.