Best Practices in Ice Storage for Businesses

Business owners often produce and store an inefficient amount of ice because they are not aware of how much they really need. Usually, they produce and store more ice than needed, which wastes electricity, water, and ultimately, money. What should you know about using an ice dispenser? Read on:

You Don’t Need to Store a Full Day’s Supply of Ice
Just because you have a 200 pound ice machine doesn’t mean you need a 200 pound ice bin. You need enough ice to accommodate the guests who show up within the first hour or so of opening. Your ice machine will continuously produce ice throughout the day, enabling you to use ice as you need it. By storing a full day’s worth of ice in anticipation of the next business day, you are wasting money, because ice costs more to store than it does to produce.

Choose the Right Capacity
The storage capacity of your ice bin or ice dispenser only needs to hold the amount of ice you need at peak hour. If you are a new business, it may take some time to understand how many guests you have at “peak hour,” and thus how much ice you need. It may be a wise to over-produce your ice for the first few weeks (or even first few months, as new businesses tend to boom in the beginning weeks), until you can determine how much ice you need at various points in the day. Since your ice machine is continuously working, your storage capacity only needs to meet your peak hour demands.

Ice Bins are Less Sanitary than Ice Dispensers
If you are deciding whether to invest in an ice bin, or an ice dispenser with an ice machine positioned directly over it, consider sanitation and safety issues. The ice in ice bins must be physically transported to another container from which it’s served. This means that ice could be dropped on the floor, causing people to slip and fall, and it is exposed to outside elements and could become contaminated from particles falling into it.
Ice machines that are mounted over ice dispensers remove ice as need, and are much more sanitary.

Prevent Overflow
When hooked up to high quantity ice machines, smaller ice bins will not overflow. An ice machine can detect when your ice bin is full, even if it is smaller than the ice machine capacity. The ice machine will automatically switch to standby mode until ice is removed from bin, at which point it will automatically produce more ice.

Make Sure Your Ice Dispenser Can Drain
Since ice bins are not usually refrigerated, ice will melt over periods of time, causing the growth of mold or other bacteria if the water cannot drain. Periodically check that your ice is draining from the machine as well as from the bin. Also, consider investing in a storage bin with an anti-bacterial built-in component.

Find the right ice dispenser and storage bin for your restaurant’s needs. See Lancer’s selection at www.lancercorp.com or call 888-676-5196 for more information.

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