Renting or Buying Ice Machines: What You Need to Know to Save Money

When running a restaurant or bar business, one of the most essential purchases you need to make as far as kitchen equipment is concerned are ice makers. Ice makers are consumer devices that produce and store ice, a stand-alone appliance that produces ice on a large scale. Commercial ice makers are considered a critical and important link in restaurant operations, especially if you serve chilled food and drinks, which is why choosing the right one needs careful thought and consideration.

Choosing the best commercial ice maker can be challenging, what with so many good brands out in the market that will be more than able to cater to your specific needs. You can choose your ice makers based on capacity, the kind of ice it can produce or based on the type of condensing unit you need. Too much ice that goes unused and melts is like money running down the drain and too little can mean risking your supply running out during the peak hours of operation, costing you customers. Determining the size is also important since it contributes to your workplace efficiency.

The first thing that you need to ask yourself, when getting commercial ice makers  is what type of ice maker is best for your business? Air-cooled ice machines are easier to install and less expensive to operate, while water-cooled ice machines are the exact opposite, but are the best for restaurant environments. The next thing you need to determine is what kind of ice you need. Cubed ice are best if you serve cocktails and other alcoholic beverages, while flaked and nugget ice are best to store your fresh meat and fish in, to preserve their quality. Flaked ice is also best if you have a salad bar to keep your veggie ingredients fresh.

Also, you will need to get commercial ice makers that comply with the Department of Energy’s energy-efficiency standards not just to lower your operation and utility costs but also to be able to your bit for the environment by reducing your carbon dioxide emissions. You will also need to make sure that they have passed the safety test procedures also required by the DOE as compliance to regulation codes. It is better after all to be safe than sorry.

However, when you’re just starting out in the restaurant business, a commercial ice maker can be one of the biggest expenses you incur and at this point, you may not be prepared to shoulder the costs. The good news is you can rent the equipment instead of buying it, with an option to own it by the end of your term. There are various sites online like that offer certain commercial kitchen equipment for rent, in terms of 12 months (minimum) and 36 months (maximum).

The rental process is simple enough. All you need to do is click on the “rental quote” button of your preferred ice maker unit then download the rental request form. Fill it out and send it back then assuming you’ve filled out the form correctly, you can expect to hear back from them within 24 hours. If approved, you’ll only need to pay a security deposit that is equivalent to 15% of the total purchase price and you’re good to go.

You can also go ahead and buy the unit for a certain percentage of the total purchase price when your term ends if you so desire. So for example you’ve been renting the ice maker for three years, you can actually buy it for only 15% of its total price. The longer you rent, the lesser you pay. Another perk is that all units rented are subject to a full breakdown cover, which means that should the unit need repairs or possible replacement, the company will do this for you at their expense. They will also schedule preventive maintenance to make sure you don’t have to worry about the unit breaking down at the most inopportune moments.


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