Choosing an Ice Machine

Choosing the right ice machine for your establishment can be a frustrating experience. There are countless makes and models, from the simple machines that produce 60 pounds of ice a day to giants that can make over 1500 pounds of ice a day. How can you decide which ice machine is the best for you?


When purchasing any type of restaurant equipment, from your soda dispensing system to your ice machine, cost is going to be a factor. What you don’t want to do is undercut yourself in the hopes of saving a couple of dollars. You are probably going to have your ice machine for a number of years, and there’s no point in starting out with something that you hate (or worse yet, isn’t up to snuff).


The second largest consideration for your ice machine should be about size. Measure the space where you want your ice machine to go before you start browsing for a new one, and don’t forget to put clearance space around it too! Like a refrigerator, an ice machine needs to breathe.

How much ice do you need in a day?

The following is an ice usage estimator. Please note that these are merely estimates and that some of your patients, patrons, or customers might use a lot or a little ice.

Restaurant: 1.5 pounds per person
Cocktail Lounge: 3 pounds per person
Hotel: 5 pounds per room
Convenience Store: 6 oz per 12 oz drink
10oz per 20 oz drink
15 oz per 32 oz drink
Hospital: 10 pounds per patient

Speed of Production

Generally, the more ice the machine can make in an hour, the larger the machine. How fast do you need your ice? Are you in a busy bar where you’re dispensing sodas, beer, and other drinks at a lightning pace? Are you in a fast-serve type of restaurant where running out of ice might be the source of complaints?

Types of Ice

The type of ice you need will also determine what machine to get. Are you needing cube, chewable, flake, or a specialty form? Learn what type you need before shopping around. There’s plenty of articles about the different types of ice on the web. We’re fond of cubelets for our sodas, cubes for alcoholic drinks, and nuggets for specialty drinks.

Quality Reputation

It’s necessary to consider the quality of the company. The company from which you buy your ice machine should have a devotion to customer service and believe that you’re more than just a sale. Is it Compatible with your Lancer Soda Machine?

Basically, does the ice machine that you want play well with your soda machine? In most cases, the answer will be yes, definitely, but it’s always good to check just in case. It would be a bad day to get your ice machine and realize that it won’t work with your Lancer soda dispenser.

Looking for an ice machine can be a tedious process. Always remember to call your ice machine vendor and soda machine vendors if you have any questions.

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