If you’re in the market for a water and ice dispenser, you’ll be happy to know that many businesses prefer these types of ice makers. However, not all industries are built the same when it comes to ice needs. There are certainly some pros and cons to opting for these types of ice makers. So, before you go out and purchase one, let’s take a closer look at what might make one of these machines right for your business.
What is a Water and Ice Dispenser?
The name pretty much says it all! These machines consist of a water dispenser with an ice maker attached. Some models, like the Hoshizaki DCM-300BAH ice dispenser, have both the water dispenser and the ice dispenser contained in one unit. Other models, like the Hoshizaki DM-200B ice and water dispenser, require a separate ice machine to be installed on top of the commercial ice dispenser. Ice drops into a bin, ready to dispense.
These machines generally use either a push-button or lever mechanism to dispense water or ice.
Lever systems have a lever attached below the ice dispensing area, where ice can drop directly into glassware. These machines, like the Cornelius ED-150 ice and water dispenser, don’t require the user to touch the dispenser with their hands. The glassware activates the lever, and ice or water is dispensed directly into the cup or glass.
What Businesses Use Ice and Water Dispensers?
The businesses that benefit the most from water and ice dispensers are those that have low to medium ice needs and have limited staff.
Self-contained dispensers produce between 100-700 lbs of ice a day. So, if you have a business like a large restaurant or sports bar, an ice and water dispenser won’t likely produce enough ice for your needs.
Another benefit to these dispensers is that they’re designed for self-service. If you own a deli or café that doesn’t have a large serving staff, customers can get their own water and ice without having to ask your staff. Offices and wait rooms (which don’t have serving staff) also benefit greatly from these types of ice machines. Staff and patients can get ice and stay hydrated while they work or wait for their appointments.
What are the Benefits of Water and Ice Dispensers?
One of the biggest benefits of an ice and water dispenser is safety. These units don’t require the user to scoop the ice out of a bin and dispense it into glassware, which drastically decreases the chance of accidental contamination from hand contact.
Another large benefit is convenience. Restaurant and bar patrons, who are not allowed to scoop ice into their glassware, can retrieve as much ice as they want, as many times as they wish. Many customers often prefer to serve themselves rather than bother a staff person to get ice for them.
Many of these machines are also small enough to install on a countertop. Countertop ice makers give small business owners the freedom to install an ice machine in areas with limited space. Even if there is not enough countertop space, you can always install these units on a specialty stand.
Finally, these ice dispensers are an all-in-one hydrating appliance. Customers can grab water whenever they’re thirsty and keep it cool with ice without having to move from station to station.
What are the Negatives?
As we mentioned earlier, size is probably the biggest downside to owning a water and ice dispenser. Large businesses that need upward of 1000 lbs of ice a day won’t be able to meet their ice needs with a single machine.
Also, some of these machines may require specialty water filters depending on your environment. Commercial ice machines in areas with hard, mineral-laden water often require a phosphate filter to hinder the production of scale. Some ice and water dispensers that produce nugget ice, like the DCM-300, can’t use these types of filter because they can’t purge out phosphate from the ice supply, which can make people sick. You’ll have to purchase specialty carbon filters for these models.
Still Interested in a Ice and Water Dispenser?
Depending on your ice needs, theses dispensers might be perfect for your business. You’ll still have to determine the right size ice machine and ice shape you’ll need for your business. We’ve put together a handy commercial ice machine guide to help you learn more about the best ice machine for your business. Here at Easy Ice, our Ice Machine Experts specialize in sizing the perfect ice machine for any industry. If you’re looking for a leading commercial ice and water dispenser, along with preventive maintenance, cleaning, and repairs for a low monthly charge, contact us today!