The best way to ensure repeat business in your bar or restaurant is to offer products customers want. Many customers want a nice frozen beverage, especially in the summer or hotter months, but these drinks are perfect all year long. If you’re looking to add a frozen drink machine to your business, it’s important to know the different types available. Read this buyer’s guide to types of frozen drink machines to see which is best for you. Whether it’s the type of coolant, functional features, or cleanability, you’ll find a machine to fit your needs to attract more customers.
Air-cooled machines are one of the frozen drink machines to consider for your bar or restaurant. They use an internal fan to cool the refrigerant to ensure the drink mix remains frozen. As a result, the machine expels warm air. Air-cooled machines rely on high energy expenditure, whether the machines are inside or outside. Indoors, the machine must maintain its internal, cool temperature to compete against the internal air. When used outdoors, air-cooled machines must compete with combative external temperatures to maintain their internal temperatures. Even still, there are many benefits to air-cooled machines. For one, they’re the easiest to install. They are portable and versatile for different types of frozen drinks. These machines also don’t produce water waste. However, it’s important to note that air-cooled machines can be a bit noisy and require a high voltage to maintain the circuitry and avoid a blown fuse. You should also remember to make space available if placing multiple machines adjacent to each other.
On the other hand, water-cooled machines also provide exceptional frozen concoctions with their own advantages and disadvantages. Water-cooled machines, as their name suggests, use water to cool the frozen mix. They don’t use as much energy as air-cooled machines. Unlike air-cooled machines, water-cooled machines do not alter based on ambient temperature. All you need to do is attach the machine to a drainage system. Keep in mind that your water bill may rise, given that these machines require constant water circulation. However, there’s greater versatility with these machines and this store layout. You can place these machines side by side without operational issues, and they cost less to operate than remote-cooled or air-cooled machines. Water-cooled machines need a water inlet and outlet behind each machine, so be aware when planning your bar or restaurant design.
The last type of frozen drink machine to know is remote-cooled machines. Remote machines are exceptionally quiet. They do not produce excess noise or heat. One of the main advantages of these machines is that they only require a condenser. However, the condenser connects to the machine via cable, and you can keep your frozen beverage machine in a separate location. This allows you to place remote-cooled machines side by side. Remote-cooled machines may thrive better in colder environments. Dryer and warmer environments can affect the refrigerant, increasing energy expenditure. Remote-cooled machines can also experience problems with refrigerant lines and installation. Still, using one rack system with a separate condenser outside ensures more available space in your building.
Another tip in this buyer’s guide to types of frozen drink machines is to consider the capacity. Each machine has a different capacity for drink mix and ingredient storage. You may wonder how many hoppers you need to hold your product. Typically, capacity is measured in quarts or gallons. Most frozen drink machines hold 1.5 to 6 gallons, depending on the machine’s capabilities. Each can hold one to four hoppers. More hoppers in the machine allow for more flavor variety. Air-cooled and water-cooled machines range from 64 to 390 10-ounce drinks servings per hour.
Whether you choose an air-cooled, water-cooled, or remote-cooled frozen drink machine, many offer additional features to produce a fine product. One feature your customers will appreciate is the light-up flavor sign. Customers can see which type of margarita, daiquiri, or other frozen drink they order in a creative, colorful, luminous, attention-grabbing sign. There are also lox-mix lights to indicate when you need to refill the beverage mix. Many frozen drink machines come with a stainless-steel finish to protect against scratches or external damages. Cleanup is easy and efficient with drip trays. A standby switch keeps products cool overnight, and air-coolants ensure simple plug-in installation. These are just some of the features to look out for so you purchase the right frozen drink machine for your business.
Don’t forget proper cleaning techniques for your machines. As previously mentioned, the drip trays and stainless-steel finish make wiping the machine simple. Further, there are some cleaning steps to keep in mind for easier maintenance. First, make sure the machine is turned off by placing the top switch in the center position. Then, remove the faceplate knobs and O-ring. Wash all parts in soapy water. Remove the plunger from the faucet, but don’t remove the faucet from the faceplate body. Take out the beater bar—this is one piece, so it will not separate. However, you should remove the spring seal, which slides off and comes apart in three pieces. Dip a drip tube brush in hot water and insert it into the barrel. This removes any debris and residue. Repeat until the brush comes out clean. Inspect the ceramic ring and wipe it with a clean towel. You also need to remove the float clip off the hopper in the top. Dampen a paper towel in soapy water and wipe away any debris in the hopper. Once you’ve finished cleaning the parts, reinsert them in their respective locations.
Margarita Man is your go-to source for frozen drink machines. We have a wide selection of air-cooled, water-cooled, and remote-cooled machines for sale for commercial or private use. We also partner with many businesses in margarita machine rentals. Purchase now to receive a free case of drink mix. Financing options are available so you can get the perfect machine from our affordable options. Call now with any questions, and we’re happy to help!