For any cafeteria style, buffet style or self-serve type of food service venue having a countertop ice dispenser beside the beverage station is a great way to allow your customers to choose the amount of ice they wish to use.
There are different sizes available in any ice dispenser design, offering up to 250 pounds of ice to be available for use with the storage bin filled. Then, with some of the top systems, automatic lights will come one when the ice drops below a specific level in the dispenser bin, allowing for immediate refilling before there is an issue for the customers.
Fast Food and Self-Serve Benefits
For any type of self-serve drink station at a buffet, cafeteria or fast food restaurant having an ice dispenser at the drink station makes good sense. Without the ice machine at the station the only other alternative is for staff to provide ice in the glass or cup.
This creates a problem as the customer is then carrying around the glass with ice, potentially increasing the risk of spills and water and ice accumulation on the floor. This not only creates more work for staff in cleaning up the floor but it also increases the risk of a slip and fall accident.
When customers are able to add their own ice there may be a decrease in the amount of beverages dispensed with each glass or cup. This is particularly true in hot weather where the ice will be a major part of the serving size.
What to Consider
When selecting an ice dispenser safe, efficient, trouble-free operation and easy cleaning are a must. Carefully review the specifications sheet for any ice dispenser under consideration and ensure they:
Provide effective ice dispensing through a push or lever option
Have a large drip tray to minimize the need for staff to constantly empty the tray and address melted ice and water in around the unit from overflows
Provides an agitation system to prevent the ice from clumping in the storage bin and not being dispensed when needed
Has a design to minimize condensation and avoids water or moisture from pooling around the system
In addition to just the ice dispenser, some models provide an optional water valve. This is a good feature to consider and prevents the need for behind the counter staff to have to fill up separate water glasses for orders.
Our top of the line ice dispenser models are designed with durability, efficiency and safe use in mind. To see more about Lancer Corporation products, visit us at lancercorp.com.