Different Ice Solutions for Your Food and Beverage Operation

Posted January 25, 2024 by Jon Bowerman

Different Ice Solutions for Your Food and Beverage Operation

Drink profitability doesn't just depend on the liquid inside the glass. In many cases, it can be enhanced by the ice that cools that liquid. Profits from high-end cocktails like Old Fashioneds or Negronis can be melted when ice isn't up to standards, or when it dilutes the essence of beverage.

The right ice machine can help, and the P3 Reps team is happy to talk ice with food and beverage operators across the tri-state area. We've seen how ice can impact the profitability of a restaurant or bar, and that's why we believe Scotsman Ice can have a significant impact on today's operators. As award-winning creators of user-friendly commercial ice systems that offer smart technology, high efficiency, and intuitive controls, Scotsman is a difference maker when it comes to ice. But before we get to Scotsman, it's first important to understand the different types of ice and why they should be used.

What Ice Type Is Best?

From shaved to nuggets to clear or crushed, each piece of ice affects the cocktails and soft drinks served in a restaurant, hotel, or pub. Foodservice establishments even require flaked ice for cooling to help seafood retain moisture because of ice's physical properties while melting. There are dozens of different types of ice on the market today. A few of the most popular varieties include:

  • Cube: Basic square ice cubes are meant to be quite solid and contain almost 100 percent ice-to-water ratio. The frozen cubes are for large-volume use, like bagged or dispensed. Cubes are prevalent in most commercial food and beverage settings and are ideal for soft drinks and basic mixed cocktails because they melt slower, reduce ice consumption, and save money. 

  • Flake: Soft, thinly shaved ice has a 62 percent ice-to-water ratio, so it’s easy to mold and cools quickly. Its ideal application is for the presentation of seafood, produce, and meats in supermarket display cases. In addition, flaked ice is perfect for protecting seafood and transporting other fragile foods to prevent bruising. It’s also an obvious choice for the internationally loved blended frozen drinks.

  • Nugget: Considered the best in soft drink circles, nugget ice has a unique three-dimensional shape and an ice-to-water ratio 74 percent ice-to-water ratio. Nugget ice is the ideal partner for fountain sodas, as it can retain the flavors of the beverages it cools and offers a chewing experience unrivaled by any other ice type. Nugget ice is available in a softer texture that is the original and ideal for traditional ice bin dispensers. There's also a harder H2 nugget ice that has a slower melt rate, an ice-to-water ratio 85 percent ice-to-water ratio and ideal  for dispensing applications.

  • Gourmet: Larger in size and slower on the melt rate, gourmet ice is perfect for cocktails and mixology applications where the integrity of the drink is just as important as cooling it. Nobody wants a watered-down Manhattan, so larger format ice is ideal to complement and extract the great properties a cocktail can have.

Type of Ice Scotsman

Ice Size and Shape Matters

Ice size always matters because of the melt rate and the application. The size of the ice you use is as important as the shape of the ice. 

Gourmet: These larger cubes can be used for many applications, the most relevant being in cocktails and mixology applications where slow melt rates are desired to preserve the qualities of the beverages.

Medium: Medium ice can also be used in certain cocktail types but is best used in other types of beverages like tea and iced coffee. These are idea in restaurants, hotels, office suites, break rooms, and bars.

Small: Perfect for fast food locations, beverage dispensers, and use in blenders to make frozen drinks and smoothies.

Kold-Draft Cubes Deliver Results

Kold-Draft ice sets itself apart from the competition with three key distinctions: ice size, shape consistency, and horizontal evaporation. When it comes to size, Kold-Draft machines create the industry's only true cube, a square-sided ice cube that's notably larger than most rivals. This unique size ensures a slower melt rate, preserving the full flavor of your favorite spirits.

Kold Draft Big Cube

Kold Draft Cocktail Cube

Additionally, Kold-Draft's commitment to even ice shape means your drinks maintain their carbonation and taste integrity. Finally, their innovative horizontal evaporator eliminates impurities and air from the ice, resulting in longer-lasting cubes that won't break apart prematurely. For those who appreciate the finer details of their beverages, Kold-Draft ice is the ultimate choice.

Which Scotsman Ice Machine is ideal for you?

Scotsman-1Scotsman Ice Systems began in the 1950s as one of the pioneers of the commercial ice machine. Over a century later, the company has been recognized as the ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year, given the Excellence in Product Design Award, and named a Shingo Award finalist

Commercial ice dispensers by Scotsman Ice Systems are manufactured in the United States, and a wide selection of models is available. The company is known for its world-class support, and many of its ice machines come with rebates from local utility companies.

Cubes, nuggets, flakes, and additional innovative ice dispensing products are now available through P3 Reps and Scotsman Ice Systems. And that’s not all. Check out the ICELINQ® mobile app from Scotsman. A simplified experience ensures intuitive operation and cleaning maintenance for maximum uptime and reliability.

Scotsman Ice commercial ice systems, bins, and sanitation solutions are engineered to last and increase the return on investment with one of the industry’s lowest lifecycle costs. Chefs may always be on fire in the test kitchen, but bartenders know the importance of keeping it cool, literally and figuratively. It’s especially critical to know how to keep things on ice during those hot times of the year when thirsty customers willingly wait in line for frozen margaritas, mojitos, and Arnold Palmers.

[Additional Resources: Check out our Scotsman/Kold-Draft resource page to learn how P3 Reps can help you with your ice needs.]

It’s hard to believe that ice plays such an important role in the growth of a food and beverage business. However, there is a lot to consider before choosing the right commercial ice dispensing equipment. While it can be tempting to pick a new machine or replacement unit without too much thought, rash decisions regarding ice could lose your business customers and money. 

Scotsman Ice has a quick and easy way to help you select the best ice machine to fit the needs of your bar, restaurant, hotel chain, and many other commercial foodservice venues. The Selector Tool is designed to help customers decide which ice solution is right for them.

Ready to protect the flavors of high-end liquors and increase profit margins?  Click below and schedule a time to speak with one very own Chef Doug in the P3 Test Kitchen.

Chef Doug Demo

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