Space can be limited behind bars, at cafés, or in fast-paced restaurants throughout Chicago. This is where an undercounter ice maker can come in handy. These machines can be installed in smaller spaces, giving you options to make the most of your business’ space.
When you’re looking for ice machines for sale in Chicago, there are some important points to take into consideration. We’ll go through two different types of undercounter ice makers and how they can help your business run more efficiently.
The Two Styles of Undercounter Ice Makers
An undercounter ice maker measures below 40”, making it the perfect size to fit under most countertops and bars. There are even models that measure 33” in height which meets federal compliance for ADA ice makers.
On the market, you will generally see two different styles of undercounter ice makers.
The standard undercounter ice maker model that’s seen has a front-facing door that’s either fixed on a hinge or slides. This style makes it easy for staff to quickly get to the ice as they don’t have to bend down and lean in to scoop it out. Quick counter access makes it possible for staff to continue great customer service while preparing drinks.
Cabinet-style ice makers are another undercounter ice machine that is popular among Chicago businesses. They blend seamlessly into the counter, making it a more discreet option. They make a great addition to offices, boardrooms, bars, and coffee shops. They work best for businesses whose ice needs are modest as they only produce 50-lbs of ice a day. Check out our bar ice machine guide for more models.
Here’s some additional information you should know if you’re considering an undercounter ice maker.
Just Because it’s Small Doesn’t Mean it’s an Under counter Ice Maker
Ice machines come in a variety of sizes, but just because an industrial ice maker is smaller, doesn’t mean it will work well under a countertop.
Proper ventilation is required to move hot air away from the ice machine so that it doesn’t become overheated. Overheating can lead to major breakdowns and expensive commercial ice machine repairs.
Almost all under counter ice machine have a front-to-front ventilation system that allows them to move air in from the front of the machine to cool internal components.
In under counter models, the hot air from inside is also expelled through the front of the ice machine. This makes it possible for them to work well while only having open ventilation in the front.
Smaller units, like countertop ice makers, have front-to-back or front-to-side ventilation. They need plenty of airflow on the back and sides of the ice machine. If you can provide unobstructed airflow under the counter for these machines, it may work but this setup if very tricky.
Under counter Ice Makers Make a Small Amount of Ice
Even the best under counter ice machine can’t make enough ice to support a business that needs over 300 lbs. of ice a day.
Since they are meant to fit under counters, these ice makers aren’t large and can’t produce more than 300-lbs of ice in a 24-hour period. An under counter ice maker works great for small bars and coffee shops that are only using the machine for counter service.
Under counter ice makers make getting ice easy, so if you’re looking at one for convenience, consider getting an additional ice machine.
It makes it simple for your staff to serve your customers, but it can also be used as backup ice if your other machine is running low.
Built-In Storage Bins with Under counter Ice Makers
Under counter ice makers are basically self-contained units, which means that their ice storage is built-in.
With a modular high volume ice maker, you would need to purchase an additional ice bin to store ice until it’s ready to use. Under counter ice makers don’t produce as much ice as modular machines so an attached bin can hold the daily yield. This setup works great for businesses looking to save space with a compact unit, but it’s important to take a few things into consideration with this setup if you need a restaurant ice machine.
When you get an under counter ice machine, you’ll have everything you need right out of the box, so to speak. You won’t have to spend time finding the right sized ice bin for your machine.
However, since the bin is included, it doesn’t give you any flexibility for expanding on your ice storage. These self-contained units aren’t easy to modify so it can be challenging to keep depending on this ice machine as your Chicago business grows.
Remember, under counter ice makers work great as second ice machines too. If your business outgrows your small under counter unit and you need a large ice maker, consider keeping it as a great source of supplemental ice. Also, keep in mind the convenience it provides to baristas and bar staff, so think about keeping it around so that service can keep being simple.
Under counter Ice Makers: The Right Size, Place, and Price
If your business is low on space and doesn’t need a ton of ice, an under counter ice maker is a perfect solution. For baristas and bartenders that are needed at the counter, it keeps ice conveniently close.
We want all businesses throughout Chicago to have the convenience of an under counter ice maker at an affordable price. Automatic Icemakers commercial ice machine leasing program provides you with the best under counter ice maker for your business, preventative maintenance, cleanings, and repairs – all for one low monthly charge. Contact us today if you need help finding the best ice machine for your business!