How to Size the Best Ice Maker for Your Needs

When choosing the best ice maker, there is a couple things to take into consideration. You want to be sure you have more than enough ice for your busiest days. Each industry has different needs and uses for ice. If you need help sizing identifying your ice needs, we've included a handy guideline for specific industries. By using this list, you'll get a good estimate of how much ice you need on a daily basis. Note, this is an average calculation. Your particular ice needs may vary.

Best Ice Maker For Your Needs


Hospitals and clinics typically need around 10 lbs. of ice per patient to cover them throughout the day. You should estimate by the total number of patients you might have on a busy day so you don't run out of ice. You also need to account for visitors and employees.

Restaurants and Bars

The list to your right can help you find the amount of ice you need per customer, but again, you should estimate based on the amount of people you serve on your busiest days. You also have to account for how much ice you use beyond of drinks. If you use a lot of ice to prep food or stock wait stations, factor that into the total amount. Restaurants and bars use ice in a lot of places!

Convenience Stores

Convenience stores go through a lot of fountain drinks in various sizes per day. The list below will help your determine how much ice you need based on your most popular sizes. If you need more help determining the best ice maker for your needs, we have plenty of experience servicing gas stations and convenience stores, so feel free to give us a call!

Approximate Daily Use

Hotel 5 lbs. Per guest
Hospital 10 lbs. Per patient
Restaurant 1.5 lbs. Per customer
Bar/Cocktail 3 lbs. Per customer
Cafeteria 1 lb. Per customer
Quick Serve
5 oz. Per 7-10 oz. drink
8 oz. Per 12-16 oz. drink
12 oz. Per 18-24 oz. drink
Seafood/Deli Counter
and Display
30 lbs. of ice per cubic foot
Convenience Store 6 oz. Per 12 oz. drink
10 oz. Per 20 oz. drink
16 oz. Per 32 oz. drink


Let Us Help You Find The Best Ice Maker

Finding the right sized ice machine can be tricky. We have years of experience in the ice industry, so if things get complicated, contact us!