Thursday, May 20, 2010

Choosing the right size ice machine

Ensuring that you have enough ice when you need it the most can be a bit tricky!  This information can be used to help ensure that you get the right equipment for your needs.  Please call and confirm with one of our specialists before making your final decision. 

Some questions to consider when selecting a new ice machine:

·  What style of ice best fits my needs classic cubes, gourmet cubes, nuggets or flakes?

·  What machine design (i.e. modular, undercounter) best fits my available space?

·  Should I choose an air cooled, water cooled, or remote ice machine?

·  Will the selected ice machine meet my peak usage during the hottest part of the year?

·  Am I planning for future growth, and will the ice machine meet those demands?

·  Is the ice machine Energy Star listed, and if so, are any rebates available?

This guide can help give you an idea of your daily ice usage.

All figures include a 20% safety buffer, to compensate for temperature differences or special circumstances. 


Daily Ice Use

100 Customers

250 Customers

500 Customers


1.5 lbs. per meal

180 lbs.

450 lbs.

900 lbs.

Cocktail Bar

3 lbs. per seat

360 lbs.

900 lbs.

1800 lbs.

7-10 oz. Beverage

5 oz. per cup

38 lbs.

94 lbs.

188 lbs.

12-16 oz. Beverage

8 oz. per cup

60 lbs.

150 lbs.

300 lbs.

18-24 oz. Beverage

12 oz. per cup

90 lbs.

225 lbs.

450 lbs.

Salad Bar

35 lbs. per cubic foot





1 lb. per person

120 lbs.

300 lbs.

600 lbs.

Hotel Room

5 lbs. per room

600 lbs.

1500 lbs.

3000 lbs.

3:15 pm edt          Comments

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ten Cheap Ways To Boost Efficiency (AND Profits!)

1. Start-up, Shutdown Schedules
Not everything needs to be turned on right away when the first cook arrives. Equipment start-up schedules similar to just-in-time ordering saves energy with no investment.

2. Low flow aerators
These are potentially one of the lowest priced efficiency measures a restaurant can buy. Aerators range from .50 to a several dollars and return the investment almost instantly.

3. Pre-rinse Assemblies
At about $60, these devices pay for themselves in about a week depending on your usage and prior sprayer. Some of the newest units on the market use as little as .65 gallons per minute compared to the old units that use around 3.5 gpm. New regulations require all pre-rinse sprayers to use no more than 1.6 gpm so go as low as you can find.

4. Turbo Pots
Research from the Food Service Technology Center shows that Turbo Pots use about half as much energy to boil a pot of water compared to a standard pot. If you have a pot of water boiling all day in your kitchen these pots are a must have.

5. Thawing Meats
A little bit of organization and scheduling could save many restaurants thousands of gallons of water and hundreds of dollars a year. If you must thaw meats with running water make sure the faucet has a low-flow aerator, and turn the flow down to just enough to keep water flowing across the product – not full blast.

6. CFLs
They are simple and almost old school at this point, but CFLs save a lot of money. Today’s CFLs are cheap and high quality, but don’t buy the cheapest ones you can find. You get what you pay for. Use them in hoods, storage areas, offices, back halls and walk-in coolers.

7. Training
All the green gadgets and gizmos in the world don’t save money unless the users are using them correctly. Moreover, training staff to be conscious about the resources they are using will go much further than any piece of energy efficient equipment.

8. Recycling
Even restaurants that currently recycle should audit their garbage once in a while. More than likely, recyclables are being thrown away and potentially costing the business extra hauling fees. Recycling is a simple task, and can cut a garbage bill in half if the restaurant is not currently taking part in the practice.

9. Composting
Food waste makes up something around 50% of the volume and 75% of the weight of most full service restaurants. Implementing a composting program can be a little more involved, but like recycling it soon becomes second nature to the staff.

10. Food Waste Tracking
Before starting a composting program, start tracking the restaurant’s food waste, and make changes to reduce that waste. Whether through simple paper logs or more complex digital systems like Leanpath, food waste tracking helps chefs and management actualize their waste and make adjustments to par lists, menus or schedules.

4:28 pm edt          Comments

Monday, April 5, 2010

Anyone performing construction work that totals $500 dollars or more in labor and materials must be licensed by CSLB. Any billable work performed over the $500.00 threshold cannot be legally collected from the consumer or enforced.
General advice when hiring a contractor: 
• There are scam artists posing as contractors who will take advantage of consumers who are caught off guard.  • Deal only with licensed and verified contractor/contractors. • Ask to see the contractor’s “Pocket License” or their representative’s “Home Improvement Sales Registration.” All contractors are issued pocket licenses that show the type of trade for which they are licensed and the expiration date of the license. Ask to see some additional form of identification so you can confirm their identity. • Always check on line at the CSLB website ( ) for the current history and licensing check of the contractor your dealing with.

7:32 pm edt          Comments

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Why does my HVAC-R system keep going low of freon and the caps are always found off?

[Frank said] Unfortunately, young teens and desperate drug users unscrew the caps off the freon service valves and use small tubing hoses to inhale the deadly freon to get a high. The freon robs the body of oxygen and give a short term high effect. Repeated used is required to maintain the high and it has been found that some vandals have spent many hours sitting next to a HVAC-R unit inhaling the freon until it runs out.  They wait for the facility to call in a repair company and refill the unit again, and the cycle starts all over again. 

The best way to avoid this problem to secure the equipment by locking your roof access ladder, installing chain link fencing around the unit and a video surveillance system or fake surveillance camera.  Harbor Freight sells a look alike, fake surveillance camera for about $15.00 money well spent as a cheap and easy deterrent.

 In closing, breathing freon is extremely dangerous to the body and will cause death or brain damage. It is a chemical that has serious consequences if inhaled.  Do not ever experiment with or breath freon of any form.  

3:29 pm edt          Comments

2010.05.01 | 2010.04.01 | 2010.03.01

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