Broken Ice Machine? Here are Some Tips to Get By

Ice is the backbone of the foodservice industry. There is not a bar or restaurant in the United States that cannot go about their day to day operations without a properly working ice machine. Unfortunately at times, your ice machine may not want to cooperate, can shut down, or malfunction, leaving you and your customers without ice for an extended period of time. While this is never ideal, there is no need to panic! Keep a level head, and follow these instructions to get yourself out of this unexpected predicament. Temporarily losing your ice machine does not mean your business must suffer over the next few days.

Call an Ice Machine Technician

While we are in the business of selling ice machines, we unfortunately do not make house calls or perform repairs, so the first thing that you should do is call an approved ice machine technician. Some ice machine issues are no more serious than a dirty or dusty condenser. (For more on ice machines and why they may stop making ice, read this article here.) Ideally, the problem and the labor will be covered by warranty, and will not be too costly to repair. Either way, you will need a technician on the scene as fast as possible. Some ice machines like Manitowoc’s Indigo and Scotsman’s Prodigy units feature onboard computers and added technology which can provide you with the exact information required to solve your ice machine’s problems. This allows for repairs to be completed in a timely fashion, and eliminates any guesswork that would otherwise be involved. The operating data of Manitowoc’s Indigo ice machine is constantly stored and can be remotely monitored too, so any problems can be resolved quickly. To find an approved repair person, here are the technical support phone numbers of the major ice machine companies offered at Ice Machines Plus:

Scotsman- (800) 726-8762 Scotsman website
Ice-O-Matic- (800) 423-3367 Ice-O-Matic website
Manitowoc Ice- (920) 682-0161 Manitowoc website
Hoshizaki- 800-233-1940 Hoshizaki website
U-Line- 800-779-2547 U-Line website
Cornelius- 800-238-3600 Cornelius website
Follett – (877) 612-5068 Follett website

Plan on Being Without Ice

No Ice in Ice MachineIf you have an ice bin that holds 1,000 pounds of ice, and your business uses only 100-200 pounds per day, you have a bit of time to find someone to repair your ice machine or to buy a  new ice machine. But, if your ice storage bin only holds 400 pounds of ice and your business uses 200 pounds per day, the situation is far more urgent. In this case, you have a few options to consider in order to acquire the ice you need:
-Shut down your business for a few days while you wait to have your ice machine to be repaired.
-Get to the nearest grocery or convenience store and buy enough ice to get you through each day.
-Ask around locally to see if a bar or restaurant nearby will let you borrow ice until your machine is back in operation.
While the last option may seem unrealistic, many businesses (even your competitors) will be apt to help you out with ice, especially if they’ve been in the same situation in the past. If not, you may be forced to buy bags of ice where you can find them. You can always resort to shutting down your business for a few days too, but this option often ends up costing the most money, since your income will remain stagnant.

Prepare for the Worst

More often than not, it will take a bit of time (from hours to days) for a service technician to arrive at your business and resolve the problem with your ice machine. It may take even longer to get your ice machine working again, especially if it requires a replacement part, or extensive repairs. If you know your ice machine will be down for a few days, make arrangements ahead of time. Be sure all managers, bartenders, and servers are knowledgeable of the situation, so they can inform your customers if required. Also, be aware of at least two places where ice can be purchased quickly, so if you end up running low on a busy night, ice can be replenished easily. Those same bars and restaurants that leant you ice on a Monday afternoon may be less inclined to offer you use of their ice machine on a Saturday night, when they are running at full capaity.

Call Ice Machines Plus for a New Ice Machine

Scotsman ice machineSometimes, not all that is broken can be fixed. If your ice machine has faithfully produced ice for your business for 10 years, it may be time to move on. Thankfully, Ice Machines Plus has a selection of the newest, most technologically advanced ice machines available to date- and these ice machines are covered with excellent, extended warranties. If your ice machine is over ten years old, you can find a new ice machine that is more energy efficient, and will operate at a lower cost than your antique unit. Some new ice machines from Manitowoc and Ice-O-Matic are available with a “Quick Ship” option, where we can get your ice machine to you within 48 hours. Read our press release regarding the Quick Ship Program for more details. We can also offer detailed advice to make sure you get the most out of your new ice machine over its lifetime, with proper care and maintenance. Our Ice Expert Center provides the latest in product reviews and ice machine information, so check it out to stay up to date with all the latest ice machine happenings.

We know that it can be tough to operate your business without ice. That’s why at Ice Machines Plus, we do everything in our power to get your new ice machine to you as quickly as possible. Without it, your business will inevitably suffer, and you will not be able to survive over a long period of time. Take the first few steps into consideration when your ice machine goes down, and if there’s no chance that your ice machine can be repaired, give our Ice Experts a call at Ice Machines Plus at (877) 900-4423 and we’ll help outfit your business with a new ice machine right away.