ice machine

Commercial Ice Machine Guidelines: The Who, What, When, Where, and Why

Buying a commercial ice machine can be stressful—but don’t lose your cool! We’re here to layout the guidelines for buying the best commercial ice machine.

Are you stressing over buying a commercial ice machine? Don’t lose your cool—we’re here to help you parse out the details of buying the best equipment for your restaurant, bar, hotel, or office space. Read on to get the who, what, when, where, and why of commercial ice machines! 

Who Makes The Best Brand of Ice Machine?

There are plenty of high-quality commercial ice machine brands on the market today. Picking the right one is less about opting for the flashiest technology, but about what your business’s priorities are when it comes to your commercial kitchen appliances. 

Here’s a roundup of the commercial ice machine brands we stand behind, and why we (and our customers) choose them. 


Ice-O-Matic has been around for a while (since 1952!) and in that time it’s revolutionized the ice machine industry with innovative, easy-to-use, and sustainable products. 

  • Innovative: With the creation of the SafeIce Purification System, Ice-O-Matic solved the problem of slime and buildup in commercial ice machines. Their cutting-edge purification system keeps buildup at bay, saving businesses time and money on perpetual ice machine cleanings.

  • Easy-To-Use: Ice-O-Matic knows commercial kitchens are fast-paced and timed down to the last second. There’s no time to waste training employees on complicated equipment, and your team doesn’t have a minute to spare operating an ice machine that isn’t engineered for peak efficiency. That’s why Ice-O-Matic commercial ice machines are designed for simplicity, reliability, and above all, efficiency.

  • Sustainable: Ice-O-Matic prioritizes sustainability up and down their manufacturing process and supply chains. They’re constantly identifying greener manufacturing processes, and their ice machines are designed with energy conservation in mind, which leaves a smaller environmental footprint and saves you money along the way.


A leading manufacturer in the ice machine industry, Manitowoc Ice offers over 200 unique ice machine models sold globally. Their home base is right here in the USA, with Manitowoc, Wisconsin serving as their hub for international manufacturing.

  • Sustainability: Like Ice-O-Matic, Manitowoc pursues sustainability in their manufacturing, processes, and equipment. The company’s environmental consciousness is a leading reason many people choose a Manitowoc commercial ice machine.

  • Easy Access For Repairs: For us, a standout feature of Manitowoc ice machines is the ease with which they can be serviced.  Manitowoc purposefully locates all repairable parts in the front of the machine for easy access.

  • Innovation: Manitowoc continues to include more innovative technologies in their ice machine designs. Touch-screen technology is available for easy use and they’ve also developed their own deep sanitation systems to ensure the machine stays clean.

What Should I Look For In A Commercial Ice Machine?

Production Capacity

Before you start researching commercial ice machines—wait! Don’t type another google search query before you calculate how much ice you’ll need on a daily basis. Once you know the average number of people and drinks you’ll serve, you can take a more targeted path to researching your next commercial ice machine.

Ice Shape

Next, consider the type of ice you want your ice machine to dispense. You might be surprised how many options there are. Flake, chip, cube, bullet, pearl—the list goes on. Personal preference is important, but know that there’s science behind the function of ice shapes, so read up on the best ice shape for your purposes. 


Before you buy an ice machine for your restaurant, hotel, or office space, you need to think about size. How much space can you devote to an ice machine? You’ll need to have a realistic view of the space to know what equipment you can accommodate. Take a few minutes to measure your space and jot down some notes. The last thing you want is to find out the hard way that your ice machine is just way too big. 

When Is The Best Time To Buy A Commercial Ice Machine?

The best time to buy a commercial ice machine is when you don’t need one. If that sounds odd, hear us out. Waiting until your current equipment is completely broken down or can’t keep up with demand puts you (and your business) in a bind.

"Instead of letting an emergency breakdown force you into a purchase you aren’t ready for, be proactive with your commercial kitchen equipment."

Know if your ice machine is due for replacement in the next year, and start researching replacement equipment before you need it. You’ll make a smarter purchase this way, trust us.

Where Should I Install My Commercial Ice Machine?

Installing your commercial ice machine (or refrigeration equipment in general) isn’t as simple as plug-it-in-and-forget it. You’ll need to consider the environmental factors that could affect your equipment’s performance as well as the utility requirements your ice machine needs to operate.

Ice Machine Installation Checklist

Use the following checklist to ensure your ice machine is installed safely and correctly: 

  • Sufficient Electricity: For most commercial ice machines, you’ll need at least a 115 volt or 220 volt outlet. If you have a larger amperage size, you may also need a dedicated breaker.
  • Floor Drain: Make sure you have a floor drain setup within 6 feet of your commercial ice machine. Your machine will release water as part of the ice-making process, and if that water doesn’t have anywhere to runoff, you’ll have big trouble on your hands.
  • Water Source With Shutoff Valve: Make sure your water source has a shutoff valve within 6 feet so you have easy access to turn off the water supply in case of emergencies and repairs.
  • Optimal Environment for Efficiency: Installing your ice machine in a hot, greasy kitchen isn’t a good idea. Your equipment will work overtime to create ice in a hot environment, and the grease will clog your machine’s filter in no time flat. Instead, look for a well-ventilated space away from extreme heat and cold. 

Why Is It Best to Purchase a Commercial Ice Machine from a Distributor Near Me?

You can buy commercial ice machines online, but that might not be the best long-term solution for your business. Buying a commercial ice machine from a local distributor near you, on the other hand, has benefits that will set your business up for success. Here are some features that set a local distributor apart, and why our customers value a partnership with a Memphis-based distributor:

  • Expert Service & Repairs: when you partner with a local distributor, you establish a relationship with expert service and repair technicians that can come in handy in an ice machine repair emergency.
  • Experienced Advice: if you need help determining the best ice machine for your business, our team of experienced commercial refrigeration experts will guide you toward the best fit. We won’t play any sales games or sell you equipment you don’t need. You’ll get honest advice based on our long history in the industry.
  • A Trusted Maintenance Partner: At Memphis Ice, we don’t just offer commercial refrigeration repair and maintenance service for Memphis businesses. We offer preventative maintenance and routine cleaning services to keep your ice machine in top-notch condition. When you partner with us, we work tirelessly to make sure you never run out of ice, even when your equipment is on the blink.

Memphis Ice Machine Company: Your Local Full-Service Distributor in Memphis, TN

Ready to partner with Memphis Ice? We’d love to chat! Click here to schedule a call at a time convenient for you. You can ask questions or get a quote, and we’ll be happy to help. What are you waiting for? Schedule a call today!


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