Summer is in full swing, so that means outdoor dining is in vogue. But, there is one problem that is universal with outdoor catering: melted ice!
After all, the goal of any catering operation is to serve cold drinks to patrons safely & efficiently in the sultry summer heat. Luckily, there are a few stainless steel solutions at IMC that prevent the inevitable “melted ice dilemma.”
Rather than hauling a full ice machine outside, you can easily use a mobile ice bin, a robust cart, or fully equipped station. The ice storage solution you select will be important in meeting your ice demands during operating hours. Ice is essentially a food product & as such the storage of ice should mirror both the ice demands & food safety.
Let’s take a look at the general properties of ice storage solutions & some additional tips.
Construction & Features
All IMC ice storage units are constructed from durable stainless steel. Stainless steel offers exceptional temperature retention to keep ice frozen. This is thanks to a unique insulated double wall construction.
You’ll want to keep your ice storage mobile. Therefore, IMC ice storage units come equipped standard with casters to aid in maneuverability. A push handle with bumpers may also be equipped to help guide your unit & protect your walls from damage.
Some ice storage units also include a hinged lid to protect your ice from the elements. Some units may be equipped with a storage area that can be used for cups, napkins, straws, extra drinks, etc.
Of course, no ice storage unit is complete without an ice scooper! To avoid contamination, the ice scooper holder is located on the outside of the unit so the scooper is not left in the ice.
The most important thing to remember when considering an ice storage unit is the capacity. This is solely based on your expected operating demands.
A good rule of thumb is to choose a unit that will hold slightly more than your peak 24 hour period of ice. A 10-20% buffer between your peak demand & your actual storage should be acceptable for your increased demands for ice.
Keep in mind that the rate at which you consume ice also drives how much ice you store. Always plan ahead & don’t be caught short.
Buying Tips & Maintenance
So, you’re finally ready to buy your IMC ice storage unit. Since there are so many versions available, deciding on the best one can truly be a daunting task. Here are some final purchasing tips to assist you:
- Obtaining an ice storage unit that is twice as large as your daily demand will cause your ice to idle, leading to potential waste.
- Conversely, undersizing is a fatal error because your guests will be left without ice. Always keep pace with the ice demand, avoid constantly chasing it.
To foster cleanliness, ice storage units should be washed & sanitized at the end of each operating day. A quick wipe down of the interior with a sanitizer will yield the cleanest ice in the long term.
At IMC/Teddy, we manufacture three (3) ice storage solutions: a compact mobile ice bin, a versatile ice cart & a fully furnished ice station. Each of these are customizable & feature varying ice capacities to meet your consumption demands. Plus, all units come equipped with casters for maximum mobility. Check out our lineup of ice storage units here.