food service kitchen

meghan Buying An Ice Machine, Renting an Ice Machine

Food Service: Should You Rent or Buy an Ice Machine

What do ice makers and dishwashers have in common?

Usually businesses only have one of each.

And because of this, many businesses choose to rent vs. own these pieces of equipment. Today we’re going to talk a little more about this and answer the question: Should you rent or buy an ice maker?

If you’re in the food service industry—a restaurant, caterer or hotel—you probably have more than one method of refrigeration and multiple cook tops—but we find many of our food service clients only have ONE dishwasher and ONE ice machine.

Both dishwashers and icemakers are complex. They have water, power, drainage…they have to get hot and cold, and have multiple cycles. Because of their complexity, they are generally some of the priciest investments in the kitchen—and also the most service intensive. It’s important that they are working because when they break, a comedy of errors can ensue within minutes.

When a dishwasher breaks, the dishes start piling up. It’s too many dishes to wash manually and before you know it, the dishes run out and kitchen staff is scrambling. Food slows leaving the kitchen, and general chaos begins. Usually diners aren’t thrilled about receiving their meals on paper plates.

When an ice maker breaks, you realize there’s only a little ice left—and it’s got to be used sparingly. It’s hot outside and people want cold drinks, but the drink stations stopped getting filled with ice—and before you know it, you’re serving warm Coke and tea. What about the frozen meat products being brought to temperature? Employees are scrambling to buy and transport ice—and you realize it’s hard to buy 500lbs of ice quickly. From most ice companies, an ice delivery can take 3-4 days. In the heat of the summer, most ice machine repair service companies can take days to show up.

When your ice maker breaks, it’s hard to put a Band Aid on the short term. Yet if you have rented an ice machine from us, we will deliver ice and get the ice machine fixed or repaired ASAP.

So should you rent or buy an icemaker?

Purchasing an ice machine can be the more financially-sound option (as long as your machine is running well)…but WHEN YOU ONLY HAVE ONE, renting an ice machine is usually a superior choice because it comes with less risk, fewer surprises, more flexibility, priority repair and ice delivery if needed.

At Memphis Ice, our ice machine rental program has many benefits including peace of mind.

Ultimately every situation is different. Get in touch and we’ll present the options to help you figure out what’s best.