An ice merchandiser is a high-capacity and well-insulated vending machine used to store and showcase bagged ice. Ice promises a lucrative business. Commercial ice merchandisers can increase the profit margin by keeping volumes of ice ready for purchase and use in supermarkets, convenience stores, or gas stations.
Distinctive Features of Ice Merchandisers
Keeping and selling bags of ice is a hassle-free pot of gold for not only supermarkets or grocery stores. Storing ice in large volumes can also benefit catering and hospitality establishments. If ice demand is high in your restaurant or hotel, your storage bin may not suffice, or you may not want to buy an ice maker to save more room. An ice merchandiser will work for your business, too. The key points below will help you with your decision.
Commercial ice merchandisers can be placed indoors or outdoors, mainly depending on the type and size of your business. Indoor ice merchandisers usually feature glass doors so that customers can see the bagged ice inside. Most are additionally equipped with fluorescent or LED lights on the interior to increase visibility and attract more customers. It would be wise not to expose your indoor merchandiser to direct sunlight as it might heat the inner parts. Condensation can accumulate on glass doors, blurring the view of the interior, so indoor ice freezers have heated safety glass.
If you don't have enough space, you can get an outdoor ice merchandiser, which is particularly used in gas stations and convenience stores. Sturdy cabinet construction and solid glass doors increase their durability against severe weather conditions and render them burglarproof. Besides, temperature retention of outdoor ice merchandisers is much higher, keeping the bags of ice frozen for extended periods.
Commercial ice merchandisers come in various storage capacities and sizes. After identifying your needs and availability in your physical conditions, you can choose among those that can accommodate up to several hundred bags of ice. Ice type and bag size may cause variations in storage capacity. Needless to say, commercial ice merchandisers with larger capacities will occupy larger space, so make sure to align your physical dimensions with your choice. Also, keep in mind that larger ones usually have 2 doors for ease of access and use.
All ice merchandisers feature self-contained refrigeration mounted either at the bottom or on top. Top-mounted ice merchandisers are usually more energy-efficient because the heat generated by compressors flows out of the box, not into it. Their top position makes them less prone to dust, but this creates extra effort to reach them for cleaning and servicing.
Bottom-mounted ice merchandisers pull in less heat, as temperatures are much cooler near the floor. But they attract more dust or spilled stuff. Given these pros and cons, bottom-mounted freezers can be more suitable for indoor while top-mounted ones for outdoor use.
Refrigeration in commercial ice merchandisers also includes cold wall or auto-defrost systems. In cold wall models, the walls of the ice merchandiser are covered with refrigerant lines, maintaining increased safety against ambient temperatures. They require less energy but more manual labor for defrosting the ice built on the interior walls. In auto defrost systems, cooling is achieved through air circulated by a fan that shuts on and off at regular intervals. The main gain is that defrosting is manual, reducing maintenance costs.
The widespread need for ice makes it a big-league business. Nailing the right commercial ice merchandiser with energy-efficient and budget-friendly financing options by Chef's Deal will dart you to the top of this league.