Offering guests the cool, refreshing taste of lemonade on a hot summer’s day is a simple way to boost impulse sales in your concession stand, convenience shop, or another foodservice establishment. With the help of a refrigerated beverage dispenser, you can do just that! But with so many varieties available for sale, choosing the right one can be an intimidating task. Let’s do the hard part for you! With the help of this guide, you will learn everything you need to learn about these highly profitable units, so you can invest in the dispenser best suited to your requirements. You may also find a dispenser best suited to your requirements at the restaurant supply in San Antonio.
What is a Refrigerated Beverage Dispenser?
In short, a refrigerated beverage dispenser utilizes a refrigeration process to maintain products at ideal drinking temperatures. They are used to hold and dispense pre-made drinks, such as iced tea, lemonade, fruit juice, or even mixed drinks. Most feature clear bowls for quick product identification and merchandising, which makes them a profitable addition to any business. Standard widths are 22″, 32″, 44″, and 60″.
- Why Do I want one?
They increase impulse sales, which, in turn, increase profits! They are also incredibly versatile, letting you serve a vast choice of drinks, including dairy, carbonated, or alcoholic, depending on your model. However, be sure that you check the local regulations if you choose to serve beverages with dairy or alcohol.
- Carbonated Beverage Dispenser:
Carbonated beverage dispensers, or fountain dispensers, are a tad different from conventional iced tea or lemonade dispensers. Most units have a nozzle or valve for every flavor, with anywhere from 6-12 valves standard. Rather than getting your beverage already mixed and ready to distribute in the bowl, then fountain dispensers mix water and the flavoring syrup at the point of dispensing. The water is carbonated in line with the suitable water-to-flavor ratio.
How do Refrigerated Beverage Dispensers Work?
There are a few key elements on each beverage dispenser which assist the device function correctly. These components include the foundation, hopper, agitator, and manage. Below is a brief explanation of each product and the way they work.
Hopper: The hopper (also known as the bowl) is where your product is housed. Some units have several hoppers so that the operator can provide a variety of drinks for customers to choose from.
Agitator: The agitator works using a stir rod to maintain your product mixed. With no agitator, your drink runs the risk of breaking up or becoming too thick, which ruins the consistency and could adversely affect the flavor.
Base: The base encompasses the entire refrigeration system, which is exactly what keeps your drinks chilled. It also protects important mechanical components, such as the condenser, evaporator, and engine from exposure or tampering.
Handle: The handle is used for dispensing the product. It may either be
Tips for Operating a Refrigerated Beverage Dispenser
Operating a beverage dispenser is simple! To use, just lift the lid out of the hopper, pour your pre-mixed drink to the tank, turn the unit on, and walk away. Since the device is refrigerated, it is going to keep your product cold and ready to serve. Each manufacturer is slightly different, so be sure to check your guide for how much time it’ll require the unit to cool your drink.
Advice from the experts:
- Don’t fill the hopper with hot products (like coffee) with the intent to serve it cold. This results in the refrigeration system to operate too difficult, and you’ll run the chance of burning out the motor.
- Make sure the unit is flat before the operation, and pay close attention to the manufacturer’s manual to make certain you’re meeting the right clearance from walls and other appliances.
- Don’t allow the liquid level to exceed or drop below the max and min fill lines.
- Do not let drinks sit at the hopper overnight while the device is switched off.
How to Pick Your Refrigerated Beverage Dispenser
When deciding on a beverage dispenser to buy, you must understand where and how the unit will be used. You will have to consider space constraints, taste accommodations, and also, if you purchase an ice-cooled unit, just how much ice you will need to have available. Ice-cooled units are ideal for back-of-house operations, whereas refrigerated dispensers are great for front-of-house use at coffee shops, delis, concession stands, or carnivals.
Now that you’ve decided on the type of dispenser you need, it’s time to select which version to purchase. If you’re unsure of how to figure that out, ask yourself these questions:
- How many flavors will I offer?
- What is my target audience?
- Will, I’ve available staff members to monitor and refill as necessary?
If you are a high production facility that plans to serve 2-3 different beverage varieties, a large unit with multiple hoppers is your best option. But if you do not have additional manpower easily available, you might choose to think about a carbonated dispenser that doesn’t require refilling too frequently. Think seriously about your establishment so that you may pick a dispenser that best satisfies your requirements.
Other Beverage Dispenser Considerations
ADA Compliant: If you want to ensure that any patron or employee can operate the dispenser, you might wish to take into account a unit that complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Many ADA compliant machines have push buttons or extra-long dispensing handles which are more user-friendly and permit easy operation.
The Right Voltage: Oftentimes, on a beverage dispenser, a higher voltage means faster recovery time. For example, a 220V machine will yield a greater product than a 120V unit in a shorter period. However, simply because the voltage is doubled doesn’t signify that the output signal is doubled. The outcome of your unit will vary based on the maker or the sort of drink you are making. Thicker drinks that contain alcohol or milk will have a different output than a more liquid-y beverage like lemonade.
Asking these questions will help determine the voltage you need:
- Does my place have the correct electrical outlets for the voltage?
- How many drink servings am I planning to produce daily? (Strategy this on your peak service period daily)
If you still aren’t certain of which machines will best suit your requirements, have a look at the specification sheets on the units you’re considering to learn more.
Tips for Cleaning and Maintaining a Refrigerated Beverage Dispenser
Like most of the restaurant equipment, it is imperative to keep your beverage dispenser clean and properly maintained to extend its service life. If you don’t, you’ll risk sacrificing the high quality and taste of the product. We have compiled a listing below for you to follow routinely to keep your drink dispenser working to its fullest capacity. Please be aware this isn’t a complete list, and personal unit needs can differ, so make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines as well.
- Remove and soak nozzles and diffusers in warm soapy water daily.
- At the end of every day, wipe down all exterior surfaces using soap and water to remove any build-up. Refrain from using harsh cleaners and chemicals that have a lot of chlorine content, as this may cause rust on stainless steel units.
- Clean the drip tray with soap and water when necessary.
- If appropriate, flush and sanitize water traces regularly.
- Remove any coagulation on the valves annually.
- Wash and sanitize ice and/or drink hoppers and chutes every month.
- Employing a food-grade lubricant, lubricate ‘O’ Rings as necessary.
Main Auction Services is a family-owned business in auctions featuring used and new commercial restaurant, bar, and bakery equipment. We have more than 35 years of connected experience in the restaurant, foodservice, and related industries to the internet sales marketplace. We supply a wide variety of quality, new and used restaurant equipment, kitchen supplies, appliances, furniture, and decor. Our staff is experienced and knowledgeable in the auction industry and business management. You can visit our stores in Grand Prairie and Irving for buying or selling restaurant equipment.
Main Auction Services, Inc. is a family owned and operated company bringing more than 35 years of combined experience in the restaurant, food service and related industries to the internet sales marketplace. Main Auction Services offers a wide variety of quality, new and used restaurant equipment, kitchen supplies, appliances, furniture and decor.