By Lee Davis

In the years I worked in the restaurant business, it seemed there was never an ice machine close to where I needed it. The ice machine was always in the basement, the back of the kitchen or out by the loading docks somewhere. So whenever I needed ice, I had to leave my station, and with ice buckets in hand, make the long trek through dining rooms, across slippery kitchen floors or down steep stairs, to wherever the ice machine was hiding. Then of course, after filling the buckets, I had to lug the heavy load back through the same terrain to my workstation.

It always seemed like ice machine placement was an afterthought in restaurant design. It also seemed as though restaurant operators really preferred one large machine in a single location than several smaller machines strategically located where the ice was needed. In so many situations, it would have been safer and more efficient to have had a small basic ice machine behind the bar or in the waiter station where I needed the ice. Apparently, I’m not the only one that felt that way.

Just two weeks ago, Scotsman Ice Systems introduced its new Essential line of ice machines. “Our customers asked for a basic, under-100-lb cuber … and we are happy to deliver that need,” said Jeff Biel, Director of Marketing at Scotsman Ice. It’s a great solution for low ice production operations or remote areas within an operation. The Essential Ice Machines are 15″ or 20″ wide, 38″ tall and 24″ deep with 6″ adjustable legs and the ability to fit under 34″ countertops with an optional floor mount kit. The line consists of three different units with daily production rates of up to 58, 80 and 100 pounds.

Essential Ice BannerThe Essential line is easy to use with its built-in sliding back door to conserve space and allow easy access to the ice bin. The line has an ample access area complete with a large dishwasher-safe scoop to make it easy to reach the ice. Additionally, the Essential line has an intuitive control panel that features a prominent on/off/clean switch and easy-to-see buttons to adjust ice thickness and harvest time.

The line is built with an innovative horizontal evaporator that eliminates minerals in ice cubes and ensures quality ice, every time. Essential also comes with a 3-year warranty that assures operators are getting the best ice machine for their operation. for more information.