Offering guests the cool, refreshing taste of lemonade on a hot summer’s day is an easy way to boost impulse sales at your concession stand, convenience store, or another foodservice establishment. With the support of a refrigerated beverage dispenser, you can do exactly that! But with so many varieties available for purchase, choosing the right one may be a daunting job. Let’s do the hard part for you! With the support of this guide or getting help from a professional restaurant supply store, you will find out everything you will need to know about these highly profitable units, so you’re able to put money into the dispenser best suited to your requirements.
What is a Refrigerated Beverage Dispenser?
In short, a refrigerated beverage dispenser utilizes a refrigeration process to maintain products at an ideal drinking temperature. They are used to hold and dispense pre-made drinks, such as iced tea, lemonade, fruit juice, or even mixed drinks. Most feature apparent bowls for fast product identification and merchandising, making them a profitable addition to any business enterprise. Standard widths are 22″, 32″, 44″, and 60″.
Why Do I need one?
They increase impulse sales, which, in turn, boost profits! They are also incredibly versatile, allowing you to serve a wide selection of beverages, including dairy, carbonated, or alcoholic, based upon your model. Nonetheless, be certain that you check your regional regulations if you choose to serve drinks with dairy or alcohol.
Carbonated Beverage Dispenser:
Carbonated beverage dispensers, or fountain dispensers, are a tad different from traditional iced tea or lemonade dispensers. Most units have a nozzle or valve for every taste, with anywhere from 6-12 valves regular. Rather than getting your drink already mixed and ready to dispense from the bowl, fountain dispensers mix water and the flavoring syrup at the point of dispensing. The water is carbonated according to the suitable water-to-flavor ratio.
How Can Refrigerated Beverage Dispensers Work?
There are a couple of important elements on every beverage dispenser that help the unit function properly. These components incorporate the base, hopper, agitator, and handle. Below is a brief explanation of each item and how they work.
Hopper: The hopper (also known as the bowl) is where your product is housed. Some components have several hoppers so the operator can offer a variety of beverages for customers to pick from.
Agitator: The agitator works using a stir pole to keep your product mixed. With no agitator, your drink runs the risk of breaking up or getting overly thick, which destroys the consistency and could adversely affect the flavor.
Base: The foundation encompasses the whole refrigeration system, which is what keeps your beverages chilled. It also protects significant mechanical components, like the condenser, evaporator, and motor from exposure or tampering.
Handle: The handle is used for dispensing the product. It can either be a push or pull handle, depending on the manufacturer.
Tips for Operating a Refrigerated Beverage Dispenser
Operating a beverage dispenser is easy! To use, simply lift the lid from the hopper, pour your pre-mixed beverage into the tank, then turn the device on, and walk away. Because the device is refrigerated, it is going to keep your merchandise cold and ready to serve. Each manufacturer is a bit different, so make sure you check your guide for how long it’ll take for the unit to cool your drink.
Advice from the pros:
- Don’t fill the hopper with hot products (like coffee) to serve it cold. This results in the refrigeration system operating too hard, and you’re going to run the chance of burning out the motor.
- Make sure the unit is flat before the performance, and pay careful attention to the manufacturer’s manual to make certain you’re meeting the ideal 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 beverages sit in the hopper overnight while the unit is switched off.
How To Pick Your Refrigerated Beverage Dispenser
When deciding which beverage dispenser to purchase, you must understand where and how the device is utilized. You will have to consider space restrictions, flavor accommodations, and also, if you obtain an ice-cooled unit, how much ice you will have to have on hand. 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. You can buy your refrigerated beverage dispenser from a reputed and trusted restaurant supply store at the best price.
Now that you have determined the type of dispenser you need, it is time to select which version to purchase. If you’re unsure of how to figure that out, ask yourself these questions:
- How many tastes will I provide?
- What is my target audience?
- Will I have available staff members to track and refill as necessary?
If you are a high production center that plans to serve 2-3 distinct drink varieties, a large unit with numerous hoppers is your best option. But if you do not have extra manpower readily available, you might want to consider a carbonated dispenser that does not require refilling too often. Think critically about your institution so you may pick a dispenser that most fits your requirements.
Other Beverage Dispenser Considerations
ADA Compliant: if you would like to make sure that any patron or employee can function the dispenser, you might wish to consider a unit that complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Most ADA-compliant machines have push buttons or extra-long dispensing handles that are more user-friendly and permit easy operation.
The Right Voltage: Oftentimes, on a beverage dispenser, a high voltage means a quicker recovery period. By way of example, a 220V machine will yield more product than a 120V device in a shorter period. However, just because the voltage is doubled doesn’t signify that the output signal is doubled. The output of your unit will change depending upon the maker or the type of beverage you are making. Thicker beverages that contain dairy or alcohol are going to have different output than the usual more liquid-y drink like lemonade.
Asking these questions can help determine the voltage you’ll need:
- Does my location have the correct electrical sockets for the desired voltage?
- How many drink servings am I likely to produce daily? (Strategy this on your peak service period and daily)
If you still are not certain of which machines will best suit your needs, have a look at the specification sheets on the components you are considering to learn more.
Tips for Cleaning and Maintaining a Refrigerated Beverage Dispenser
Like most restaurant equipment, it’s imperative to keep your beverage dispenser clean and properly maintained to prolong its service life. If you do not, you risk sacrificing the high quality and taste of the product. We’ve compiled a listing below for you to follow regularly to maintain your beverage dispenser working to its fullest capacity. Please be aware this is not an entire list, and personal unit needs can differ, so be sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines too.
- Remove and soak nozzles and diffusers in warm soapy water daily.
- At the end of each day, wipe down all exterior surfaces with soap and water to remove any build-up. Refrain from using harsh cleaners and chemicals which are high in chlorine content, since this might cause rust on stainless steel components.
- Clean the drip tray with soap and water if necessary.
- When appropriate, flush and sanitize water lines regularly.
- Remove any coagulation on the valves annually.
- Wash and sanitize ice or beverage hoppers and chutes monthly.
- Employing a food-grade lubricant, lubricate ‘O’ Rings as necessary.