The number of frozen beverage dispensers an operation requires depends on the number of drinks it will need to produce per hour. This typically ranges from 30 to 200, although most units can produce between 80 and 120 frozen beverages per hour.
The recommended size of a frozen beverage dispenser will depend on how many flavors an operation will offer. If an operation plans to offer two flavors, equipment with twin heads or tanks is recommended. Frozen beverage dispensers come with 3- and 5-gallon hoppers or one, two or three containers on top.
Operators need to determine how many ounces the frozen beverage cups will hold and estimate the servings per day. This will help determine the number of gallons of frozen beverage that will be necessary throughout the day. To accommodate 75 servings a day, a 3-gallon head is typically sufficient.
Typically, higher-quality units produce smaller ice crystals. Smaller ice crystals also produce a creamier beverage.
In terms of placement, frozen beverage machines typically require 6 inches in the back and 12 inches on each side for proper airflow. Newer technology has led to units that can be placed directly against the wall with no clearance in the back and 3 inches on each side. This vent-free design makes it possible to fit more units in a smaller footprint.
For operations producing frozen beverages with dairy, it’s important to note there are specific units designed for these drinks.
Noise level is another purchasing consideration as frozen beverage machines’ decibels can range from 61 to 85. This also will impact where operators place these units in relation to customers.
Manufacturers recommend not placing this equipment by a window in direct sunlight or by cooking equipment. The additional heat produced may cause issues in terms of maintaining proper product temperature within the dispenser.