The NEWS: On the Rocks: Shaking Up the Ice Machine Market
Mixologist’s Favorite: Ken Hardisty, Hoshizaki America, Inc. VP of sales, poses with with square cubes – a favorite in bars from the company’s IM-500SAA square cube ice machine.
The following is an excerpt from The News article by Ron Rajecki
Barbara Harrison, director of customer support, Hoshizaki America Inc., said customers are looking for a variety of ice, not just the traditional cube. Hoshizaki offers five different shapes of ice, ranging from its signature crescent shape to “cubelets” that are popular with those who love chewable ice.
Restaurant operators, meanwhile, are looking for machines with a small footprint that can fit directly on top of a beverage dispenser, to create a self-serve machine that helps them reduce labor costs. Hoshizaki has partnered with Lancer Corp. to offer smaller ice machines that fulfill this need.
There are also safety concerns, and sanitation is critical.
“Our evaporators are easy to clean, and we provide good instructions on how to clean them,” Harrison said. “That’s what operators want. They say, ‘Remember, we have 16-year-old employees behind the counter cleaning those machines, so make it simple.’ And that’s one of the biggest things we keep in mind as we develop new products.”
Hoshizaki is striving to gain brand recognition for its products on the refrigeration side of the market as well as its ice machines, Harrison added.
“We’ve had reach-in upright refrigerators and freezers for about 10 years, and, in the past three years, we’ve made a significant entry into prep tables and under-counter refrigerators and freezers,” she said. “Our goal is to become the world’s number one food service supplier across many different lines.”
Harrison said Hoshizaki, like many others in the industry, is cautiously navigating the ever-changing world of refrigerant regulations. “Like a lot of people, we’re in a little bit of a holding pattern,” Harrison said. “We have some concerns about the volatility of R-290, not only from the perspective of the service technicians who will be working on the units, but also as far as shipping and transport. So, we hope the EPA delays the implementation of its hydrofluorocarbon [HFC] rule to give everyone some time to do the research and really pick what’s best. We all want sustainability and a better planet, but we need to make well-thought-out choices, too.”
To read the full article: www.achrnews.com/articles