Self- and full-service cold carbonated beverage dispensers provide soft drinks and carbonated flavored water.
Fountain units mix syrup and water at the point of dispensing. The unit combines carbonated water and flavored syrup at the proper ratio in the upper portion of the equipment. Adjustable dispenser valves help provide different beverage ratios at the point of dispensing, such as 5 to 1 and 6 to 1.
The number of products an operator offers will dictate the size of the equipment. Countertop ice/beverage units that measure 22 to 24 inches wide typically feature 6 valves. For high-volume use, 60-inch-wide beverage dispensers that have 20 valves may be an appropriate choice. While most beverage dispensers are countertop units, drop-in models that fit into a countertop or stand also are available. The proper serving temperature for carbonated beverages generally falls between 36 degrees F and 38 degrees F.
Carbonated beverage dispensers utilize either mechanical or ice-cooled refrigeration methods. Used predominantly in foodservice, ice-cooled dispensers employ a cold plate to chill product. These units, which utilize ice as a cooling agent for water and syrup lines, have an unlimited capacity. Mechanical units’ refrigeration system type determines how much volume the equipment can accommodate.
Back-of-house beverage dispensers typically utilize ice bins adjacent to the units that have capacities between 60 and 100 pounds.
While fountain units don’t require a great deal of maintenance, operators should use a mild detergent and sanitizer to clean the soda guns and fountain heads daily. Hot water can clear the lines daily. The
connectors at the bag and box should be cleaned monthly or when the syrup bag is changed out. Soda gun nozzles and parts should be soaked daily. The ice dispenser should be cleaned out weekly.