Primarily providing soft drinks and flavored carbonated water, self- and full-service cold carbonated beverage dispensers are used in a variety of foodservice operations.
Carbonated beverage dispensers are utilized in restaurants and cafes, convenience stores, and college/university settings. Sparkling water dispensers are popping up in client kitchenettes. Flavor shots allow drink customization with different flavor infusions.
Fountain dispensers mix syrup and water at the point of dispensing while combining carbonated water and flavored syrup at the proper ratio in the upper portion of the unit. Adjustable dispenser valves provide various beverage ratios at the point of dispensing, such as 5 to 1 and 6 to 1.
The number of brands or products offered dictates equipment size. Countertop ice/beverage units that measure 22 to 24 inches wide typically include 6 valves. The most common type used for self-service in both quick- and full-serve applications is a 30-inch-wide unit, which accommodates between 8 and 10 valves. Large-format dispensers, which measure 42 to 44 inches wide and provide 12 valves, are common in convenience stores and other retail applications. For high-volume use, operators can choose 60-inch-wide beverage dispensers that have 20 valves. While most beverage dispensers are countertop units, drop-in models that fit into a countertop or stand are also available.
Carbonated beverage dispensers can store and dispense ice as well as provide cold drinks. Temperature wise, keep these beverages between 36 degrees F and 38 degrees F for optimum quality.
Carbonated beverage dispensers utilize either mechanical or ice-cooled refrigeration methods. Used predominantly in foodservice, ice-cooled dispensers chill product using a cold plate. 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 can be accommodated.
Back-of-house beverage dispensers typically utilize ice bins adjacent to the units that have capacities between 60 and 100 pounds. Self-service dispensers include top-mount ice makers that feed ice directly into a bin, which can save labor.