Allow enough room not only for the actual equipment but also to store the bag and box syrup. Designate adequate space for these items.
Volume is a key factor in choosing a carbonated beverage dispenser. Gallon dispensers require constant refilling and are geared for lower-volume use.
Foodservice operators also need to decide how many flavors they intend to offer. Staple varieties include cherry, vanilla and lemon-lime. Flavor shots provide consumers with the ability to customize their drinks. Beverage dispensers are available with up to 8 different multi-flavor valves for operations looking to diversify drink offerings. Multi-flavor valves provide up to 16 soft drink varieties in 30 inches of space and utilize four dispense points.
Will the unit operate from a self-serve area where guests can access it, or will it reside in the kitchen where only staff have access to it? For high-volume use, carbonated beverage dispensers designated for the back of the house are best as these can accommodate greater capacities. For front-of-house units, consider the merchandising capabilities as well as the color scheme and style as it relates to the restaurant’s overall design and decor.
A common mistake operators make is underestimating the amount of ice beverage dispensing requires. When determining how much ice is necessary, operators need to be aware that as much as 30% to 35% of ice will be used to cool water and syrup with ice-cooled refrigeration dispenser units. This means that for a 250-pound bin, as much as 87½ pounds of ice will not be available for use in dispensed beverages. It’s cheaper and easier to store ice rather than produce it, so operators may be better off not oversizing the ice maker. Also, some operators prefer chewable ice, which requires a different setup in terms of adaptors and dispensing adjustments. Newer innovations include sparkling water taps and cold brew with nitro.
Identify soda system rack space in the kitchen to house the pump, syrup, CO2 and water booster. Pay attention to the route the soda conduit will run from the rack in the kitchen to the dispenser. If located overhead, there may be fire codes that require the soda line to have a fire wrap, or if in the slab, the lines may need to be pulled through a type of conduit.