Consultant Arlene Spiegel, president of New York City-based Arlene Spiegel & Associates, discusses the hard, cold facts foodservice operators will need to know when purchasing a soft-serve machine.

FE&S: What is a common myth about soft-serve machines?

AS: These units are not just for producing frozen yogurt. Soft-serve equipment offers operators the opportunity to create unique, signature items that can make a restaurant a destination. Dairy and nondairy products come in fully prepared liquid mixes or powders and can be customized by operators on-site.

FE&S: What are the main considerations when purchasing a soft-serve machine?

AS: Operators need to consider the volume, demand and capacity, which will determine the type and size system needed.

FE&S: Is there a benefit to the pricier pressurized systems?

AS: The pressurized equipment allows for more control of the incorporated air, which creates a smoother product.

FE&S: Are there soft-serve machine options for smaller operators?

AS: These units start with one flavor for low-volume
operations and go up from there.

FE&S: What is the most important thing to consider when choosing a location for these units?

AS: Since cleaning will be daily, access to water is key.