Purchasing consideration by machine type.
Soft-Serve Machines: Soft-serve equipment can produce more than ice cream and frozen yogurt. Operators can use it to create unique, signature items.
The volume, demand and capacity will help determine the type and size unit that is best.
Product mix will also dictate the machine type that best suits a foodservice operator. If staff hand-blend milkshakes from a soft-serve machine, a larger freezing cylinder will be necessary due to the average serving size of a milkshake. If cones are the only ice cream on the menu, a smaller barrel size is better. Operations offering both milkshakes and cones will need a middle-size freezing cylinder or special combination machine that can handle both products.
Some units are viscosity controlled, while others use temperature controls. Operators serving a variety of frozen treats should consider a viscosity-controlled unit, which provides the flexibility to serve different products without technical adjustments to the equipment.
In many parts of North America, operating water-cooled equipment without a costly water recirculation system is prohibited. If this is the case, or if water usage costs are high, an air-cooled unit is an option.
Ice Cream and Gelato Equipment: Space and volume are major factors since these units are designed for operations selling large amounts of ice cream and/or gelato.
Because this equipment has larger compressors to break down temperatures more quickly, more power is typically required to operate these freezers.
Like all refrigeration and freezers, clearance on the sides and/or top may be needed to ensure proper air circulation.