I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream—the most remarkably loved and popularly consumed frozen dessert on the planet, that is. It’s been said that ice cream solves all problems, but installing a commercial soft serve machine can be a mighty problem for your business. Similar to what Brandon Sanderson notes in The Rithmatist, “…everyone knows that ice cream is worth the trouble of being cold. Like all things virtuous, you have to suffer to gain the reward.”
The process of selecting the best ice cream machine proves complicated, as a slew of considerations exist that one must mull over before making a final decision. For your understanding, we’ve compiled a general guide for choosing the right soft serve equipment for your business. Read through the following notes and guidelines speaking on these assorted variables. Here’s what you most need to know.
The History of Soft Serve: A Frosty Frontier
Believe it or not, soft serve hasn’t always been people’s go-to frozen dessert staple. In a nutshell, soft serve is essentially melted ice cream. Chemists would say that all ice cream is foam, but the difference between its profiles depends on air. In its purest form, soft serve is ice cream in the middle of the production process. In the state that soft serve is in, you can serve the mixture out of a machine into a cone or cup. However, if you tubbed the mixture and froze it in the freezer, it would become regular ice cream.
Various claims compete over who initially invented this delicious product. The story goes that one of the originators—Tom Carvel—was struck with the idea when selling melting ice cream to cars driving by his broken-down truck. What began as potential inventory loss became a potentially beneficial business idea. A wide array of soft-serve formulas and machines are available today due to this ingenuity and innovation.
Space and Location: Demand, Volume, and Capacity Options
A shop generally encounters varying volumes of customers annually—selecting a soft serve machine that endures the challenge of busy and slow days alike is of the essence. Depending upon the percentage of the year that is ice cream weather, sales tend to rise and fall accordingly. In spring and summer, expect to see greater revenue and repetitive machine use, while autumn and winter can dip your sales low or unexpectedly shut down your equipment. Keep these demand factors in mind when thinking about your volume requirements.
Soft serve machines already hold their advantage in volume capacity over customary scooping, but not all machines are alike in volume-producing abilities. When choosing the right soft serve equipment for your business, you need to make a clear decision regarding floor or countertop models. This choice is largely dependent upon the number of menu items or types of products you hope to sell. As mentioned above, you’ll need to thoroughly consider the overall availability of space within your establishment or shop.
Countertop machines are undoubtedly most suitable for smaller-spaced shops—or alternatively those who offer soft-serve as a supplementary item to an existing concept, such as sandwich shops or convenience stores. You’ll most likely come across higher-capacity machines in floor models, as they allow for a greater number of servings per hour. Your decision depends on which type of machine your business needs—compact, mobile, or a true workhorse.
Environment: Air-, Water-, or Remote-Controlled Machines
The right soft serve machine for your business offers adequate control features within the environment. As outdoor, kitchen, or store temperatures can drastically increase, always consider proper refrigeration as the integral decision-making factor. A quality soft serve machine contains innate electronic controls for thickness and temperature management. These controls help ensure consistent quality of product each time.
Next, evaluate your location’s environment to choose between an air-, water-, or remote-cooled machine. Water-cooled soft serve machines are better suited for warm, crammed spaces. These types can adequately cool the condensing unit without worrying about the ambient temperature of a space. However, they do require extra plumbing hook-ups, which can hike up your bill with frequent use.
Air-cooled soft serve machines are decidedly more common. With greater cost-effectiveness and ease of installation, these machines are ideal for most scenarios. The final option of remote-controlled condensers is best for higher-volume operations. Larger establishments with more than one machine can save valuable money by servicing only a singular refrigeration system.
Gravity-Fed Vs. Pressurized Pump Machines: Menu Products
Besides the above factors, soft serve machines also differ by their dispensing system, affecting quality and cost. Two distinctive options are either gravity-fed dispensers or pressurized dispensers. Essentially, your choice dictates the amount of air inserted into your chosen product, ergo determining density levels. Your selected menu items of either shakes, cones, sundaes, mixers, fro-yo, sorbet, or other soft-serve products will help you decide between dispenser systems.
Gravity-fed dispensers store the mix in a top hopper, allow around 40-45% air, and tend to produce a heavier, denser product. On the other hand, pump pressurized dispensers store the mix in a bottom hooper, allow for between 60-100% air, and tends to produce a lighter and creamer soft serve product. Ideal for cones and sundaes, pump machines give an advantage by providing greater air control into your final product.
Taylor Machines: Applications and Variations
The Taylor Company has a rapidly growing customer base around the world. Taylor machines have proven that they provide the highest quality on the market, time and time again. If your business is scouting out a top-notch commercial soft serve machine, look no further than one of the Taylor C series. From the Taylor C707 machine that creates single flavor vacations of ice cream, yogurt, custard, or sorbet, to the Taylor C712 that creates a double whammy flavor variation of soft serves, you can’t go wrong with these dispensing systems that suit a business’s necessary capacity applications.
Turn to DSL for Taylor commercial-grade one or two plug appliances. At DSL, we’re here to serve your food service establishment or independent business with leading equipment and innovative service solutions. As an exclusive Western Canadian distributor of high-quality parts and equipment, we believe our customer service and support to be unrivaled in the industry.
A business that keeps its best long-term interests in mind is wise to consider purchasing an appliance from local providers for ease of delivery and proper after-sales support and technical assistance. For less hassle, browse the Taylor C series product descriptions and technical specifications today, and contact us with any questions. Let’s help expand your profits with remarkable and reliable service.