Businesses may require a certain amount of ice, depending upon the nature of the business and the volume of customers. Choosing the correct ice maker is vital to fulfilling a business’ daily ice demand.

Lease Ice Machine | Hoshizaki KM-600MAHWhen calculating daily ice requirements for a business, there are many factors one needs to consider. For example, as businesses receive more customers, the business typically requires a higher volume of ice. Your ice machine’s location is also a factor as well.

A given ice machine’s ice production is calculated based upon the amount of ice it can produce in a span of 24 hours. It is important to note, these figures are based upon a room with an ambient temperature of 70°F and an incoming water temperature of 50°F. Higher ambient and water temperatures will slow down ice production.

In addition, different kinds of businesses will use ice at varying rates. Restaurants will usually use about 2 pounds of ice per customer, while bars and cocktail lounges use around 3 pounds of ice per seat. Using the chart below may help a business calculate its required volume of ice daily:

Ice Usage Estimator

Restaurants 2 lbs per person
Bars 3 lbs per person
Schools 1.5 lbs per person
Hospitals 10 lbs per bed
Salad Bars 35 lbs per cubic foot


Calculating Ice Usage

For example – A restaurant serving around 150 people in a day would need an ice maker capable of producing over 300 pounds of ice per day. The HOSHIZAKI KML-351AH, which produces 333 lbs of crescent ice, would be a great fit.

Typically, businesses benefit from more ice than less ice. If a business leases an ice machine which produces more ice than they need, the ice machine will simply shut itself off when the ice bin is full.However, running out of ice may cause serious financial losses, and hurt company operations. For this reason, we typically urge our clients to overestimate their ice usage, as opposed to underestimating.