Ice Cubes, Crushed Ice and Beyond

Posted by Tara Stanton

In the restaurant business, the little things no one else thinks about often turn into a major managerial decision. From what kind of hot sauce to serve, to the brand of mustard you carry, the fear of a wildly unhappy customer lurks behind each decision.

One of those decisions that must be made is what kind of ice to serve. Do you offer cubes, crushed or some kind of fancy-shaped ice with a flower frozen in the middle of it? With all of these options to sort through, we’ll try to steer you in the direction that’s right for your business.

Cubed vs. crushed ice

Some people prefer crushed or flaked ice, arguing that it will cool your drink more quickly, which is true. Crushed ice will also melt more quickly, though, diluting your guest’s drink and turning their Coke, Old-Fashioned or whatever it is they’re drinking into an unenjoyable watery concoction. Cubed ice, on the other hand, may be the best “all-purpose” ice, whether the cubes are square or crescent shaped. 

Adventures with ice

A lot of restaurants and bars have been experimenting with serving different-shaped ice cubes in their cocktails. One popular alternative is the ice block, which is essentially a giant ice cube, about 2"x2”. Most often served in a tumbler, an ice block provides a very neat and clean look to everything from a Mojito to a classic whiskey on the rocks. 

Others have begun to make festive ice cubes that have flowers or pieces of fruit, even herbs, frozen in the middle. Needless to say, these cubes don’t come out of the under-counter ice maker. They can take some time to prepare, but if done properly, the novelty can really add to the presentation value, all while giving your drinks a little extra flavor or panache. All things considered, this is one way a small detail like ice cubes can have a noticeable impact on your guests' dining experience.

If you need help determining what type and size ice machine you need for your operation, contact your TriMark representative.

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