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How Much Ice Does My Commercial Kitchen Need?

If you are running your own commercial kitchen, then you have likely realised that you tend to go through extraordinary amounts of ice on a daily basis. It is a key ingredient in many of your drinks, meals, and is even used for some of your behind the scenes processes like keeping your produce fresh. Working with consumables, whether selling them in a grocery store or serving them up at a café, requires a substantial amount of ice, and knowing exactly how much your business needs on a daily basis and preparing adequately will help you source the right equipment such as ice making machines (where they are needed) and produce or source ice on a reliable basis, at less of a cost. The following guides will give you an idea of how much ice you need, depending on the nature and scale of your business.


Restaurants need a steady supply of ice to continue their operations, and for that reason they often have at least one ice system on their premises. Generally speaking, however, you’ll need just over a kilogram of it per each of your expected customers. This amount should leave you with a bit left-over, but you would rather be safe than sorry; right?

That means that if you are serving to 100 customers, you’ll want about 81kg of ice, for 250 customers,  you’ll want 204kg, and so on and so forth.

Convenience Stores

Grocery and convenience stores have other uses for ice; keeping produce fresh and setting up attractive displays are amongst these uses; which means that they need plenty of ice supplied on a reliable basis. A good rule to follow is that these sort of establishments require around 15kg per cubic foot of display space. This ice, we must stress however, is not reusable for consumption purposes.

Cocktail Bars

If you run a cocktail bar and commit the cardinal sin of running out of ice to cool customer drinks, then you’re doing it wrong. If ever there was an industry that relies more heavily on ice than the entertainment one, I am yet to discover it. A good rule to follow is that you will want 1.3 kg of ice per customer. They will be returning with empty glasses and expecting you to fill them.

Contact Scotsman Ice Systems for Details

Ro find out how you can source a steady supply of ice, or to get your own ice making machine for your business, contact a representative from Scotsman Head Office South Africa, or visit our website for additional details.