Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why does Swirled Ice carry so many different styles and brands of frozen drink machines?
A. We carry several different frozen drink machines so that we can offer our customers the best machine for their specific type of use. Some machines perform better in bars and restaurants than they do for a party rental company. Home usage can demand another style of machine. We have researched all of the different types of frozen drink equipment and have selected to represent the best of the best. We always suggest the units to our customers that will perform the best for their individual needs. Every model of frozen drink equipment that we carry has some of its own unique features, however there are two basic groups of machines; the original "box style" machine (Frosty Factory, Grindmaster/Cratcho 3311, and Parrot-Ice machines) and the newer "bowl style" machine (Faby and Bunn machines).
Q. How does the "Box style" frozen drink machine work?
A. The "Box style" is usually a stainless steel machine that has a freezing cylinder and a larger insulated retaining tank. This machine is top loaded, which means that you pour the premixed drink solution into the retaining tank on the top of the machine. Some of the drink mix will travel directly into the freezing cylinder and the rest will stay in the hopper. The freezing cylinder size varies from machine to machine but most hold from 1 to 2 gallons. This area freezes the mix by spinning it around and scraping it off the sides of the cylinder as it freezes. It will freeze the liquid fairly fast because of the small amount that it holds. Once the mix in the cylinder is all frozen, the liquid being stored in the retaining hopper will be continually pre-chilled. As each frozen drink is dispensed, it is immediately replaced by the same amount of liquid from the hopper. This liquid blends in with the rest of the frozen mixture and freezes quickly. As the level of liquid being held in the retaining tank becomes lower, the machine usually has a low mix light which alerts you to add more mix into the hopper. This style of machine works great for restaurants and places where they need a steady flow of drinks. This is the "original" style of frozen drink machine which was developed about 30 years ago. It was the only type of frozen drink machine available, until the "bowl style" machines were developed approximately 9 years ago.
Q. How does the "Bowl style" frozen drink machine work?
A. The "Bowl style" is usually a machine that has the compressor(s) housed in the base and 1, 2, or 3 clear bowls above for freezing, holding, and dispensing the frozen drinks. The freezing cylinder(s) are within each bowl. When the premixed drink solution is poured into the bowl, an auger blade spins around the freezing cylinder, shaving off the frozen mixture while also stirring the drinks. This type of machine freezes all of the drink mix that is placed into the bowl, so that the entire amount is frozen and ready to dispense. This style of machine will take longer to freeze simply because it is freezing a much larger quantity. The entire amount (6-7 gallons) is all being frozen at the same time. The "bowl style" (Faby, Carpiganni, Donper or Bunn) units will have more servings ready at the start of a timed event such as a wedding reception or party, when demand is the highest and where the initial freeze time is not an issue. This equipment can give you more than a one flavor option (Faby offers a 1, 2, or 3 bowl model). This is great for home use where both adults and children would like enjoy a frozen drink. Party rental companies also like the versatility of this style of equipment. For larger events all bowls can be filled with the same flavor. The "bowl style" machines have been around for about 10 years now and have gone through several changes over the years. The models that were first manufactured had some problems with leaking and other basic engineering concerns, which gave this style of machine a negative reputation early on. After several years of perfecting and re-engineering, these machines are now very dependable. They have proven to be a huge asset in the world of frozen beverages and have filled the needs for several applications. Although there is still some resistance to change, this style of equipment is now earning a much bigger share of the market.
Q. How do I know which frozen drink machine is the best one for me or my business?
A. There are several differences between all of the various frozen drink machines that we carry. We recommend that you give us a call to discuss your specific needs. Let us share our expertise and suggest the machine(s) that will best suit your demands. 1-800-848-0358
Q. I was told by someone that the Bowl style machines are not margarita machines. Is this true?
A. Absolutely NOT True. This type of machine is actually more versatile than the other style of equipment. (In fact, the other style tends to over-freeze slush drinks.) Even though the price of the bowl style machines makes them a popular convenience store slush machine, they can be used for any type of frozen beverage. They will make a perfect margarita, smoothie, or slushy. You can adjust the drink density control on the back of the machine to achieve the proper consistency and the perfect drink. Your favorite adult alcohol-based drink or your kids' slushy, these machines will do it all.
Q. Why does your Rental Business Package contain the clear bowl type of machines and not the metal box style machines?
A. Our years of experience have led us to use and promote the clear bowl type of equipment over the other style in rental situations, for many reasons
1. Performance - Our experience has shown that the machines with large clear bowls can simply outperform the others. The bowl style machine will produce more servings than the metal box type of machine for the start of your party. You will have close to 100 - 8 oz servings frozen and ready to drink at the start of your event; compared to the 25 - 8 oz servings that the metal box type of machine will have ready. The start of any event is the time for the highest demand that your equipment will have. It is also the most important time for good first impressions which will help to generate referrals. It is definitely not the time to run out of frozen drinks or to serve a watery drink. If you treat the 2-bowl machine as a single flavor unit and put the same flavor in both sides, you can produce an unending supply of frozen beverages. Simply serve only from 1 bowl first, refilling it as it empties. Then you switch and serve from the second bowl while the first is refreezing, making a third batch. When the second bowl is empty you can refill it to make a fourth batch and go back to serve from the first bowl. Based on the size of the crowd and the length of the event, you can continue in this manner. By using the 2-bowl machine in this way, it will outperform any machine on the market.
2. Price - you can have two Faby-2 machines for a little more than the price of a single flavor Crathco 3311. This will allow you to expand your fleet of equipment at a much faster rate. Dollar for dollar you can have two double bowl machines sitting at a party for about the same amount of money that someone else would have invested in a single flavor box type machine. Wow! Talk about a great value for your dollar.
3. Weight - One person can move the Faby-2 or the Bunn machine which weigh 125 lbs, versus needing a second person to help carry the almost 200 lbs of the metal box style units. You lose money if you have to pay a second person to deliver and set up a machine.
4. Cleaning - The machine's clear bowls completely detach from the base and the tap easily comes apart. This makes for easy cleaning and storing. You can simply clean the parts by hand or place them in your dishwasher at home. You can touch and clean everywhere that the drink mix has gone. This equipment does not require any use of chemical sanitizers, which are necessary for cleaning the box style of machine.
Q. How long does it take to freeze margaritas with the Faby or Bunn?
A. If you are using 1 bottle of our mix you will be making 5 gallons of margarita and that is 2.5 gallons per bowl. It will take about an hour to freeze that amount of drinks, a little longer in the heat of summer or if using outside. You can shorten the freeze time by either premixing and cooling the drink mix or starting with cold water. Keep in mind if the liquid going into the machine is chilled at 40 degrees it will take half the time to freeze than if 80 degrees when starting.
Q. Will the Bowl machines work outside in the heat of the summer?
A. Yes. These machines, as all brands, are air cooled and therefore high temperatures will have an adverse effect on them. However, as long as you keep any machine out of the direct sunlight it will work fine.
Q. I was told that the box type of machines can freeze drinks in 30 minutes. Is this true?
A. ANY style of frozen drink machine can freeze 1.5 gallons of drink mix in about 30 minutes. Even though you are filling most metal box style machines with 5 or more gallons of liquid, these machines are only freezing 1.5 gallons in the freezing chamber. The remainder of the drink mix sits up in the holding tank. The concept of this style machine is that when you serve a frozen drink, it is replaced with liquid mix from the retaining tank. Each drink dispensed is replaced by equal amounts of liquid that will then mix with the frozen beverage in the freezing cylinder. These machines have worked well for years in restaurants, bars, and places where they sell drinks at a slow, steady pace. The problem that we have had with this style of machine has been at the parties, events, and weddings where there are a large number of people trying to get a drink at the same time. If a party or event starts at 7:00 and you have 30-50 or more guests wanting a drink... PROBLEM! The metal box style machine will have about 25 - 8 oz drinks frozen and ready to serve. Working at its best, the faster that you dispense the drinks, the less frozen each one will progressively become. Usually by around the 15th serving, people will be only getting chilled liquid. They may start dumping or abandoning the drinks (wasting expensive alcohol) until someone puts a sign on the machine to come back in 30 minutes or they may simply turn it off thinking that it is broken. Either way, refunding money or losing referrals for future bookings is not good for business and the main reason that we no longer use or endorse this style machine for party rentals.
Q. Can I purchase your Business Manual separately?
A. No. We are sorry but the business manual we have written is specific to our business plan using the Bowl style frozen beverage equipment. It has information, methods, and systems that are developed for this type of machine. We only offer the manual to our new dealers who purchase our rental business package. Even though the frozen drink rental business is not rocket science, the data presented in our manual is designed to keep you from making costly mistakes and to benefit you with a business plan that will create an ongoing stream of referrals and get you off to a fast start in developing a very successful business.
Q. What if I have more questions?
A. Great! If you still have more questions or concerns, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-848-0358 and we will do out best to answer them.