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Choosing the Perfect Soft Serve Machine: Boost Profits in Cafés, Restaurants, and Ice Cream Shops

Posted by Kara Yamashiro on

Whether you're operating a bustling café, a trendy food truck, a high-end restaurant, or an ice cream shop incorporating soft-serve ice cream into your offerings can significantly boost profits and brand appeal. However, selecting the right equipment is crucial. At Slices Concession, we aim to simplify this decision-making process and guide you to the best soft-serve machine for your business needs.

Understanding Your Needs: Projected Dessert Volume and Feed System

Before choosing a machine, assess the expected volume of dessert servings and the type of feed system that suits your business strategy. Consider your available space, daily dessert volumes, need for mobility, and whether you desire single or multiple flavor options.

Countertop vs. Floor Standing 

This is typically a simple decision based on the amount of space you have available. Keep in mind that in many cases a countertop will be lower volume than a full standing.

  • Countertop Machines

For limited space or lower volume needs, consider our soft serve countertop machines. These compact units are perfect for smaller operations and come in various capacities, suitable for cafes, food trucks, and convenience stores.

  • Floor Machines

Our floor models are ideal for high-volume settings, offering larger capacities and ensuring consistent quality. These are perfect for busy restaurants and ice cream shops.

Deciding What Feed Systems 

Gravity-fed vs Pressure-fed 

The choice of feed system impacts your operation's efficiency. Gravity-fed machines are simple and cost-effective, ideal for lower volumes. Pressure-fed systems, equipped with pumps, support higher demands efficiently



Choosing Between Air Cooled and Water Cooled Machines

When selecting a soft serve machine, deciding between a water-cooled and an air-cooled model is crucial based on your shop’s environment and operational demands:

  • Water-Cooled: Best for high temperatures or limited ventilation, water-cooled machines use water to remove heat, offering quieter, more efficient operation in continuous use. Ideal for enclosed, warm locations
  • Air-Cooled: Common and simpler to install without needing a water line, these machines use ambient air to cool their condensers. Suitable for well-ventilated areas, they are practical in many settings but can raise room temperatures

Choosing the right Brand for your Location

Selecting the right brand is a critical decision in purchasing a machine. While most dealers will sell you the one brand that they sell, we offer the most trusted brands known for their reliability and longevity, ensuring each machine can offers a second life. While each brand brings unique benefits, it’s up to you to decide what brand is best for your business.

Here are some of the top brands in the industry:

  • Taylor - Taylor has been a trusted name in ice cream machines since launching their first models in 1926, renowned for their robust American engineering and manufacturing quality. Taylor machines that are built to last with reliable parts and a nationwide service network. Their soft serve machines are widely Viscosity controlled
  • Carpigiani - Carpigiani, established in 1946 in Italy, is synonymous with high-quality gelato and ice cream production, leading the industry in crafting machines that excel in making gelato, sorbetto, and American ice cream. Renowned for their durability and superior construction, Carpigiani machines are a staple in many American ice cream chains.
  • Electro Freeze - Electro Freeze introduced the first soft serve ice cream machine in 1946, renowned for its precision in temperature control which ensures consistency. Their machines utilize a unique barrel design with integrated refrigeration tubing and thermal mastic, optimizing heat transfer for quick freezing and shape retention of the ice cream in cones or cups.
  • Other honorable mentions: Stoelting & Cattabriga

Additional Considerations

  • Volume Capacity and Size: Match the machine's capacity with your expected customer volume to avoid service delays or excessive operational costs​. 
    • Volume is going to be determined primarily by:
      • Hopper Size
      • Freezing Cylinder Size
      • Motor[s] horsepower
      • Mix Feed System: Gravity or Pump
  • Maintenance and Ease of Use: Opt for machines that are easy to clean and maintain to ensure reliability and consistent product quality​. For most people there will, inevitably, be a bit of a learning curve so choose a machine that you and your team are familiar with or willing to learn!
  • Advanced Features: Features like digital temperature controls, microprocessor-based consistency regulation, and indicator lights can enhance operational efficiency and product quality​, Heat Treatment to decrease cleaning labor and increase safety.

At Slices Concession, we're committed to helping you find the perfect soft serve machine that meets your operational needs and enhances your dessert offerings.

Contact us today for a free consultation to match your business with the right machine!

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