If you are trying to determine which type of ice should be used at your establishment, the options may seem overwhelming. A surprising trend is the appearance of “ice snobs,” who take great interest in which kind of ice they consume. Two common types of ice available are QSR ice (quick service restaurant ice) and nugget ice. Both of these options have advantages that make them ideal for different types of occasions and establishments.
QSR Ice / Family Dining Ice
QSR ice is the classic, standard option. It’s that basic form of ice that clinks pleasantly in Coke commercials. People love QSR ice because it has a clear, attractive appearance in beverages. Restaurants usually use QSR ice in order to establish a professional, classy look.
In addition, QSR ice provides rapid cooling when you place it in a drink, whether you’re adding it to soft drinks or scotch. Finally, cube ice is very flexible and works well in most situations, including ice dispensing, ice displays, ice retailing, mixed drinks, and banquet services. What’s not to love?
Nugget ice has developed quite a following. Also known as “Sonic ice,” nuggets are formed by compressing flaked ice into small cubes. Many consumers particularly love nugget ice because its softer texture makes it easy to chew. Nugget ice is the one style of ice that has managed to gain a reputation on social media, making it a wise choice for restaurants that want to stand out from the crowd.
Being chewable is not the only thing that makes nugget ice special, however. Restaurants are also making the switch to nuggets because it lowers the price of syrup per cup thanks to a higher rate of liquid displacement. Nuggets also keep drinks cooler for longer because they are harder than cubes, and so melt slower.
Although nugget ice is not recommended for all mixed drinks, consumers love it with carbonated beverages. In addition, nugget ice is a nice option for meat and seafood displays as well as salad bars.
Which Ice Is Better?
There are benefits to both of these options. For instance, nugget ice is not as clear as QSR ice, so when there are aesthetic concerns, QSR ice nearly always wins. However, nugget ice is more efficient to produce. It requires less electricity and 50% less water than cube ice. If you are running a restaurant, you may find it best to keep both options available for different purposes.