With the ever-increasing popularity of smoothies, frozen yogurt and frozen alcoholic beverages, chilled treats have found a place on the menu all year long. To keep up with that popularity, beverage and dessert machines are easier than ever to operate and offer a wider range of products.
Smoothing the way
Customers love creamy smoothies, but they’ve traditionally been a fairly labor-intensive item to make. Besides the ingredient measuring, there’s the issue of having a dedicated blender (or two) and the necessary cleanup after each batch. Now some manufacturers have automated the process. The SmartServe Blend in Cup machine from Hamilton Beach blends smoothies and shakes directly in the cup, and rinses itself automatically after each cup. The unit is only 7 inches wide, which makes it perfect for tight spaces. Manitowoc’s Blend In Cup Workstation takes it one step further. It automatically measures flavor concentrates directly into the cup, adds the ice, blends and serves in one operation. It, too, cleans itself after each usage.
All about choice
With today’s patrons, it’s all about customization, so a one-flavor, plain-vanilla machine just doesn’t cut it. The CS705 Gravity Shake Freezer from Electro Freeze makes five different flavors of shakes from gallon jugs of flavor base that are stored underneath the unit. A rinse button in the dispenser lessens the chance of flavor carryover from one drink to the next. For operators who want to change their beverage offerings seasonally—but who don’t want to invest in separate machines—the Cornelius Signature machine handles everything from frozen sodas to shakes to cocktails.
What’s for dessert?
Soft-serve ice cream was only the beginning. Today, frozen dessert machines can make frozen yogurt, gelato, sorbet, Italian ice and that born-again star, frozen custard. Apart from their unique ingredients, these desserts also vary by the amount of air that’s whipped into them. So dessert machines now have differing designs and rotation speeds to ensure that your chef-inspired gelato doesn’t turn into a C-store-style “slushie.”
Here, too, manufacturers have developed ways to serve multiple desserts and flavors from one machine. The Crown C713 from Taylor dispenses two flavors (and one “twist”) of yogurt, custard or sorbet. An optional integrated syrup rail holds two heated syrups and two non-heated toppings. The continuous flow CC202 frozen custard machine from Stoelting also makes Italian ice and sorbet; quick-freezing technology minimizes ice formation for a smooth product.
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