Large Venue & Theater Concessions

With larger venues and bigger crowds come more business opportunities, as well as unique challenges, for your concession stands. Whether your stands operate in a constrained space as in a theater or open areas like amusement parks, layout, efficiency and safety features are just some of the things you need to keep in mind when making decisions about concessions. Find resources here for choosing appropriate high-volume equipment and supplies, increasing customer satisfaction and sales, marketing your snacks effectively, and more.

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What’s the Best Commercial Shave Ice Machine?

Best Shave Ice Machine

How to Choose the Right Ice Shaver

With low start-up costs and high profit potential, it is a great time to start a shave ice business. In order to be successful, you need to buy an ice shaver that is reliable, easy-to-operate, and high performance.

Determining which machine is best starts with understanding the basics, knowing what questions to ask, and being aware of the factors that matter most.


The Difference Between Snow Cones and Shave Ice

They are known by many different names: Sno-Kones®, Hawaiian shaved ice, snow balls, and more. While they are all frozen treats, they’re not all the same. (Learn more about the history of snow cones and shave ice.)

Here’s how shave ice shapes up. Shave ice is like snow, and, ironically, snow cones are crunchy. The texture of shave ice holds the syrup flavors better. Sno-Kones® are considered more kid-friendly and are often found at schools, youth sports, and fundraisers. Shave ice has more appeal to adults and can be extremely versatile in venue. It is considered the more gourmet option. The presentation is classier and shave ice businesses typically feature a large collection of flavors to choose from. In terms of cost, snow cones are less expensive. However, because shave ice has a higher perceived value, it can be sold at higher prices. There are many advantages to starting a shave ice business, but in order to purchase the right shave ice machine, you have to properly evaluate all options.


Guidelines for Purchasing a Commercial Shave Ice Machine

Here’s what to look for when you decide to buy an ice shaver:

  1. Texture of Ice:  How fine will it shave ice? The fluffy snow consistency is what sets shave ice apart. Make sure to test it for quality.

  2. Capacity:  It’s simple. The more ice it can hold, the less down time you will have. The less down time means you can serve more customers efficiently.

  3. Blades:  This is central to the operation of your ice shaver. You need high quality blades that can stand the test of time. Ask how often you will need to sharpen or replace the blades.

  4. Motor:  This can be a critical area where some equipment fails. If you try to save money by going with a less powerful motor, it can cost you in the end. Ensure the motor is heavy duty and proven dependable, yet not overly noisy.

  5. Foot Pedal:  Hands-free operation means you can maximize service to your customers. The ease of operation will save you time.

  6. Portability:  Many shave ice businesses are mobile. So, a bulky machine just won’t suffice. You need a balance between sturdy, yet convenient.

  7. Service:  If something goes wrong with your ice shaver, who has your back? Your supplier should have service available for regular maintenance as well as any emergency situations that could arise.

  8. Warranty:  A manufacturer should back up their product. A solid warranty gives you peace of mind that your equipment is covered.     


Create a New Shave Ice Experience with BluBear

BluBear Shave Ice Machine

The BluBear™ ice shaver is the latest innovation from Gold Medal for shave ice businesses. Designed with insights from those in the field, BluBear™ is the finest way to shave ice. Get all the features important to operators, now available in one machine.

  • Variable shave settings – from coarse chunks to the finest flakes
  • Maxim-Icer accessory extends shaving time without reloading; this means less down time
  • Convenient foot pedal accessory comes standard for hands-free operation
  • A user-friendly, easy-to-operate, and easy-to-clean design
  • Lightweight, compact, and portable, it’s simple to transport
  • Sleek appearance allows machine to fit in any setting
  • Heavy duty motor, yet still quiet enough to not disturb customers


To learn more about shave ice and other frozen treats, download our eBook, Guide to Frozen Treats.

If you’d like to see the BluBear™ in action, contact your nearest Gold Medal distributor and request a demo.