Blender supply companies have developed a new world of advancements.
These days, the latest blender equipment available to restaurant operators provides increasingly faster speeds and greater endurance levels for mixing frozen drinks, crushing ice or blending ingredients in professional settings. Multi-task blending stations are now providing a greater number of programs and applications, and some of the latest devices are built in more compact formats, saving crucial counter and bar-area space while offering greater portability. Blender companies are even ramping up service features, with speedy replacement programs, and guidance designed to help operators select the blender equipment that best matches their daily blending performance needs.
System blends thick
One of the Vita-Mix Corp.’s recent product launches, the Portion Blending System (PBS) H2O, was created especially for blending extra thick or creamy drinks quickly. “This system was first developed and purchased for the new Krispy Kreme Donuts in-store frozen drink program, and sets the standard for a blender that is all-inclusive for any foodservice operation, including those that use, or plan to use, powdered drink mixes,” says D. Scott Hinckley, director of sales and marketing for the company’s foodservice division. The PBS H2O has pre-programmed blending options for standard drinks of 12-, 20-, and 24-ounces, he says.
Also in Vita-Mix’s PBS line is its PBS Ice-Shaver Blender (with a 2-plus peak horsepower blender motor) that holds five gallons of ice and shaves the exact portion needed with one button touch. The company says its programmable touch-pad control enables the shaver-blender to make up to four drinks at the same time. Fresh ingredients and drink mixes can be used to blend frozen fruit smoothies, coffee drinks and house signature drinks.
In addition, Vita-Mix has had “strong results” with its Blending Station Maximum Performance (MP) blender (3-plus peak horsepower motor), which Hinckley says has enough torque to crush a full container of ice in less than three seconds. The MP Blender has six programs for blending drinks consistently.
Waring has expanded its commercial immersion blender line-up with its Big Stix heavy-duty immersion blenders. The collection combines lightweight portability with the power required for the high-volume, heavy-duty tasks involved in the restaurant industry, the company says. “High-volume capacity is essential in this fast-paced environment. That’s why our stick blenders are engineered with the power to handle a variety of tasks but in a shorter time period,” says Mary Rodgers, director of marketing communications for Waring.
Waring’s new Big Stix heavy duty immersion blenders.
Rodgers also says that one of the most significant features of the Big Stix line “is the fact that the stainless steel shafts are completely sealed to prevent leakage and corrosion, and in turn, require no maintenance.” Waring’s heavy-duty immersion blenders are available in five different shaft sizes, from 12- to 21-inches. The high-efficiency Big Stix blenders have 1 horsepower motors and can be adjusted from 5,000 to 18,000 RPM’s to provide full control.
Waring’s popular MX 1500/1500S blender series was the first for the company to feature blue backlit LCD displays, with four reprogrammable blending stations. The stations’ four pre-sets are designed for liquid drinks, frozen drinks, ice cream drinks and smoothies. Programs can also be customized and “stored” for future use.
AT THE BEACH
model 91300, from
its Tango line.
Hamilton Beach has been focusing on increasing its services to operators on its existing line of blenders. The company last month released a new guide to help foodservice operators choose a blender based on their daily blending activities. The “Which Blender is Right for You?” brochure is a color-coded chart of drinks-per-day usage with corresponding suggestions for several of the company’s blender lines and models. “There is so much confusion about which blender to buy, so this guide will greatly help operators in making the decision that’s right for them,” says Jason Reed, senior product manager, beverages, for Hamilton Beach.
For example, the company’s Tempest line’s four models are recommended for establishments making 51-plus drinks per day (especially smoothies and frozen drinks). “Our model 91503 in the Tempest line is a best-seller. It has a timer with a jump cycle, which saves time,” Reed says. “For example, it can be programmed to blend at a lower RPM for 10 seconds, then jump to higher speeds for breaking ice.” Other top-selling models for Hamilton Beach are the Tango line’s model 91300 (in the 25 to 50 drinks-per-day range on the chart) as well as the more basic model 908 (ideal for bartenders mixing 1 to 24 frozen drinks per day). For high-volume establishments, Reed recommends the Summit line, with cycle blending, timers, jar pad sensors and noise reduction shields.
Hamilton Beach has also created a program that replaces a blender quickly at no charge if it cannot be fixed through on-site maintenance. “Our Express Care Service Program on our high-performance products has been a big success. We offer a three-year warranty, and an 800-number for problem-solving as well as on-site service. But if the problem can’t be solved we’ll overnight restaurants a new unit,” says Reed.
Blendtec has launched a space-saving, new and narrower model of its BDI Blender Dispenser. The product, which has a 3.5 peak horsepower motor, is a combination of the company’s BI, a blender/ice dispenser, and the BD-8, a dispenser unit. “This blender/dispenser combo machine dispenses juice, ice and water and blends at the same time,” says a Blendtec official. “And it provides up to 64 menu items, giving operators lots of options; for example, drink number one is a strawberry banana smoothie.”
Blendtec’s BDI Narrow model saves on counter and bar-area space.
The BDI, Narrow Model, also has a 3.5 peak horsepower motor, easily programmable microprocessor controls, and features including a six-gallon/25 pound insulated ice bin, low ice indicator and empty bag indicator, built-in cleaning cycle and 12-month warranty. The BI blender/ice dispenser (3.5 peak horsepower motor) offers nine programmable motor speed settings and dispenses cube and crescent ice easily.
Blendtec also offers its Megablender (model MB1), which “gives restaurant operators the most versatility” in creating frozen drinks, the spokesperson says. “This blender creates small, medium or large portion drinks at one touch. And bartenders can clean up easily, with the on-board rinsing station that stores up to three jars at once,” he says. In addition, the Megablender has a 100-pound insulated ice bin, refrigeration unit for six products, hot water dispenser and built-in jar rinser.