Over the past 21 years in the restaurant business, Gary Stolp has gained a strong appreciation for value. A franchise owner of five Subway locations in the Manitowoc, Wis., area, he has benefited from his company’s and his and his staff’s focus on product quality, the right price (the popular “ Footlong” promotion has been a great success, he says) and commitment to delivering an overall value that keeps customers coming back.
It’s that overall value that has driven Stolp to use Manitowoc ice machines since he began his business and to recently purchase a new Indigo™ series ice machine from the company. Stolp cites several benefits he’s seen with his new i-500 model Indigo machine, which is currently being used to produce about 150 pounds of ice a day (The machine can make more than 500 pounds a day.) in one of his five stores. One advantage the Indigo machine offers, Stolp says, is the streamlined cleaning procedure, which reduces the number of steps and overall time it takes to complete the cleaning cycle.
“With our other machines, it would take a minimum of one hour to clean,” Stolp says. “Now, we spend 15 to 20 minutes at most. That extra time can now be used more productively in serving our customers.”
The LuminIce™ Growth Inhibitor accessory, which creates “active air” by recirculating the air inside the ice machine “foodzone” over an ultraviolet (UV) light, is another way that Indigo ice machines raise the bar on cleaning standards. This active air passes over all exposed foodzone components to inhibit the growth of yeast, bacteria and other common microorganisms.
“The LuminIce feature has really kept down mold growth,” Stolp says. “This is important for food safety but also, again, reduces the labor time we have to spend manually cleaning the machines.”
The new Indigo series ice machines also include a variety of intelligent features that increase their usability, efficiency and serviceability. Customizable ice-making scheduling allows for fluctuations in daily levels of production, saving energy by making only the amount of ice you need when you need it. Ice production can be scheduled by day of week or time of day to take advantage of lower nighttime energy rates. According to Stolp, by producing ice at night with his Indigo machine, he’s noticed another benefit.
“It’s one less machine running and creating noise in the store during the day, so we can hear and interact with our customers easier,” Stolp says.
Water quality sensor probes can adjust potable water usage based on incoming water quality, resulting in less water usage. Additionally, an ice clarity feature works to improve ice quality in hard water locations. Stolp has noticed the difference since installing his Indigo ice machine.
“I’ve checked the water bills and since we put the new machine in, we’ve been using 5 percent less water in the store,” Stolp says. “I can’t attribute that to washing fewer dishes or any other factor besides the Indigo ice machine. It is definitely making a difference in that area. And the ice produced by the Indigo machine is definitely clearer than what we’ve had in the past.”
The Indigo series’ large, illuminated easy-to-read display makes communications between the machine and restaurant staff simple, prompting staff to check the water or air filter or to add sanitizer. The machines’ internal communication system provides constant monitoring of refrigeration and subsystem controls, immediately noting issues as soon as they arise so they can be addressed. The electronic storing and reading of data makes servicing easier and reduces labor and machine downtime.
“When there is an issue that requires a service call, the intelligence and monitoring inside the machine saves time for the repairman in terms of diagnosis,” Stolp says. “The machine pinpoints the issue to the exact spot that needs to be addressed.”
Stolp says his new Indigo ice machine from Manitowoc operates at peak efficiency at all times and delivers the quality and dependability that any restaurateur wants.
“In using Manitowoc ice machines during my 21 years in this business, I have always been impressed by and sold on the excellence that they provide,” Stolp says. “But this new Indigo series brings that level of quality and innovation light years beyond what they’ve ever done before.”
When asked if his other four Subway stores would be receiving Indigo ice units, Stolp replied, “Without a doubt. The managers of those other stores have seen the Indigo and all that it offers. They can’t wait to get theirs.”
For information on how the intelligence of Indigo series ice machines can add value to your operation, visit or call 1-800-545-5720.