How To Get A Slush Machine

Malibu offers a number of options to help you. Whether you are just starting with slush or if you are an experienced user we can help.

Rental – (Available on Selected Models Only)

Ideal for:  Very seasonal outlets, at sites which may be closed for part of the year, or for those who want to see if slush is good for their business without wanting to commit their full budget.

We offer discount options should you wish to purchase the machine during or immediately after your rental period.

Call or email us and we will help establish your exact requirements.   Then it is as simple as completing two copies of our Rental Agreement and arranging payment and delivery.

The process usually takes as little as 4 to 5 days.

Lease- Purchase

Ideal for: Those looking to buy a machine and spread the cost over 3 years. (Other periods may be available depending on circumstances).

With a lease purchase you have the option of making a final payment, equivelent to one monthly payment, at the end of the lease to transfer ownership of the machine to you.

After establishing your exact requirements we check if leasing is available for your business.  If you qualify we arrange for a suitable leasing company to contact you to agree the terms.  Once you have returned any relevant paperwork and sorted out payment we get clearance from them and call you to arrange delivery.

This process takes on average 5 -10 working days.

Purchase

Ideal For: Those with the budget , outright purchase has a lower overall cost. You can pay by cheque, credit or debit card or BACS.

Once we have your exact requirements and payment we simply invoice you and arrange delivery.

This option will usually take around 2-3 days.

Slush Machine Buyers Guide

BUYERS GUIDE TO SLUSH MACHINES

The problem with choosing a slush machine like any equipment is to ensure that you are getting the right one for your business and that it meets your needs. There are so many companies out there selling slush machines with many offering different benefits, services and add on products. Some make wild claims and offer little detail and some are very upfront about the costs and benefits. So where do you start? What is important when buying a slush machine, how do you determine what is best for your business and how do you work out from all the sales information what exactly you are getting and at what price. With some suppliers what you see in the headline sales pitch is not what you actually get. So here are some things to consider when you are looking at investing in a slush machine.

  1. Price

Price is obviously a very important factor when buying a slush machine so it is important to set a budget. Most machines are basically the same and have the same functions so the factors that determine the price are usually size, reliability, performance, warranties and the value of “free” stock deals. It is common sense to be wary of prices that seem very much cheaper than the average and despite what some companies may tell you, paying more does not guarantee better. For a slush machine you should expect to pay around £1,000 to £3,000 usually depending on the size and number of tanks.

  1. Quality

Quality is very important as you don’t want your machine breaking down. An unreliable machine will cost you in lost custom. If your machine breaks down regularly or is out of action for too long your customers may not come back, particularly if you have local competition.

It is difficult knowing who to believe when it comes to quality and again don’t be tempted to believe everything you read. The manufacturer of the machine is an important consideration and most machines on the market from established manufacturers should be reliable. Naturally machines manufactured in China are often claimed to be less reliable but Chinese manufacturers are learning fast and most slush machines use the same main refrigeration components. Italian made machines have been around a little longer and so have a good reputation but those manufactured in Korea are also renowned for quality just like Samsung, Hyundai, Kia and LG. What is more important is how long the UK supplier has been selling and supporting slush machines and what their reputation is like. If possible talk to someone who has had a slush machine for a few years and ask them how reliable their machine is and how responsive the supplier has been. Word of mouth is usually a good way of getting the facts particularly if you know the person.

Malibu started selling Italian and Spanish slush machines in the UK in 1983 and we have been selling our current Korean models since 2007.

We also offer machines on short and long term rental where we cover the servicing, if our machines were not reliable we would not still be in business and certainly not renting them out year on year.

  1. Warranties

Warranties are there for when things go wrong. Whilst some customers will never experience a breakdown and need any repair a warranty is a form of insurance so if things do go wrong it doesn’t cost you the earth to get it fixed.

There are generally three types of warranties:

Return to base – typically one year parts and labour where you have to return the machine to the supplier.

On Site – again typically one year parts and labour, though sometimes longer, where the company will attend your site.

Free Lifetime Parts Warranty – a new invention with a tie in that states you must only purchase the suppliers syrup.

 

No matter what is implied in any terms let’s face it nothing is free and any no supplier is going to provide free warranties. The cost is built into the price of the machine. Naturally the more reliable the machines the less cost that needs to be applied. And just like insurance it relies on most people paying for a warranty to subsidise the cost of those that need it. You will generally find that machine with the biggest warranties, 3 years on site will be among the most expensive. It is vital that you check the small print on any warranty. What parts are included and are they the most expensive ones? Likewise always check what any guaranteed turnaround time is. The supplier should be able to give state this. It is pointless getting a three year on-site warranty included when the first callout may be in 5 days and there is no guarantee on when your machine will be fixed. If your machine is successful and you have built up a good customer base over some time the biggest potential loss for you is being without a machine for days or weeks.

Free lifetime warranty on parts? – yes it is so long as you only use the suppliers slush syrup in your machine. If you don’t use their syrup they will not honour the warranty and in some cases on branded machines they threaten to sue you if you use other slush syrups with their branding. If you are being tied in to only buying the suppliers slush you need to check what price they are charging for their syrup compared to others. You may find the “free” lifetime parts warranty is costing a lot more than you think.

We offer Huskee branded machines where we ask our customers to buy our Huskee syrup. That is simply to protect the quality of our brand. Not that it would make sense for you to sell poor quality syrup- your customers would not come back! We do however offer a choice of an unbranded machine where you can use other syrups which may be cheaper if you can buy them local to you.

All Malibu slush machines are provided with a standard return to base parts and labour warranty. Our parts warranty is 3 years on the compressor and condenser parts (normally the most expensive parts), and one year on other parts. Our standard warranty is also one year for labour. We do not cover wear parts such as seals. On-site warranties are available at an extra charge and with our on-site warranties if we can’t fix your machine at your site then we provide a loan machine whilst yours is being repaired. As our machines are so reliable we have very rarely come across the return to base warranty as an issue. We can even give you a “free” lifetime parts warranty as long as you spend a minimum amount per year on buying our slush syrup. We like to offer choice but make it clear what the cost is.

  1. Performance

The performance of a slush machine is usually measured in two ways:

  1. Freeze Time - The amount of time it takes to freeze a full tank of syrup to slush.
  2. Tank Capacity - How much slush a tank will hold.

Recently many companies have also started stating performance in terms of servings per hour or cups per hour.

Freeze Time

Most slush machines will take around 45 to 60 minutes to produce slush from liquid stored at ambient temperature. This can be reduced a little of you pre mix some slush syrup and store it in a refrigerator. Some slush machines offer faster freezing and we have seen a number claiming to offer freeze times of 20 minutes.

If one of your critical criteria for selecting a machine is how long it takes to freeze syrup from ambient and you are looking at a high specification machine with a higher price tag then get the company to demonstrate the freeze time to you before you buy it.

Tank Capacity

When checking the specifications of a slush machine or comparing machines always ensure you are checking like for like.  The total capacity of the tanks is not the same as the production capacity. A 12 litre capacity tank will not make 12 litres of slush at a time. Ensure that you establish if the figure provided by the supplier is the actual production capacity of the tank. Our machines have 12 litre capacity tanks but we advertise these as 9 litres for slush. Just take a look at a slush machine working and you will soon see why you can’t use the full capacity of the tank without having a very wet, cold and messy floor. Nearly every slush machine will have a maximum level marked on the tank which is normally well below the top of the tank and shows just how much syrup you can put in.

Cups Per Hour

The claims relating to cups per hour is bizarre. These claims are often unfortunately misleading as they are based entirely on theoretical calculations which do not take into account how much slush the tank actually holds. For example stating that a 12 litre tank machines produce 240 cups per hour doesn’t necessarily add up. If you actually work out the figures which include the capacity of the machine and the freeze times you would normally only really get around half of this. If you want to take a look at the figures please click here.

A 12 litre tank will typically hold around 9 litres of slush. So a twin 12 litre tank machine will hold 18 litres (18,000ml) of slush. Using the smallest cup of 200ml that means the machine will hold a total of 18000ml ¸ 200ml = 90 cups.

For a 12 litre tank to produce 240cups you would have to fill it 240 ¸ 90 = 2.67 times. Even if the machine freezes syrup in just 30 minutes it would take 80 minutes just to freeze 240 cups, leaving you just 7 minutes to serve them?

If the output in cups per hour is a critical criteria for your choice of machine, again, get the supplier to demonstrate this.

  1. Free Stock and POS Deals

Most suppliers of slush machines offer starter packs or “free stock” deals which will go some way, or all the way to covering the cost of the machine. When comparing deals it is often difficult to accurately compare like for like, particularly if the suppliers are using different figures to calculate the value of their offer. In order to make an accurate comparison you may have to do some simple maths. Most of the better suppliers will actually provide the figures on which they have based their calculations which are typically the amount of syrup supplied, the mix ratio (generally 1:5 or 1:6), the portion size and the suggested retail value of each portion.  Don’t worry if some supplier’s figures don’t quite add up. Some try to squeeze every bit out of the calculation as possible and will include something called overrun, this is the volume of the slush allowing for expansion of the ice. In theory that would be an absolute maximum of 9-10% for water to completely freeze solid. Most suppliers do not include overrun as it opens up a degree of accuracy that is hardly worth considering.

Unless you are tied in to only buying the machine suppliers syrup there are a lot of good syrups on the market and prices vary. So check around before you commit to a deal that has a tie-in.  Everyone will tell you that their slush syrup is the best and absolutely anything else will damage your machine. There are in fact very few cheap and nasty slush syrups on the market and if you buy from any of the established slush machine suppliers you can’t go wrong. As with anything it is best to avoid any syrup well below the average price but more importantly again is the pedigree of the supplier.  Any good supplier selling poor quality syrup will not be in business for long. The mix ratio is not a measure of the quality of the syrup, merely the concentration of the syrup. It is critical that you mix the syrup according to the manufacturer’s ratio as this determines the brix level. It is this measure of the sugar content that is important. More machines have been damaged by incorrect mixing of the syrup than have ever been damaged by “poor quality” syrup.

Here at Malibu we don’t make our own syrup, it is made locally in the UK by a company we have been dealing with for many years and who are suppliers to the drinks industry. They have been in the industry for over 80 years and are used by a number of syrup suppliers.

It is fine to have a slush machine but unless you have a somewhat captive customer base some Point Of Sale can help bring customers in to your business. A number of suppliers offer “free” posters and other forms of marketing material to help you sell your slush. Some descriptions can be somewhat vague so before you make a decision check what it is you are actually getting.

  1. What else may be included

Most suppliers will also offer free delivery and some may offer installation, though installation is so easy with a slush machine that most suppliers simply have the machine delivered by a courier. Again nothing is really free so the cost will be in the price of the machine or deal. Always check for any additional delivery costs so you can make a proper comparison between suppliers. Different payment methods are also common, particularly leasing. A number of suppliers also offer extended payment terms, typically over 3 or 6 months. Always check what the final price is that you are going to pay as these payments methods will typically include some form of interest.

Lifetime support is another somewhat bizarre term appearing on some suppliers websites. What does it mean? We assume it means if you have a problem after the warranty expires or you need spares then the supplier will still deal with you? What supplier wouldn’t?

We are often amazed at some of the claims made on websites, and not just slush machine suppliers, that people take as genuine. If, when buying a slush machine any of the claims made on a website help determine which machine you go for find out exactly what it is they are offering and ensure you get it in writing. If possible ask them to demonstrate their claims. There are of course a number of good suppliers in the market who make their offers very clear and provide the detail and evidence to substantiate their claims. Many of the better suppliers also offer choices so you can clearly see the cost of any additional products and services. If you aren’t sure about what is on offer we can provide impartial and unbiased advice to help you decide. Try us.