Last month, our Bids Team member Dick Bowder showed us how his 4 Fs — Function, Fit, Fuel, Finance – can help you make smarter equipment purchases. This month, we see how the 4Fs can help you get the right blender for your operation.
Function. We sell blenders for less than $50. They work fine if you use them once or twice a day for a small job. We also sell a blender for over $4000 that automatically dispenses up to eight ingredients into the mix while adding the just right amount of ice. Function determines which one right.
Some of the Function questions to ask:
- What are the specific ingredients (including ice) that will go into the Blender? How well can the blender handle this mix?
- What is the specific end product you want your blender to produce? What is its ideal consistency and texture?
- What volume or capacity should your blender’s container hold and process? If you need to make a 40 oz batch and your blender holds 32 oz, you’ve got the wrong blender.
- Would you benefit if the blender had additional capacity and extra power for future use or for very busy times?
- How often will you use the blender? How much beverage do you need to produce in one time period/shift? Base this on your busiest times. If you run a popular bar specializing in frozen drinks, on Friday nights your blender must be able to reliably produce gallons and gallons of consistent product.
- How fast do you need to produce one batch?
- What other functions and features do you need? You’ll be amazed at what is available on a commercial blender these days. Some of the more popular features include: Accurate timing and shut off. Programmable mixes. Quiet operation. Built-in ice shaver. If speed and efficiency are most important, we have several blenders that automatically mix ice and ingredients and then blend them together to your exact specifications.
- What Wares and Accessories will you need? Extra containers. Separate timer. Ice bin/blender station. Specialized cleaning items.
Technically, these aren’t Functions, but for a Blender, they are important:
- Manufacturer’s reputation and warranty including availability of spare parts and speed of service.
- The blender’s durability. For heavy-duty commercial operations, you want metal gears and you want horse power.
Once you have determined your Functions, you’ll have a good set of basic specs for your blender.
Fit. Almost any blender fits on a countertop. Several can convert for in-counter use. But there are other considerations besides footprint.
- Where will it be placed? Check to verify: The blender’s location fits in with the work flow of that area. You have adequate clearance above it. A sink and an ice bin are nearby (optional). The blender’s noise level is acceptable. There is enough space to keep frequently used items close by.
- Will you need to buy other wares such as margarita glasses to go with it?
FUEL – Most blenders run on standard 120v, 60Hz electrical and have short power cords. Make sure your location has 120v or that you can bring 120v to it in compliance with local codes. Note the blender’s power requirements and compare them to the power available. Some heavy duty blenders can pull 15 amps so they may need their own breaker circuit.
FINANCE – What is the best piece of equipment for my budget?
Determine your budget independently of your machine selection. Yes, that means your budget could show you can afford a more expensive machine.
Compare your selected blender to your budget and adjust your choice up or down to get the best blender your budget will allow. As Dick says, “Equipment is an investment in your business. You want to get the best quality you can possibly afford. Cheap equipment is much more expensive in the long run.”