How much ice do I need?

Determine your ice production requirements based upon peak needs. Aslo consider that more ice may be needed during summer months than in winter.

Give yourself 10-20% extra production requirements to be safe.

Ice Usage Guide

(This is a guide only. Your actual usage may vary.)
Type of OperationApproximate Ice Usage Per Day
Food Service
     Restaurant:1.5 lbs. per person served
     Cocktail Bar:3 lbs per seat
     Salad Bar:35 lbs. per cubic foot
     Water Glass:4 oz. per 10 oz. water glass
     Fast Food/ Self Service:5 oz. per 7-10 oz. drink
8oz. per 12-16 oz. drink
12oz. per 18-24 oz. drink
Bar:3-5 lbs per seat
     Guest Ice:5 lbs. per room
     Restaurant:1.5 lbs. per person served
     Cocktail Bar:3 lbs. per seat
     Catering / Room service:1.5 lbs. per person
Health Care
     Hospital Patient:10 lbs. per bed
     Nursing Home Patient:6 lbs. per bed
     Cafeteria:1.5 lbs. per person
Supermarket/ Convenience Store:
     Beverage Self-serve:6 oz. per 12 oz. drink
10 oz. per 20 oz. drink
16 oz. per 32 oz. drink
     Product Display/ Packing:35 lbs. per cubic foot
     Cold Plate Display:take 50% of your daily usage & ad it to you daily total(e.g. 200 lbs. per day + 100 lbs. for Cold Plate Display= 300 lbs. daliy requirement)
     Packed Bagged Ice:No of bags sold daily × lbs. per bag( e.g. 6 five-pound bags sold daily: 6 × 5 lbs. = 30 lbs.)
     Cafeteria:1.5 lbs. per student


Ice usage for packing or for a product display, such as for a salad bar or fresh fish display case, is calculated by cubic feet needed during a 24-hour period.   This would be length of the display multiplied by the width of the display multiplied by the depth of the ice pack (L x W x D).  Note that since ice depth is often less than 12 inches, depth in inches will need to be converted to feet by dividing by 12 (e.g. ice pack depth of 6 inches is 6 divided by 12 = 0.5 ft.).


Calculate your daily usage based upon your operation and each type of usage:  For example, a restaurant has 100 table seats each with 4 guests per day, a bar with 15 seats, and a salad bar 8 ft. by 3 ft with ice pack depth of 6 inches.

100 table seats x 4 guests = 400 meals x 1.5 = 600 lbs. ice.

15 bar seats x 3 = 30 lbs. ice.

Salad bar 8 ft. x 3 ft. x 0.5 ft = 12 cubic feet x 35 lbs = 420 lbs. ice.

Average Usage/Production Requirement Example:

Time Daily Usage
Monday 400lbs
Tuesday 300lbs
Wednesday 300lbs
Thursday 600lbs
Friday 700lbs
Saturday 800lbs
Sunday 400lbs
Weekly Total 3500lbs

Weekly Usage: 3500 lbs.

3500 lbs. ÷ 7 days = 500 lbs. average daily usage

+ 20% (100 lbs) extra as suggested =600 lbs Average Daily Production Requirement in this example.

(Your needs and usage will vary.)