Skip to Content

How Much Does It Cost to Rent an Ice Cream Machine?

It is possible to lease an ice cream machine for as little as $200 – $350 per month in the United States, and it has the potential to generate over $3,000 in profit each month if you sell just 30 servings per day.

However, most of the leasing companies will require a down payment or security deposit of several hundred dollars. Some will throw in deals like free or discounted delivery and no payments for 90 days.

Another thing to keep in mind when you’re looking to lease is that a dealer will check your credit score. Although you don’t need to have a stellar credit history but it can’t be horrible. And the lower your credit rating, the more you’ll end up paying each month.

However, if you prefer to have complete control of the ice cream machine and its operation, you can decide to buy the machine outright. This is a costly option, but it gives you a new, shiny and beautiful machine. You’ll be getting the newest technology with the highest efficiency.

In addition, this new equipment will come with a warranty that protects your investment and you are assured of no out of pocket costs as you learn to use the equipment. You will also enjoy peace of mind knowing that your new equipment will offer you adequate performance, support, and business efficiency.

With a new machine, errors and dysfunctions are minimized since the equipment is new. With the new equipment, there is a whole world of lease purchase options to help alleviate the capital expense. Nonetheless, price is a huge factor, but new ice cream machines and batch freezers can last for about 15 – 20 years.

But if you rent an ice cream machine, you save some money. Indeed the only benefit of renting this equipment is the money you can save. A good used ice cream machine should cost about 50 – 60% of what a new machine sells for. This saves the capital that may come in handy.

One of the usual reasons why business owners may not choose to rent ice cream machines is because of the buyer trust. Ice cream business is quite a sensitive business and you cannot trust someone you don’t know with your products. In the ice cream business, success comes from minimizing the known risks as much as possible.

Additionally, used equipment does not have a warranty. You are more or less risking your money for something you don’t know for how long it will work for.

Also with used machines, you don’t get the chance to check whether it is in good condition. In the long run, there will be maintenance that would be performed on the machine for it to work. This simply means that you’ll still invest in the machine and it may cost you a lot more than buying a new one.

Factors to Consider When Looking to Rent An Ice Cream Machine

America’s love affair with soft serve ice cream has been around for decades, and while this treat is particularly refreshing on hot summer days, savvy food service operators know that it is an in-demand dessert all year long. If you are considering purchasing a soft serve ice cream machine for your restaurant, café, buffet or convenience store, there are a few important things to make note of.

  1. Transportation

Have it in mind that most rental companies require that you pick the machine up and return it to them. This seems simple enough –  but be sure to bring the manpower you need to lift it (generally two to three strong people), as most ice cream machines typically weigh around 220 pounds. They don’t fit in a small four door car, so plan on bringing a van, a SUV, or truck to transport it.

  1. Features

Ice cream machines are self – contained unit that will store, mix, then churn and freeze it into ice cream, and dispense it. Recovery time is therefore very crucial. If you require a medium or high volume machine for production, the machine must be able to freeze additional product to replenish what is being dispensed.

Also note that Gravity – fed machines require staff to manually load liquid ice cream mix into a hopper located on top of the machines, and gravity does the rest.

Pressurized machines use pumps to supply the freezing cylinder. Also, many newer models have touch pad LED displays to set the temperature and/or consistency of the final product. Once set, the machines automatically adjust for whichever mix is used.

Other controls include a low – mix light that shows when it is time to replenish the mix hopper. Some models also come with an audible signal to indicate when to add more mix. If the barrel isn’t full, the mix can freeze solid, preventing the dasher bar from turning.

A frozen cylinder can break the blades, bend the dasher bar, or burn out the compressor. Several models have a safety mechanism to prevent compressor burnout. On some, the compressor automatically shuts down if you don’t respond to the low – mix alarm within three minutes.

  1. Energy Efficiency

Most ice cream machines work efficiently to freeze and add air (volume) to special liquid soft serve ice cream mixtures. Machines run at a temperature around 18 degrees Fahrenheit, keeping the ice cream not only frozen, but at proper storage temperatures.

Owing to this, these machines are expected to run both day and night to prevent any changes in consistency or health code violations. To ensure minimal utility bills, look for energy – efficient models with the ENERGY STAR® seal.

  1. Maintenance

Note that some dairy products are susceptible to coliform bacteria, which can easily multiply to dangerous levels, many health departments require daily break down, cleaning and sanitizing of soft – serve machines daily. So before you rent a soft serve machines, check with your local inspector or health department to know the rules for your area.

Over the years, several methods have been developed to ease the cleaning process, including washout kits, which are crucial faucet hook – ups for the top of the machine that enable you turn on the water straight into the hopper.

Also note that most suppliers offer parts trays that give employees moulded spaces in which to store parts as they disassemble and clean them. Other models have an auto – cleaning mode that flushes and cleans the machine innards at the push of a button.

Even these models require disassembly periodically to clean and sanitize parts that may not get a thorough cleaning. Auto – cleaning can save employees a lot of time, and employers labour cost, if it significantly reduces the number of times the machine has to be stripped for cleaning.

  1. Different Sizes

Smaller service businesses that want to offer soft serve ice cream often go for modest counter – top machines, which allow an employee to refill and make new batches as needed. Buffet and sundae bars are more or less self – service, and these operations normally get large, freestanding machines to maintain higher volumes of ice cream. Larger machines, however, cost more to rent, operate and maintain as well.

Where to Rent Ice Cream Machines

  1. Soft serve machine rental businesses e.g. Kwipped, Easyice, Electrofreezo, DooDilly’s Rental company
  2. Online equipment rental sites e.g. Alibaba, Bizquest, Freezerplanet, Finamac
  3. Local vending machine service companies


Soft serve ice cream and frozen yogurt are two of the most popular desserts in America. If you own a restaurant or a convenience store, the addition of a soft serve ice cream or frozen yogurt machine has the potential to substantially increase your weekly, monthly, and yearly net profits.

However, no matter which machine you select, make sure to offer the flavours and toppings that your target market will enjoy. If you do, your chances for success will be limitless.