One of the most common requests we receive at our offices is a customer who needs help picking out a popcorn machine. There are quite a few different models to choose from, and all seem to have different sizes, features, styles, and uses. Fortunately, this task is not as daunting as it may initially appears. So, here are three questions to ask yourself before purchasing a unit, and some explanations of why these questions are important. This will help to get you started. Pay attention, as there may be a quiz later.
1. HOW AM I USING MY POPPER?
This is the most important question you can consider when purchasing a popcorn machine. You will want to consider the number of people who would want to eat popcorn on a regular day, or during an event. This will help to determine the size of popper you need. For example, a 4 oz. Machine will make four 1oz. Servings of popcorn. To put this in perspective, a standard microwave bag of popcorn will produce about 3.5 oz. of popped popcorn. So, a 4 oz. Machine will pop just a little bit more than a standard bag of microwave popcorn per kettle. This is a good size for small families, students, and small offices. 6 oz. Machines are good for groups up to 30 people, 8 oz. machines are good for small events under 75 people. For groups and events over 100 people, a 12 oz. machine or larger is recommended.
2. AM I SELLING POPCORN?
If your answer is no, you may want to continue reading, as this may still offer you some useful information. If you are selling popcorn, you may want to keep your popcorn warm inside the machine and serve directly from the unit. Many of the poppers we offer have heated deck plates that will keep up to 4 kettles of popcorn warm enough to serve to customers. If serving your popcorn warm is important, you will either need to serve it within a minute of popping to keep it from getting cold; or, alternatively, choose a machine with a heated warming deck. Purchasing a machine with a heated warming deck is also very important if you are allowing your guests to "self serve" from the machine during an event, or if the unit is being used in a lobby or common area, like a break room.
3. DOES MY UNIT NEED TO BE MOBILE?
Our machines without carts can sit on just about any table or countertop. The bottoms of these machines do not get warm enough to require a special surface. Adding a cart to your machine is a good idea if you need to move it from place to place. Schools, for example, often choose machines with carts so that they may easily take a machine to an individual classroom, or to many different areas of the school, depending on their event schedule. Cosmetically, many customers also enjoy the "look" of a cart, as it lends a traditional style touch to a theater room, or den. If your machine does not need to be mobile, but you don't have the counter space for a machine, you may want to consider a stand. Stands are a great choice, as they position your machine at a convenient height, and some models also have supply storage available in the stand. They are often more affordable than a cart, as well.
Most importantly, if you ever need any help picking out a popcorn machine, or have any questions about the use or features of any of the diverse types of machines we sell, please contact us at 888-790-6070. We are happy to lend our expertise. And, today you are lucky. There is no quiz.
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