Is It Time to Maintain or Replace Your Aging Popcorn Machine?

Now that the busy summer and fall concessions season is behind us, some are transitioning into a slower time for business, perhaps even what you might consider the “off season.” That makes it an optimal time to examine your concession stand equipment in general and determine if you should maintain it with repairs, or even replace the entire popcorn machine. With that in mind, here are some important checks and balances for your popper inspection.

Consider these points:

  • How old is your machine? A popcorn popper isn’t unlike a car in some respects; you might start thinking about replacing your vehicle when it’s a certain age or hits a high mark on your odometer. A well-maintained popper is considered productive if it lasts for about 10 years or more.
  • How much do you use your popper? If you have a bar or pub, the popper might get occasional use, such as on weekends, but a movie theater popper is almost constantly working.
  • Is the machine’s capacity still appropriate? If your business has grown, then your need for a larger popcorn machine is likely. Consider if the popper you have is still the best size for your venue. It’s important to note that if it’s too small, then your revenue growth is also limited because you’re not popping as much as you could sell. Also, over-using a machine can shorten its life.

(Click here to download this graphic as a PDF.)

Popcorn Machine Repair: Signs of Aging and Wear

  • Is your batch time consistent? If it isn’t, then your popcorn quality won’t be, either. You should be able to predict how long it will take any given batch to pop.
  • Do you have to make frequent adjustments to the machine? Pay special attention to your drive and agitator systems, which may come out of adjustment if the machine is in need of repair (or replacement).
  • How is the physical appearance of the popper? If the paint has nicks or scratches or is flaking, or if the glass is cracked, this could be bad for your business. The popcorn itself can seem unappetizing to your customers if they see that the machine it’s coming from is in rough shape.

The good news is that Gold Medal is staffed with experts and training programs; we’re able to help you get the most from your popper, including maintenance training and assistance, replacement parts, and phone support (simply call us at 1-800-543-0862).

Is It Time to Replace Your Popcorn Machine?

If it has been a while since you initially invested in a popcorn popper, then you may not realize the benefits of upgrading to the new lines of Gold Medal machines. Because our technology is always improving, we’re proud to share that the newer poppers have benefits such as:

New electronic heat controls =

  • Higher kernel expansion rate. This means that the popcorn pops more fully and the popped pieces are actually bigger (and are 40-49 times as big as the unpopped kernel); you’re able to fill the bag with fewer kernels, which increases your overall profit, and the fuller pop even has better mouth appeal for your patrons.
  • Better batch control and consistency. Maintaining a steady temperature gives the popcorn a more consistent and predictable appearance and flavor, and it gives you the ability to apply more flavorings, such as GlazePop®.

Other benefits of newer Gold Medal poppers include:

  • E-Z Kleen Kettle means a longer, more productive lifespan.
  • Standard 110v power allows larger venue poppers to be plugged into common outlets.
  • PowerOff® Control is an auto turnoff feature that saves energy and extends the life of the heat elements.

If your business is growing and it’s time to upgrade your popper, start with our free “Which Popper is Right For Me” guide. Contact one of our Gold Medal Products dealers (click here if in Canada) to get started today.


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