Common Soft Serve Machine Mistakes

Common Soft Serve Machine Mistakes

Soft serve machines are a profitable addition to many businesses, often bringing in significant profits. However, to maximize profitability, it’s crucial to avoid common operational mistakes that can hinder machine functionality and customer service. Continue reading to better understand these common mistakes to ensure efficient operations and excellent service for your customers. 


Priming the machine basically sets the product level in the freezing cylinder correctly.  Priming allows air to escape from the cylinder, and allows product to flow freely. To prime your soft serve machine, start by adding product into the hopper and letting it flow into the freezing cylinder. Then lift up the prime plug and allow product to flow out of the machine from the bottom of the prime plug port until it is a steady flow, then close the prime plug. Skipping this step results in machine freeze ups and product inconsistencies – it is a crucial step.  This is because without priming the machine, air is not allowed to exit the freezing cylinder, which will ultimately cause a freeze up or a product that is runny, too frozen, etc. For more information on this topic, please refer to this video.


Another common issue is not being able to dispense any soft serve, or product is coming out too fast and overflowing into the cone. The probable cause for this is that the flow screw is too loose or too tight. The flow screw is the small metal screw just beneath the dispensing handle. If the flow screw is too tight, no product dispenses at all. If it is too loose, the product will be flowing out too fast and make it difficult to get a proper swirl. Depending on the type of product and consistency, adjust the flow screw in order to find the perfect adjustment.


With soft serve machines, it is very important to only pull a certain amount of oz per serving. If you pull a larger serving than the model is specified for, let’s say a 16 oz serving on a 6235-C (we do not recommend more than 8oz on this model), you will be removing too much soft serve from the freezing cylinder in one pull. This will result in either your next pull being too runny or the cylinder becoming starved, which will lead to a freeze up. To avoid these issues, pull smaller servings (4 oz-6 oz, depending on the model) so the machine can continuously bring in fresh product from the hopper at a steady rate.


This mistake goes hand in hand with the former. Spaceman machines are great at keeping up with demand, but pulling more servings per minute than the machine is rated for will result in failure.  Be sure to visit our size guide to ensure proper machine selection. You must allow the machine time to recover in between pulls so that the freezing cylinder can freeze the fresh liquid that is entering from the hopper.   Failure to allow recovery time between pulls results in soft serve that is not adequately frozen. A tip to avoid this is to talk with customers or add toppings on to their soft serve.  But the best way is to choose the right model from the onset.  Rushing to pull soft serve beyond the machines ratings will end up wasting time and taking from the bottom line!  Timing is key.