top of page

Return on Investment: GRANITA EDITION

Updated: Jun 23, 2022

Granita, margarita, Icee, slushy, Slurpee, sherbet, sorbet... whatever name you call it by, let us tell you a bit about its history, and the value it can add to your business!

History is not clear about whether granita was brought to Sicily by the Arabs or the opposite.

Traditionally, the first hypothesis is assumed to be correct, but two factors seem to disavow it. The Romans already knew the granita (or better, the grattachecca, still widespread throughout Italy and in Rome mainly) and it appears that Nero particularly appreciated the one obtained from the Apennine ice. Moreover, the Arabs knew the sorbet (really similar to the granita, and with it, the ancestor of the ice cream) after the conquest of the Byzantine and Sasanian territories. The term “sherbet” itself derives from the Indo-European languages, and the Latin sorbere (to sip in English) has a root similar to the Greek and Persian expression.

The fact is that the Arabs began to use the Etna snow for granitas and sorbet in Sicily, and the function of the ice houses was soon clear. The snow was kept after being collected in these special ice houses ( the whole Italian territory is full of these structures used until the ‘900 and cut into the terrain of mountain areas).

Until 1500 the granita was similar to the Roman grattachecca: from the ice block, a part of it was scratched and then flavored with fruit syrups or flowers. From the 16th century onwards, snow was added with salt, thus obtaining a mixture (called in physics eutectic) which has its melting point at -21.3 ° C, and therefore allowed to freeze the preparations that came into indirect contact.

In other words, the snow became a cooler and no longer an ingredient: that’s how the “cockpit” was born.

The cockpit was a wooden vat with inside a zinc bucket. Between the wood and the zinc, there was a cavity filled with salt and snow (the eutectic mixture), which froze the contents of the bucket by removing heat. A shovel, operated by hand with a crank, helped the granita not to freeze too much.

The cockpit was replaced only in the twentieth century by the ice cream maker, and the granita thus obtained has replaced, at least in Sicily, the “rattata”, that is the Sicilian grattachecca.

This is where ugolini comes in!

ugolini granita dispensers are the most complete product line on the market - proven over decades. They are operating in over 65 countries including outdoors, in hot and humid weather settings.

ugolini granita dispensers are manufactured in Italy with all European components. We do not use any Chinese components. It is the only dispenser that can make this claim.

ugolini granita dispensers have an aesthetically appealing design that will add to your setting, whether in the back of house or front of house.

ugolini is the only line in the U.S. that offers granita dispensers with patented Magnetic Transmission mixing system and Recover Energy insulation technology. They can candle all kind of beverages with different viscosities, sugar content, and juices including:

  • Italian Granita

  • Frozen Coffee

  • Flavored Slushy

  • Frozen Cocktails

  • Iced Soft Drinks

  • Fruit Smoothies

  • More!

The return on investment (ROI) of the granita dispenser is one of the fastest of any equipment in food outlet setting. See the analysis below:


  • Medium size drink

  • 20 drinks sales per day

  • Retail drink price: $3.99

  • Retail drink cost $0.64



  • Weekly revenue: $558.60

  • Weekly profit: $469.00

  • Cost of dispenser: $1299.00

  • R.O.I: 2.7 weeks


  • Weekly revenue: $558.60

  • Weekly profit: $469.00

  • Cost of dispenser: $1699.00

  • R.O.I: 3.6 weeks

[Follow @nestoribrahim on Twitter]

141 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page