When it comes to owning and operating a food-service business, one of your primary concerns should be your refrigeration system. With a long list of different elements to consider when purchasing a commercial refrigerator, it may feel a bit overwhelming to narrow your field of options.
The following is a list of what to consider when investing in the ideal refrigerator for your establishment:
Size & Location
Though it may seem obvious to some, making sure that your chosen space will allow for the size of such a unit is as crucial as finding the ideal space itself. Consider the centrality of your refrigeration system and where your cooks will best benefit from its location.
An important thing to consider is your food distributor’s delivery schedule. If your establishment receives daily deliveries, you won’t require as much storage space as one who receives their shipments only once a week.
As there are a variety of refrigeration options, the different styles and sizes will help you make the best choice for your restaurant’s needs:
Reach-in coolers are low to the ground and, as the name states, require staff to reach in to obtain items from it. These units work best if they are kept away from heat sources (such as the cooking line).
Walk-In Coolers, on the contrary, come in quite a larger variety. Walk-Ins are ideal for holding the largest quantities of perishable foods. Bear in mind that not only will you require a significant amount of space to house one of these, but your city’s health board may have regulations that you must adhere to surrounding the use of a walk-in cooler due to its size and contents.
Refrigeration Drawers that reside under your counter tops are perfect for the smaller variety of kitchens. These are made to be installed directly into your cooking line for ease and efficiency.
Freezers, much like coolers, come in both the reach-in and walk-in varieties, but are used to store food at much lower temperatures. For restaurants that use a lot of frozen ingredients, this option is a must.
Bar Refrigerators are the best bet for storing bar mix, bottles, wines and canned beverages. As these are situated directly behind the bar, it allows bartenders the easy access required for quickly servicing their clientele.
Condenser Unit Location
The condenser unit is the unsung hero of your commercial refrigerator, as this is the part that is responsible for keeping your food items cold.
Depending upon the style of unit you choose, condenser units are either located on the top or bottom of your commercial refrigerator.
Bottom-mounted units may suck up dust, hair and food particles more easily than a top-mounted unit would, however its location allows for easier cleaning. Top-mounted units will maximize the amount of interior storage space available, but will also require a lot more work to clean due to their inconvenient location.
It is important to note that bottom-mounted units are often the unit of choice for restaurant owners due to their inherent convenience and ease-of-cleaning.
As a final note, it is well worth noting that refrigerators that bear an Energy Star crest operate with 30% more efficiency than those that do not – something that will help save you money on your power bill in the long run!
The freshness of the resources in your establishment depend upon the durability of the appliances you run that establishment with. Make sure to devote plenty of time and research into finding the ideal refrigerators for your business, and your staff and clientele will both thank you!
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