When searching for a commercial refrigerator, there are several options and specifications you need to keep in mind to assure that you purchase the refrigerator that will suit your needs.
The first thing you need to consider when shopping for commercial refrigeration is size. How large a refrigerator do you need? Also, how large of a refrigerator will fit in your kitchen? If you have a space picked out for your new refrigerator, get the tape measure out to verify dimensions and be sure to allow for a couple of inches of clearance on the back and sides, for proper ventilation.
Glass door refrigerators are ideal for use in front-of-house areas for displaying salads and desserts. For kitchen use, glass doors help kitchen staff to quickly locate what they need. Glass door refrigerators also show clutter and disorganisation whether front or back of house. Solid door refrigerators are more energy-efficient than glass door ones and you never have to worry about the glass fogging up.
How much do you really want to clean behind your refrigerator?
The answer is probably not very much but as we all know Environmental Health Officers will pull out fridges to ensure they have been cleaned behind when they inspect your premises. With casters you can easily wheel the unit aside to get dust and food debris effectively cleaned up. Whether casters come standard or not depends on the manufacturer and model you choose, but casters are a great way to access the back of your refrigerator.
Both under-counter refrigerators and worktop refrigerators can have either doors or drawers. If you intend to store food in full-size food pans (such as gastronorms), drawers are the best way to go, however, unless you are a high food volume outlet this is unlikely. The majority of commercial fridges will come fitted with shelves.
Chrome or plastic coated? Level or slanted?
Adjustable clips or moulded slides? In general, epoxy coated shelves are better at repelling moisture and resisting rust, but chrome plated shelves are more aesthetic. Slanted shelves help presentation if you are going to use a glass door refrigerator in your front of house as a display. If you are going to use the refrigerator for storage alone, you do not really need slanted shelves. No matter which you choose, if you are going to be storing items of different sizes at different times throughout the year, you will want to get a refrigerator whose shelves are adjustable in small increments, like one inch increments.
When you want a work table and a refrigerator all in one, consider a worktop refrigerator. These units have food-grade stainless steel tops that are durable enough to withstand food preparation tasks. These could be especially useful in kitchens where space is at a premium, but have the drawback of not being accessible during busy service periods
When all you need is a refrigerator that will fit under your counter, look for an under-counter refrigerator (grab fridge). Most of these units will easily slide under a standard 36″ high counter-top.
Walk In Fridges
Walk in fridges are all different from model to model in the storage, volume and cooling technology in comparison to conventional refrigeration equipment.
Commercial walk in units will provide much bigger storage for food provision and the number of meals that can be stored for much longer periods of time. If you are looking for a walk in fridge you should be looking for durability, eco-efficiency, functionality & clear options to go with your refrigeration equipment. You should try and pick a system with low maintenance costs.
You need to consider energy efficiency and energy saving features (walk in units can often help you store your meals, food provision at a lower cost than a series of other fridges that hold the same volume of products).
Before choosing the walk in fridge, make sure it is exactly what you are looking for, what are you planning to store in your walk in unit, how many shelves do you need to fit all your products, how big the walk in fridge area has to be to fulfil your needs. Most pubs do not require large walk in fridges because they simply do not have the volume of sales (and storage requirements) to justify this significant capital expenditure.
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