As an owner of a hospitality business, your commercial fridge is one of your most important assets. Your shop, restaurant, café, or bar needs to keep food and wine (and beers and milk) at the appropriate temperature. Commercial refrigeration refers to anything that can be found in a cafe, restaurant or a commercial kitchen.
We understand that different food and beverage businesses have different commercial fridge needs. If you’re a commercial kitchen that’s turning over a lot of meals, you’ll likely require several refrigerators for different storage and supply purposes. Smaller cafes might only need a small commercial drinks fridge, display or cooler.
However, there are still some requirements that are universal for all refrigerators. Read on below to find out what these essential features are, regardless of whether you’re looking for an upright commercial bar fridge, freezer or sleek undercounter refrigerators.
The Right Capacity
As a starting point, your fridge needs to meet the requirements of your shop or kitchen. Having the right capacity is essential. You will need enough space to store the produce required for your most demanding service period – any less, and you risk not being able to cope with demand, and any more might mean an inefficient refrigerator with higher running costs.
It’s also important to remember who’s going to be using the fridge. You and your team still need to be able to reach and access all your goods comfortably. For this reason, sometimes it’s best to check out the fridge in person (and you’re more than welcome to at our Osborne Park home).
Organisational Features and Design
Once you’ve settled on a size, you’ll naturally start thinking about how you’re going to be using the commercial fridge.
For instance, do you need freezers built in or is it best to have one that’s stand-alone? This might be the case if you have limited space in your kitchen.
Or, is a clear glass door worth choosing? It could be; you’ll quickly be able to see what supplies and stock you have available. And, should your fridge be customer facing it will make the job of your merchandiser simpler, as they can review the goods they’re displaying with ease.
Your fridge should also communicate your brand to your customers. If they can see the fridge, in your open kitchen, then a nice stainless-steel number is likely to look good.
It’s so important that your fridge has an automatic defrost system. A build-up of ice in your commercial fridge can lead to poor performance and efficiency and limit the unit’s natural life.
Automatic defrosting will save you significant time (your most valuable asset) manually removing the ice. Being able to program the defroster to kick in (or having it continually operating) means that you’ll no longer have to remove all your stock to coolers so that you can turn off the fridge to melt any ice build-up.
Good Energy Efficiency and Insulation
An energy efficient commercial fridge will bring you savings in the form of lower power bills. If your fridge is going to be used over a long period, then it can be worth shelling out a bit more on an energy efficient unit, as its lower running costs over time will bring its lifetime cost down.
A crucial part of your fridge’s efficiency is the quality of the insulation it has. Polyurethane foam is your best option. It has excellent insulation properties, thanks to its high compression strength and low thermal conductivity. This means that the food and drinks in your fridge will stay colder for longer while using less energy.
Correct Climate Rating
To keep your stock appropriately and consistently cool, your fridge should be matched to the immediate climate conditions it’s being used in. Climate class ratings have been created to assist with this.
If your fridge is being used on the café floor, then a standard climate class rating should be appropriate. But if it’s in a busy commercial kitchen, where the temperature is often above 32 Celsius, a tropical class rating would be required.
Self-closing doors are a must for all commercial fridges.
This is particularly important if you’re using your fridge to sell food and drinks to the general public, as it will ensure patrons don’t accidentally leave the doors open once they’ve selected their products.
If you’re stuck for options, then reach out to our friendly team. We’re more than happy to provide free advice on everything from commercial fridge equipment through to delivery and shipping.