If you are looking to start up a restaurant, are you educated to make a positive decision about your commercial refrigeration? Through this guide, I want to educate you on commercial refrigeration. After reading through this, you should be confident and know exactly what refrigeration equipment is best for you, how you can save lots of money and energy, and the benefits of scheduling preventative maintenance.
A Cook Storing Food in an Under Counter Refrigerator
Not every restaurant sells the same food, nor does each use the same restaurant refrigeration equipment. Building up your restaurant depends hugely on your refrigeration and how you organize your inventory. It seems silly to have a walk-in freezer and use half of it shelving soft-serve ice-cream, or store sodas in a blast chiller, yet stuff like this still happens. Not using your refrigeration equipment correctly or for the right merchandise can damage and/or decrease its efficiency. To make sure you are using the right refrigeration equipment in your restaurant, take a look at the different types of refrigerators.
REACH IN REFRIGERATORS �
These are the most common refrigerators found in almost every single kitchen. This is where you should put your food you frequently prepare. Typically, each reach-in refrigerator is divvied into 3 sections by shelves or panels, and are designed to store mostly anything � from sodas to fresh produce.
GLASS DOOR MERCHANDISERS �
Typically, glass door merchandisers are used to show off your goods openly to your customers. They have self-closing, swinging, or sliding doors, and most have bottom-mounted refrigeration systems, making them simple to access for cleanup and maintenance.
UNDER-COUNTER REFRIGERATORS �
An under-counter refrigerator provides space-saving storage for cold items you’d like to keep handy. This is great if you have a bar, where you can store beer underneath the counter, or at a frying station, where you can have your ingredients on-hand and cool.
DELI CASES �
Show off your recently sliced meats and cheeses in a deli case. These are great to show off your produce in a sandwich shop. There are many options � straight glass, curved glass, and countertop units � that you can choose from that best matches the style and layout of your entire restaurant.
BLAST CHILLERS �
The cook/chill process is a revolutionary refrigeration product. If you are starting up a fast food restaurant, or one that you need only to heat up your food prior to serving your customers, you need to get one of these. Food safety regulations state you have to have cooked food brought from 160 to 40 Fahrenheit within 4 hours. A blast chiller is able to accomplish this in a simple manner, and are designed to store food until re-thermed for consummation.
WALK-IN FREEZERS �
This is the epitome of commercial refrigeration. Walk-in freezers are essential to most restaurants, as they allow you to store much of your inventory in bulk and keep it cold. You can walk into many different sized freezers, from 6’ sq. to others that are custom built and have no size limitations. Since you are able to walk into your freezer, you can be very organized with your stock, and not have to dig behind other items to get what you need.
PICKING A MODEL THAT MATCHES YOUR NEEDS
Now that you know what type of refrigeration models there are, it’s time to decide which ones are best for you! Here are some really great tips you should take into consideration when shopping around for your refrigeration equipment.
TRUST THE BEST BRANDS �
As you would with any other product you’re shopping for, you want to compare brand names to one another and see which ones is best for you. There are many refrigeration manufacturers, so it is very important that you find and zero in on one company you can rely on.
Every company has its strengths and weaknesses. Some companies’ main goal is to produce high quality units; others are going to cut their quality short in order to be the cheapest on the market. Your best bet is to check out True, Turbo Air, and Delfield. These three companies are well-known and highly respected in the commercial refrigeration industry, and are definitely worth getting your equipment from.