If you’re about to start up any kind of catering or eating establishment then one of the most important things to consider is how you’re going to keep your stock cool. A domestic refrigeration unit just isn’t going to cut it. Firstly because you’ll need more room than a standard model can give you and secondly because you’ll need a higher level of performance.
If you’ve never had to buy an industrial fridge before then it can seem like a daunting task, but this check list will give you the basics and should help you make an informed choice.
The first thing you’ll need to consider is the size of the refrigeration unit. Ask yourself a few quick questions. How big do you need it to be? How much space do you have in your kitchen for the unit?
Once you have a space picked out it’s time to get busy with your tape measure. Measure all the dimensions correctly, making sure to leave a few inches either side and at the back to allow for correct air flow.
Doors solid or glass?
This isn’t just an aesthetic choice, there are pros and cons of each option that you’ll need to consider before making your purchase. Glass doors enable customers and staff to easily locate items. However, you’ll have to remember to keep them tidy as the whole world will be able to see the contents.
If you’re looking to hide the clutter then a solid door might be best, solid doors are also more energy efficient that glass doors, and you’ll never need to worry about the glass fogging up.
Draws or doors?
This really depends on what you intend to store in your fridge. If you want to store full sized food trays or pans then draws are probably your best option. If however you like making life a little harder and playing ‘hunt the mayonnaise jar’ then doors and shelves are a pretty obvious choice.
This feature allows you to have double (Dutch) doors, meaning you only need to open one side of the fridge at a time. Not only does it reduce the amount of cold air lost, but it will also cut down on your utility costs.
You’d be surprised by the amount of choice you have when it comes to shelving. Chrome or epoxy coated? Straight or slanting? Adjustable clips or moulded sides? These are all things you’ll need to consider.
Chrome looks nicer, but epoxy coated shelves are better at repelling moisture. Slanted shelves are also prettier, but if you’re only using your refrigeration unit for storage you don’t really need them. If you need shelves that are easily movable then go for adjustable clips over moulded sides.
Food standard agencies are pretty strict all over the world, so whether you’re in Shanghai or Sheffield getting the correct refrigeration unit is vital. Think carefully before you buy any type of fridge, and remember to measure up. There’s nothing worse than finding your new purchase doesn’t fit in your kitchen!