Most food businesses, particularly bakeries, restaurants and cafés, cannot do without a commercial fridge.
Good refrigeration is paramount when storing fresh ingredients, as well as pre-prepared food.
The main difference between a commercial fridge and a residential fridge you find in your home is that most commercial fridge display units have a larger compressor.
A bigger compressor is required on a commercial fridge because it is opened more frequently. At home, we try not to open the fridge too often, as having the door open puts an extra load on the compressor.
In commercial shops and kitchens, the fridge is opened a number of times, but a heavy compressor is able to withstand this extra use and still maintain a cool temperature.
Commercial refrigerators have excellent cooling capacities for the effective preservation and storage of Meat, Fish and other food stuff.
It’s necessary to invest in a good commercial fridge for the success of your restaurant, shop, café or catering business.
Here are a few tips from the Bestronic team, when buying a commercial refrigeration display unit from us (or anyone).
A good commercial refrigeration unit can be a superb investment, but be aware that some units cost more to run than others. On initial inspection, some units may seem affordable to purchase, but the day-to-day running costs prove that they are not a good long term solution for your business.
Many lesser known brands have high running costs because they are inefficient. Given that many are switched on for more than 12 hours a day, this can soon ‘eat’ in to your profits.
Obviously, you’ll be looking for a commercial fridge you can afford, but you should also pay attention to the facts and check whether the fridge you are getting is energy efficient or not.
In addition, consider the environment. An A-rated fridge or freezer will help to lower your carbon footprint and keep running costs down.
During your research, you will come across a wide variety of brands and ranges of commercial fridges. While it is important your fridge suits your décor and cosmetic needs, it must perform well too.
Don’t be distracted by fancy gadgets (unless you need them). Start by first ticking off the basic needs for your business.
Consider how much storage space is required, the temperature range, and size first. Then you can start to look at colours and designs.
Different commercial fridges come with varying levels of cooling and insulation.
A ‘solid door’ type fridge offers a better level of insulation as there is limited heat transfer from the outside to the inside. These are ideal for perishable goods as the temperature remains balanced.
On the other hand, a Cake display model may need more glass area, to show off your dessert range.
Buying a commercial refrigerator is a big decision for any business and should be treated as such.
Take your time to research and understand the current market and ranges produced across Europe and the world.
Just like any purchase, consider the lifetime required and over what period the unit will be tax deductible.
Also, ask your retailer or supplier for approximate monthly running costs and how often it should be cleaned, maintained and serviced (see our sister blog on ‘Maintaining Your Commercial Display Fridge”).
We thoroughly recommend a Periodic service is done (by a professional team) at least once a year, if not more often.
Having the right capacity fridge is essential.
You will need enough space to store the produce required for your most demanding service period, but you don’t want to be paying for additional space that will not be used.
Buying too small and overfilling will put a strain on the compressor. Buy too big and you will be wasting both energy and money!
It’s also important to remember who’s going to be using the fridge.
You and your team need to be able to reach and access all your goods comfortably.
For this reason alone, it is a good idea to go and see a selection of fridges in a showroom before making your final decision.
Just like your domestic fridge at home, a commercial refrigeration unit can suffer from a build-up of ice, which can lead to poor performance and efficiency, and limit the unit’s natural life.
Buying a Fridge display unit with an Automatic Defrost setting will save you significant time (your most valuable asset) as you won’t have to manually remove the ice yourself.
Being able to program the defroster to switch on at any given time (or having it continually operating), means that you’ll no longer have to remove all your stock while you clean the surplus build-up of ice.
To keep your stock appropriately and consistently cool, your fridge should be matched to the immediate climate conditions of the environment where it is being used.
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 is in a busy commercial kitchen, where the temperature is often above 32 Celsius, a tropical class rating would suit the task better.
So there you have it. Just a few top tips for buying a new commercial refrigeration unit for your business.
Call our dedicated team on 01279 877 773 to talk to one of our experts and let us help you decide which is the right cooling system for you!
By Ewa Rezzoug