What Kind Of Commercial Refrigeration Do You Need For A Restaurant
Choosing the right commercial refrigeration can have a significant impact on the future costs and success of a restaurant. This not only includes selecting the right type of refrigeration, but also the right size, shape, and brand. Choosing wrong in any one of these areas could add unnecessary expenses to your restaurant. That’s the last thing you want when you’re a new a business trying to succeed in a challenging market.
Your first step is choosing the right type of refrigeration.
This will depend primarily on the types of foods that you are offering and where they are located. Let’s look at a few of the most common solutions.
These are the largest of commercial refrigerators. They can range in size from a small closet to a complete building. They are best utilized by restaurants that process a high volume of customers. Restaurants that typically prepare large selections of meat, such as entire pigs, would also benefit from a large walk-in refrigerator. Finally, if your restaurant stores large amounts of produce, then all of the shelves and storage organizers would make it easier to keep everything in order.
As these are the largest, they are often the most expensive as well. Installing a walk-in cooler will take a great deal of planning and funding. It may also require specific building permits depending on the location of your restaurant. The upkeep of a walk-in cooler can be expensive as well. As such, they are best reserved for high-income restaurants that require them.
This is the standard commercial refrigerator that you’ll find at most restaurants. They can come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and brands. They often have doors on the front and a variety of shelves and storage containers on the inside. Most of them are on wheels so that they can be quickly moved around the restaurant when needed.
Reach-in refrigerators are typically classified by their storage capacity, which is expressed in cubic feet. One of the great things about these types of commercial refrigerators is that you can invest in only what you need at the time. As your restaurant expands, you can purchase additional reach-in refrigerators and place them side-by-side.
Refrigerated Prep Tables
If your restaurant prepares pizzas, salads, or sandwiches, then a refrigerated prep table is a significant investment. The top of the work surface is kept cool so that the food you are working with can remain fresh while the cooks are handling it. Beneath the work surfaces are refrigerated compartments where various ingredients can be stored.
The refrigerated prep table is designed to be an integral part of the food preparation area. This is in stark contrast o reach-in refrigerators, which are often kept towards the back of the kitchen and away from the heat. Refrigerated prep tables should be designed with heavy-duty materials to prevent any nearby heat from affecting the ingredients.
Choosing The Right Size
Each of these commercial refrigeration units is available in a variety of different sizes. Walk-in coolers and reach-in coolers are categorized according to cubic feet that they keep cool. A refrigeration prep table may also be classified this way, but it’s generally more important that you measure the workspace available on top of the table.
Properly sizing your refrigerator units is vital for many reasons. First, the size is going to determine the number of ingredients that you can keep fresh, which will impact how efficiently you can serve your customers. Second, it’s going to determine how much energy is used to keep the area cool. If you choose a unit that is too large, then you’ll waste energy and waste money.
Most walk-in refrigerators involve converting an existing room into a cooler. You’ll need to work with a specialist who will measure the room and then design a cooling system capable of maintaining the necessary temperature.
With a reach-in refrigerator, you must decide how much space you need and then find a unit that can handle those demands. It’s generally better to go slightly larger than your estimate, but only by a small percentage. The coolers will come available in premade sizes, and you can choose the size closest to your estimated needs.
The Best Brands On The Market
Choosing the right brand is just as important as choosing the right size and style. A low-quality brand might cost less up front, but it will require more maintenance and repairs over the years, thus increasing its running cost significantly. It’s always a good idea to invest in the best possible brands from the very beginning.
Nor-Lake has managed to become one of the leading manufacturers of commercial refrigeration systems. They design and manufacture many refrigeration systems that are intended for the restaurant industry. This includes walk-in coolers, reach-in coolers, display coolers, refrigerated cabinets, and refrigerated prep tables.
Traulsen is another leader in the industry. They use a propriety technology called Cyclonic Airflow to move and distribute cold air evenly throughout their units constantly. This ensures that everything you store in their coolers is at the same temperature.
Making The Right Choice
Choosing the right commercial refrigerators for your restaurant is by no means an easy task. Take time to consider the current and future needs of your business. From there, you can find the right type of units that are adequately sized and manufactured by a leading brand. And it always helps to discuss your options with a professional.