From local sandwich delivery to large-scale food production, every commercial undertaking operating in the prepared food and drink industry uses some form of refrigeration. Whether cooling the ingredients or the finished product, the quality and safety of the food produced is reliant on refrigeration. Strict health code mandates require foods that will not be consumed or sold right away to be refrigerated. And refrigeration keeps good food fresh for longer. All of these things have a direct impact on the success of the business.
1. Learn the difference between commercial and residential models.
The temptation to choose a home-kitchen model for a commercial kitchen is understandable, especially when space or money is tight. But do your research. There are almost always more compact commercial models at budget-friendly prices that will meet health code standards than in the residential market. If you’re not sure of the codes you can test yourself here: rbkc.gov.uk/environmentalservices/foodhygieneandstandards/quiz.asp. Furthermore, commercial models are designed for commercial purposes, are simpler to clean and can be repaired more easily.
2. Know your inventory.
Because every need is different, knowing your capacity requirements before you start looking will help you determine the right model for you. List your products and numbers, whether they are bottles of juice or packs of butter and jars of mayonnaise.
3. Determine size and appearance requirements.
When selecting the best commercial refrigerator or freezer for your business, besides knowing the food and beverage items you need to store, you should also know the ideal temperature ranges and co-storage possibilities of your items. Decide where you will install the model (kitchen, cellar or front of house). These two simple points will help you determine a model based on how you will access the model, the size, capacity and look of the refrigerator.
4. Decide if you need options or accessories.
Additional options and accessories can make your commercial refrigerator more efficient. For example, pan slides can be far more efficient than shelves. Energy efficient models may cost more upfront but realise savings over their lifespan. When shopping for commercial refrigerator ranges from FFD or other online retailers it’s important to visit one of the many specialists who understands these options as well as your business needs.
5. Know your budget and work within a business plan.
This one is self-explanatory. There’s no point buying a model your business can’t afford. And it’s a good rule of thumb. If your one-man operation requires a model that costs more than last year’s takings, it might be time to re-evaluate your business model.
The choice of units in the commercial market can seem large and overwhelming. But like any activity, if you go in prepared you are much more likely to come out having made the best decisions for your business. So be prepared. It’s your business after all, and no one knows it like you do.