It may surprise you to know that not all fridges are created equally. Some fridges are not designed to hold food and others aren't certified to do so in Australia. Make sure you ask this question before buying, particularly if you're thinking of storing food in your new fridge. It's difficult to know how to pick the best commercial fridge for the intended purpose. The wrong choice may cost you in food wastage, yet alone customer dissatisfaction and food safety. Ask your commercial refrigeration supplier about M-package temperature classes for your application.
Commercial refrigeration is a piece of equipment that provides cold storage for commercial hospitality and retail operations. Some of the different types of commercial refrigeration include upright food service refrigerators and freezers, coolrooms and walk-in freezers, undercounter fridges, refrigerated merchandisers, drinks displays and bar fridges.
is typically used for the preservation of food and refrigeration of beverages. It's used by supermarkets, mini-marts, gourmet grocery stores, fruit & vegetable retailers, convenience stores, restaurants and cafes and healthcare operators.
Commercial fridges are more expensive than domestic fridges because they are built for the riggers of a commercial environment and need to recover in demanding commercial kitchens and bars.
Commercial fridges and freezers can cost from as little as $1000 to $10,000 and more, depending on the quality and size.
Remote installation will generally cost more than an integral condenser as the condenser is often purchased separately to the cabinet and connections like copper pipe and waste points take a third party to install.
Commercial Bar Fridges have different ways to deal with sound.
The most common solution that will reduce the noise of your bar fridge to a bare minimum is to install the bar fridge using remote condensers at the time of installation, where the heat & noise is located in a plant room or outside the building and the refrigeration cabinet is in the bar connected by copper pipe. These systems often require forethought because the may require condensate trays or tundishes so are most often installed in new fit-outs.
A more cost effective way to approach this issue of a noisy bar fridge is to have sound dampeners installed at the time of purchasing your bar fridge with an integral condenser. Only some brands offer this so it's best to research & ask questions of the refrigeration equipment dealer or manufacturer beforehand.
The most common warranty period for commercial refrigeration warranty is 1 Year - However quality refrigeration suppliers will often have 2-5 years.
Refrigeration Warranty & Extended warranty options;
If a Commercial refrigeration manufacturer is prepared to offer an extended warranty, take this as a sign that they will back their product. Some quality manufacturers will extend their parts and labour warranty to 5 years.
What it means for your application there are pros and cons for Top mount & Bottom mount refrigeration.
Bottom mount refrigeration is ideal for humid & warmer environments with greasy air in kitchens.
The condenser operates near the floor, where temperatures are cooler – perhaps as much as 15 degrees cooler than at the top of the commercial refrigerator.
With no ladders or supports required, servicing and cleaning the compressor is easier. Plus, service calls only take one person, which can substantially lessen the cost.
Main operating components of your commercial refrigerator or commercial freezer are away from rising grease-laden steam that can gum up the compressor, making it less efficient and requiring more maintenance.
With the condenser elevating the bottom of the commercial cooler’s interior, the user doesn’t have to stoop to access items stored there.
Operates near the floor, which means the condenser can pull in dust and debris from that area, trapping it in the coils. It may also draw in spilled ingredients like a dropped bag of flour.
Heat from the system can rise into the cabinet, a potential that could make this type of commercial refrigeration less efficient.
Transporting the cooled refrigerant from the condenser to the evaporator and then back again requires that lines be run through the back of the cabinet, which takes up a small amount of cold storage space.
Costs more to build because of added insulation to keep heat from the refrigeration system from rising into the cabinet, having longer lines for refrigerant, and having a larger motor to move that refrigerant through those lines.
Top mount refrigeration condensers are suited for a mounted lightbox for custom graphics display space that increases visibility in store.
There’s no worry of the condenser fan pulling in dust or debris from the floor and clogging the coils.
Heat from the system doesn’t rise right into the commercial fridge & freezer, which can mean more efficient operation.
Since the condenser, compressor, and evaporator are all together at the top of this type of commercial fridge & freezer, there’s no need for refrigerant lines to be built into the back of the box. That not only means they’re more accessible for service, it also means you get some extra cold storage space.
Having the compressor on top of the cabinet maximizes the space inside. With a bottom-mount refrigerator, insulation must be installed above the refrigeration system, which takes up space. Users also have to rely on the top shelves, which are harder to reach and difficult to see. A top-mount fridge & freezer has lower top shelves, which means they’re easier to put to use.
This type of commercial refrigerator and commercial freezer is not well-suited for cooking line applications because they can draw in grease-laden steam, which can clog condenser coils.
Since heat rises, their location at the top of the commercial fridge & freezer puts them in the warmest part of the kitchen, making them less efficient.
Since the compressor is situated at or above the heads of most people, it’s harder to access that area in this type of commercial refrigeration unit for cleaning unless you have a cartridge condenser. Additionally, service that requires any part of the system to be removed may well take two technicians and special equipment, which can run your downtime and costs up substantially.
Horizontal bar display fridges have been specifically designed to support efficient bar service and built to help you sell more drinks. Engineered to keep drinks icy cold, with lighting and glass doors to highlight your products to your customers. With features that can include quiet operation, low running costs and customisable finishes available also.
A range of high-efficiency underbar storage chillers are ideally suited for professional use in restaurants, bars, hotels, clubs and all high volume food preparation areas.
There is underbar and under-bench fridges as well as counter fridges and horizontal bar fridges, in a range of sizes, shapes and styles.
Most bar fridges have been designed specifically for installation under an industry-standard bench & are available in one to four door configurations, or sometimes more.
However for extra dramatic drinks display - there are ranges that are higher than standard bench height to fully display merchandise.
If your using you fridge as a beer can bar fridge or merchandising wine or soft drinks a question of what is the best bar fridge comes down to what your requirements are.
Food prep fridges make life easy with a refrigerated reach in top that keeps food safe.
Food prep fridges combine under-bench storage with the convenience of a refrigerated reach-in top that is essential for any venue serving pizzas, salads or sandwiches. All cabinet sections maintain food temperatures below the critical 5°C, to meet health standards and for consistent food quality.
There are a couple of types of food prep fridges to be aware of before answering this question. Air-over and chilled well.
1. Air blown over the coldwells are often superior as the food can stay uncovered for extended periods of time. As the name suggests there is air blown over the top of the well and they are also chilled from underneath. Best practice however in this instance is to swap over the food wells for each peak service or daily for clean wells.
2. Wells only chilled from the bottom are often inferior as the food doesn't chill from the top and these food prep fridges usually only allow the food to remain in the wells uncovered for a limited time as the prep fridge doesn't always chill all the food. Best practice for this type of prep fridge is to cover the wells as often as necessary using the lids often, discarding any food not chilled for extended periods of time as per your food safety plan.
Upright food storage fridges provide practical storage solutions for all types of commercial kitchens. Often features stylish design and heavy duty construction to withstand demanding commercial use.
Commercial refrigerators should be able to recover from temperature increases as the doors open and close frequently in an often hot & humid environment - the commercial kitchen.
Adjustable shelves are often a feature with some models being gastronorm GN 1/1 alike.
Food display products provide the very best solution when presenting food or drinks to the highest standard possible. Perfect for offering chilled products in busy, direct customer facing areas, a display fridge ensures your products are kept at the perfect temperature whilst displaying them at their best to optimise those high margin impulse sales.
Whether showcasing products front-of-house and maximising your profits by showcasing your products in a glass door display fridge or reclaiming floor space as storage out back glass door display fridges are designed to display or store almost any type of food, drink and perishable product in their best condition.
A Blast Chiller will transform your business - save time, reduce wastage and watch your profits grow.
Blast chilling is a must-have technology in successful commercial kitchens, and sets food safe standards. IBlast chillers helps get the best out of your hospitality business. Essential for food-safety, Blast Chillers also assists with better organisation and planning, reducing food waste, maximising food quality, extending shelf life and expanding the menu.
A standard freezer, both upright, under bench and chest freezers are known as a storage freezer and isn't designed to freeze food. It's only function is to store pre frozen food.
Glass door fridges have their application in retail and help customers visualise products during the selection process. Quality glass door fridges have modern films and gasses between double glazing for temperature control.
In foodservice solid door fridges are better suited, as solid door fridges are usually more energy efficient because they lose less temperature than glass door fridges due to their solid insulation. This results in better climate control and energy savings but glass doors also let light in and light can spoil food.
Quiet often glass door refrigeration isn't certified to store food - although this will ultimately come down to brand choice.
Undercounter refrigeration is ideal to use in some applications with refrigerated drawers or doors.
Solid doors are usually more energy efficient because they lose less temperature than glass door fridges.
Remote condensers or plug and play integral food service fridge models are available to choose from. Your commercial fridge type should be chosen depending on the overall noise & heat of the commercial kitchen equipment.
An integral system means it's a stand-alone unit, with everything it needs to work built in. It's quick, convenient and compact. Just plug in and go.
A remote system has the compressor, fan and other "hot, noisy bits" located away from the storage cabinet or coolroom and connected by pipes. A remote system resembles central heating in reverse - instead of heating radiators, insulated pipes carry the heat away from the cabinets and disperse it out the back. This means it's quieter and cooler in operation at the point where it normally counts, more efficient and usually cheaper to run too. However, it can be more complex to install and will need specialist engineers and prior planning.
By far the most common form of refrigeration is the integral or self contained unit. These are effectively "plug and play" machines which have all the machinery and systems required to cool within the cabinet shell. Once connected to a power supply and run, the job is effectively done and produce can be kept refrigerated.
Advantages of Integral Refrigeration System:
Disadvantages of integral refrigeration system:
Also available are the remote cabinets commonly sought by larger establishments or those wishing to save in the long term but with a higher initial outlay. These units are made of two parts; the cabinet or shell in which products are placed and the refrigeration system which is placed remotely (as the name suggests) and piped to the cabinet. Often the exterior compressor will be housed on an external wall with pipes running to the inside of the premises.
Advantages of a remote refrigeration system:
Disadvantages of a remote refrigeration system:
This is easy for us - We love drawers on foodservice refrigeration - But this needs to be balanced with doors in the unit as required.
Generally speaking if it's an a la Carte kitchen in a cafe or restaurant go for about 25% doors 75% drawers.
There are a few ways to check the energy consumption of a commercial fridge or freezer. The easiest is to check the kWh or otherwise known as electricity used measured by kilowatts per hour. Multiply the kW by the price of your electricity standard peak rate input power in per kilowatt hour (kWh). 2kW x 28c per kWh = 56 cents per hour x 24 hours = $13.44
Another way is to ask for the MEPS rating of the commercial refrigerator which will give a good assessment of the power requirements.
*Tip - Ask about government rebates for energy efficiency
In some States & Territories of Australia there are government rebates for energy efficient refrigeration. Some rebates will reduce the price of your initial purchase outlay significantly.
Energy consumption per day rated by MEPS & GEMS - Refrigerated display cabinets (RDCs), refrigerated storage cabinets (RSCs), ice cream freezer cabinets and scooping cabinets are used in a variety of locations - supermarkets, petrol stations, corner stores and delicatessens, as well as gelato and ice cream shops. These technologies are a significant component of the supermarket and process & cold storage sectors.
Refrigerated Display Cabinets (RDCs)
Refrigerated Display Cabinets (RDCs) are designed to store and display for sale chilled and/or frozen food items contained in the cabinet in a retail environment. This includes refrigerated drink cabinets that are designed to store non-perishable drinks only. They are not scooping cabinets or ice cream freezer cabinets.
RDCs allow the stored products to be either directly viewed through an opening in the cabinet or through transparent doors, lids or covers. The doors are normally kept closed but enable users to access any of the contents without stepping inside the refrigerated space. They are typically used in retail applications such as supermarkets, petrol stations, liquor outlets and smaller food and beverage vendors such as corner stores, dairies and delicatessens.
Refrigerated Storage Cabinets (RSCs)
Refrigerated Storage Cabinets (RSCs) are designed to store, but not to display for sale, chilled and/or frozen food items. Commonly also known as Foodservice refrigeration on the most part have solid stainless steel doors, lids or drawers that are generally kept closed, but allow access to the contents without having to step inside the refrigerated space. RSCs are typically used in catering applications and non-retail areas of supermarkets, butcheries, restaurants, hotels, cafes, professional kitchens and institutional facilities where they are used mainly for storage.
*See your Australian electricity supplier for uptodate electricity prices.
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