When it comes to critical equipment for catering enterprises you´d be hard pushed to find anything quite as important as the fridge...
Refrigeration Buyer's Guide
Buying a fridge
Fridge failure won´t just interrupt your service; it also risks your stock and a broken fridge could have a huge impact on your cash flow. Whether you own a bar, restaurant, takeaway, deli or café, a reliable commercial fridge - or several - will likely to be at the core of ensuring a smooth operation. Here at Lockhart Catering, we stock a full range of commercial refrigeration solutions designed to match your space, requirement and budget. Before exploring our selection of chilled storage, why not take a few moments to read this introductory guide that aims to steer you in the direction of the fridge best suited to the needs of you and your business.
Commercial fridge considerations
Before choosing your fridge you’ll need to be clear on a few details. Make a note of the answers to the following questions to help speed up your search:
•What will you store in your fridge?
•Will your fridge be front or back of house?
•How much space do you have for your fridge? Don’t forget to measure and take door opening into account and ventilation space requirements into account.
•Do you plan to chill cooked and raw items in the same fridge or will you buy several?
•How does your stock rotation work?
•When does your stock arrive and how long are you likely to need to store items?
•Where will your fridge sit in relation to cookers and air conditioning units?
•How often will you be in and out of the fridge?
Fridges for restaurants, bars, cafes and more
We’ve pulled together the key benefits and features of the most common commercial fridges to help you select the ideal refrigeration partner for your kitchen or store. If you find you have questions left unanswered please give one of our sales advisers a call on 03701 678 678 and they’ll be happy to help.
•Upright - Offering a large capacity in exchange for small uptake of floor space, upright freezers are popular choices for those who need to be in and out of fridges regularly. Clever storage separation makes navigating stock and rotation easier, though you’ll need to store uncooked meats etc at the bottom if you don’t intend to use separate fridges for cooked and uncooked items. When choosing an upright, be mindful of the space required to open doors in order to provide safe access for anyone using the fridge.
•Counter top fridges, refrigerated prep tables and pan chillers - Particularly popular for use in takeaways, delis, sandwich shops and as part of the restaurant prep line, counter top fridges and chilled prep tables offer a space saving option that allow you to make more of surfaces and run a safe and streamline kitchen operation.
•Display fridges - Whether you intend to sell cans of fizzy drinks or pre-packed items direct from an upright display fridge or want to attractively display ingredients or food for sale, you’ll need a display fridge. These come in different shapes and sizes to suit your front of house set up. When making your selection be mindful of ease of cleaning for your fridge as well as access.
•Undercounter fridges - Where space is in short supply undercounter fridges can offer a convenient solution. While they usually feature reduced capacity compared to upright fridges, using several commercial undercounter refrigerators will help you make best use of compact spaces and allow you to store cooked and uncooked foods separately with ease. If you have a low requirement for storage space you may also find these your most affordable option.
•Modular chillers, cold rooms and walk in coolers - For serious capacity along with multiple organisational options, choose modular chillers, cold rooms or walk in coolers. While these take up more space they do free up space in your prep area.
A few commercial refrigeration rules
Once your restaurant standard fridge is in place you’ll need to ensure it keeps operating at an optimal level, a digital display will help you maintain and monitor temperature but you should also purchase a fridge thermometer to keep a check on things.Across the UK, it’s an Environmental health requirement to keep cooked and uncooked meats refrigerated separately. This means you’ll either need separate fridges or separate areas and there should be no risk of raw foods dripping onto cooked foods and cross contaminating. Once cooled, foods should be refrigerated as soon as possible to avoid bacteria breeding. In England cold foods are required to be stored at at 8°C or below, though it’s recommended to set a commercial fridge at 5°C to make sure it is kept cold enough when opening regularly. Cold foods can be kept above this temperature for four hours and then chilled below. Storage stickers can help you manage stock rotation and ensure you don’t end up with anything nasty lingering at the back of your fridge!
An introduction to Arctica
Arctica commercial standard refrigeration range is our very own collection of fridges suitable for use in restaurants cafes and more. Environmental considerations and energy efficiency are built into each design, saving you money in the long term. Models include upright fridges and undercounter options and come in white and silver options with a two-year warranty as standard. Each model uses energy efficient R600a refrigerant and common features include automatic defrost, interior LED lighting for ease of organisation, rear and front rollers for easy manoeuvrability and digital display to help you monitor temperature. We’re very proud of the combination of quality and affordability that the Arctica range achieves and we think you’ll be impressed with their performance too.