Whether you are planning to open a new restaurant or remodeling an existing one, purchasing commercial refrigeration is an essential step in the process. Buying commercial refrigeration is one of your biggest investments, so you should consider your purchase very carefully. There is an assortment of options to choose from, including coolers and freezers which are both available in a wide variety of configurations, from walk-in coolers to reach-in style units with or with glass doors. Not to mention prep tables, sandwich salad units, bakery display cases, ice machines under counter units and the like.
The first step in choosing commercial refrigeration for your restaurant business is considering the products you need to store, how much space you have for the equipment and whether the public will be accessing it as well. Pondering these thoughts first will help you determine whether you need a cooler or freezer, a walk-in or reach-in style unit, size of the equipment, the capacity, the style of doors, whether they are solid or glass. Once you have these thoughts in place, you can start to narrow down the endless amounts of possibilities.
Now consider whether you need a cooler or freezer or both. Do you need to just keep the product cold or keep it frozen? Now that you have pondered that, what temperature do you need to hold? When considering this you must think out the current state of the product when it is entering the restaurant equipment, is it going into the equipment already frozen, room temperature, or hot?
The size of the equipment you get depends on the space you have available and the storage capacity required. Unlike a reach-in style cooler/freezer, there is no real standard size to a walk-in cooler. Walk-ins are built to order and can be customized to meet your specific needs. Every option depends on your location. Is it going inside or outside of your building? If indoors, do you have a concrete slab to place it on or is it a wooden floor that would require you to purchase a floor for the equipment? Consider the ceiling height inside of your location, if you are placing it indoors. Do you need multiple access doors or is one sufficient?
Most importantly, this is your restaurant business. If you have a general contractor doing all the leg work for you, know what is going on at all times. Check with local code enforcement to find out what your city or county requirements are. One of the most important questions is to find out is if you must acquire permits for the equipment you are purchasing.
The restaurant commercial refrigeration you purchase will last you many years to come and the decisions you make should be taken very seriously. It will be one of the largest purchases you make and it is not as simple as choosing which cooking utensils to use, linens, or even a color scheme. Make sure you communicate your needs and expectations with a commercial refrigeration specialist to ensure that you are getting exactly what you need. You want restaurant equipment that is dependable and will give you many years of quality service.
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