Commercial Fridge Buyers Guide

Utilising the wrong type of refrigeration in the commercial kitchen can have a detrimental effect on both health and safety and practicality. Particularly domestic fridges which appear attractive based on the price tag, but do not perform to the standards required for commercial food service.

However, choosing the right type of commercial fridge to suit your requirements can be tricky, with such a variety of configurations and technical jargon to navigate.

This article takes a look at all the types of commercial refrigerator that are available in the UK market and highlights the drawbacks and benefits of each.

Counter Fridges

Counter fridges are designed to ensure both chilled under counter storage as well as act as food prep worktop station. The top surface is typically made of stainless steel, in addition to being used for prep space the advantage of having hardtop surface allows for placement of other countertop kitchen appliances, this could range from commercial toasters to combi ovens like Rational counter units.

Flexible: Counter fridges can come available with drawers, doors or on some models a combination of both.

GN Compatible: Many counter fridges offer gastronorm compatibility allowing for easy transfer of trays from fridge to oven or freezer.

Variable sizes: Available in a range of configurations from small single door units to large four-door counter, find a size configuration suited to space in your kitchen.

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Upright Fridges

These freestanding units are taller providing more shelving space. Also, these unit tend to be slimmer allowing them to fit into commercial kitchens where space may be a commodity. However, if you have space and require more storage, some units come in larger double door configurations offering better internal capacity than most other types of the refrigerator without the inclusion of walk-in fridges.

Large capacity: plenty of internal storage with the option for double door capacity.

GN compatible: Offers gastronorm compatibility allowing for easy transfer of trays from fridge to oven or freezer.

Adjustable Shelves: Shelves can be adjusted to help store bulkier items and containers.

Easy Access: Can be positioned closer to work and prep stations saving time unlike with walk-in fridge and freezers.

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Undercounter Fridges

Smaller compared to counter and upright fridges, these compact and lightweight models provide fast access to a stored product without obstructions on counter space, undercounter refrigerators have solid doors and produce minimal noise while running, due to this they can be used in front of house areas.

Flexible: Ideal for both kitchen use or font of house areas, also make suitable backup fridges or ingredient fridges.

Compact design: Smaller design makes it easy to position; most undercounter fridges have a single door.

Silent running: Many undercounter fridges operate very quietly reducing noise pollution making it them ideal for under bar use, hotel rooms or intimate restaurants.

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Key Selection Points

Capacity Ensuring you get a fridge with enough capacity to cope with your busiest period is one of the most critical factors you need to takes into consideration. If you get too small of a refrigerator and stock may go to waste, too large of a fridge will mean storage space as reducing the amount of kitchen space you a have to move through the kitchen without obstruction, as well as reducing available space for other appliances.
Climate Class The climate class represents the highest ambient temperature a fridge can still operate effectively, as a rule of thumb climate class 4 is regarded as medium duty whereas class 5 is known as heavy duty size. If your kitchen is consistently over 32c ideally, you need climate class 5.
Efficiency Essentially, the more efficient a fridge is, the cheaper it is to run. The majority of solid door commercial refrigerators will have energy efficient ratings to help you choose the right model.

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