Posted by Patrick Maness
Every restaurant concept is different and every menu has its subtleties. No matter how unique your concept may be, though, one constant always remains true. If you’re preparing and serving food, you’ll need the right refrigeration to store it properly. It's a basic fact, of course, and one that makes choosing the right refrigeration solutions essential for your business.
With that in mind, we’re going to take a deeper look at the different refrigeration options available in today's market. We're also going to look at some of the top manufacturers in the business so you can focus your search on the best options for this essential equipment.
Reach-ins, walk-ins and refrigerated prep tables are a must
In most foodservice operations, a single refrigeration option is rarely sufficient. Instead, your business will likely need a combination of reach-in, walk-in and refrigerated prep tables. How many you employ of each depends on your layout and menu.
Reach-in refrigerators and freezers are handy for storing things you need readily available. This may include meat for the broiler or food for the fryers. Reach-ins are handy because they can hold a lot of product and are easy to clean. However, while they are commonly used in connection with heat-producing appliances like broilers or fryers, it’s best to keep a little distance between the two. Doing so will lower your energy costs and prolong the life of the reach-in. If separating the two isn't possible, a metal divider can be very helpful in controlling for temperature.
Your walk-in cooler or freezer, on the other hand, is ideal for storing bulk items. Not every business has space for these options, but if you do, make sure you make the most of it. Storing items in bulk may lead to better buys and will prevent you from taking items off the menu. Once the items have entered the cooler or freezer, make sure everything is arranged and used according to a first-in, first-out policy. This will prevent waste and ensure you have sufficient product for those unexpected rushes.
Finally, refrigerated prep tables are a work station and storage unit all rolled into one. They’re ideal for sandwich or salad stations, but you may find other uses as well. Stock the top of the table with dipping sauces and ingredients, and fill the base with back-up supplies. Prep tables may be more difficult to clean than reach-ins, so allow sufficient time for your staff to take the coolers apart at shift’s end to keep everything running optimally.
Finding the best refrigerated options for your restaurant
When it comes to finding the best refrigeration equipment manufactures for your business, look no further than Randall, Traulsen, and Nor-Lake. Randall has been in business since 1975, specializing in refrigerated prep tables and other compact refrigerated solutions. Traulsen was established in 1938, and today the company offers refrigerated solutions of every make and model, perfect for any business. Nor-Lake was founded in 1947 and has grown to be a leader in the designing and manufacturing of quality refrigeration products.
All three offer a full line of refrigerated options in varying sizes, ensuring that no matter how unique your concept may be, there's a refrigerated option waiting for you.
Read other articles in this series:
Simple Steps to Decide What Size Refrigeration System You Need
5 Ways to Eliminate Those Escalating Energy Expenses
Keep Your Systems Running with These 4 Commercial Refrigeration Tips