A Few Things to Consider While Shopping for Refrigeration
New and Used Refrigeration Equipment:
Many times people in the market for a refrigeration unit will seek out something used to save them on money up front. Now although in certain instances you can find great deals on used restaurant refrigeration in our experience, we find the opposite to be true. Generally if you are in the market for used, we recommend you stick to the cooking equipment. Cooking equipment is much less complex and works more with plumbing and heating elements rather than complex electrical wiring of compressors, condensers and evaporators. The problem with used refrigeration is that the most important elements you need to examine are usually enclosed or not really accessible without dismantling the unit. A cooler may appear in outstanding physical condition and give the illusion of being a well maintained machine but in reality only has a 4 month life span on the compressor. The thing to keep in mind is to make sure the compressor is not near the end of it's usable life. Manufacturers will often extend warranties on just the compressor alone to ensure you, the end user, are protected in the event this crucial element of your refrigeration goes out. There is no way to estimate the compressor life by merely looking at it. This along with the complex wiring involved in the circuit boards are reasons why we discourage from buying used refrigeration. New commercial refrigerators and freezers come with warranties on all of their components and extended warranties for all compressors. A new freezer or cooler will also be easy to service and parts for the unit will not be obsolete. In the event a technician does need to service your unit, they will be able to quickly get the parts needed so that your refrigeration is up and running.
Self-contained and remote refrigeration units:
Whether its bar refrigeration, school refrigeration, military refrigeration, industrial refrigeration or restaurant refrigeration, you will have a choice of installing your equipment with a self-contained system or a refrigeration system. Granted the remote option is available for only select coolers and freezers, its a factor to consider when choosing. Remote condensers keep noise and heat away from your building. They also require specially "charged" lines that will run from the condenser in a remote location (typically on the roof or outside the building) to your refrigeration unit. Self contained units keep all of their refrigeration components, electrical components and plumbing within the unit itself. They do however also keep the heat and noise inside your building. Call us if you are unsure what to decide on and we will be glad to point you in the right direction. We stress that we are not trying to sell you the most refrigeration we can; we are here to sell you the refrigeration that will better suit your needs. Every application can be different and careful examination of all the factors is important when choosing your cooler or freezer.
Unlike walk in coolers that have to be planned into the physical design of the building, reach-in refrigerators are not fixed and can be located in strategic places in your kitchen. A reach-in placed near the cook line will give your cook quick access to meats, fish and poultry without leaving the station for extended periods of time. A walk in may not be placed in the most convenient area or may even be outdoors. This extra distance can add up and inflate your overhead. We have done the mathematics involved and the time saved by placing your reach-in near the line would surprise most. The faster your product is ready, the less your overhead will be, and the happier your customers will be. Chef bases are also a great way of keeping your cold product directly underneath the area you will be cooking. These units are built to hold heavy duty commercial range tops, griddles, and broilers right at working level. Since the actual refrigeration unit is holding your cook top, there is no time spent traveling to get product. Proper planning will have product ready directly underneath your cooking equipment for every shift. We have spoken to chefs from a wide array of disciplines and they have all claimed that a simple chef base refrigerator underneath their equipment is an invaluable tool.
The difference in this type of refrigeration equipment is the design of the cabinets. Bar refrigeration never exceeds certain heights because these units are designed for use under a counter or bar. This allows for easy access to your merchandise without ever walking away from your bar. We feature many bar refrigeration specialty cabinets which are great for holding beverages including wine, liquor, beer and soda drinks. Many of these bottle cooler type refrigeration units will be specialized for both bottle and can case storage. Keg coolers are designed to keep the keg refrigerated and the units themselves house tapping and dispensing fixtures to allow for easy pouring into mugs. Bar refrigeration typically lists its capacities in both cubic feet and case capacity. A glass door option is also available for many back bar type refrigeration units allowing your patrons to better view the product. The principal is similar to merchandisers which are design not only to keep your product cool, but also to entice customers to purchase the product. Many bar set ups also feature short glass door merchandisers on their back bar counter. These refrigeration pieces typically hold specialty drinks, imports, energy drinks, or even cold snack food products. The uses are seemingly endless and really depend on the theme of your bar or restaurant.