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Home > Keeping your cool > Your Complete Guide to Purchasing a Commercial Refrigerator

First of all, if you’re wondering what is considered a part of commercial refrigeration…

Commercial Refrigeration includes: free-standing commercial refrigerators which serve as cold storage for restaurants, supermarkets, breweries, and other commercial dining facilities. This includes refrigerators and freezers ranging from free-standing to walk-ins.

If you think you need a commercial refrigerator, then you probably do. But to clarify, you need a commercial refrigerator if you need to…

  • Immediately store cold items when they arrive.
  • Keep produce fresh for extended periods of time.
  • Maintain food for extended periods of time.

Now, you know you need some type of commercial refrigeration equipment for your business, but what kind of commercial refrigerator do you need?

Any commercial refrigerator you pick will keep your food cold, they’re all designed to maintain a specific range of temperature: 34°F – 40°F. But you shouldn’t just choose any refrigerator willy-nilly! You’ll see refrigerators of all shapes, sizes, and configurations while you’re shopping around, and considering your business’s specific needs will help you decide what kind of refrigerator will be best

Types of Commercial Refrigeration

Reach-in Refrigerators & Freezers

The most common type of commercial refrigeration you’ll see are the reach-in refrigerators and freezers. Typically they will have a stainless steel or glass door which is either full length or half doors. Their storage capacity is dependent on the cubic feet of the unit.

You’ll see these at supermarkets, restaurants, and breweries.

Walk-in Refrigerators & Freezers

Your Complete Guide to Purchasing a Commercial Refrigerator

These are larger commercial refrigeration units which provide more space to keep bulk items cool. You can set up shelving units inside the walk-ins for organization and to take full advantage of the storage space. They’re great for bulk items, drinks, alcohol, and juices. And you can choose to have it installed over the existing floor or add-on specific flooring for the walk-in.

You’ll see these at restaurants, juice shops, and breweries.

Undercounter Refrigerators

These units are typically 30 – 35 inches in height, fitting perfectly under your counters. Since they fit into small spaces, they’re a good option if you need additional cold storage space. You can use these for keeping prepped foods cool or for other products which are used on an as-needed basis.

You’ll see these at restaurants.

Refrigerated Prep Tables

Your Complete Guide to Purchasing a Commercial Refrigerator

These refrigerated tables are designed for line cooks or preppers to use in a restaurant, but are sometimes used at pizza restaurants or sandwich shops. They have cold storage wells which keep pans of food cold while also offering traditional food storage beneath in drawers. You can even store dressings and sauces underneath.

You’ll see these at places like Subway, Jersey Mike’s, or even some pizza restaurants.

Bar Refrigeration

Bar refrigeration is made up of multiple kinds of refrigerators, including back bar refrigerators, wine merchandisers, plate and glass chillers, and keg and bottle coolers. They each have their own benefits and are designed specifically for one use. For example, many wine merchandisers will hold the bottles at the perfect angle which prevents the cork from drying out and will also keep air out of the bottle.

You’ll see these at breweries, bars, restaurants, and wineries.

Refrigerated Merchandisers

Your Complete Guide to Purchasing a Commercial Refrigerator

These display refrigerators always have glass doors or an open front, to show off the products inside. They are designed to look appealing to consumers while still providing cold storage. It’s easy for the consumer to reach in and grab what they’re looking for.

You’ll see these at grocery stores, convenience stores, bakeries, and some restaurants.

Are you looking for more commercial refrigeration resources? Check out our previous articles below…

Your Ultimate Guide to Commercial Refrigeration Maintenance
Types of Commercial Refrigerators You Need in a Craft Beer Brewery

Do you need help deciding what kind of commercial refrigerators you need in your business? Our experienced technicians are always ready to help you find the perfect refrigeration units for you. Call us today!