What kind of refrigeration system?
Top mounted refrigeration systems have the compressor on the top of the unit and are the industry standard. They are more energy efficient because the hot air discharge does not enter the refrigerated area and the work zone stays cooler as well. The increased air circulation around the compressor increases the compressor life. Top mounted units also don’t take up refrigerated storage area. The only down sides of the top mounted refrigeration is that you lose additional storage space on top of the unit and if you have a very low ceiling, the hot air might be hazardous.
Bottom mounted refrigeration usually is on economy units. They run cooler and consume less energy, but the increased efficiency is reduced due to hot air entering the refrigerated area and work zone. It does take up some of the refrigerated storage area as well, leaving the bottom shelf higher. You do have the advantage of added storage space on top of the refrigerator.
Expansion Valve vs. Cap-Tube
This is the way your refrigerator controls how much cooling power is needed. Refrigerators on or near cook lines, where the door is opened and closed often, have higher temperature demands. The best bet in that case would be a refrigerator with expansion valve-type refrigeration. Less expensive, cap-tube refrigeration is designed for refrigerators that are mostly closed for storage and holding.
Reach-In Refrigerators: What Size?
Remember, reach-in refrigerators are big! Measure your doors, hallways and installation space to ensure that your new refrigerator will be able to make it into your business. There are many models to choose from — Beverage-Air, Delfield and Traulsen are all offered at ShortOrder.com — so you’re bound to find one that will be a great fit for your restaurant.
Reach-In Refrigerators: Doors
The biggest benefit to having doors that open 180 degrees is that large trays and pans are able to slide in and out easier. Look for swing doors that have a 90 or 120 degree stay-open feature. Slide doors can be useful in tight spaces, but only one door can be open at a time.
Full height doors will allow for more storage space, but are also less energy efficient. Half height doors will have less storage space, and therefore, be more energy efficient.
Reach-In Refrigerators: Casters
For easier cleaning and sanitizing, casters are highly recommended. Not only do they allow for mobility, more health departments are strongly recommending them. Some models come with them standard, but they are considered options on others.