Commercial Refrigeration Equipment – Types, Benefits, & Cost

Commercial Refrigeration Equipment – Types, Benefits, & Cost

There’s a huge segment of commercial refrigeration equipment in the market. Whether you are serving an array of items or have speciality menus, there is refrigeration equipment for that. 

Unlike their domestic counterparts, commercial refrigeration units are built heavy-duty for business settings. They are often constructed with high-performance stainless steel so this commercial kitchen equipment can withstand challenges in daily operation and repeated use. 

Manufacturers create industrial-grade commercial refrigeration supplies to have higher specifications with a much more agile capacity to match business demands.  If you’re running a hospitality business, you definitely need commercial refrigeration units. 

Now with the wide range of options, which type of refrigeration unit suits best for you? The answer depends on the following factors:

  • Your Menus
  • Your Kitchen Size
  • Your Budget

Things to Consider Before Choosing Commercial Kitchen Equipment.

Consider your day-to-day operation. How much storage capacity do you need on a daily basis? Not only how much volume you store on average daily operation but also remember that your leftovers will take up space in the unit.

That unit has to fit in your space. The size of your space influences the size of refrigeration equipment that you’ll acquire. There should also be enough space for airflow between the floors and walls. Proper airflow is necessary to let air circulate effectively so the equipment can function efficiently. Ensure that your refrigerator size does not hinder your staff’s workflow. 

Know the ideal temperature range you need. This depends on your menu, the type of foods you’re serving and the ideal temperature to store your items after service hours. Make sure you purchase equipment that falls within your ideal temperature range. For keeping your dishes warm and ready-to-serve, consider incorporating a bain marie into your equipment setup.

Of course, energy efficiency is very important. Look into commercial kitchen equipment that has excellent energy efficiency ratings. Even better if you can pick ones that have lower carbon footprints. 

Vegetable and meat in a commercial refrigeration

Commercial Refrigeration Equipment Comes in Different Sizes, Styles, Specifications and Capacities. 

  • Workbench  
  • Undercounter
  • Upright  
  • Bar Refrigeration
  • Display  Freezers
  • Cake Display
  • Chest Freezers

Types of Commercial Refrigeration Equipment

There are different options of refrigeration units to equip your commercial kitchen. Each of these unit types has its own purpose and usage. With the right commercial refrigeration equipment, you can prep up as many dishes as needed, often at a record speed time, even if you’re running a very busy commercial kitchen. 

Refrigeration Units with Workbenches

Refrigerated workbenches let you store, organise and refrigerate items while you can make use of the top as your workstation. These refrigerated preparation benches are ideal for assembling pizzas, salads and dishes. Some units also feature ambient tops and some have controllable worktop temperature settings. There are also workbenches that have G/N pan holders that you can use for storing ingredients, spices and sauces right on top of the unit. Some units feature ambient tops and some have controllable worktop temperature settings. Most workbench refrigeration units have castors for space management and to easily move them from one corner to the other. 

Under Counter Refrigeration Unit

Under counter refrigeration units are designed to be low and slim which makes them perfect for minimalist-designed kitchens. These commercial-grade refrigerators are compact and can be stashed under the counters or in between limited spaces. Usually, bars and pubs use these refrigeration units to keep top-selling beverages close at hand. If you were to install this in or under an island, it can keep your ingredients organised in the same area your chefs are working.

Upright Refrigeration Unit

These commercial refrigeration equipment are designed to save floor space. As the name suggests, they stand upright. You can organise your items in their built-in shelving systems and compartments. Options of freezers, fridges or freezers plus fridges are available. Most commercial-grade upright refrigerators feature automatic closing doors, auto-defrost systems, digital temperature controllers and internal lighting for ultimate convenience. 

Bar Refrigeration Units

Sometimes it can get hectic behind the bar. So you need a trusty unit you can depend on. Bar refrigeration units are specially made for repeated use in beverage-serving settings. Types of bar refrigeration equipment include back bar coolers, beer dispensers, wine refrigerators, bottle coolers, glass frosters and wine coolers. These indispensable commercial refrigeration equipment serve you wonders; from arranging stocks to serving chilled and cold drinks. 

Display Fridges

Unlike the traditional stainless steel units,   display refrigeration equipment is created with a glass display that makes it easier to view items stored inside. In the kitchen, they make the process easier by giving a full view of available stocks/inventories to your chefs and staff. When used in storefronts, it encourages more impulse purchases.  

  • Cake Display Fridges
    Cake fridges are designed to display cakes and pastries while keeping them at a safe, chilled temperature. Restaurants and pastry shops use cake display fridges as a way to entice people to buy. Cake display fridges come in different shapes and capacities and are often equipped with digital temperature controllers and lighting.
  • Gelato Display
    These types of commercial refrigeration equipment are specially constructed for gelato parlours, ice cream shops and restaurants that want to highlight their gelato desserts. These commercial display refrigerators usually have a glass casing to showcase gelato flavours and entice more impulse sales.  
  • Deli Display
    These are beautiful, attractive refrigerated cabinets to display deli meat, dairies, cold cuts, and fresh produce. These units are constructed to make choosing and purchasing easier for customers while giving store owners convenience to grab with ease the items needed. Similar to deli displays, non-refrigerated display cases are used by bakeries to showcase bread, bagels and baked desserts. 
  • Salad and  Sandwich Bars
    These units are specifically designed for sandwich shops, salad bars and pizzerias. They are often equipped with useful features like G/N pans and worktop tables so you can create dishes on the top of the unit.  The most common salad and sandwich bar refrigerator designs include tabletop salad bars, employee-service salad bars and self-serve salad bars.
  • Pizza Bars
    Usually features a prep table that lets you streamline your pizza preparation. It’s a valuable piece of equipment if you’re running a pizzeria. These units are often equipped with storage for ingredients and a cutting board so you can make magic right on top of the refrigeration unit.
  •  Sushi and Salad Tops
    For sushi restaurants or food-service businesses that serve sushi as one of their highlighted dishes, a sushi top is a must. The same goes for salad bars. There are options for display units or prep fridges which are ideal for these types of businesses. Sushi and salad top equipment let you create your menus with ease. Bigger units have worktops and cutting boards. There are also units for displaying ingredients, sauces and condiments and they are usually the choice for self-serve sushi and salad bar business owners.

Ice Machines or Ice Makers

For quick-service restaurants and hospitality businesses that have high demands for cold beverages and drinks, an ice machine or an ice maker is a necessity. These refrigeration equipment are also essential for pubs, clubs and cafes because of the constant demand for cold drinks. Ice machines often produce four types of ice such as nuggets, flakes, cubes, shaved and gourmet. 

  • Undercounter ice makers.
    These are the kind of ice makers that you can tuck under the counter or in tight spaces. Today’s models are compact and industrial-grade, perfect for bars, commercial kitchens and high-traffic businesses.
  • Modular ice machines.
    These types of commercial kitchen equipment require a separate storage bin to store ice. It can produce large amounts of ice quickly. These units can be placed on top of an ice dispenser or a soda dispenser.
  • Combination ice and water machine.
    As the name suggests, these types of commercial ice makers produce both ice and cold water. Ideal for self-service businesses, offices and busy restaurants. These machines are convenient to keep customers happy and hydrated. 

various cakes for sale display in a commercial display fridge

Refrigeration Maintenance 

When you finally purchase a new refrigeration unit, the next thing is to ensure they last as long as they should. Just as with any other commercial kitchen equipment, your refrigeration units need regular and preventive maintenance for optimal performance. Proper maintenance plays a huge role in extending the life of your equipment. 

Condenser and evaporator coils must be thoroughly cleaned and checked at least once every three months. These parts of your refrigerator are responsible for maintaining the equipment’s temperature. Any accumulated dirt can cause overheating and component failure. 

Check the gaskets as often as possible. Any crack (even the smallest ones!) can lead to the cold air from exiting the interior of the fridge, which then leads to performance efficiency that often results in spoiled foods. 

Don’t forget the filters! The filters remove contaminants that may affect the taste, smell and freshness of your foods. Using a powerful vacuum,  suck out the accumulated dirt in your refrigerators’ filters. 

Keeping your refrigeration equipment dry ensures that it doesn’t freeze up over time. Check shelving and surfaces and dry out any liquid or moisture. You must drain out pans and tubes whenever needed. 

Places in your refrigerator that must be regularly inspected:

  • Hinges
  • Closers
  • Gaskets
  • Pans
  • Tubes
  • Filters
  • Condenser coils
  • Evaporator coils
  • Refrigerant level
  • Adjusting defrost timers
  • Electrical connection
  • Suction line insulation
  • Thermometers

Benefits of Having Commercial Refrigeration Equipment in Your Kitchen

Commercial refrigeration units are ideal for hospitality settings, retail, groceries, hospitals, labs and any other businesses that require their items to be at a safe temperature and sanitary storage. 

Constructed for commercial use. Your refrigeration units are the soul of your kitchen. They cannot be skipped, at all! When you choose commercial units instead of their domestic counterpart, you can ensure that your space is equipped with machines built for the job. 

Keeps items safe and sanitary. Keeping your inventory properly chilled or frozen is a must if you’re running a business. Not only for proper storage, but commercial refrigeration units can ensure that your bulk items are kept at a safe temperature and sanitary environment all the time. 

Built to last. Just like most commercial kitchen equipment, commercial refrigeration units are mostly created with high-quality industrial-grade stainless steel. And that is for good reasons. Stainless steel construction ensures that the unit can withstand repetitive use in business settings. Not only the construction but the features and functionalities of commercial refrigerators are specifically designed for high-traffic operations.

Save energy bills. Commercial kitchen equipment is often built high-performance which means it can do the job well without having to consume enormous resources of energy. Go for units with excellent energy ratings and use energy-efficient lighting.  

Ranges of Commercial Refrigeration Equipment for All Sizes of Businesses in New Zealand

For the past 50+ years, Federal Hospitality Equipment (F.E.D) has been among the most trusted commercial kitchen equipment suppliers in New Zealand. We have a range of commercial refrigeration equipment, including those that are mentioned above. 

Our showrooms carry a range of refrigeration units from our own and from the nation’s leading brands. Buying from us means cutting the extra cost for middlemen plus you get warranties and guaranteed exceptional customer service every time. 

We won’t leave you hanging. Following installation, we offer post-sales services to create a concise maintenance support plan for your equipment. 

We offer tailored services based on your needs. If you need advice on which commercial refrigeration unit to pick for your business, just give us a call at 09 415 6470 and one of our friendly staff will walk you through the available options according to your specifications. If you’re looking for high-quality ovens for your commercial kitchen, check out our range of ovens NZ from top brands at Federal Hospitality Equipment.

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