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Refrigeration

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Is it possible to run a food service business without refrigeration? To be honest, we don’t want to know! Quality commercial refrigeration is simply that central to everything we love about the dining experience as well as those things we sometimes take for granted, like food safety and the sheer variety of ingredients at our fingertips. At Eleven36 we are driven to match our clients with appliances that won’t let them down and refrigeration is no exception. Our products from leading brands in the industry are designed to be convenient for your staff, easy on your energy bill and flexible for the ultimate in control.

Approaching a Commercial Refrigerator Choice from a Business Point of View

There are many varieties of commercial refrigerator units, from blast chillers to coolers to freezers to reach-in and walk-in refrigerators to units that make your merchandise shine. Size and shape are important of course, but there’s a few other key considerations to look at when you’re buying industrial refrigerator units.

The Practical

Size: Not just that of a commercial refrigerator, but of your entire kitchen area. Given the range of uses for commercial refrigeration, you’ll probably have multiple units, so give some thought on where you will put them and how your staff will interact with them.

Material: Stainless steel is a popular choice in refrigeration units because it is durable, rust- and water-resistant, and doesn’t lend odors to anything it stores. It also looks great and is easy to clean.

Weight: How are you going to get the unit into the back of the house to set it up, and will your floor support it?

Under the Hood

Condenser type: A condenser cools down your refrigerant. Types of condensers include air-cooled, water-cooled and air-water-cooled (evaporative).

Cooling tonnage: This is a scientifically accurate way of describing a commercial refrigerator’s power. It’s measuring how much heat can be removed from a particular space during an hour. How much you actually need will depend on how quickly you need to cool items frequently exposed to an open door, for instance, or that simply need to be cold, fast.

Defrosting systems: A defrosting system works to remove ice on the condenser, actively or passively. Like the condenser itself, this is a piece you want to be of the highest quality within your unit, or problems will occur.

Temperature control: How much flexibility do you have in using one unit to keep different produce, for instance, at different temperatures?

The Bottom Line

Energy efficiency: Restaurants spend thousands of dollars on energy bills a month (at least) and refrigeration is no small portion of that. Every dollar your commercial refrigerator can save is a dollar that goes back to you.

Maintenance and warranty: Does your manufacturer have the ability to provide replacement inventory if anything fails in your commercial cooler? What repairs or replacements does your warranty cover? Does your supplier offer responsive and informed customer service? (Pro tip: Eleven36 does!)

Security: When we accidentally leave the refrigerator ajar at home, we may notice during our midnight snack and get lucky that nothing spoils. Restaurants don’t have that luxury!

Whew! You’ll want to cool down after having considered all those factors in picking a commercial cooler or refrigerator unit. Fortunately, Eleven36 is here to help make these choices easier — we speak refrigeration.

Getting Ready to Purchase

Before you choose a single or double-door commercial refrigerator or fall in love with a pass-through model, scoping out your own space, power capacity and floor load capacity are incredibly important. You need to be able to keep the refrigerator humming without endangering the functioning of other equipment or the structural soundness of your building. For tips on figuring out those questions for your space, reach out to Eleven36 — there’s virtually no type of business we haven’t helped supply with a reliable industrial refrigerator.

Setting up Your Business for Success

What you choose in refrigeration affects not only your bottom line, in terms of energy efficiency and food safety, but also your menu optionality. Features like rapid cooling and precisely controlled crisper drawers can make a major difference in achieving the flavors you want. Investing in a unit of the future instead of hanging on to an inefficient model from the past pays off down the line, too, as a good refrigerator should last 15 to 20 years or more.

Customize Your Refrigeration Meaningfully 

Industrial refrigerator and freezer units have a number of cool features that can be of use to your business. A glass panel door may be helpful if your menu changes frequently; or maybe a half door is better to conserve more energy. Remote locking and remote monitoring can ensure that your units are functioning exactly as you need them to, 24/7. Some models also come with alarms to alert you when temperatures are in an undesirable range or possess a timer to allow temperature to fluctuate within a tightly controlled window. Different units function in relation to how often you expect to open them and how long you expect them to store food. Being able to reorder your racks or even roll them into an empty cabinet to maximize efficiency on the part of your staff can be a big plus.

Achieve Energy Efficiency

Curbing runaway energy costs is a big concern for any business, especially foodservice, which takes up much more energy than most commercial enterprises. Ask us about commercial refrigeration options with Energy Star ratings or features that can lower your energy bills. For added efficiency, you might want to consider connecting multiple units to a larger condenser.

To say this is just the tip of the iceberg is no exaggeration — the options for commercial refrigeration are nearly endless. Contact us at Eleven36 today for guidance through this frosty journey — while our products will keep your food cool, we promise our knowledge and reliability will keep your heart warm.