Nothing is more important for foodservice operators than maintaining the freshness and quality of the food they serve. For customers, consistently serving excellent dishes is the cornerstone of every great restaurant experience. Aside from customer service, food quality influences how a consumer views any food-serving businesses, may it be a kiosk or a 5-star restaurant.
According to a gastro physicist, people enjoy dining in foodservice channels when quality meals are being served. They also conclude that food presentation such as appearance, color, and texture, plays a huge factor in customer satisfaction (read more). One key component in keeping food ingredients and supplies fresh is through commercial refrigeration.
The cooling and refrigeration system had provided businesses and homes alike with a way to protect and prolong the life of their food and beverages. It removes heat and keeps our goods frozen to prevent spoilage and bacteria growth. Commercial refrigeration has different compartments to cater to food ingredients that need different cooling levels. Storing them at ideal temperatures are also important to allow safe consumption.
How to choose commercial refrigeration?
Manning and operating a food-serving business requires a lot of overseeing and decision-making. It is an everyday battle on how to keep loyal customers and entice new ones. You need to come up with a lot of fresh ideas and improve those that are already well-loved. One integral endeavor is choosing the right equipment, such as a commercial refrigeration system.
Before getting excited and purchasing the first one you come upon, here are some considerations to ponder upon.
- Refrigeration type – there are 3-door refrigerators, back door freezers, and deli cases. Think about what kind of frozen goods you need to store. Not all fresh goods need a freezer, sometimes a cooler can do the trick.
- Restaurant concept – if you are planning to display some goods and pastries at the forefront of your diner, you need to buy a piece of cooling equipment that jives with your theme and concept. A plain white ref will stick like a sore thumb in a luxurious restaurant.
- Space – make do with the space you have got. Also, consider your menu and your food distributor’s schedule. A walk-in freezer will waste a lot of space and electrical bill if your menu is not based on frozen goods, produce, and pub grub food.
Reach-in coolers, blast-in chillers, and glass-door refrigerators are just some of the commercial refrigeration equipment available in the market. It would be good to make an online canvass of prices and reviews from trusted sites before making your purchase.
How to save energy?
After buying the perfect cooling equipment, what then? The next step is to get educated on ways to save energy. Aside from environmental responsibility, it can also help you from saving unnecessary electrical increase.
- Only turn on anti-sweat heaters when necessary. Unless your freezer door is frozen or there is condensation on the display door, it is better to turn off your door heaters to save as much as $75 annually. Better yet, install adaptive controls to automatically activate your anti-sweat heaters when necessary.
- Install a motion-activated lighting system that will only turn your lights on when necessary.
- Display cases need night covers when not in use. Open-case refrigerators are visually pleasing but can cause a significant increase in your electrical bill. Keep the refrigerated air inside by installing night covers. This will keep your food properly refrigerated without too much energy consumption.
- Provide an ample amount of air circulation for your system. Avoid installing them in tight spots. Allow some wiggle room to prevent heat build-up. Good refrigeration airflow allows efficient cooling capabilities and low wasted energy.
- Regularly inspect auto closers and door gaskets. Ensure that the refrigeration system is in good condition by keeping the structure clean and dust-free. Dirty coils and condenser block proper air circulation, causing your equipment to work harder than it normally does.
- Check your refrigerant charge. Keep your freezer’s refrigerant charge on normal levels to prevent it from breaking down. Regular maintenance and inspection by your trusted HVAC company prevent any problems from happening.
Why is maintenance important?
Regular preventive maintenance saves you a lot of costly trouble in the future. Like any piece of an appliance, your cooling system will only work efficiently if its parts operate amicably. Different kinds of maintenance are done in varying frequencies. Some are daily while others can survive in a twice per year inspection.
The frequency of check-ups depends on your system load and how demanding you use it daily. Weekly maintenance includes defrosting and temperature checking. Set it too high and you’ll risk food spoilage. Too low and your system will exert unnecessary effort to work hard.
You also need to keep its interior and exterior premises clean. Avoid placing your equipment in a cramped area to prevent debris and large items from accidentally falling on it. Follow your system’s manual before doing anything you are unsure of.