There’s something appealing in the knowledge that your new equipment is a piece of serious quality machinery. The professional machine can mark the point where your business is no longer new, but an established contender in the industry.
Professional equipment seems like a big monetary outlay at first, and it is. But we know to think of this as an investment. Like all investments it is intended to make money and hopefully improve business operations. It is always advisable to go with the best products one can afford, but it is also advisable to do some research and look for the most suitable products.
If your customers can see your fridges then their appearance is part of your sale appeal. Don’t compromise this. Bold looking stainless steel fridges look impressive when filled with almost any product. Think of the fridge section at supermarkets. Customers being able to see the products through the glass doors at the front is also a factor. Products hidden behind solid doors don’t have that advantage.
Look at size and space available. Not quite as straightforward as it seems, you usually have more headroom than you think. A taller model freezer/fridge has more room than a shorter one, as does a deeper one, but always check that you have sufficient room. Commercial fridges/freezers do give more storage space over domestic models, even if they take up the same floorspace.
Ease of cleaning. Not a triviality, as you are paying for somebody’s time when you keep things clean. If it takes twice as long to clean you are paying more money over time, and have to factor in what is done with the products when the cleaning is taking place. Commercial fridges usually work via air cooled condenser coils, which do need regular cleaning. Make sure access to these is as convenient as possible.
It is greatly preferable to buy fridges/freezers with casters. This is essential for cleaning under the fridge, and you will find yourself moving equipment from time to time.
Energy efficiency is a factor. You are paying power bills to keep a lot of equipment running. It’s not quite like plasma TV’s that hiked electricity rates so much that people stopped buying them, but power consumption is a business expense. Expect a commercial fridge to consume a little over twice as much power as a domestic fridge, but remind yourself that they do store a lot more product.
And on power, you probably should check with an electrician to make sure you can have all your equiplment on at once. Adding an extra fridge/freezer might put your system over the limit, and if the power goes down overnight you can lose all your frozen stock.
Avoid any freezer that is ‘frost free’ as you seriously risk having your food defrosted (unfrozen) everytime the fridge runs a regular thaw.
If some particular item has remained popular for many years there is probably a good reason. If a brand or model proves reliable and useful it tends to stay in production; the manufacturer knows they are onto a good thing and will continue to maintain the product and its replacement parts; commercial owners stick with products that they know will work well. Commercial fridges and freezers are a long term investment that prove useful for any catering business.