Refrigeration

Refrigeration takes many forms in foodservice operations including walk-ins, reach-ins, and display cases.

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Walk-in refrigerators play a key role in many commercial kitchens, keeping products cool and at food-safe temperatures. Because this equipment stores food, which would be pricey to lose, perform proactive maintenance at least twice a year.

Walk-in refrigeration is popular for operations that require a large space for cold food storage. Although they are generally simple pieces of equipment, foodservice operators should consider a number of factors when purchasing a walk-in cooler. 

Walk-ins are suitable for a variety of foodservice operator segments, from traditional bars and restaurants to institutional applications like schools, hospitals and prisons. Along with fresh produce and raw meat, operators can use walk-in coolers to store beer, wine and dairy items. High-end restaurants may designate separate walk-ins for different meats that have diverse temperature requirements.

Glass door or open-air display cases house refrigerated or frozen products, including beverages, ice cream, sandwiches, salads and other grab-and-go foods. Operators can position these units as endcaps in a retail setting or group them for a point-of-sale opportunity.

When deciding on a refrigerated display case, operators should determine the type of application to decide if a refrigerator, freezer or open-air merchandiser is most appropriate.

Proper care and maintenance play crucial roles in keeping refrigerated display cases operating at optimal efficiency. The typical service life for these units is about 7 to 12 years.

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