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


Back bar units are taller and have interior lighting for displaying wine as well as canned and bottled beverages at the bar. Operators often use back bar units in conjunction with beer dispensing systems.

It is recommended that walk-in refrigerators and freezers receive proactive maintenance at least twice a year.

Foodservice operators should determine what products they will store in their walk-in refrigerators and freezers. An item’s density and temperature may mean it takes longer to get it to the right temperature.

A walk-in cooler and/or freezer serves as a critical piece of equipment in commercial kitchens, as it becomes the bank for cold food storage. With more operators using fresher ingredients, space necessary to keep items cool continues to increase.

 Refrigerated display cases are prevalent in the cafe segment due to the continued popularity of grab-and-go items. This equipment category includes pass-thrus, roll-ins and undercounter units.

Reach-in Refrigerators

Pizza operations utilize reach-in refrigerators or uprights to keep perishable foods at temperatures between 36 degrees F and 38 degrees F. Operators most often use these units for long-term storage of pizza ingredients in the back of the house. Glass door models can merchandise a variety of menu items, including beverages, salads and other complementary items by the point of purchase.

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