Refrigeration

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

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Reach-in refrigerators or uprights, which keep food temperatures between 36 degrees F and 38 degrees F, can store a variety of perishable food. Glass door models can help foodservice operators merchandise packaged sandwiches, beverages and impulse food purchases, while custom models can store temperature-sensitive items such as wine and chocolate.

Jon Russell, owner of Russell’s Service Co., a Leesburg, Ga.-based service agency, shares a few ideas on how to maximize the service life of a reach-in refrigerator.

The confluence of high labor costs and consumers’ need for speed creates a recipe for accessible, portable food options, either as the main meal or as add-on items. As a result, the role of the reach-in continues to evolve from simple storage item to profit center for many foodservice operators, including fast-casual and quick-service operators.

Walk-in coolers are easy to maintain when following simple best practices and regular maintenance. The parts that tend to wear out, such as condensers, fans and motors, are inexpensive compared to the total cost of a new cooler. These can be fixed, rather than having to replace the entire unit.

Walk-ins make it easier for foodservice operators to store large amounts of food items on-site and can be more efficient than multiple reach-in coolers or freezers. These units also can serve as large auxiliary rooms for prepping ingredients.

Consultant Q&A: Rick Sevieri, president, RJS Barber Associates, Old Lyme, Conn.

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