Undercounter and underbar refrigeration serve as supplemental storage solutions for the front of house or in the kitchen as part of a prep station. Timothy A. Barker, founder of Table & Bar Consulting Group in Memphis, Tenn., provides information on what to consider when purchasing undercounter refrigeration.

  • Determine the amount of space available for the refrigeration unit. Operators can choose from a variety of widths and depths.
  • Understanding how staff will access these units represents another key factor. Units come in a variety of configurations with models offering between one and four doors and drawers.
  • These units typically do not require a lot of ventilation space. As a result, operators often use undercounter refrigeration exclusively in non-vented kitchens or smokeless and greaseless operations that don’t have a deep fryer.
  • Undercounter refrigerators may incorporate cutting boards or a prep top, which creates a two-in-one space for operations.
  • Energy-efficient undercounter units may cost more up front, but if the operation can recoup the extra investment in about two years, it’s worth the investment in the long run.
  • Casters not only allow operators to move these units but also make it easier to clean beneath them.
  • Because undercounter refrigeration is typically situated in the middle of a busy area, operators should be aware of space constrictions for doors that swing out or drawers that pull out.