A restaurant uses a variety of equipment to run efficiently. Still, for all the equipment available, few machines hold stronger significance than—the walk-in freezer (or cooler). Since many ingredients and even finished products require cold storage, it’s critical to have a unit that stores these foods properly. However, it takes a little research to know what kind of freezer is best for you as well as how to maintain the unit so that it lasts longer. With these potential considerations in mind, here are some walk-in freezer / cooler tips with regards to selection as well as maintenance.
You should consider the following when selecting a walk-in freezer:
How big of a unit does the restaurant actually need? Also, how much space can be realistically allocated towards a freezer? Choosing the wrong sized unit can lead to major inefficiency.
Compressors tend to wear more easily in warmer or higher altitude areas. This makes going for a bigger freezer ideal if you’re located in these types of climates.
Pre-fab or custom
Figure out whether you can utilize a unit that has already been assembled or require a freezer made specifically for your kitchen.
Do you need the freezer’s shelves to be made of a certain material? Also, purchase shelves that are the correct size for your unit.
Doors and locks
Ensure that the door’s handles, hinges, and gaskets are sturdy. Consider if you want extra features like reinforced latches or secure locks on the door as well.
The following list offers some tips on maintaining a walk-in freezer:
- Make sure the door is completely shut when not in use.
- Inspect / clean the evaporator and condensing coils.
- Ensure that the door hinges and closers work properly.
- Check the fan to ensure it’s running optimally.
- Check all electrical connections.
- Make sure the lights are off when exiting a walk-in.
- Check gaskets for possible cracks. Clean and replace if necessary.
- Clean drain lines to ensure no debris clogs.
- Monitor the inside temperature regularly.
- Sweep / mop floors regularly.
Purchasing a walk-in freezer represents an important investment for any restaurant. It’s important that special consideration be given to your needs to find a specific unit to purchase. Then, once the chosen unit is firmly placed in the restaurant, it’s crucial that the kitchen staff regularly maintain the walk-in to ensure it lasts a long time. By following these tips, you can keep the chill in the freezer from extending to your bottom line.