The refrigerator you have in your restaurant's kitchen is one of the most important pieces of equipment you need for your business and probably one of the most expensive. This is why it's good to take your time and shop the various models available when you're in the market for a new unit and know a little bit about the different features they offer. Note a few commercial refrigeration factors to consider when you are ready to shop so you get the right refrigerator for your business.
The condenser is the coil that creates cold air that is blown into the refrigerator; for a commercial unit, the condenser coil is usually located on the bottom or the top of the refrigerator itself. A bottom condenser can be more accessible so it's easier to clean, and it may allow for more interior space while taking up the same size footprint as a model with a condenser on the top. In very hot environments and kitchens that hold lots of heat, a top mounted unit may suffer more wear and tear as the heat in the room rises, making the condenser hotter, so it needs to work harder to cool the air inside the unit.
While top-mounted units may be harder to reach when it's time to clean them, they may actually stay cleaner as they don't trap as much dust and debris as a condenser on the floor. Top-mounted units also don't blow warm air into the refrigerator when the doors are opened. For a kitchen where the refrigerator doors are constantly being opened or held open, a top unit may be a better option.
Brand, warranty and repairs
Not all brands of refrigerator are alike. Some will have a better reputation for durable units that last many years before needing repairs. Take the time to read reviews from other restaurant owners before deciding on a brand. You should also check any warranty offered and whether it includes just parts or parts and labour needed to make repairs. If you don't know how to fix a broken refrigerator yourself, investing in a warranty that includes labour can be a good choice.
Note too if a brand or manufacturer offers a guarantee as to repairs. Can they have a technician to your location within 24 hours? Can they offer a replacement unit if they need to order parts for repairs? Since your business depends on a functioning refrigeration unit, you want to ensure yours can be repaired quickly or you can easily get a replacement when needed.