All food businesses - big & small, need to store food and maintain its freshness. At home you can easily do it by keeping it in your fridge but when it comes to your business, your home refrigerator can’t handle the volume. Even small restaurants have a large amount of food to store. That’s a problem commercial refrigerators solve - easily.
Are you too feeling the need for a commercial fridge to support and expand your food business? Not sure about why your home refrigerator just wouldn’t suffice in the long run? Or are you wondering whether that extra cash you spend on a commercial fridge is even worth the money? Today we take a look at the best solutions for your business’s refrigeration needs. We will tell you all the benefits you get from opting for a commercial fridge over a home one. We also recommend the top products in this category and to help you make your decision, we have created a buying guide for you.
All this information is made available after thorough research from our experts, so that you don’t have to go through the pain of searching over thousands of available products. As you go through this guide, you will gain valuable insights on the different types of refrigerator options available to you. We recommend only those products that pass our benchmarks and we trust. Before we get into the commercial refrigerators though it is important to understand why they are different from the home fridges.
What makes a commercial fridge solve a problem home refrigerators struggle with? It’s a simple design decision really. Commercial fridges don’t have the freezer compartment! It opens up a lot of space for extra food to be stored without making the outer body of the fridge too large. They also don’t have door storages like the home refrigerators which means thin doors and extra space to store food with uniform cooling( it is known that food stored on door of a fridge gets poorer cooling than the rest). Commercial fridges offer several other advantages which we look at below.
Extra storage isn’t the only benefit of a large commercial refrigerator. It is built with a stainless steel body or metal frame with glass which doesn’t allow rusting. Uniform cooling is another great advantage. Also, you can clean a commercial fridge way more easily than your home refrigerator. They are extremely durable and can handle heavy use. They also come with wheels( generally ), which allows for easy shifting even if the large size means extra weight. You can move them around even when they are loaded.
Depending on your use, however, there are some disadvantages. First, is the cost of course. The price of a large commercial refrigerator is more than a home one. The best commercial refrigerator price can easily go beyond $2000. So it may not be the right solution for your business if you’re just starting out. Also, if wheels are not provided, then it can be a pain to move these machines. They are also louder than your home refrigerators.
Okay, now let’s take a look at the different types of products you can choose from. There are many types of products out there and we do not list all of them - instead, we focus on the best and most popular types of models.
1. Walk in Refrigerator: Yes, you can walk in this refrigerator. It’s huge - a refrigerated store room. It is best suited for very large companies who maintain a huge storage.
2. Roll in: These are moveable refrigerators thanks to those wheels - best used by caterers.
3. Reach in: They are similar to your home refrigerators minus the freezing compartment of course! They are separated into different cabinets and you can categorize what food goes where.
4. Under Counter: A different design with a countertop style. There are different cabinets available where you can store the food just below the counter.
5. Display type: These come with a glass door. You can use them to display your beverages and catch the customer's’ attention. They are known to increase sales when placed strategically in the dining area by tempting them into a purchase.
6. Bar Refrigerators: Specially made for serving drinks easier and faster!
7. Blast Coolers: If you need to quickly chill the food you store these are the machines for the job.
There are other categories you can classify commercial refrigerators into, but for 99% owners one of these solutions works the best.
The #1 product on our list is a double door reach-in type refrigerator. It comes with six shelves behind its double doors, and has a 49 cu. Feet capacity that is sufficient for most small to medium size restaurants. The nicest thing about this product is the expert installation that WP fridges provide with this product for an additional price of just $175. You can do it on your own though.
It comes with default warranties of 5 years on the compressor and one year on other parts, and is not very loud. Great product at a great price!
This product is a super “salesman machine” - if there is such a term. This is the kind of product that you keep in your dining area in full view of your customers and let them buy impulsively. What it lacks in capacity (only 8.6 Cu feet ) it makes up for in sales. This refrigerator has a very specific purpose though - to sell your beverages. If you’re looking to store other food items, look for another product on our list.
It comes with four moveable shelves and a huge bottom storage area. Very compact and reasonably priced. You can start with this product if you want to test the benefits of owning a commercial fridge first.
With 3 doors, 9 shelves and a 72 cu. Feet storage capacity this refrigerator is easily the best large commercial refrigerator on our list. It comes with standard warranty and at $2599 it is definitely a bargain if you consider an additional door at only $700 extra for a third storage area. It is quite heavy but comes with wheels for easier movement and has a top mount compressor design compared to the traditional bottom mounts.
A refrigerator best kept in your restaurant’s kitchen. It is a solid product that meets all specification standards and gives you the best warranty on all the parts - 5 years on the compressor and 2 years for the other parts. They advertise what they deliver. This product has heavy duty shelves with plenty of room for all the food you want to store.
Before we even talk about the product, let me say, Procool have one of the best customer services for any category of products. This merchandiser does two things - tempts your customer with it’s vertical LED lighting that makes your products pop up and advertise for you. Yes, you get a lighted canopy where you can put your ads. There is a 3 year warranty on this double glass door fridge that has eight shelves. But the nicest thing is...FREE shipping. Are you sold yet? Shipping costs are huge on commercial refrigerators and Procool does it for free. Talk about pleasing your customers!
If you want more alternatives before you take out your credit card, have a look at these other worthy alternatives we found out for you.
The cheapest product we you are going to find in this category. At about $800 it costs relatively the same as some good home refrigerators and offers you the features of a commercial product. It is a single door fridge with four shelves best used for storing drinks.
WP Restaurant Fridges seem to be the dominant players in this market and rightly so with all their variants. This refrigerator has a freezer section not usually seen in the commercial refrigerators. It also has six different doors with a total of 9 compartments so you can categorize to your heart’s content.
That does move the price a bit further up, in fact this is the most expensive product on our list at almost $3000. Also the reason why we didn’t put it on our top 5 list despite all the great features it offers. This product is not for everyone, except the high end customers who can make that investment.
This refrigerator does what a commercial refrigerator should do. Cool all the food you keep inside it and let you put as much as you can. There is nothing too fancy about this product that should take the price to roughly $1900. It is slightly overpriced in our opinion (you wouldn’t be putting it in the dining area) but does come with all the standard features and a 5 year warranty too.
An amazing product with an ultra cool look. The products you keep inside this double sliding glass door refrigerator really pop into the face of the customer. I wouldn’t be surprised if you get too many impulsive orders from your customers. It comes in an aesthetic white black combination with 8 shelves and led lighting to make your merchandise stand out. It does cost a lot of money at slightly above $2000 but comes with a 5 year compressor warranty, and a 1 year warranty for all other parts. Solid product if you have the cash.
With a capacity of 49 Cu. feet, this commercial double door refrigerator is really suited for food caterers. You get six different racks to store different kinds of materials. The body is made up of stainless steel and the fridge comes with self-closing doors and an internal led light. The build is sturdy and there is an auto defrost feature so you don’t have to do it yourself.
Buying a commercial refrigerating system is not an easy decision even with all the information that we have just provided you. You are going to spend your hard earned cash to buy a product that you’d prefer to be a one time investment - a perfect buy. Along with the information above, the following questions can help you make that decision better.
Ask yourself these:
If you want to know what else goes into buying a refrigerator, check out this video that tells you what price range each type of refrigerator comes in ( even home refrigerators ):
Every business in the food industry needs a cooling system. While inexpensive home refrigerators look like the best deal, they are eventually going to run out of steam as your business grows. You need a product that can sustain your business for a long period of time. Even though the commercial refrigerator price is more than the home alternatives, the benefits far outweigh the cost of the equipment. What it boils down to is your willingness to invest in your business early on and reap the fruits for years to come.
The products we have listed above have been thoroughly tested and pass our benchmarks. You are welcome to do more research if you want, but investing in a commercial refrigerator is one of the best decisions you will make for your food business even if the commercial refrigerator price is way more than a home fridge.