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Finding the perfect commercial refrigerator for your business is no small feat. Key factors like staying in budget, picking the correct size, and selecting the right fridge style are crucial, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. So, we get it—the search may be daunting, and there's a lot to consider.

But here's why taking the research phase seriously is so important: the right commercial refrigerator can directly impact the taste of your food, breadth of your menu, and ultimately—the overall success of your business. Since there's many "cold-hard facts" to consider when finding your perfect fridge, we've broken this article down into five important sections to help you in your search.

1. Answer These Two Crucial Questions + Do Your Research

commercial refrigeration

If you're wondering what to look for in a refrigerator, you're certainly not alone. Our equipment experts suggest answering these two questions to kick off your research:

What's My Budget?

Naturally, many organizations main fear is running out of fridge space, but that doesn't necessarily mean buying the biggest product. Determining the crafty sweet spot of a big fridge space to fit in a potentially small budget isn't as tough as it sounds. Take a look at our affordable options—or for more piece of mind—talk to experts to determine which refrigerator gives you the most bang for your buck.

What Size Refrigerator Should I Get?

From small undercounter options to huge three door refrigerators, finding the right size all starts with determining how much room you want your equipment to utilize.

If you're replacing an old unit with a new model, you've already narrowed down at least one size that works in your space. Food for thought—there's newer, smaller units now that take up less space, but they make better use internally and hold even more food than older units. This might be one more reason a replacement is in your business' best interest.

Still unsure on size? Let us do the work—answer a few questions and give us your kitchen dimensions and we'll find a fridge that fits your kitchen space.

2. Make a List (That Will Save You Time & Money!)

kitchen flow

We suggest making a list of the types of foods you'll put into your commercial refrigerator. Here's how this will save you money: this helps determine the types of refrigerators that will keep your food freshest for longest. For example, our deli customer who serves fresh veggies every day would want a fridge with more produce space than say, a butcher. Making a list will also help you determine the size fridge you need by the amount of room your food takes up—are you stocking small items like spices and herbs, or big items like loafs and bread? Making a detailed list will answer all these questions.

Next, to save you time, determine the number of employees using your fridge. Keep in mind the flow of your kitchen, and make sure your fridge isn't creating a pile up of employees all trying to get what they need—your new fridge is meant to streamline operations, not slow them down. For example, if you're a small corner shop that doesn't need many supplies, a simple undercounter fridge will suffice. For larger companies with lots of kitchen foot traffic, a two or three door option may best accommodate your staff.

3. Fast Facts on Your Refrigerator's Condenser: Pros and Cons

Condensers regulate the temperature in your commercial refrigerator—think of it as the engine in your car. For this reason, condensers are an extremely important aspect when choosing your refrigerator, and in most cases, there's two to choose from: bottom-mounted and top-mounted. Here's some pros and cons of both.

Bottom-Mounted

Top-Mounted

Pros
  • Cleanliness — easiest for maintenance and upkeep
  • Efficiency — since the condenser operates near the floor (the coolest area in a hot kitchen) it keeps the refrigerator condenser running smoothly
Pros
  • Cooler interior temperatures — top mounts are designed to push hot air out more efficiently, making its interior colder; this could save you money on energy costs

Cons
  • Clogging — being closer to the ground, it's near dirt and debris on the kitchen floor
Cons
  • Maintenance — requires more frequent maintenance from all airborne germs, grease, and steam it collects from the top

4. Find What Your Kitchen Needs: Different Types of Refrigerators

Meet all standards of freshness, safety and success with our wide range of commercial refrigerators. Here's three top-selling categories:

Refrigerated Merchandisers
Reach-In Refrigerators
Refrigerated Merchandisers

Merchandisers allow your customers or employees to find everything they need, quick and conveniently. Most units have a well-lit interior lighting and multiple shelves to showcase your merchandise. Choose from glass door merchandisers, open front options, and more.

Reach-In Refrigerators

Most reach in refrigerators have a stainless-steel exterior for a seamless and versatile look in any kitchen space. Built mainly with temperature control in mind, reach-ins typically hold temperatures from 33° to 41°F, making them a popular go-to for all types of industries.

Refrigerator Door Types

One Door Refrigerator
One Door Refrigerator

If you have a tight kitchen space but need to stock lots of food, the one door option may suit your business best. Taking up far less space than other options, one door refrigerators provide ample space and storage.

Two Door Refrigerator
Two Door Refrigerator

A popular go-to for small to medium sized businesses, the two-door unit makes it easy for more than one employee to access their ingredients at a time. Some two-door units come with dual-temperature monitoring, which gives you the flexibility to stock all types of foods without worry of spoilage.

Three Door Refrigerator
Three Door Refrigerator

This unit has three sections or doors with around three shelves per door. This commercial refrigerator is usually around 65 cubic feet of cooled space for storage of lots of food products. Very busy kitchens with lots of supplies benefit from using this spacious option.

5. The Easiest Way to Get Matched with Your Perfect Commercial Refrigerator (In Minutes)

Signs of Burnout

We wouldn't call ourselves equipment experts if we weren't making this search easier for you. So, we created EQWIP. EQWIP is our survey tool filled with hundreds of equipment products. Just answer a few questions and our tool will match you with the right commercial refrigerator for your budget, space, and needs. Our customers love it, we think you will too—it's free, and ready to use right now.

Account Development Managers

Meet Hubert

We've been partnering and working with foodservice providers for 75 years, so we know what they need. Commercial kitchen equipment that makes their employees and kitchens more efficient.

And the way our team of experts deliver & install equipment sets us apart from the competition. Hubert offers turnkey services, so you don't have to lift a finger—we'll even help you design the perfect kitchen layout for your facility.

Click here to learn more.