By now operators will hopefully have sorted food, drink and staff for the Christmas rush. Serge Kremer, CEO, Husky Commercial advises you to pay attention to your refrigeration facilities as well.
Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year for businesses in the hospitality and catering industry with the demand for food and drinks at its highest. In our experience, the run-up to Christmas is the best time to invest in new refrigeration. This will reduce the risk of any down time and losing out on valuable revenue.
New refrigerators will also see an improvement in the coldness of the beer and wine by upgrading old units that may not be achieving the optimum temperature as efficiently.
Think before you buy
Fridges need to survive the toughest, very busy conditions at this time of year. Look for robust products, with features such as reinforced hinges and self-closing doors, so staff can work efficiently and stock is chilled to the optimum temperature.
For front-of-house bar fridges, consider that customers’ demands vary. Pubs need well-lit fridges that showcase their range of drinks. Look for bar fridges that look stylish, are well-lit and work efficiently.
To meet front-of-house requirements, Husky’s undercounter or upright Bar Fridges are available in single, double and triple-door models. The LED lighting and adjustable shelving facilitate displays of a variety of drinks, essential for customer choice, while reinforced hinges and self-closing doors allow staff to work quicker.
For kitchen equipment, key features to look out for include a high ambient operating temperature of up to 43°C. Restaurant kitchens can reach particularly high temperatures, especially during the summer months, so it is important to look for a fridge that can remain fully chilled in this environment. Also look for durability features such as strong hinges and sturdy lockable castors. In a busy working kitchen, your units will need to withstand a heavy amount of usage, with staff (perhaps unintentionally!) slamming doors shut and needing to grab items quickly.
When purchasing new equipment, consider how easily the gaskets and interior components can be removed for cleaning. Look for fridges where this can be done quickly with little fuss.
Allocate time for research
Take time to research a number of different companies before you make a purchase, to make sure you are buying the best product for your needs. Buy from a trusted supplier who will not only supply your equipment but can also offer excellent customer service for years to come.
Top cleaning tips
Cleaning is essential to ensure your refrigerators deliver to their full potential.
Husky top cleaning tips are:
Door seals: Check regularly for spills or ill-fitting seals. Clean carefully with warm water and a gentle detergent on a regular basis. Door seals are a breeding ground for bacteria and can lead to loss of energy.
Fridge and freezer cabinets: Remove any build-up of natural debris from the back of the cabinet to prevent overheating leading to potential costly repairs.
Drains: Regularly clean the drain hole and drip pan to remove condensation and food particles. This avoids blockages that can cause smells and water leaks.
Temperature: Regularly check the temperature of your fridge. Make sure it is set to the correct level for stored goods. Energy consumption will increase if your fridge is too cold, which could be costly for your business.
Condensers: Clean the condensers every three months to prevent dust from gathering. In hot and greasy conditions do this more frequently.
Prolonging the life of your product: It is vital not to overstock cabinets. The majority of chillers and freezers have recommended loading limits from the manufacturer. Make sure you stick to the recommendations as this ensures that the air within the unit is able to circulate satisfactorily around the products. Overloading the units will affect the airflow within a cabinet and therefore reduce its ability to chill effectively. Always place the cabinet away from excessive heat sources and allow a ventilation gap. There should be a gap of 100mm at the back and 20mm at either side to allow heat flow from the condenser. If a cabinet gets overheated, this will affect its ability to provide cooling. This doesn’t apply to built-in units.
By following these simple tips, you will ensure that your fridges and freezers are operating at optimum levels for many years to come.
Check the temperature of your unit regularly, making sure it is set at the appropriate level for the stored product, running too cold will increase energy consumption.
Husky is a leading global refrigeration specialist with over 50 years’ experience. For further information, visit husky.co.uk